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Cate Sevilla writes...

This past Friday I had the *pleasure* of attending Erotica 2007. Dita Von Teese was the exhibition's headlining act this year, and I for some foolish reason thought that this meant she would magically add a touch of class and sensuality to everything - but apparently the power of Dita was no match for the cheesy, borderline disturbing freak show that was Erotica 2007.

I suppose I should have turned around and ran away when the press briefing was a performance by The Fantasy Boys. The Fantasy Boys are basically a poor-woman's Thunder From Down Under , and if you're lucky enough to see one of their performances, it will be one of the most horrifyingly uncomfortable experiences of your entire life. At first I found their half-assed cheerleader moves and exaggerated pelvic thrusts hilarious, but when they pulled two ladies up on stage for some "sexy time", I was absolutely mortified.

The Fantasy Boys poured baby oil over their naked chests and grabbed the volunteers hands, forcing them to rub the oil, and their crotches, just moments before they took the opportunity to grope the women's breasts. Did I mention Sexy Time included Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do" and fog machines? These Fantasy Boys sure know what turn women on, as next they blind folded the women (with Bryan Adams still playing) and grabbed their heads, forcing them under their towels, and thrusted their naked penises in the womens' face. Isn't' that sexy? TOTALLY SEXY. A few more lame dance routines later, and the "press briefing" was over. No announcement from the Erotica staff, just The Fantasy Boys. Because really, what more could we have possibly needed to know?!

Wandering around the two floors of booths and displays, I got the overall impression that Erotica was a combination of two extremes. On one end was the hardcore dominatrix getup with Gothic cloaks, sex cages, spiky face masks and metal dildos. Then on the other end, there was a cold, pornographic atmosphere complete with Page 3-esque *art*, pink sex toys shaped like cutesy animals, F-list porn stars and DVDs with titles like "I Like Black Boys".

And what did they have for the rest of us? Well, for the rest of us there were corsets. Lacy, expensive, oxygen depleting corsets...and not much else. Of course, the corsets from stores like Fairy Goth Mother were amazingly gorgeous, however, if you're somewhere like Erotica, if you've seen one corset booth, you've seen them all. Plus, after seeing numerous men parading around in corsets with leggings and pirate-like boots, I guarantee you you will tire of corsets very, very quickly.

While looking at one seedy booth to the next, I was surprised to find one with a group of promo girls from Mya, a cosmetic surgery company that urges you to "make yourself amazing". While I was annoyed by the cheesiness of The Fantasy Boys and a bit freaked out by the cloaked 60-year-old women in fishnet body suits and nothing else - I still respected them. I respect that some people are turned on by beefy gay men with fake Australian accents, even though I am not. However having a plastic surgery booth at an erotica exhibition just seemed insulting.

I spoke briefly to one of the promo girls they had parading around with "make yourself amazing" fliers, who explained to me how she's had microdermabrasion done "loads of time". But when I explained to a different promo girl that I didn't want to hear about other cosmetic surgery options because I had already had "a LOT of work done", she didn't seem so impressed.

I guess my biggest problem with Erotica 2007 was that there was really nothing erotic about it. I suppose sex is a hard thing to market to the masses, but at the same time, I just feel that if more effort and perhaps a bit more demographic research went into the exhibition, that it would have covered a lot more areas of sex, than just pink dildos and ball gags.

Best Booth? Hands down, the best two booths belonged to Nookii and Fairy Goth Mother . The ladies at Nookii were incredibly helpful and enthusiastic about their products, and the Fairy Goth Mothers were very helpful helping Zara find a corset.

Worst Booth? Mya and which ever booth it was that was selling the The Gravitizer. The disgusting guy running the booth asked if I'd like to try out his trampoline, and when I declined, he suggested I "go have a couple beers" and then "come back". Yeah. 'Cuz I'm just uptight, right?

[image via Getty]