This is the first exhibition of its sort, and the first to obtain the enticingly titled "Sex Establishment Licence". No surprise that establishing sex means that the stalls are already oversubscribed. "Too many people go to their graves without realising their fantasies. We hope to bring them closer to this realisation. The various stage shows and products on sale will hopefully excite and encourage all to be more adventurous in life," says Brian Wiseman, chairman of Erotica Ltd.
Go between the sheets, slip through satin, suction to latex or burn off fuel in rubber. Granny's false teeth will be set chattering like the rest of the dinner table if one of the crackers on sale are used this Christmas, with no telling doctor, doctor jokes unless the aids are wrongly used. Imagination aside, visitors will need to keep a tight rein on themselves as a test run on the passion beds (furnished with handcuffs), is not allowed. Instead, unleash yourself into a supermarket of latter-day sin and present- day ways to scintillate.
The exhibition shows how far the erotic could not exist unless it were manifested within objects, images and metaphors in culture. From an evocative and tantalisingly fetishist steel mesh sculpture by artist David Begbie, to erotic horoscopes, the normality of the erotic is made clear. "If anything the idea came from one of those silly conversations at the end of dinner," says Brian. "Someone suggested a sex exhibition, which I didn't know if the British could stomach, so we toned it down to erotica. By the level of pre-bookings it is obvious that we are not doing anything new but are serving a market that is already there."
Underneath the hot house of the black and red muslim drapes will be fashion shows, a Penthouse hospitality suite, body painting and stalls. So go on - get dirty in the cleanest possible sense.
Erotica Exhibition, National Hall, Olympia, London. Discounted pre-booking from 0171-244 7774. Tickets on the door, pounds 25.Reuse content