Last weekend, Manchester’s first BDSM and fetish exhibition was held in the city centre and I went down to hunt for the filthiest, most bizarre and downright disturbing sexual specimens.
We all like to think that we’re gods/goddesses in the bedroom, but judging by this weekend, sticking your finger up someone’s bum once in a while isn’t quite as much of a break from vanilla sex as you’d think.
At first glance, it looked like something from a horror film with props like whips, chains, and spiky latex bondage suits. But the people wearing and buying these things aren’t creeps from basements.They are your grandparents, your old head teachers, window cleaners and shop owners. Ordinary people with ordinary lives, who just love some weird sex shit.
There were a huge amount of vendors in the conference hall. Everything from buttplugs to riding crops was represented by their own specialised sellers.
As I was told many times throughout the day, everyone has their own kinks and fetishes. My first chat was with Pearlinda, a woman with a five year old “little” alter-ego.
A “little” is someone who acts as a dependant young person. They will usually be submissive and have a “daddy dom” who takes control of their lives. Like Pearlinda, this will often include having a bedtime, mealtimes and a strict routine, like a child.
Pearlinda said: “My ‘little’ is five years old- that’s why I’m wearing sparkly trainers. Usually I have ribbons and flowers in my hair.
“When I want to snuggle and cuddle with my daddy dom, I do colouring and watch Disney movies.
“I’m also a masochist. I like impact play, bull whips, needles, staples, scalpel play. I get off on the pain.”
I then moved on to some more hardcore stuff. I met Governess Painless, a full-time fetish mistress, who said:””I’m a mistress so I do a lot of spanking and caning.
“I’m also a rubber dom so I wear a lot of rubber.,It is my personal fetish and a lot of my submissives wear it too. In this heat it means that you sweat a lot and it’s fabulous.
“The main tip I would give students is whatever you’re into, start slow. Bondage is a good place to start. If you’re into anal play, start off small with plenty of lube.”
For those not ready to launch into the realm of BDSM cock first, there was plenty of softcore fetish related fashion.
There were catwalk shows from designers Katriona Stewart, Latex 101 and Bondinage, amongst others. The shows included an Alice in Wonderland themed latex dress, clowns, fire displays and drag acts.
Bea, 20, is a promoter for XtremePlaypen, a website that specialises in soft-core porn, through videos, photos and webcam. When asked what the dirtiest thing she’s ever done in the bedroom was, she said: “I’ve eaten and fucked my boyfriend in the ass with a strap-on.”
After the shows, I spoke to Spanish porn stars Julia de Lucia and Fenyx Santos about their experience of Sexhibition.
Julia said: “I started doing porn about three years ago. I always wanted to be an actress.
“About three months ago, I had to do a public humiliation shoot, so I had to walk around the streets of Madrid naked with people just walking by.”
I also spoke to one of the day’s main presenters Alix Fox, Durex UK’s sex educator, to ask her for some top tips for uni sex and her hopes for the day.
As well as being the Durex sex expert, Alix is also a teacher for Ann Summers and a journalist, contributing to publications such as Glamour, The Debrief, Cosmopolitan and Channel 4.
She said: “I’m here to spread the message that there are many different, legitimate and wondrous ways to find pleasure and satisfaction. The sex that works for you and the people you share it with is the best sex to have.
When asked what her top tip to inject some more sex into uni life is, Alix said: “When it’s your turn to do the washing up in your shared digs, make scrubbing dirty dishes more fun by listening to a sex-themed podcast as you wash plates and pots. I rate The Savage Lovecast with Dan Savage, it’s a consistently interesting, inspiring show.”