Sex toys don?t make kink? they just make it better. If kink is defined as ?a clever, unusual way of doing something,? then sex toys increase the clever and unusual possibilities ad infinitum.
Just look at the participants streaming into Rascals Club or Vancouver Dungeon BIO (By Invitation Only) on a given Saturday evening. These play events are home to many locals who dance on the kinky side. As they file in, the luggage they bring tells the tale. A tale of more is more.
If toys didn?t provide some significant enhancement to pleasure potential, I?d see empty hands as players entered the dungeon. But hands are not in pockets. They are laden with flight bags filled with floggers; fishing rod cases filled with canes and whips; briefcases packed with surgical staples and staple guns. And they are tugging carts brimming with every pervertible known to man and woman alike.
Donna Exter (known in the scene as Lady Tiger) wheels her black suitcase into such events regularly. She is happy to share the contents.
?In my tickle trunk is a paddle, a few canes, about a dozen floggers, suspension cuffs, clothes pins, candles, a couple whips and a few other knick-knacks.?
Though tempted, I choose not to ask what the knick-knacks are.
She doesn?t hesitate when asked about her favourite toy. ?Signal whips. Any whips really, especially if they make loud noises.?
She also is clear that kink exists with or without sex toys. ?Of course. Kink comes from within. It is a state of mind, not something that is said and done with objects.
When I ask, ?Why toys then?? she has a ready answer. ?It?s a fast way to an endorphin rush. It they squeal?all the better!?
Another testament to the ingenuity of kinky people is Reive Doig, one of the co-founders of Vancouver Dungeon BIO. His toy bag is a modified version of his mother?s travel golf club bag and he is adamant that there is still kink without toys.
?If there weren?t stoves we?d still be cooking. If there weren?t toys we?d still be spanking, tying with rope.?
Still, he notes, ?toys are quite important as they allow us more creativity.?
They also, it would seem, offer enhancements that nature might not have thought of. ?God only gives man one size,? Doig laughs.
And he?s big on pervertibles, too ? things that aren?t necessarily sold as sex toys but that add to the experience all the same.
?Anyone that can?t plan an entire night of kink with what they can find in their kitchen hasn?t been doing it long enough,? he says.
His ?if stranded on a deserted island and you only get one toy choice? is his seven-star hammer, with pinpoints that can be used softly and gently, or for more extreme sensations. In fine pervertible form, it doesn?t come from a toy shop but an acupuncture supply store.
Even as a toy maker, Brad Larson confesses that toys are not always essential to the pursuit of kink. ?They add to it, but are not necessary in a lot of aspects,? he says.
He makes braided leather goods, single tails and quirts. When asked which toy he?d hang onto if he only got one choice, he chooses a 30-strand flogger made of heavy cowhide suede tails.
If the greatest implement of sexual arousal is the brain, the greatest accessory is surely the toy that enhances stimulation.
Sex toys might not make kink, but they certainly make it better.
And more sex toys might not make us kinkier but they certainly don?t hurt (or do hurt, whichever your bent may be).
There is one thing that true kinks know for sure. While any good collection of toys includes purchased items, the real connoisseur of kink can pervert any household item for the purposes of pleasure or pain. Home Depot isn?t
affectionately called ?Dom Depot? for nothing. And in the dictionary of kink, IKEA is Swedish for ?bondage furniture.?