After every Sexpo I have written a confessions blog, this is not meant to shock but rather to normalise the subject of sex. After all ignorance is definitely not bliss and knowledge is power, something that I have personally had to realise this year!
The first confession of Melbourne 2017 Sexpo was one of my own, to my children. They had seen the build up to this amazing event, the flyers, the marketing and had started to ask questions, so I needed to be open and honest with them. I explained that Sexpo is an exhibition surrounding the education of intimacy, relationships and our bodies. I also explained that although I go to sell my book, for the most part I am talking and reassuring people that they are ‘normal’ whatever that is! I told them both that their bodies and every function that they perform emotionally and physically is natural and wonderful. When I meet the wonderful patrons of Sexpo and we chat about our experiences, I have only ever been shocked about the amount of shame that we all carry around with us. I don’t want my children to feel shame, it’s such a useless waste of time almost as ridiculous as worry.
The first at my stand was Sam a wonderful Italian who although has lived in Aus for a very long time still had the nuances of a European. He openly shared his experiences as a single man and his continued safety around women and couples that wanted to experiment with him. He was a joy, full of boyish charm and excitement at being so free to demonstrate his curiosity.
A wonderful Mexican guy came to talk to me with the most beautiful accent and looks similar to that of Rafael Nadal he explained how the girls he knew back home could never wear a skirt or dress in public as they would be harassed and maybe even assaulted. ‘It’s very safe here in Aus’ he said.
A man with Tourette’s syndrome was the next to chat, he was interested in the psychological stance I had used in Sharks & Lovers to discover different sides of me and similarly the characters. He recommended some more pysch books for me to read which was awesome, I’m always looking for more inspiration.
The next guy resembled a character I always come across; his wife had recently died and ‘she was very proper’. He explained that he wasn’t very experienced and he bought my book in hope of some insights into another life. I do hope it delivers and I look forward to his response.
I can’t write this without mentioning the wonderful woman from my previous blog who came to me with such a warm smile. She bought her first vibrators this weekend after my encouragement! Having lost her husband a few years previously and before that having suffered an assault she withdrew from intimacy. We talked for a long time about control and abuse but mainly our shared philosophy that we are all in charge of our own happiness, by the end we embraced having shared our stories so honestly and openly.
These are the moments you just cannot replicate outside of Sexpo.
A great girl came up and grabbed Sharks & Lovers and gave it to her sister, ‘You’re reading this!’ she said. Her sister was off to London for Christmas and I’m sure she will enjoy some of the places that I explain in the book and hopefully she will get to visit them too!
The exhibitors were a delight as always and the wonderful Pricasso painted my portrait in exchange for my book, promising me we will start his memoir next year, I will keep him to that!
I can’t list everyone I talk to but I do know that all the conversations at Sexpo are creating intimate and inspiring connections.
So until Sydney mid ’18 or maybe closer depending on dates for the U.K and U.S, it will be an exciting year that’s for definite!
Stay tooned folks!!!