When I pictured my first time visiting Belgium, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But hey, I like quirky, so a sex toy festival in Wallonia seemed like a great first Belgian experience to me. Here’s all you need to know about Belgium’s sex toy festival, “Chasse Aux Sextoys”, in Wépion, Wallonia. It’s everything you could imagine and more, and not nearly as sordid as it sounds. Sometimes I look at my life and wonder, how did I get here?! Travel blogging really has brought me to some strange places and I reckon this might just be the most unusual of all my adventures. So let me give you all the glorious details, from pole dancing to being flung from a giant mechanical bucking boner (like a mechanical bull but a huge penis instead), there’s certainly a lot to talk about.
Belgium’s Sex Toy Festival
What’s it all About?
“Chasse Aux Sextoys” was set up by the sex toy company, Soft Love, owner Nicolas Bustin . He’s been running it for 8 years now. This year over 4,000 people attended, countries around Europe organise coaches to and from the event, but it wasn’t always such a success. Apparently in the first year only 400 people showed up and Bustin made a loss from the whole thing. But since then he has realised that the whole event needs to be a giant celebration of women. The event now stands for women’s sexual liberation, sexual health and equality. Festival tickets are €3 and all proceeds go to various charities such as Think Pink & Endometriosis Belgium ASBL. Within the festival there are stands focusing on sexual health, sex education and more. You can check out a giant model of a clitoris then have a look at some sensual massage oils. And while the cause behind it is noble, it still feels like a giant hen party/girly weekend, which I kind of loved.
What Kind of People go?
You might be forgiven for thinking that a sex toy festival brings in a bit of a ropey crowd. Were you picturing people clad in leather and PVC? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. All sorts of people attend the festival. I saw babies with noise cancelling headphones, grannies dressed up in bright pink tutus, plenty of kids, teens and everyone in between. Of course, there were the 200 cross-dressing men, who all looked completely fabulous!! Rupaul may have despaired at their drag skills had he been at the festival (next year perhaps?!), but I certainly appreciated the effort the men went to. In short, anyone with an open mind will have an absolute ball at this festival.
What REALLY Goes on at a Sex Toy Festival?
“Chasse Aux Sextoys”, is SO much more than a giant crowd of feminists digging around in a field for dildos. One of the stand out things I noticed at the festival, and this may sound strange, was that they had employees cleaning the portaloos in between each use. So as I stood there waiting to relieve myself, a young woman stood guard waiting to clean the next available portaloo so that I could pee in a relatively clean and comfortable environment. If only she could have stopped people from attempting to fling the door open while I was in there. The girls on toilet cleaning duty made the whole thing seem a bit more classy than any festival I’ve ever attended and they always had a smile on their faces despite not having an entirely glamorous job.
There was constant entertainment on the main stage. A group of highly attractive men, who I imagine to be male strippers, treated us all to a dance routine. There was no actual stripping due to the fact that this is a family friendly festival! However, they did pull a few ladies up from the audience for a few rather compromising dance moves. That was around the time when I started to shuffle back a few rows into the crowd. I don’t even want to think about a stripper trying to lift me!
There were also Zumba classes and trampoline fitness demonstrations which were incredibly impressive. I don’t know how they didn’t collapse on stage with the high intensity exercise they were doing. Oh and we can’t forget the pole demonstrations and twerking from Bootiful.
For the people that wanted a slightly more physical challenge there was the mechanical bull or the mechanical bulge as I like to call it because it was a giant bucking penis that you had to cling to until it managed to throw you off. It was brutal. I saw people sent flying across the inflatable arena just seconds after climbing atop the thing. Possibly one of the funniest moments for me during the festival was when a few kids tried it. I’m sure they had no idea what they were sitting on. It was a bit like a car crash, you know you should be horrified and look away, but your eyes are glued to the scene. Entirely ridiculous and absolutely amazing all at once. I mean, where else would you see it?!
The hunt itself starts later on at 1pm. The men are separated from the women and are safely cordoned off in a circle in the middle of the field. Meanwhile the women take their positions around the perimeter of the field, shovels at the ready. There’s a few announcements from the MC and then the countdown begins. You can feel the muscles of the crowd around you start to tense. When it’s time the hoards sprint across the lowered barriers and enter the field at an almost Olympic speed. Then it’s time to dig. Raffle tickets are hidden in plastic Tupperware-type boxes. If you are lucky enough to find a prize you take the ticket to a stand and claim your hard-won sex toy!
In the beginning I was looking for areas that appeared recently disturbed, as I assumed the prizes had been buried within the last couple of days. However, that was not the case, there was no indication of where to begin digging. It was impossible. A bit like Where’s Wally, but with Willies. We ended up just thrusting our shovel into the ground and hoping for the best. After a few minutes we realised that digging is a very physical activity. Thank God we only had one shovel between 4 of us so we didn’t have to dig constantly. After half an hour the field was unrecognisable. It was hard to tell what areas had been dug and where was virgin soil. We were constantly tripping over discarded lumps of turf or falling into holes dug by others. We heard a few cries of victory from successful fellow hunters. These cries helped to spur us on for a while, but after 45 minutes I was more than happy to give up and head to the drinks tent.
** EVERYONE GETS A PRIZE – If you’re unsuccessful with the digging, then grab a tombola ticket. They’re €5 per person and guarantee you a kinky prize. I got a little bullet type vibrator and Alix got some sensual massage oil, not bad for a fiver!**
In case you wanted to see EVEN MORE of this incredible festival I have taken the liberty of making a video for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy!
- Make sure you wear wellies! The place gets very muddy very quick.
- When it comes to digging, you’ll end up getting really into it, tearing up lumps of dirt, so don’t get a fresh manicure before the festival.
- I also highly recommend bringing a packet of baby wipes to clean yourself up afterwards before you get into your car.
- When I attended the festival it was absolutely roasting out so make sure to bring some sunscreen in your bag to protect from sunburn.
- When you first arrive at the festival, before the digging kicks off make sure to buy a bunch of tickets from the ticket-booth. These are used in exchange for food and drink. If you wait until after you’re tired of digging to get tickets you’ll have to queue for AGES.
- I highly recommend getting into the spirit of the festival by dressing up. Just be silly, it’s fun. There were people dressed as unicorns, fairies, hula girls and more.
- Make sure you haven’t skipped arms day in the gym because you’ll be needing those biceps and triceps for all that digging!
Despite all of the above madness, the entire festival was so wholesome and PC. I didn’t see a single person dressed like they’d forgotten to put on clothes. Nobody was too drunk. I didn’t see any drugs. Nobody was peeing where they shouldn’t be and there were no young couples sucking face in the corners. Which is a lot more than I can say for the usual debaucherous chaos that ensues during any festival that I’ve ever been to!
So, what do you think?
Would you attend the sex toy hunt?
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