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The world's largest lifestyle show for free thinking adults who are comfortable with their sexuality.

- Erotica 2005 publicity

This event took place from 17-20 November 2005 at the Olympia exhibition hall in London, and was open both to the public and as a trade show. It boasted many, many, many exhibitors from all areas - fetish footwear, alternative clothing and jewelry, novelties, sex toys, lingerie, fetish furniture, and suchlike. And yes, I, was there.

I arrived at Olympia Underground station at about 2pm, and was immediately accosted by a number of people who wanted to sell me cut price tickets to the show. I turned them down, despite the depredations of others who were keen to get in there, and giggled at those people when I noticed a large sign proclaiming that, "TICKETS TAKEN FROM TOUTS WILL NOT BE VALID." So I was routed round, gave the person on the door some money and got a piece of pink till roll in return. This allowed me to enter the main show area. So, taking a deep breath, I entered and looked around.

What a sight.

As far as the eye could see, people of all shapes and sizes, ranging from suited business types and obvious tourists to leathered, corsetted, pierced dominatrices walking their slaves around looking at whips and chains and studded leather collars. Nobody seemed to gawp or to care, they were just looking and poking and all that.

So I wandered around for a while, and a few interesting exhibits took my fancy, aside from the usual latex, high heels, and sharp things. These are now detailed below.

Bluetooth vibrator. This item, known as "The Toy," from the Cool & Groovy Toy Company, is a bullet shaped vibrator with up to 72 different speed/motion combinations. And bluetooth functionality. It works thus - you insert the vibrator into the desired orifice of your partner, and when you send them a text message, it wiggles and wobbles and vibrates and buzzes according to the content of your message (each letter corresponds to a different action.) Cost: £200 plus. Though according to a fellow punter at that stand, it was worth it!

The Biggest Dildo I've Ever Seen. It was the size of my forearm, stainless steel, and veiny looking. It wasn't just big. It wasn't even huge, or enormous. This dildo would have challenged even the Goatse Man, and cost £300. There was also a similarly epic £200 stainless steel butt plug.

"Nexus" prostate massager. An oddly shaped device placed up the gentleman's rear during sex and so contrived to massage both the prostate gland and the perineum (scruttocks) during sex due to various motions etc.

LifeCast. A fun little piece of kit that allows you to make a cast of your favourite man-tool in anything from plaster up to vibrating silicon. Only the silicon ones and above can be used as dildoes though. Interestingly enough, there were metal paperweights for sale there which were apparently cast from ladies' vaginas, though how they managed that I'll never know. I wonder if they'll bring out a similar device next year whereby you can plaster cast your lady friend's clacker and turn it into a custom fleshlight.

Swinging holidays. Self explanatory.

The Liberator. From a company called Loving-Angles, this consists of a number of foam blocks in velvet, leather, or PVC covers. You can arrange them in various positions to facilitate various sex positions more effectively experimentally, or all of the above. I lay on one and shuffled them about a bit and it was pretty comfortable - and machine washable, most importantly!

Portable pole dancing poles. My first thought was that these would be telescopic; I was wrong. It was a thick steel pole which was assembled in sections and attached to a heavy metal base for stability. However, hefting one of the poles in its supplied metal case rather reduced their idea of portability in my mind. Incidentally, while I was examining this device in action, and marvelling at how flexible the lady was, I felt this poke in my back. I turned round, and my mother appeared and asked me what I was doing there. When I'd recovered from the heart palpitations, I said I was looking around. I was a little bit taken aback by her presence there, to be quite frank; even though it was her who told me of the show's existence.

Shagrags.cum. Novelty items, these consist of towels and things monogrammed with things like, "Shagrag," "Cumcloth," "Fannyflannel," "Wankwipe," and bags called "Faghagbag," and similar.

Invisible Push-Up Bra. Made of clear silicone, these things somehow (spirit gum?) attach to the underside of one's breasts and push them up somehow, it was never satisfactorily explained. They were invisible only when worn under other clothing or inside a normal bra or something like that.

The Scorpion Adult Playstation. Easily the most impressive item of fetish furniture around. Produced by a company called Discipline By Design, this device consisted of a frame shaped in the mode of a squared-off letter C built of reinforced fibreglass, with a large heavy wooden base. By virtue of straps, chains, and bits that fold up or down, this incredible structure could transform from a sex swing to a restraint frame to a rope bondage rack to a kinky leatherette mattress'd bed in a few minutes. On top of all that, it looks extremely impressive - and so it should, seeing as it costs £7,000, and it's five feet wide by eight feet long by seven feet high! The only draw back is that chubby chasers should steer clear; the leaflet says that "The Scorpion is built to suspend people weighing no more than 250lbs."

Vegetarians Make Better Lovers! The Vegetarian Society (!!) was in force at Erotica 2005, claiming just that. And no, it's not due to the use of cucumbers as sex aids, it's due to the fact that certain vegetables are "sexy." See www.rudefood.org for details; their leaflet seemed a bit scarce.

R18 Video Village. Upstairs in the gallery was this area, which I nicknamed the Porno Shack. Large numbers of blue movies, mainly from those people responsible for One Night in Paris, Red Light District, were in evidence, most of which appeared to have a microscopic budget. Let's put it like this - one box advertised "100% DOUBLE PENETRATION !!!!1" - yes, with the 1 in there. And no, they weren't aiming at AOL users, they were simply too stingy to correct the packaging. They had a widescreen TV playing one of these cinematic masterpieces, which features a writhing mass of ugly naked people with the focus on the nether regions of one of the ladies, who was being doubly penetrated. After a few minutes of wobbling and grunting and whatnot, the ladies lined up and the men started to beat off into their mouths. The whole nastiness and grubbiness and dirt and general foulness made me feel physically anti-horny - that is, my cock was attempting to burrow into my body rather than stick out. I looked around, and every single film appeared to be of similar production values. I fled in terror.

Really Orgasmic Sweets. These were custom chockies moulded to look like people's naughty bits. I bought a chocolate cock from here. Those of us who were at the Informal Britnoders Soirée that evening will know of this item. I did, however, eat it later, or it would have gone off. It was tasty!

On the stage at one end were various shows, at which they played and exotic danced to various disco classics like I Will Survive and Relax and whatnot. Dancers of both sexes cavorted on stage, mainly in a burlesque manner. In between performances scantily-clad cage dancers strutted their stuff for the mutual edification of the audience. Though I didn't really pay much attention. I was too busy admiring the exhibits.

All in all, a great fun day out. I shall probably take time out to go next year. I'd certainly recommend it (but only, of course, if you're over 18!)

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