Toronto
3 min

You can buy sex – $45,000 with power steering

A WHOLE PERSON IN 100 WORDS OR LESS. Zahra Dhanani is one of a dozen people Xtra lured into writing a person ad for someone they know -- and having an ad written for them. Credit: Joshua Meles

Imagine going to a home show and browsing through row upon row of auto accessories. Imagine a psychic and mystics fair with nothing but boats. Think of going to an international gift fair and finding displays on soil types, plant varieties and gazebos.



I’ve worked a few gift shows and I can tell you that what you’ll find there is almost entirely gifts. I assume what you’d find at a boat show is boats, and at an auto show, autos.



But at the Love, Sex And Seduction Show I attended last month at the International Centre in Mississauga, the exhibit taking up the most amount of space was cars. Autoforum’s luxury sports cars occupied the equivalent of six show booths.



Plenty of sex takes place in cars, and cars are a great second choice if there is no available washroom stall or bush thicket. But these cars didn’t have special sexy features, like extra-cushy backseats, a mirror on the ceiling or an additional “glove” box in the back. If the windows automatically darkened or the seatbelts doubled as bondage gear, I can’t say because visitors weren’t allowed to actually get within five feet of the cars.



However, you could walk right up to the psychic miracles booth and even make an appointment with a clairvoyant spiritual reader and advisor (20 percent off your first visit with presentation of the LSS show flyer). Readers can apparently tell past, present and future with “amazing accuracy and immediate results.” But I’m not sure what such fortune-telling has to do with getting laid, unless “immediate results” refers to tracking down future lovers faster.



Beside psychic miracles you could get your glasses cleaned and defogged ($30 for a year’s supply of defogger), which was helpful in looking at the nice informative display on Premier Curzons fitness clubs. I suppose if you had a fitness membership you’d be more interested in Timeless Reflections body-casting – one of the largest exhibits. Though some of the displayed nudes were in very inviting poses, I remain convinced that a blow-up doll is much softer and more responsive than plaster.



Across from the body casting was a more promising booth, Arraby’s Gels And Creams. Expecting some exciting varieties of lube, I discovered that Arraby’s creams are excellent for psoriasis, eczema, arthritic pain, foot problems associated with diabetes, bug bites, poison ivy and ingrown hairs. I was, however, more encouraged to learn that some of the creams are “especially” good for “latex glove rash.” As well, Arraby’s marjoram oil prevents snoring, which can be decisive in being asked back to a bed a second time.



Down the aisle was a booth with a row of chairs out front and eager demonstrators standing behind. Each held a weird metal thing that could’ve been a whisk with its wires cut apart and spread open. It’s a Head Wizard, also known as (and painted to look like) an Octopus. Maybe I’m an exception, but any seducer coming at me with one of those in bed would find themselves all alone with it faster than you can spit sea spray.



Just next to the Octopussy torture chairs was the drab, cardboard CFNY radio booth giving away free samples of stuff actually related to sex – Benylin “Energy Boosting” ginseng lozenges. Finally, something to add to my bedside toy box.



Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit. There was, in fact, one booth offering custom-made bondage furniture (“to discretely match your home d├ęcor”) and a few others selling adult novelties, though, even in one of these, a young sales dude was using a vibrator on his temple like, well, like a Head Wizard. Speaker topics included “How To Find Your G-spot” and “Stripping For Your Partner,” but the New York dance troupe who actually did strip in their performance were hauled off stage and replaced by some bouncy flexible girls who kept all their clothes on.



Perhaps my perspective is skewed by the fact that the show was just not aimed at queers like me. The website is clear that the targeted audience was “affluent men and women” in the surrounding GTA.



If you’re affluent, it must be mandatory that sex and seduction involve things like gourmet chocolates, a fitness club membership, a salt lamp and candle holder, a personal body-casting session, a henna tattoo, a subscription to the Toronto Star and at least one luxury sports car.



Being an out, visible queer makes it hard to have enough income for all those things. I actually blew my budget on the $15 privilege of being allowed into the show. Which means myself and other limited-income queers are evidently stuck with the queer way of getting laid: “Hi. You’re cute. Your place or mine?”



* Christina Starr is a regular contributor to Xtra.