By Jacque Talbot
This summer, a group of models and exhibitors came to Manchester for the increasingly popular annual Sexhibition event. Sexhibition, if you hadn’t realised, is an exhibition that celebrates all things ‘sex’ hosted by the city’s Victoria Warehouse. Joining the organisers this year were the latest ranges in fetish gear, top of the range whips, harnesses, restraints, muzzles, blindfolds, nipple toys and spankers.
Upon entering the old industrial warehouse you soon forget the sunny day outside. The warehouse’s interior is a darkened arena, only lit up by the stage lighting overhanging from the pitch-black ceiling. The nightclub feel is showcased also in the various bars surrounding the venue’s parameter. You can’t buy with cash here though, the drink and alcoholic beverages in offer are only purchased through plastic tokens, which can be obtained from a stall at the site’s entrance.
The main stage has the word Sexhibition in 3×6 size, which is all in brought out in spectacular fashion by an abundance of florescent lightbulbs that shape the words. The tunnel through the middle is where, every twenty minutes without fail, the models and acts appear from. Models strut out to loud applause and cheers from the fervent audience. Then, to demonstrate the event’s inclusive ethos, disabled models, all decked out in explicit attire, come out to an even bigger and louder reception, promoting the idea that sexual freedom is open to everyone, regardless of body size or physical ability. In short, Sexhibition is a celebration of freedom. A place where people can let go of societal-formed restrictions, and let their inner primal instincts take over.
Below the main stage, an array of BSDM (bondage, discipline, domination and submission) paraphernalia is set out on display, much like you might find at a village summer fete. However, these merchants wear peekaboo bras and strapless panties. Guests can then find out about the latest in sexual, fetish gizmos, and perhaps ask the very experienced and knowledgeable vendor all the how-tos and how-not-tos about a particular product.
Upstairs, guests can meet professional models and pinup girls, some getting the chance to speak with them and have a photo taken with them. However, you will have to catch them in-between their professional shoots with photographers or interviews with branded YouTube channels.
Guests have to make sure they make the most of Sexhibition and try to experience everything. If you leave too early you may even get picked out by the staff monitoring the exit: “Leaving already? You haven’t been upstairs yet to see the Glube demonstration!” The staff will certainly make sure you’re getting your money’s worth!
Glube, if you didn’t already know, is the name for the natural lubricant our bodies create, the demonstration featured in a dark section on the far wing of the building. The room is lit up only by the neon lighting surrounding the blow-up bath tub. Two girls and a boy, only in their underwear, swarm around in gooey looking liquid, rubbing it on each other and making sexually charged rubs and playful bites. It can’t be said that the audience knew exactly what is going on, but like much of the exhibition, it’s all very tongue in cheek.
Sexhibition wants you to have a big grin on your face as you walk around. Whether you’re meeting 20-something couples or women in full body latex suits and six inch heels, everybody makes you feel welcome and wants you free your mind.
To find out more about Sexhibition events, see the event website.