by Allyssia Alleyne
2000: Casual Encounters
Craigslist’s infamous Casual Encounters section has made bootycalls and nostrings- attached hook-ups easier than ever. The section, which allows users to post requests for sex that range from innocent to indecent (pictures of private parts optional), is available in all cities served by Craigslist. If you think that few people would actually consider posting on this site, think again. About two per cent of all posts on Craigslist are in this section alone.
2001: Dating voyeurism
Reality television dating first started in 2001, with a little show called Temptation Island. Viewers watch couples living in a house with a group of singles to test the strength (or more commonly, weakness) of their relationships. The show ushered in a wave of other TV dating shows, including The Bachelor, Joe Millionaire, and Flavor of Love.
Collarme.com is where Facebook, Craigslist, and the Marquis de Sade come together. This free BDSM web community allows visitors to create a profile and then either approach or be approached by others interested in the scene, including dommes, subs and switches of every orientation. The site typically receives over 100,000 unique visits a day, and 100,000 of those are unique visits.
2003: Stripping at the gym
There was a time when stripper poles were confined to seedy clubs and classy party buses. Nowadays, the pole can be found in gyms and fitness studios across the continent. Like most other mildly disturbing trends, this one can be traced back to Oprah.In 2003, Oprah featured California-based Sheila Kelley’s S Factor, a now popular pole dancing and striptease studio, on her show. In Toronto, Arcadia Fitness offers pole dancing lessons.
2004: Celebrity sex tapes
When Paris Hilton’s personal porno 1 Night in Paris was released, nobody knew who she was. After releasing the film she not only imprinted herself on the public psyche, but also transformed the celebrity sex tape into an accepted part of pop culture. We’re no longer scandalized by the thought of our superstars getting down for the camera. Since then, various celebrities from socialite Kim Kardashian to beauty queen Carrie Prejean to G-lister Dustin Diamond (AKA Screech from Saved By The Bell), have released sex tapes that have been met with more yawns than gasps.
2005: Sex clubs are eh-ok
We don’t have laws on abortion, we let our youth drink at 19 and our pot laws are flimsy as wet rolling papers, so it should come as no surprise that in 2005 the Supreme Court legalized on-premises sex clubs. The 7-2 decision ensured that group sex and partner swapping in Toronto hedonist and pansexual clubs like Wicked and Goodhandys could take place without fear of awkward (and downright rude) police intervention.
2006: Brokeback Mountain
Could an unabashedly homoerotic film take home Best Picture at the Academy Awards? Decades ago, the idea of this would have seemed impossible, but in 2006, Brokeback Mountain came extremely close to making this happen. The Ang Lee-directed film, which was the first gay-themed, star-studded movie made for wide-screen release, may not have taken home the top prize of the night, but winning Best Director and breaking down social prejudice weren’t bad consolation prizes.
2007: Gay Republicans!
This seemed to be the year that all of the pink elephants were on parade. In this momentous year, not one, but three prominent, anti-gay Republicans were caught engaging in a variety of very illicit homosexual acts. Larry Craig, a former Senate Liaison for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, was arrested after trying to solicit sex from an undercover police officer in an airport bathroom. Bob Allen, the former Florida Chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign, was arrested after offering an undercover cop $20 for the opportunity to perform fellatio on him. Glen Murphy Jr., the former president of the Young Republican National Federation, faced criminal investigation after a young Republican claimed that Murphy got him drunk, and sucked him off as he slept. Clearly this party has more than skeletons in its closet.
The attention that sexting (sending sexually explicit messages or photos) received in 2008 forced the public to question whether it was simple child’s play or child porn. The public was so concerned that The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and Cosmogirl.com felt the need to come together and conduct a survey. The results showed that, of the almost 1,300 youth surveyed, 20 per cent of those between 13 and 19, and 33 per cent of those between 20 and 26 had sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves. Almost twice as many had sent sexually suggestive text messages. But horny students weren’t the only ones in on the game. High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens had dirty cell phone pics leaked three times.
2009: Love thy father
Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) is sexual attraction between adoptees and their biological family members, including parents and siblings, after they are reunited during adulthood. In all honesty, this is more sad than kinky. The almost 250,000 Ontarians adopted in the last 88 years could find this out the hard way since Ontario gave adopted adults and their parents the right to access birth registration and adoption orders for the first time since 1927.
The decade truly ended on a bang. Last month, True Companion, a New Jerseybased company, unveiled the first sex robot at the 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo last month. The fully-customizable and anatomically-correct dolls are designed to be the ultimate companion. They talk, have five personalities to pick from and even orgasm.