Ex­plor­ing the city’s unique sexy side

How a new sense of ad­ven­ture can help cou­ples spice things up in the bed­room

Richmond Hill Post - - LIFE - DR. JESS

Ac­cord­ing to the Econ­o­mist and Me­trop­o­lis mag­a­zine, Toronto is the best city in the world in which to live. Vogue named one of our down­town neigh­bour­hoods the sec­ond coolest in the world, and we con­tinue to top global lists that rank re­siliency, youth­ful­ness, in­tel­li­gence and even tax com­pet­i­tive­ness. With all th­ese ac­co­lades, it’s no sur­prise to learn that Toronto also scores top hon­ours in its sex ap­peal.

Un­like other North Amer­i­can ci­ties that rel­e­gate adult es­tab­lish­ments to the base­ments of for­saken strip malls on the out­skirts of town, sex-pos­i­tive en­ter­prises in Toronto are en­cour­aged to shine as in­te­gral voices in our di­verse and evolv­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Cou­ples and sin­gles from all walks of life are open to ex­plor­ing new sex­ual op­tions, and there is no ex­cuse for a bor­ing date night in our fair city. Here are a few ways to ease your­self into get­ting to know sex-pos­i­tive Toronto.

The sea­son of bur­lesque is upon us, and Em­pire by Spiegel­world com­bines com­edy, ac­ro­bat­ics and strip­tease in an an­tique tent com­plete with plush booths and cock­tail ta­bles. The show runs into mid-Novem­ber, but lo­cal bur­lesque acts are top qual­ity in Toronto, so you have many op­tions, rang­ing from week­ends at the Painted Lady to spe­cialty groups like Boylesque. The play­ful­ness, sen­su­al­ity and comedic el­e­ments of bur­lesque cre­ate the per­fect out­ing for those look­ing for a safe erotic dis­trac­tion from the mun­dane.

If you’re open to new ex­pe­ri­ences, con­sider a cou­ples’ work­shop de­signed to im­prove com­mu­ni­ca­tion and reignite the spark. A re­la­tion­ship sem­i­nar may sound bor­ing, but Good For Her’s of­fer­ings in­clude Steamy Sex for Cou­ples (shame­less self-pro­mo­tion disclaimer: I teach this one!) and Big­ger, Bet­ter Mul­ti­ples: Or­gasms for Ev­ery Body. They also of­fer classes for sin­gles and friends rang­ing from Rock His World to The Art of Go­ing Down. Your sex life won’t rein­vent it­self over the course of two hours, but the new tech­niques, top­ics and ex­er­cises will en­sure that your con­ver­sa­tion on the drive home (and for months to come) is more mean­ing­ful, in­ti­mate and erotic.

For those look­ing to change things up, es­cap­ing to a ho­tel for the af­ter­noon or evening of­fers a sim­ple so­lu­tion. Es­tab­lish­ments that cater to hourly guests may not be on your travel bucket list, but a few lo­cal ho­tels of­fer day rates for trav­ellers with lay­overs, and savvy cou­ples are tak­ing note. The Bond Place Ho­tel of­fers rea­son­able day rates and the Drake Ho­tel fea­tures an in-room plea­sure menu with bondage tape, blind­folds and vi­bra­tors on of­fer.

If phys­i­cal touch is your pri­mary love lan­guage or your part­ner has been beg­ging you to show more af­fec­tion, A Taste of Tantra class may be right up your al­ley. Ev­ery Tues­day, Vik­to­ria, from Playful Lov­ing, hosts a 90-minute ses­sion open to sin­gles, cou­ples and friends. Top­ics change weekly and in­clude sen­sual aware­ness, qui­et­ing the mind, deep con­nec­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Wear some­thing com­fort­able and be pre­pared to sit on the floor with yoga mats and cush­ions.

For the ar­tis­ti­cally in­clined, nude sketch classes are of­fered through­out the city. Though nu­dity isn’t in­her­ently sex­ual, ad­mir­ing the body in its nat­u­ral state is one way to boost body im­age and ap­pre­ci­ate the di­ver­sity of the hu­man form. You and your fel­low artists will re­main fully clothed as you hone your life draw­ing skills, but your model may be fully nude de­pend­ing on the event and venue. Walt Rush­ton’s Wed­nes­day night classes at the Glad­stone Ho­tel fea­ture mod­els in the buff, whereas Dr. Sketchy’s monthly themed fig­ure draw­ing cabarets fea­ture bur­lesque stars in var­i­ous states of (un)dress at their Kens­ing­ton Mar­ket lo­ca­tion.

Cou­ples look­ing to rein­tro­duce the chem­i­cals and hor­mones as­so­ci­ated with a first date might con­sider vis­it­ing a high-end sex club like Oa­sis Aqua Lounge. If it’s your first time, I sug­gest that you agree to at­tend only as voyeurs, set a time limit and stick to­gether for the du­ra­tion of your visit. Dress up so that you feel sexy, but don’t feel any pres­sure to peel those lay­ers off — swim­suits and birth­day suits are equally ap­pro­pri­ate by their pool. Most events are open to cou­ples and sin­gle women, and you can choose just how much ac­tion you’re ex­posed to, as most peo­ple slip away into pri­vate play rooms for the steamy ac­tion. Oa­sis’s event co­or­di­na­tor, Fa­tima Mechtab, adds that hav­ing an exit strat­egy or a safe word can help as­suage any fears, and she in­vites cou­ples to at­tend a new­bie tour on the first and third Thurs­day of ev­ery month.

If any of th­ese op­tions makes you un­com­fort­able, take a deep breath and con­sider whether broad­en­ing your com­fort zone might be good for your sex life.

Re­search shows that the hap­pi­est cou­ples are those that keep in­dulging in new ex­pe­ri­ences and ex­pand­ing their sense of self.

The show ‘Em­pire’ by Spiegel­world com­bines ac­ro­bat­ics and strip­tease

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