“For me pin-up is about the tease,” reveals Shimona Henry of Pin-Up Perfection. “[Its] the indication of sexual presence without the showcasing of nude body parts.”
“Sex Butter was inspired by 2 individuals; the beautiful Bonnie Stern and the formulator who has partnered with her in this mission,” reveals Amanda Graumann, President of Sex Butter Canada Ltd.. “When Bonnie was 41 she went into premature menopause and while she was very youthful, her body started going south and sex became extremely painful and uncomfortable. She went out in the market place looking for a product that was healthy and organic and there was nothing.
She calls herself ‘Jasmin, the Original Temptress’, and she has a dream. She wants to operate an elegant private club that legally caters to the human desire for sensuality, relaxation, and belonging. This is why Jasmin has established Club Madellyn Jae (CMJ) in a discreet, second-floor office in suburban Ottawa. Yes, you can receive a sensual massage there from a beautiful hostess. But don’t think of CMJ as a glamourized massage parlour—it is anything but.
Bathhouses in Canada are an iconic gay haven for the sexually expressive, DTF (down-to-fuck), men who enjoy a good consensual romp with a stranger or two, or four or twelve. The true sex-stars of the gay community are those whose Hermès and D&G belt-notches range in the thousands and whose membership card at Steamworks bears a similar mileage. Those cards have been whipped out so many times they look vintage.
With summer upon us and crowds eagerly venturing outdoors to enjoy the sun, Pride celebrations and activities will be taking place throughout the country. While the big city events such as Pride Toronto and Divers/Cité in Montreal often garner national coverage, there are many exciting projects undertaken by LGBT communities in smaller centres all over Canada.
“What sets X Club apart is that the club is extremely clean, safe, mutually respectful and always welcoming,” offer Shawn and Jenn of The X Club. “It encourages open expression without judgment in a very subtle way.”
In the beginning, the Black Queer Youth group would operate on the ‘down low’ to avoid persecution and backlash. In 2002, Cassandra Lord began BQY as an initiative which would give voice to gay, bi, and trans black youth in Toronto; a group obviously living in fear as interested parties would be screened and notified of the meeting location which changed weekly for safety.
“Our clothing pushes the boundaries between mainstream and fetish,” offers Ashley Davies of Toronto’s House of Etiquette. “We offer clothing that you could wear inside with your partner, or out to a club. I think latex will eventually be seen as the norm in terms of club wear like PVC or leather used to be.”
“We are the anti-experts,” admits Jack Lamon, one of the worker-owners of Toronto’s Come As You Are.” Sure, we know a lot about sex toys, books, DVDs and sex generally, but we firmly believe that you are the only expert on your body and your pleasure. We always assume that our customers know more than we do about what they're looking for—because they do!”