St. John’s, Newfoundland, hosted our first annual Risque Sex Expo earlier this month. We were invited to speak on our erotic works, and give some erotic storytelling over the two days.
Needless to say, we were thrilled to be involved in such an awesome, positive, adult event. It was a sex positive venue that recognized our adult desires for sex and companionship. A lot of people have children and don’t have the opportunity to be open about their sexual needs, and this was a great venue for exploring that.
We gave two talks, one on writing erotica and kinks, and the other on speaking to your partner about your fetishes. There were a lot of single people, and couples, that attended both and everyone seemed really engaged and involved. Two of our friends volunteered to watch our booth for us during the talk, and they commented about how nice and pleasant everyone was, and how there wasn’t anyone that was rude or creepy.
Over all, this was the best of what the conversation about sex could be. Consenting adults, exposing themselves to new things and learning about new topics, and sharing it with their friends and lovers. It made us both feel very proud to be involved in it.
However, the event got very little local press. The Telegram ran a blurb back in March, and the Scope ran a blurb in their May edition. I refreshed CBC’s Newfoundland page after the event since I saw they were there with a camera. There was no text write up. A shame, but I suppose they didn’t want to talk about sex on their news site.
After all, it wasn’t like they’d touch on such an adult, sensitive topic.
Unless, it seems, we’re talking about sex workers.
The next day, I refreshed as usual to see if news of the Expo was just a bit delayed, and the first article I see is “Hot economy means boom time for sex trade in N.L.”
Inwardly I groan. How will they make sex workers look like the badguys now?
Ah, this quote will work nicely.So instead of talking about an open, loving event that brought couples closer, opened up relationships to new experiences and conversations, and built a foundation of trust, the CBC would rather cover something that attempts to shatter that trust.
I’ll be frank. I support sex workers, and escourts, and think that they need more public support. They have a lot of negative stigmas, and get a lot of hatred, even within feminist communities.
One of the reasons they do get this hate is because of fear. People are afraid that their lovers are using their services, and they would rather lash out at the escourts. I won’t pretend it’s not a complicated issue – the reasons why married men see sex workers is various and it’s not always the partner’s ‘fault’, however society seems to think that women ‘drive’ their men into the arms of sex workers.
Yet that fear drives people’s insecurities, and harms relationships, whereas the expo built relationships and trust. Why can’t we focus on that, on the positive aspects of sex and sex work?
In one of our speeches, I spoke of fetishes and what to do when one partner had a fetish that the other was unwilling to fulfill, such as spanking or domming. I recommended that, if they were comfortable with it, there were professionals who could take care of that aspect of the relationship. There are many professional dom(mes) who don’t have sex with their clients, and instead give them what they need to be happy.
I firmly believe this is a valid choice for some relationships, and should not be seen as something shameful. Sex workers can, and do, help build solid relationships, however the framing of the CBC article only made it seem like they’re there to hurt other women.
In the future, discussion of sex will no longer be something that’s only talked about with negative connotations. I hope next year that the local news – CBC, The Telegram, NTV, The Scope, The Independent, The Muse, etc. – will talk about what a positive event the Risque Sex Expo could be.
*Note I mostly use female sex workers and male clients because that is the majority. While there are male escorts, they often deal primarily with male clients as well. Female clients are a smaller percentage.