Culture | What your momma never told you

Montreal’s biggest sex trade show aims to celebrate the nasty-nasty

In the midst of our long, cold, and dreary winter, there is a place of warmth – or perhaps to be more accurate, heat. This is a place where choosing the right vibrator is as important as selecting the perfect smartphone, and where discussing anal sex is no less common than talking of yesterday’s weather. It’s a world that is real, yet rarely explored. Starting February 6, Salon de l’amour et de la séduction creates a safe and erotic space in which you can unearth the world of sexuality and spice up your love life at the same time.

Located at the Olympic Stadium and running for three days, the show is now in its 15th year. It is the longest-running adult consumer and trade show in Montreal, and is as eccentric, exciting, and electrifying as ever. The show offers a plethora of stimulating sexperiments combined with a healthy dose of education.

“Salon de l’amour et de la séduction offers a unique blend of entertainment, education, and shopping that you can’t get anywhere else,” says Michael Singer, the show’s manager. “It’s a whole package, and for $15 you’re getting a great experience – fashion show, toys, and a seminar all in one day.”

A variety of seminars, offered in both English and French, cover such hushed topics as “the truths and lies of anal sex.” From information on the taboo realms of bondage, domination, and sadomasochism, to the ever-popular we-vibe (you’ll have to attend to find out how it works), this show exposes that which is often discussed in hushed voices – if at all.

The show provides an open space where individuals can contemplate their sexuality and new forms of sexual expression without fear of judgment. Singer highlights the show’s open and accepting atmosphere, explaining, “a lot of people are nervous and shy about asking questions. 20,000 people sharing the same experience makes people feel more comfortable with their sexuality.”

Though the show may not revolutionize society’s attitudes toward sex, it begins to renegotiate and challenge the ways in which sexuality is understood, controlled, and repressed. Contrary to the mainstream view that equates sexual openness with pornography and pathology, this show promotes the notion that sexuality should be embraced, developed, and celebrated.

Salon de l’amour et de la séduction encourages the exploration of intimacy and helps sexual partners establish connections with each other in sensually fulfilling ways. “Once people come to the show and realize what is done, people are excited,” Singer adds. “No one is born a perfect lover. Sitting in on seminars like this gives people a chance to be in a comfortable space.”

The taboos that pervade the subject of sex are deeply rooted, and for some, the cloak of secrecy cannot be easily removed. But the show’s organizers take this into consideration. If you’re preoccupied by fears of sexual activity, swathed in guilt from parental or societal voices, or simply looking to enjoy an open, casual, sexy event, the Salon de l’amour et de la séduction show will satisfy your curiosity and open new avenues to sexual health, romance, and intimacy.

Salon de l’amour et de la séduction runs from February 6-8 at the Olympic Stadium. Admission is $15 for each day, and attendance is restricted to those 18 years and older. For more information, visit