A sex show of truly Olympian proportions?
El Reg does Erotica 2008
NSFW Dayglo and faintly squidgy – or looking as though it might turn up as weaponry in the hands of a hostile alien: the future of stimulation is techno-sexual, and it was on display this weekend at Erotica 2008.
This was the third such event to be hosted at Kensington Olympia, opening its doors to punters with the plea that they "forget doom and gloom and credit crunch" and immerse themselves in "one full day and night of fabulous naughtiness". However, finger-wagging signs at the entrance warning visitors to behave and reminding them that nudity was forbidden may have set a limit to just how naughty they were expected to be.
A hint of politically correct sexism, too, as a fetish enthusiast claims that he was asked to desist from taking his female "puppy" for a walk on a leash around the show because it was "abusive" - while being informed that the same scene with gender reversed would be perfectly OK.
So what was there to see? And is £22 a head really justified for a day spent wandering aisles packed with artificial genitalia and interestingly-flavoured lubricant?
El Reg went and looked, and our answer is a not terribly enthusiastic yes. Erotica is about more than sex – intimacy, perhaps – and for those looking for a different experience on a wet Sunday afternoon in autumn, it provides it. Stands include not just the obligatory travelling sex shops, but much more besides: corsetry and underwear, models, film-makers, swingers, jewellers, chocolatiers. There was even an outpost selling dairy products, whose sole connection to eroticism appeared to be the proposition that they could sell you cream and, well, cream could play a part in love-making.
Those with a spare £10,000 could pick up a discount six-seater jacuzzi and whirlpool bath. The less ambitious could purchase hand-crafted metal beds – a snip at £4,000.
Meanwhile, for the truly perverted, two Welshmen ran a stand selling toffee-flavoured Welsh vodka.
Every half hour or so, a different act took to the stage to bump, grind and gyrate in a fervently erotic fashion.
On the sexual front, the motto seemed to be "if we can make it vibrate, we will". Gone are the days of harsh plastic vibrators, replaced now by cute vibrating rubber ducks, pink buzzing bunny rabbits and vibrating things that look like a Bird of Prey crossed with something out of Alien.
Then there is the we-vibe, voted Best Sex Toy 2008, which can apparently stimulate clit and g-spot simultaneously, setting up “an erotic carrier wave” between the two. One should expect nothing less from a product designed and beta-tested by a former senior engineer from Nortel.