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Dear Urban Diplomat: Should I ask my 72-year-old mom why she’s taking STD medication?

Dear Urban Diplomat: should I ask my 72-year-old mom why she's taking STD medication?

(Image: dvortygirl)

Dear Urban Diplomat,
My 72-year-old mother recently moved into a retirement home. On our last visit, I noticed her taking a new medication. She wouldn’t say why, but I googled it and found out it’s to treat an STD! My mom is very private so I can’t ask her what’s up. What should I do?

—Assisted Living Misgivings, Mimico

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UPDATED: Does AshleyMadison.com make fake profiles of sexy adulterers? A former employee says yes

(Image: screengrab from Ashleymadison.com)

(Image: screengrab from Ashleymadison.com)

Extramarital hook-up site Ashley Madison may just be the world’s most prolific catfish (sorry, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo—it was a valiant effort). That’s the accusation being made by former employee Doriana Silva, who says she was instructed to create 1,000 fake female profiles in three weeks for the site’s Brazilian launch. The Toronto resident claims she hurt her wrists typing up all those sexy profiles and is now suing Ashley Madison for a whopping $21 million: $1 million in general damages and an additional $20 million for “unjust enrichment.”  “The purpose of these profiles is to entice paying heterosexual male members to join and spend money on the website,” reads her statement of claim, which is certainly bad news for bad husbands. Still, that’s not to say there aren’t any real women on the site—we know of at least one married lady who’s given it a try. [Canadian Press]

UPDATE: Ashley Madison has issued a statement calling Silva “opportunistic,” and the claim, “frivolous.” The company also observes that Silva’s social media posts suggest her wrist injury isn’t really making her suffer. The kicker: “In fact, in several postings Ms. Silva can be seen clearly enjoying herself on a jet ski—an unlikely activity for someone who has allegedly suffered serious injury.” Touché.

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This 70-something male escort may have the best website in the world

(Image: VincentWilliam.com)

(Image: VincentWilliam.com)

Mesdames, meet Vincent. For a mere $300, the part-time Toronto resident and full-time “Straight Male Escort and Ladies’ Companion” could be all yours—for an hour. Then again, you could just spend that hour reading his ridiculously amazing website. Under headings like Notes to the Ladies, I Lead Two Lives, and Glamour and Allure, Vincent sets out everything you’d want to consider before committing to a sexy interlude with an elderly stranger: job history (former military officer, current adult entertainment entrepreneur); notable physical attributes (“strong arms, inviting lips and a few sexy scars”); and, of course, any sexual limitations or taboos (none). For ladies who need more convincing, the partially blurred-out glamour shots really speak for themselves. [www.vincentwilliam.com]

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Memoir: after years in denial, I finally worked up the courage to switch genders


Memoir: Girl Interrupted

In my earliest memory, I am four and it’s bath time. I see my brother’s penis and turn to my mother to ask where mine is. She laughs the question off as normal kid stuff. But I am legitimately confused, and in that bathtub, I realize for the first time that my body and my mind are not aligned.

I grew up in a tiny village in Portugal where men were men and women were women, in the traditional sense. If I tried to play farmer with the boys, I was told to play dolls with the girls. My name was Lilia and physically I was female, but every time someone called me a “she” I felt like they were looking through me. I was granted respite a few times each year on village festival days when the streets teemed with families and I was allowed to run freely. Once, wearing my most androgynous clothes, I approached a little girl, and with one look she took me for a boy. We played as boy and girl the entire day; at one point I even stood facing a wall pretending to pee. It was the first time I’d ever experienced “passing,” and it was like every Christmas wish I’d ever made was granted to me in a single instant.

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Girlfriends for Hire: the rules of Toronto’s new sugar daddy economy

Olivia dates rich older men in exchange for gifts and money. She doesn’t consider it prostitution. In her mind, and in the minds of tens of thousands of other young Toronto women who have struck up similar for-profit relationships, it’s much more than a commercial exchange.

The Sweetened Life

As a teen, Olivia didn’t get along with her mother, and, after dropping out of her Halifax high school, she moved out on her own and went on welfare. She discovered that her looks—bright blue eyes, perfect breasts, prairie-flat stomach—were her ticket to modelling gigs and bit parts in TV shows, but the work was sporadic and paid poorly. Two years ago, she moved to Toronto, looking for more opportunities. Now 25, she’s earning enough to pay her rent but not enough to support the lifestyle she imagined for herself.

Last year, a friend of Olivia’s told her she was seeing a man she’d met on SeekingArrangement.com, a match­-making site designed to facilitate the pairing of wealthy older men with attractive young women. Over the past decade, many such websites have launched, helping women negotiate gifts, allowance, tuition, mentorship or simply a night out, in exchange for their companionship and, often, for sex. Olivia’s friend usually got a nice dinner, bottles of champagne and cash. She referred to her date as her sugar daddy and to herself as his sugar baby.

Olivia liked the idea of a rich man helping her with her career, telling her the secrets of how he became so successful, and pushing her life in the same direction. Plus, she wanted to have fun. She put her profile up on SeekingArrangement.com and, later, on WhatsYourPrice.com. The first few men she met weren’t perfect. One wouldn’t hold the door for her. Another was married. Many just wanted to pay for sex, but she eventually met a wealthy, recently divorced doctor in his early 40s who kept a small roster of sugar babies.

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Toronto Sex Poll: the titillating results of our peek into the city’s bedrooms

The Toronto Sex Poll

We were curious about a few things. How often Torontonians are having sex, with whom they’re having it, and how satisfied they are, for starters. Are downtowners getting it more than 905ers? Women more than men? LGBTs more than heteros? Do we cheat? Do we lie? Do we fake it? (Yes, yes, and…YES! YES! YES!) We wanted to know, so we asked. And you told us—1,305 of you, to be precise, across the 416 and 905. Here, an R-rated glimpse into the bedrooms (and kitchens, and bathrooms, and bushes) of your friends and neighbours.

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Five top spots in Toronto for a sexy night out—from pole-dancing to peepshows

If you know where to look, Toronto is a very naughty town. Here, the city’s best places for a sexy night out

Fun and Games Flirty Girl Fitness

POLE-DANCING LESSONS
Flirty Girl Fitness

462 Wellington St. W., 416-920-1400

At Flirty Girl, a team of preter­naturally limber instructors—including former gymnasts and circus acrobats—train neophytes on how to work the pole. A one-hour introductory class ($25) teaches a come-hither choreo­graphy routine to a Top 40 hit (expect Beyoncé or Rihanna), featuring at least one pole trick, like a traditional firefighter spin around the pole. Two-hour workshops ($45) are more advanced, offering tutorials in other floor tricks and at least two aerial stunts, such as the sun wheel (launching off the ground and spinning down the pole) or a two-handed spread eagle. Sexiness aside, it’s a terrific workout for the abs and core—so you’ll come away with more than just dollar bills in your G-string.


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The five best sex toys at the five best sex shops in Toronto

If you know where to look, Toronto is a very naughty town. Here, the best sex shops in Toronto with the best high-tech toys

Stuff for Play The Condom Shack

MAN TOYS
The Condom Shack

231 Queen St. W., 416-596-7515

Like its name says, this store specializes in prophylactics—including cola-flavoured, glow-in-the-dark, King Kong–sized and hypoallergenic options—but the selection of sex toys is just as well curated. The Japanese-made Tenga Eggs have an elastic, skin-soft rubber sleeve and look cartoonishly cute, evoking Pokémon characters rather than disembodied body parts. They’re also inconspicuous—there’s nothing telling about the egg-shaped package, so nosy dates rooting around your night table will just think it’s an exotic tchotchke. $13.


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The Find: Toronto-made lingerie that you’ll still want to wear after Valentine’s Day

Although Valentine’s Day gift guides are usually chock full of lingerie, most women actually prefer to buy their own lacy bits (trying to wrangle oneself into an intimidatingly complex yet ill-fitting undergarment being more awkward than arousing). If you’re looking to treat yourself this year, we recommend this satin bralette and lace underwear by Fortnight Lingerie, a Parkdale-based label whose luxurious pieces hit the sweet spot between cotton granny panties and whatever this thing is. They’re highly tailored for a supportive fit and have a vintage sex appeal that will appeal to your partner—not least because you’ll have saved him from making an awkward shopping trip to Victoria’s Secret. Bra, $69; low-rise knicker, $48.

Available through gravitypope.com

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My Cheating Heart: lessons from my year on Ashley Madison

I was bored with my husband, resented my kids and yearned to feel sexy again. I was ready to have an affair

My Cheating HeartEverything you’re about to read is true. I’m withholding my name to protect my marriage, but the people, the places and the dates are just as I describe. It all began in the spring of 2011, after several bellinis at a Milestones with my best friend. She giddily whispered in my ear that she was having an affair with someone she had met on AshleyMadison.com, the hook-up website targeted at married people. She pulled out her iPhone and surreptitiously showed me a picture of her paramour. He was attractive, with a chiseled face and a broad smile. He’d ended their first date by kissing her passionately—something she hadn’t experienced in years. I felt a pang of envy.

She and I had met years earlier while working for the same PR firm and had bonded over a shared crush on an extremely handsome younger colleague. We spent many lunch hours discussing our interactions with him and laughing over what we’d do if we ever found ourselves alone with him in the backseat of his silver SUV, parked in a dark corner of the company’s underground garage. Sometime after that, we started to share pulpy erotic novels with titles like Wicked Ties, Fantasy Lover and Strange Attractions.

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The Parlour Game: a behind-the-scenes tour of Toronto’s thriving rub ’n’ tug industry

The Parlour Game

Over the last decade, spas have proliferated across the GTA faster than Starbucks

Ivy glows like a 1930s starlet. She’s 27, with high, round cheekbones, rosebud lips and luminescent skin. She has worked at three erotic massage parlours, or so-called rub ’n’ tugs, in the GTA, where female attendants offer men “sensual release,” code for a session ending in a hand job. She agreed to tell me her story on the condition that I not reveal her true identity. For her customers, Ivy puts on a breathy Marilyn Monroe voice and wears retro baby doll nighties and stilettos. She mimics her high-pitched greeting for me: “How are you? I can’t wait to get started.” Her act appeals to her clients—typically white professionals who came of age when women like Ivy appeared in every car and scotch ad. Walk-ins can choose from the half-dozen women on shift, though many men pre-book Ivy based on her photo on the spa’s website.

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Sex Without Borders: the complicated couplings of Toronto’s pleasure-seeking polyamorists

Stephane and Samantha’s open marriage includes shared girlfriends, bacchanalian house parties and always asking permission before taking on a new lover. A portrait of Toronto’s new generation of polyamorists

Sex Without Borders

Stephane Goulet (middle) and Samantha Fraser (right) at home with one of their girlfriends, Gayle

Samantha Fraser and Stephane Goulet are the kind of married couple who have always talked openly about people they find attractive. She’d comment on the hot waiter at a restaurant, he’d admit that he was turned on by a woman on the street. When sex clubs were legalized in Toronto, they fantasized about going to one; they didn’t actually go, but talking about what the experience might be like became a regular part of their sex life. One night, a year into their marriage, they hosted a raucous house party. While Samantha flirted with other men, Stephane made out with another woman during a game of spin the bottle. “I remember thinking, this is fun,” Stephane says.

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Editor’s Letter (February 2013): public sex, massage parlours and bawdy houses

Sarah FulfordI myself have never had sex in public. As it turns out, I’m in the minority. An astonishing 65 per cent of Torontonians claim to have done it in public, according to our first ever survey of who’s doing what to whom. Where? Everywhere, apparently: the Casa Loma parking lot, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at U of T, and the Hockey Hall of Fame, to name just a few spots. In this special issue about sex, we reveal how, behind our buttoned-down exterior, we are exuberant sexual adventurers.

In the last decade or so, Toronto has seriously loosened up. Where sex is concerned, this city is remarkably open-minded, especially compared with many cities in the religious, moralistic U.S. Pleasure seekers have access to an ever-expanding array of options, thanks to legions of clever entrepreneurs who are capitalizing on our desires. We can instantly and secretly connect with illicit lovers online, or fulfill a fantasy in one of the countless massage parlours across the city, or spice up a relationship at a sex club like Wicked or Oasis Aqualounge. Our sex-focused shopping and entertainment guide on features several above-board ways to get it on, including a regular pop-up dance party with the irresistible name “No Pants, No Problem.”

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Video: Toronto Life editor Sarah Fulford dishes on Torontonians’ sex lives


Toronto Life’s inaugural sex issue hit newsstands today, and editor Sarah Fulford appeared on CTV to chat about the highlights. She reveals some of the weirdest places Torontonians have had sex (tourists aren’t the only ones getting a thrill at the CN Tower), which neighbourhood’s denizens are the most sexually active and why Torontonians are “wild sexual adventurers.” See the table of contents »

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The Argument: Marion Cotillard, Hollywood’s favourite French actress, gets unleashed in Rust and Bone

The Argument: Marion Cotillard

(Image: courtesy Mongrel Media)

The first time I saw Marion Cotillard in the flesh was at this year’s TIFF. The jaw-droppingly gorgeous French actress was standing atop a long flight of stairs inside Michael’s on Simcoe. She was in town for the gala presentation of Rust and Bone, a dark and visceral French romance adapted from a collection of short stories by Toronto author Craig Davidson and directed by Jacques Audriard. In the film, she plays a killer whale trainer at Marineland who loses her legs in a freak accident involving an aquatic animal routine gone very, very wrong.

I happened to be coming up the stairs at Michael’s just as Cotillard, wearing bright blue and yellow satin heels, was about to go down. I saw the shoes before I saw the woman wearing them, and was about to compliment her when our eyes met, and I realized I was standing there with my one and only celebrity crush. I instantly froze. And then turned into a pile of mush.

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