The Sexual Revolution began in the 1960s when the Pill separated sex from procreation, leading to an increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual monogamous relationships, especially marriage. By the time that South Africa became a democratic country in 1994 with the consequent falling away of many of the morality laws of the old apartheid regime contraception, public nudity, homosexuality and the legalisation of abortion were social norms. By this time pregnancy was no longer the greatest concern of the sexually active person. AIDS was. We learned to talk about sex. In the wake of this we find Sexpo. Sexpo is billed as a “Health, Sexuality and Lifestyle Expo”. Health and lifestyle may be the politically correct part of this exhibition but what the exhibition is really about sex. Sexpo is one of South Africa’s most popular exhibitions because sex is fun and this exhibition makes it possible to enjoy some of that fun with or without one’s partner and with many of one’s friends all at the same time.
Friends? Well, I spent nearly twenty years in The Salvation Army, so it stands to reason that many of my friends, or at least acquaintances, are in The Salvation Army. However, it was with surprise that I read the headline that The Salvation Army was going to Sexpo 2013. I read it on Major Carin Holmes’ Facebook profile. Major Carin Holmes is the Public Relations Director of The Salvation Army. She and I were stationed together at the Kensington Corps when we were both very much younger than we are now.
The Salvation Army’s official stance is that if Jesus Christ was on earth today he would be ‘standing beside’ them at Sexpo, and that they would be there, not to judge or condemn, but to promote a Christian understanding of sexuality and, most importantly, to raise awareness of slavery and trafficking issues in South Africa and around the world. I can go along with this. Consensual sex between adults is where my sympathies lie. If it is not consensual then it should be condemned outright. In fact, my minimum stance is that sex should be safe, sane and consensual, or “SSC” as it is termed in the kink community. Interestingly, The Salvation Army’s messages were all clever parodies of kink community stuff – I suspect that someone has been reading the very popular “Fifty Shades of Grey“.
The Salvation Army‘s efforts count as “Social Responsibility”, and these messages abound at Sexpo 2013. Right behind them was The Film and Publications Board campaigning against child pornography and exposure of children to pornography. They also promote the use of blasphemy, language, nudity, prejudice or negative stereotyping, drug and violence warnings.
From friends and social responsibility messages to lounges and sexy, sultry titillating shows. The lounges at Sexpo are additional pay areas (usually R40 extra), with bars and shows. They all had very long queues to get into them and I don’t queue for anything if I can possibly avoid it. Kinx owner kindly let me jump the queue and I stopped off to watch some rope bondage, and a suspension on a specially designed suspension bed.
Durex run Sexual Wellbeing Workshops. Well ‘workshops’ might be overstating the level of transferred knowledge. The lectures are all twenty minutes long and repeated each day over the four days and the subjects are: Anal sex tips presented by Jonti Searll, sponsored by Tantra Evolution; Basic bondage and BDSM presented by Mistress Paige – one of Johannesburg’s most experienced pro-Dommes (professional Dominatrix), sponsored by Different Strokes; Tyla Hunter “Out of Africa” – SA’s first porn star – brought to you by Digital Boxxx; The art of fucking … including the love dance presented by Jonti Searll, sponsored by Tantra Evolution; Basic spanking and BDSM presented by Mistress Paige, sponsored by Different Strokes; The mystery of the G-Spot presented by Jonti Searll, sponsored by Tantra Evolution; Keeping it sexy – Sharon shares some tips and techniques on how to keep your life and relationships going – sponsored by Lola Montez; Jessica Drake’s guide to wicked sex sponsored by Wicked Pictures; Sex toys 101 presented by Sharon Gordon, sponsored by Lola Montez; Expanded orgasms for her presented by Jonti Searll, sponsored by Tantra Evolution.
The free formal entertainment programme at SEXPO takes place on stage. The gorgeous, sexy, boys from Pulse International can be seen in the Ladies Lounge which involves an extra fee, but they also perform regularly on the main stage and this was quality entertainment. They start out in suits, move to cowboy clothes (cowboys work for me), then to fire dancers and finally to douse the fire they come on as fire fighters. Fairytale Fantasy had both boys (very briefly) and girls performing in scenes from Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Cinderella, Tinkerbell and more. Not suitable for children though.
Pricasso is an Australian artist who uses his penis, scrotum and buttocks, but mostly his penis, to paint portraits. I kid you not!
SEXPO offers couples (the majority of those at SEXPO are couples attending together) an opportunity to chat to one another openly and in public about things they may be too shy or nervous to broach in the privacy of their own bedrooms. It is an opportunity to ask questions, learn new things, experience new things, shop for things to spice up a dull sex life or enhance a sizzling one. It offers an opportunity to ogle giant walking puppet penises, to laugh at naughty novelties and to simply to invest in some quality time together in public which should pay handsome dividends in private.
SEXPO 2013 took place at Nasrec from 26-29 September 2013. The stated aim of the exhibition organisers is that SEXPO will educate, inform, entertain and celebrate human sexuality in a fun and exciting atmosphere shared by like-minded people. It certainly did that for me! For more information see http://www.sexpo.co.za.