Don’t be fooled by Calgary’s conservative reputation: There is a decidedly adult community slowly emerging from beneath the cowboy culture that made our city justifiably famous. If you’re looking to mix it up a bit, many interesting shops, entertainment opportunities and experiences await.
Start slow with one of the classiest lingerie boutiques in Cowtown, SHE Apparel, which recently added a second location, and continues to carry high-fashion looks from Canadian designers Christine Vancouver, Grenier, and Arianne. If you’re a couple wanting more risqué outfits, Pink Ginger carries tons of exclusive corsets, including some leather knockout punches from Allure.
A great thing about Pink Ginger is that it’s attached to one of Calgary’s favourite sex-positive boutiques, A Little More Interesting. The shop offers expert advice in a non-judgmental atmosphere and has a wide-range of toys, costumes, BDSM outfits and accessories, massage oils and lubes, as well as a litany of educational aids and games. All of the shop’s toys are phthalate-free and top-sellers like the We-Vibe II (so popular, it was featured on Oprah, of all places) are always in stock.
Calgary has an active burlesque community that, in the last year, has come under fire from the province’s liquor board — all the more reason to support this amazing group of femmes fatales. Be sure to check out the Garter Girls, who regularly play at Club Paradiso in Inglewood, or The Knox who often open for various musical acts and routinely play The Distillery and Lord Nelson’s Pub.
If you’re really ready to let your freak flag fly, you could attend the next P3 Gathering, a local group dedicated to the BDSM lifestyle, who offer public meetings, parties, and private bondage workshops for curious, consenting adults.
There’s also Crimson Events, a party as much as it is a visual circus of kink, featuring international performers from a variety of sexual lifestyles. Their next show, “Strangelings,” is this Friday, June 17 at the Twisted Element Nightclub. Guests are being asked to wear “latex, all in black, leather, drag, cosplay or your sexiest outfit, pretty much just dress to impress.”
If you’re interested and want to dig deeper (at your own risk), be sure to check out these groups for more events and ideas:
Calgary: We are Kinky
Calgary Sex Forum
Image courtesy of Leah Vanderbilt.