By Craig Scharien
A highlight of the bedroom section of Sex Talk in the City is a striking wall of red drawers. Meant evoke thoughts of a chest of drawers in the bedroom, it holds fascinating treasures and memories that aren’t always thought of or talked about – and are often, in fact, hidden.
When designing the exhibition, the drawers were added in to pull from each visitor our own memories of digging through our parents or older siblings drawers – and how what you found may have taught you some of what you know today about sexuality.
Dig into the Sex Talk drawers and you will be rewarded with a look at unique items regarding sexuality presented in an informative light.
One of my favourites is a small book, published in 1971 titled A Guide for the Naïve Homosexual. UBC student Roedy Green self-published this pamphlet as an extension to the counselling sessions he often held at his home as way to help people come out. It contains contact information, advice on coming out, sexuality, religion, and thoughts on gay and lesbian life. It was enormously popular and had 12 printings, the last of which was 3,000 copies.
Another drawer that caught my eye features adaptable sex toys for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries. It highlights an oft forgotten fact that disabilities do not make someone asexual. Produced in a joint project by the British Columbia Institute of Technology the International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries, these vibrators were designed for those with decreased sensitivity with features like easy to hold handles. These are by no means the only devices of this type, but they give great insight into work that is being done on an issue that few are talking about.
These are just two of the many red drawers in Sex Talk, and you never know what you might find. So pretend you’ve been left home alone and get in there and open some drawers!
Also, share YOUR story of what you've found around your house growing up that taught you about sexuality.