Local sex convention leaves some hot, others bothered

Sexual healing and uneasy feelings came to Minneapolis over the weekend as people varying from University students to senior citizens attended the Sex and So Much More Convention.

The convention, which ran Thursday through Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center, featured a consumer trade show, entertainment, contests, fashion shows and appearances by celebrities. The event was organized by a Canada-based company.

But the X-rated content of the show raised not only eyebrows, but moral concerns as well.

University graduate student Ross Thompson worked as a vendor for Steady Tattoo at the convention.

“I’m having a great time here, we are promoting our business and meeting different crowds of people,” Thompson said.

“No matter what, some people are going to be offended and everyone will have their opinions,” he said.

Rob Long, a fourth-year chemical engineering student, watched an Uncover Your Inner Stripper seminar. He said he came to the show to do something different for the weekend.

Long said he enjoyed the booth that offered custom leather clothing and checked out the Steady Tattoo booth as well.

“I think that people who have issues with this show need to join the 21st century; people are having sex,” Long said.

Maria Scherber, owner of Flex Appeal, an exotic dance studio, offered women tips on how they could move their hips.

The studio’s exotic dance lessons offers three difficulty levels and women aged 18 to 70 take the lessons.

“Sorority girls love it; we have a discount for them,” Scherber said.

Rubberella, a business entrepreneur who specializes in latex fetish and fashion said, “The controversy is silly, this show is so tame compared to other shows; it’s very Minnesota.”

Andrew Gettis, a fourth-year pharmacy student and vice president of the student group Students for Family Values, did not like what the show consisted of and said the best way to deal with the show is to not go.

“I think the fact it will probably be a success will be very telling about society,” Gettis said.

Alexander Newman, president of the club, said he thinks sex should be shared only in the confines of marriage.

“We feel (the convention) is a fairly inappropriate thing for people to go to,” Newman said.

For those who did attend, the main stage at the convention featured burlesque shows, belly dancers, striptease lessons and male strippers.

Little John and Scott Gold, male strippers from the Men of Xcaliber, hit the stage in police uniforms to inspect the crowd’s dollar bills.

To the delight of the audience, the cops eventually stripped down to lime green flowery thongs and pranced around the stage to songs from Trick Daddy and the Black Eyed Peas.

For those who wanted to see scantily clad women, a portable stripper pole near the main stage featured the women of Deja Vu and Dream Girls, two area strip clubs.

The dancers straddled the pole with their thighs, climbed 15 feet in the air and slowly descend back to the ground to give some happy customers lap dances.

Porn star Ron Jeremy told raunchy jokes on stage and then signed autographs for the audience.

The packed crowd of attendees was made up of adults of many ages.

Older couples walked hand-in-hand scanning the lingerie booth, and college students filled goodie bags with free condoms and information about sexual health from vendors.

Jeff Bath, a University architecture senior, said his roommates and friends had a great time at the convention.

“Our favorite part was the selection of vendors and the enthusiasm,” he said.

Bath said the show was innocent fun.

“If people have a problem and don’t want to come, they don’t have to.”

Some event attendees parked in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot across from the convention center.