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In an effort to feel more comfortable with my sexuality, I went to Oasis Aqualounge to discover the world of sex-positivity
I was once a people-pleasing dork with a particularly loud shame wizard (thanks, Big Mouth). But through university and doing stand-up, I began growing into a loud and proud lady, unafraid of embarrassment. I made it my goal to start dismantling the shame that plagued me as a teen, beginning with the most tantalizing aspect: sexuality. I went to my first sex-positive warehouse party at the Kinky Salon in London, England. It was a magical place and it made me feel like a basement nerd who had discovered their first Comic-Con. Now that I live in Toronto, I want to find that same magic and help others find their inner freaks.
So I decided to visit Oasis Aqualounge, a sex club at the southern edge of the Church-Wellesley Village. Basically, it’s a sex-friendly club and spa well known for its focus on female comfort and sexuality, with a wide range of events exclusively for women and couples. In some rooms, single men aren’t even allowed unless accompanied by a woman.
Consent therefore plays a huge role at the club. Before entering the venue, you must agree to the one ask rule: If you ask someone if they want to do something once, and they say no, you are not allowed to ask again.
I went on two different nights to get the full experience: First Taste Thursday and DTF Special Tuesday. Here’s what I discovered about the world of sex-positivity in Toronto.
On the first and third Thursdays of the month, Oasis runs an event called First Taste, a comparatively quiet night where the staff provide a tour and answer questions for first-timers. This night is exclusively for women and couples, and on my tour, there were three couples, an older self-proclaimed cougar and me.
We visited each room of the converted 19th-century mansion, including a red orgy room, a performance area with a stage for shows and a 1960s room called the Shagging Wagon, complete with half an old Volkswagon bug, which someone nearby noted was slightly more charming than it was practical. The tour ended in the BDSM room, where we were invited to take a seat. I sat on a leather chaise lounge while the other woman in our group went straight for the sex swing. What a queen.
Our tour guides talked about the events they hosted (the high tea steampunk night particularly peaked my interest) and answered questions. Even though questions were relatively tame, staff repeated a phrase several times: “We don’t yuck your yums.” This was the general attitude held by everyone who worked at the club, meaning no one would be shamed for an interest or kink, even if wasn’t to another person’s taste. The club even tries its best to make a night of it, uniting people with the same kinks. There are foot fetish nights, unicorn nights (where couples meet singles who are interested in threesomes) and spectator sex nights for voyeurs and exhibitionists.
The couples who were regulars were incredibly welcoming and respectful. They ensured me that Oasis is a safe environment for newbie couples to play in, or even just to socialize with likeminded people. That said, trying something new can always conjure up emotions or possible discomfort, so the experts recommend choosing a safe word or phrase before coming into the club. That way, if you’re in a situation with your partner where you want to leave, you have an exit strategy that lets your partner know to meet back in the locker area to reconvene.
I have to say I was skeptical at first about a pool at a sex club. It sounded to me like putting my whole bare hand into a buffet salad bar. Thankfully, I was wrong. The steaming outdoor pool, indoor hot tub and spa facilities at Oasis are gorgeous and spotless, enough to make me wonder why everyone in the city doesn’t just use the place for the awesome swim. Apparently in the summer and winter, they do. I’m just late to the game.
If public sex isn’t your thing (yet) and you just want to have a lovely outdoor swim in a beautiful facility on a cold evening, come on Thursdays. It’s quiet, casual and relaxing.
Nudity does not always have to be sexual. Many people who go to Oasis are simply nudists who like to hang out in the buff. I ended up chatting with regulars who were completely naked while I was fully clothed, and it didn’t even raise an eyebrow. Later on, I did swim naked in the pool. It was both amazing and terrifying.
DTF takes place on the first Tuesday every month and is dedicated to women who enjoy multiple male partners. It’s one of the only nights where single men are allowed to roam freely on certain floors, unless the area is marked with red tape. For a night built up to be an orgy-filled fun house, I was truly surprised by how much socializing there was. I assumed that once I got to the higher floors, it would be strictly sex around every corner, but there was a lot of catching up between regulars, meeting new people and sometimes casual conversation amidst the chaos.
Since Oasis is clothing-optional and also a spa, visitors are always assigned lockers for their belongings. You’re also given complimentary towels. I forgot how nice it was to be at a bar and not have to worry about my purse or jacket. On any one of Oasis’s popular nights, arrive early to secure a locker. By the time I arrived at 9:30 pm, every locker was taken.
Don’t worry about other people watching you. I wasn’t sure if I would stand out as one of the only people completely clothed amid crowds of naked people, but an Oasis employee reassured me. “Before coming to Oasis, you think the craziest thing is that everyone will be looking at you. But actually, the craziest thing is that nobody is looking at you.”
For me, that was the beauty of it all. I went twice and didn’t engage in anything sexual, but it was a fun place to chat with cool people and get out of my comfort zone in a safe environment. Many of the people I spoke to come to Oasis because they don’t subscribe to the typical clubbing style. They prefer a non-judgmental place where they can be themselves. No one is expecting you to do anything because no one has any expectations of you at all, aside from being chill to those around you.
So hop right into the action, play your favourite summer camp games adapted for adults or simply grab a glass of wine and watch two people enjoy puppy play in the comforts of a BDSM dungeon. Choose your own adventure and stay curious.