Erotix Salon April 2024

Published on 14 April 2024 at 14:16

So? Is the Erotix salon only about debauchery and sex? 

It's that time of the year again when the birds and bees are heralding the summer and the weather finally eases up in Belgium. We once again put on those sexy, party clothes and let our hair down. The yearly, Erotix salon graces the Brussels Kart Expo arena in Groot Bijgaarden; and we are drawn to it like the proverbial moths to the flame. Why?

Because it's fun. Because It's tangible! Because It's hot!

This year, there is a bit less freedom. I guess with the covid era behind us, it's time to reign in those anti-something principles that characterizes so much of our society these days.

No open public nudity!

What a pity though. At least from my point of view. These days we change the rules like we change underwear; so I can never be quite sure what is OK or N.OK anymore.

Nevertheless, as per tradition, we went with friends; and some new people. The more the merrier! I'd texted my friend X (photo featured). "That's the way we like it too!" He'd replied back.

Erotix is a dish best served hot and savored in a group. It was the perfect occasion to reconnect after almost a year of uphill struggles for all of us. Why didn't we just go bowling? Or play a card game at home?

Because it's boring and because besides our responsibilities as parents, workers and spouses, we've always lived alternative lifestyles and letting off steam within your own kind of people is just magic.

So what happened? Plenty!

We watched some titillating fire displays and pole dancing acrobatics. We checked out the merchandise stands and laughed at a giant phallic-shaped plushy. We grabbed some beer and went out for some air. While breathing in the odour of Belgian frites and while hey enjoyed their smoke, an erotic performer approached us needing a light. Old school gimmicks of friendship building. Surprisingly we all engaged in an interesting conversation about social and cultural dynamics of sexuality whereby she confessed she found it much more difficult to approach people here than in France. We parted ways with her inviting us all to pass by her unicorn garnished stand.

Our friends went to look for the other couple as we had another mission to fulfill. In a sea of beautiful lady performers, we needed find that single special someone whom we'd met the previous year. We'd exchanged a few messages prior to the salon making the commitment to meet and greet once more.  On our pilgrimage to find the VIP stand (which we later found out didn't actually exist on paper) we stopped at the Champagne Bar to claim the promotional ladies' drink. In all the cacophony and confusion, we'd actually missed the chance and the doors to that section were closed and barred to those who'd didn't fulfill the reservation quota. 

In my classic win-win approach, I took the opportunity to ask how to find our star (by name and by reputation). The two well poised gentlemen guarding the forbidden area engaged us in conversation and very charmingly opened a fresh bottle of champagne. I felt like Wendy between three Peter Pan's and thought it fitting to offer him kiss on the cheek, instead of a thimble, in return for the flute of fizzing bubbly. 

Despite the clue we picked up, we couldn't find our star and in the end, she found us. The place is electric and if you're in your element, the current finds you.

It has always been ironic to me how my closest friendships and deepest connections have been forged within those scorned by the mainstream world. I'm swimming in a dualism of contradiction myself (the symbol of Pisces is very fitting here) and my detachment from my own mentality (a bit like the crab ditching its exoskeleton) probably awards me many brownie points from those who do not wish to be judged but simply heard. In return, I feel I can finally breathe when surrounded by those very same people I embrace. I can be the lover and the sociopath and nobody cares.  


As the night pushes on and the air gets chillier, we say goodbye to our lovely, temporary companion (our rekindle immortalized on a modern Polaroid) and rejoin our group outside. Some of us are a bit more tipsy than others, but the conversations veer off into relevance. It reminded me of those old, South African kuiers (house parties) as young adults where we'd all get trashed on cheap wine and strong weed and talk philosophy, politics and ideology. Intellect and fun, were a thing back then.

Now, all of us a bit past our prime, different country, different context, different age, the oroboros comes full circle nonetheless.

"After covid, things haven't been the same." Stated the lady of our new couple acquaintance. "There's no respect. Women are just objects." We all nodded in acknowledgement.

The conversation then turned towards sexuality. What makes a relationship work? What kind of sexual compatibility do you need to survive passing decades as a couple (with kids)? What about auto-stimulation and finding pleasure in one's own body?

The intense desire to have an answer to everything and to be right, often overshadows the most important thing about open conversation: OPENNESS. 

My friend Marie and I (also photo featured) turned the topics over and resolved that the answer is: There's NO answer but ALL the answers different measures, customized to who you are as an individual.

We finally retreated indoors to the final curtain call of CHALEUR by my absolute favourite person three years in a row: Babou! The Erotix presenter. I resolved this year to finally meet him in person. In overhearing my wishes, Marie, being well connected within the performing ranks casually arranged it. The man towers over me with his pumped set of arms and sparkling personality.

"Enchanted!" I exclaim as we exchange the casual cheek-kissing Belgian greeting. For the second time that night I felt a bit nervous! It's a rare feeling that shoots a much needed burst of adrenaline into a body that gets tired a lot faster these days.

He responds happily but is much more impressed by the equally towering presence of my husband, giving him a big smile with a hug and kiss, than by me.

Can't win them all! I smiled inwardly.

As we all made our way back to our respective cars, night wrapped up with fun and kinks, we jokingly resolved to meet again next year. Must keep expectations realistic, and most of all low. Because: LIFE!

So? Is the Erotix salon only about debauchery and sex? 

NO. It's about tangible connection and life's university of interpersonal exchange.

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