Saturday, February 11 celebrated this year’s 4th Annual X and O Show, an art show commemorating everything to do with love and sexuality. Hosted by Lover Magazine (North America’s first women’s sexuality magazine) at the Charlotte Room in downtown Toronto, the show was dark, chill and truly set the mood for the night. While not all of the artwork was overtly sexual, all were extremely erotic. Whether it was BDSM, masturbation, pregnancy or female empowerment, the X and O Show offered a multitude of artistic expressions (my favorite installments showcased fierce looking women posing in a men’s bathroom; I thought this was very empowering).
All of the artwork was up for a silent auction with all proceeds going towards the Wendy Babcock Fund for Sex Positive Writers. Wendy Babcock was known for her activist work for the rights and safety of sex workers. Not only did Wendy work at Street Health for a number of years as a harm reduction worker, she also helped found many groups such as The Bad Date Coalition, The Safer Stroll Project, Sherbourne Health Bus Sex Workers Stop, Regent Park Community Health Centre’s Sex Worker Drop In and Self-Defense Training for Sex Workers.
Aside from the paintings and photography, a projector at the back of the room showcased digital erotic art, some more taboo than others. And if these depictions didn’t already whet your appetite, there were also live figure models as well — covered in colourful body paint was the beautiful Loretta Jean and adourned in elegant burlesque attire was the equally beautiful Kenickie Street. These lovely ladies were letting people sketch them, which was fun and even a little sensual as they would sit perfectly still while being drawn. I tried my luck at sketching one of the models (very poorly, I might add), after which the two lovely ladies took me and my friend to the show’s kissing booth for fun photos (photography provided by the fantastic Mondo Lulu). Once the ice was broken, it didn’t take long for couples to take their turn in front of the kiss camera.
If that weren’t enough, the X and O Show also featured a confession box for people write to their naughty secrets in. Anyone who participated was put into a draw for an upcoming erotic art piece featuring the winner’s naughty secret (via lovermagazine.ca), so there was even more incentive to share. I’m still waiting to see this piece, and I’m kind of curious to see some of the notes left by others and how the winning secret will look as a work of art.
The X and O Show was a huge success. Not only was there a large variety of art on display, but it all meshed well with the event’s erotic scope. Plus, the Charlotte Room was a great venue for this show thanks in part to its wonderful ambiance and drink variety. I can’t wait for next year!
Photo credits: Mondo Lulu