I saw a couple having sex in Gatineau Park the other day, which reminded me of the couple I saw having sex in a ditch by the train tracks when I was a teenager.
They were teenagers too, the boy and girl that was the couple by the tracks.
The couple in Gatineau was not a couple of teenagers, and they were on the beach right behind the wire fence that separated the sand from the pavement.
The Couple by the Tracks was hidden by assorted brush and foliage. I only saw them, balanced rather precariously on an abandoned tire, because the dog started at them. They saw me seeing them, and then I looked away. I can’t speak for the dog.
The Couple on the Beach were nothing short of panoramic; everything in plain sight. A vista of water, sunlight and sand and something resembling a fleshy oil-rig, drilling away in the right-hand corner of the frame. I was in a car with some friends, and though it was Kris who saw the beach couple first (“Hey! What are they doing?), it was Jacqui that slowed the car to BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
Not that there wasn’t all that much to see.
They both looked up when the beeping started, but whether we spoiled their fun or helped them along, I’ll never know. For that matter, I wonder what happened to the Couple by the Tracks?
Did it work for them?
“Whatever works” (sure), that classic non-answer – defensible and generally non-offensive – kind of dances around everything even as it holds it all in place, which is nice, but as for an answer a little closer to tangible, who really knows?
Even when you come from another side of it – change the site, alter the methodology, maybe add a little ethnography
and a bit of participant observation – it’s hard to figure.
At The Everything To Do With Sex Show every-purported-Thing-to-do-with-sex is at the ready; your one stop sex shop X 10 and probably the closest Thing out there for at least a kind of sustained, first-hand inquiry. Just be careful not to let your eyes cross.
The BIG THINGs the year I went (2009) were glass cocks and wood dildos, half jokes in themselves but all half-kidding aside, they represented some serious hardware.
But even they were merely parts of the whole.
There is a place for everything at The Everything To Do With Sex Show and everything, it seems, was firmly in its place. Vendors with names like Tickle Your Pink Adult Products and The Screaming O, where the places to be for erotic cakes, penis pumps, plugs, sex swings, whips, rings, vibrators, cuffs ‘n collars, various lubes. There were showerheads and lollipops at The Everything To Do With Sex Show. There was a bubbling chocolate fountain and something called The Portable Cross.
There was one inflatable, passed-around penis, whose job for the event was not unlike that of a music festival beach ball.
A Big ‘Ol Box ‘O porn. A few of those.
Batteries, of course.
There were seminars, many special and free run and lead by industry professionals, a fashion show, ass contest, massage stations, body painting, tattoo booths, a “freak show”, d-d-dancing (!), cosplay, the Toronto Sun Newspaper and a Dungeon. No pictures allowed there, at the Dungeon, but if I had to describe it, I’d say the word play in there is immaculate.
Also immaculate: the ever-present yet cooled enthusiasm of patrons of all different shapes and sizes with tastes to match, averaging each other out under the dim, not-exactly-setting-any-kind-of-mood lighting.
You can get your hair done at The Everything To Do With Sex Show. You can pluck your eyebrows and have your teeth whitened.
I was told, as I floated from one place to another, that The Everything to Do With Sex Show used to be bigger, grander. Which may be true, but it seems to me to be a more matter of scope than range. It seems that even though there was a lot, there was a threshold point at which there maybe should have been some or something more – or more to the point, at least there should, maybe, have been less of the same.
None of it really worked for me and why it works – or does not work – for people not me or like me but still not me and whether for the many or the few is less empirical than actual.
But that’s what you get when you turn the whole Thing into an academic exercise.
 There may have been a group thumb’s up. I cannot confirm.
 Mahogany, I learned, is the best wood. FYI.
 But you know, a dick.
 It seems that there’s no Toronto Sun without its semi-iconic “Sunshine Girl” pinup feature. You used to be able to find her on early on page 3 or 5, but now she lives exclusively at the back of the sports section. The chance of you possibly knowing her from somewhere (High school? Your dad’s business partner Carl’s step-daughter, maybe?), is the one Thing that is perhaps better than actually knowing her.