Chilling temperatures and slushy roads are nothing new to Columbus, so you can imagine my relief when I stepped inside the steamy, dimly-lit Ohio Expo Center Sunday to take in the sights, sounds and smells of this year’s Sexapalooza.
I mean scented candles, you perv.
Pounding bass and cracks of whips filled the air. Exhibitors lined the floor with booths full of exotic undergarments, wands, oils, fuzzy pink cuffs, d*ck-shaped candy, and even dietary supplements claiming to sweeten body fluids.
On the main stage was Diamond Hunter, a former Miss Gay Ohio with all the sass, quick wit, and force of personality required to be a drag queen.
In addition to hosting the lingerie fashion show and a burlesque performance, Hunter invited audience members on stage.
After they climbed onto the catwalk, Hunter revealed that the guys would be performing impromptu pole dances and the girls would have a chance to belt out their best fake orgasms.
You know, usual audience participation.
Walking past the dungeon, I moved on to the Museum of Sex, which provided facts on the history of sex (the dildo was invented in 500 B.C.), the history of BDSM (with an emphasis on informed consent), and the origins of adult magazines Playboy and Hustler.
I also spoke with Liz Lewis Woosey, show producer and president of Sexapalooza, who told me about legendary adult film actor Ron Jeremy’s appearance on Friday and Saturday.
“People were lined up for two-and-a-half hours waiting for autographs,” Woosey said.
The more I saw at the sexhibition, the more I noticed that the attendees were not drooling old dudes in half-unbuttoned Hawaiian shirts or sweaty guys in trenchcoats. These were completely normal people, mostly couples and giggling groups of friends curious about what you can’t learn in school.
Sexapalooza delivered an all-encompassing look at what goes on between the sheets in a raunchy, upscale, decidedly non-creepy way.