The annual Brooklyn Sexual Health Expo was held in Greenpoint in late September, bringing more sex toys than you could shake a dildo at. Although there were naughty delights to be had, it also offered educational experiences, plus some of the nicest dominatrixes around.
The Brooklyn Expo Center hall was buzzing with excitement as well as vibrator demos, including a $1,500 Cowgirl motorized saddle at the Babeland booth. Nearby was a booth from Vibra
The machine is called the Bombshell, and Tom Nardone, president of Vibra
Some booths were demonstrating services, rather than products. Kinbaku Studio was showing the art of rope bondage. Attendees could sign up to be bound and suspended right in the expo hall. This intrepid reporter volunteered for a session and was securely bound and hoisted in the air without pain. Attendees lined up for the same treatment all weekend long.
Lady Lyonene, co-owner of Kinbaku Studio, explained, “We practice body positivity and acceptance of everyone.”
Many people who go to the studio, she said, thought they couldn’t deal with being tied up and suspended.
“Primarily it’s a body image issue,” Lady Lyonene said. “They’re either bigger or they’ve only seen petite small girls being tied… that doesn’t matter to us. The only thing that stops you from being tied is a lack of knowledge and a lack of self-confidence. Everybody is beautiful in rope.”
Attendees were also offered spankings and a variety of photo ops throughout the expo.
A significant amount of the expo floor space was devoted to vendors selling sex toys, some of which use outlandish designs. A representative of Bad Dragon talked about its line of fantasy dildos, which he described as “orcs, unicorns, dragons, tentacles. You name it, we make it.”
The company’s booth was seemed to practically squirm with colorful appendages made of soft materials suitable for intimate use — as well as display. Staff members at the booth said that the hentai-style tentacles and the Studded Dragon were big sellers.
As a gift for the ultimate narcissist, there is the Clone a Willy kit that lets the user create a mold of their erect willy and create a silicon replica. How one chooses to use the vibrating end product is up to each user.
Workshops were taught throughout the weekend, on topics including oral sex and rimming. More cerebral discussions about using breathing to enhance sexual pleasure also took place. Charlotte Taillor, who teaches workshops with the Taillor Collective, a “femdom collective” in Brooklyn, led a session on BDSM.
Gay City News asked Taillor about how this expo is different from other events.
“We have been getting more and more ‘vanillas’ at work,” she explained, adding that the expo was “a little less diverse on the sexuality spectrum,” than she expected.
“The crowd here is the people that go to expos, like book fairs and mainstream events,” Taillor said.
Although most of the attendees were from the cis hetero community, Gay City News discovered several exhibitors attentive to the LGBTQ community. Sliquid was showing its Ride line of lubricants for gay men. The company also has a special collection of products made specifically for transgender men. Endorsed by adult star and activist Buck Angel, the T-Collection also has non-sexual grooming products for trans men, including beard oil.
One of the sponsors of the event was Satisfyer. Megwyn White, the company’s director of education, said of the expo — without irony — “This one is much more stimulating. You have a lot more people asking questions and inquiring about the products for themselves.”
White added, “A lot of people have been curious about things that are on the fringe. The anal toys; we have a lot of tools for males as well. That is newer in the market, and newer for people in general. There is a tendency for sex toys to be for female audiences, and we have been doing a really good job in leveling the playing field in a way of creating products for men and women and anyone in between.”
Exploring fringe and fetish aspects of sexuality, White said, “gives people an opportunity to curate their sexuality and learn about themselves. Which ultimately makes us less scared in life as well. Sexuality is at the root of our health, but it’s also how we express ourselves and how comfortable we are in our skin.”