You know I’ve been here in Canada for a while when I start an entry with an apology, but I’m sorry. I’m sorry that what you’re about to read is the result of an exhausting weekend. I have approximately 7 watts of energy left in my body and I’ll use every last one of them over the next half hour. If you see an unintelligible sentence like hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhasdgo;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; come up, you could accurately attribute it to my head falling onto the keyboard while my brain tumbled into slumber. I’ve spent the entire weekend at Playground Conference, a Toronto based sex and sexuality conference covering a myriad of topics. From dirty talk to constructing safe community spaces, boudoir photo shoots, DIY cheap kink toys (it sounds clickbaity, but you wouldn’t believe how much of a playground your hotel room could be with a little creativity) and navigating sexuality as a survivor of sexual trauma. Local and international speakers, sex educators and enthusiasts. A wealth of fun, important and societally progressive advice and information. Frankly, it’s too soon to talk abotu all of it, I’m not sure I’ve even processed things yet. A wonderful weekend that gave a lot in so many ways.
The thing I am ready to talk about is Playground’s prom. A candy glitter masquerade prom, which gave endless options and outfit ideas. I had the forethought to bring my $9 suit and shitty waistcoat over to my girlfriend’s place, but neglected to bring a button up shirt. I tried searching high and low over the racks at Winners, but overly saturated candy colours were nowhere to be found. It’s fall. We’re all of 6 degrees away from snow, everything’s a navy blue, brown, grey or black. Shit. “Just wear the waistcoat, forget the shirt” my girlfriend suggested, which I rejected on the basis of weird fabric feelings of waistcoat and suit jacket on bare skin. I tried various T-shirt combos, but everything had a design or some dumb logo that didn’t mesh whatsoever with a fine 1960s (or something. I’m bad with eras and clothes-doing) suit jacket. Once again, shit.
My girlfriend offered me a variety of her single coloured tank tops to see if I could swing them. I couldn’t. It left this bizarre cut where fabric appeared essentially around nipple line. Not ideal. Also T-shirt fabric really didn’t go with my fancy attire. Shit shit shit. After much deliberation, I doubled back and tried out my girlfriend’s initial suggestion. I ditched any form of shirt and opted for what a friend later dubbed the “Chippendales” option of waistcoat and jacket. Surprisingly it worked, despite the fact that I could’ve doubled as an extra in The Warriors. We threw in a couple of bead necklaces from my girlfriend’s raver days, a lapel lollipop and a glittery masquerade mask she had lying around. I had my shit together.
The prom was fantastic, in that it resembled some kind of fantasy. Streamers and glittery candy decorations hung from the ceiling. There was a photo wall with gummy crowns, jumbo lollipops and other assorted props. A dessert buffet held cookies, cakes and slices, while a lovely lady walked around with a tub of candy for anyone interested. The DJ, who I understand was a relatively last minute addition, was on point. Mixing a variety of tunes from across the years and taking requests, he nary made an ill step. Okay, so there was one minor embarrassment of playing date rape anthem Blurred Lines in a room full of sex positive people, but someone just asked him to move on and he quickly complied. No harm done. Because I’ve made it customary by this point, an impromptu Macarena broke out (the DJ eventually picking up the cue and putting on the actual Macarena track), which fulfilled my line dancing quota for the week (yes, there’s one every week. No, I usually don’t make it). Flanked on all sides by bubbly magical surrounds and some of the sweetest folk around, it left me feeling marshmallowy with affection for everyone.
A better result than my last prom, which involved some drunken dude opposite me whipping out his dick on the bus to piss on the floor.