Interview | Living a Sexy Life with Katrina McKay of Ohhh Canada

When the topic of my job comes up, people usually have the same two questions: 1) How did you transition from a day job to working for yourself full-time? 2) What’s it like talking about sex all day?!

I’m in the process of writing a post for you guys that shares my journey as freelance writer, however in the meantime I thought it would be cool if I spoke to some of my favourite sex-positive entrepreneurs, in hopes that they’d share some of their wisdom. I’ve featured products from Ohhh Canada regularly on this blog, so I decided to catch up with the CEO, Katrina McKay, to get her thoughts on sex positive entrepreneurship and what it means to live a sexy life.

unnamedWhat made you want to leave your corporate job to pursue life as an entrepreneur?

I was lucky to find myself jobs at very entrepreneurial companies at the beginning of my career and worked in an innovative field – marketing. Marketing is all about knowing your numbers, assessing risk and executing on brilliant ideas; and that’s really what entrepreneurship is about, too. At a certain point in my career, I just didn’t feel satisfied anymore… I felt like I could do more. Plus I’ve ALWAYS been an entrepreneur – for me it’s not a job, but a lifestyle, a calling, my purpose. I was born an entrepreneur. I was always that kid with the new idea on how to make a buck… always selling something from lemonade to greeting cards to tickets to a theatre show. When it came to a point where I felt like I wasn’t able to be myself at my place of work anymore, I knew it was time to take the ultimate career risk and go at it on my own. It took me nine months after making my decision to leave to ACTUALLY leave – I made sure that Ohhh Canada and my other endeavours were profitable enough to support themselves…and to support me!

I know you mostly as the CEO of Ohhh Canada (that’s how we met initially!) and as Kat the Sexpert from my Toronto Sun articles, however I know you have your hands in several entrepreneurial pies, so to speak. What else are you up to business wise?

I adore small business – mine and other people’s. Ohhh Canada combines two of my passions perfectly – entrepreneurship and sex. I get to help people “express their sexy”, and I get to be an example of others of what’s possible in small business. The “Kat the Sexpert” site and brand is a natural offshoot of Ohhh, but no longer directly affiliated – as I’m getting booked more and more in the US and internationally it didn’t make sense to have my brand of helping others feel sexier be exclusively part of Ohhh. Sort of related, I’m co-designing a line of leggings and lingerie with my mother, who is also Ohhh’s Warehouse Manager. She’s a costume designer and extremely talented seamstress… so look out for those leggings in 2015 with other lingerie pieces to follow.

I also run an international business growth consultancy. We call ourselves the “un-agency” because we don’t care about winning awards, and we’re not exclusively marketing-related. We’re about driving bottom-line results for the companies we work with. All of that falls under the KatrinaMcKay.com brand. We’re really choosy with the companies we work with, because my team and I (eight strong in total across all of my companies) become much more like an internal team than an outsourced solution and that means that our personalities have to mesh as well.

Lastly I am a business coach to a roster of extremely talented entrepreneurs both involved in sexy businesses and non-sex related businesses. This is something I am very proud of – I love being a small part of the success stories of others. I work with entrepreneurs one-on-one to help them achieve the next level of success. To name just a few of the amazing business I’m involved in – Brass Vixens,  THEIT,  Elixir,  Flores Boticario,  Carmen Rachel and many more (too many to mention here). Coaching is really fulfilling – I get to help others avoid the stumbling blocks I encountered with my own businesses! Coaching has also led to a lot of speaking – particularly on how I left my 9-to-5 to strike out on my own and how to build your small business brand. Sidenote: I was always told I couldn’t talk about sexy stuff AND be taken seriously in business. Good thing I ignored all my naysayers – and hopefully in sharing my story with you we’ll inspire others to do that same!

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Ok, so, whenever I’m talking to people about my writing career, one of the first questions people usually ask when I tell them what I write about is “Why sex?” What made you want to launch a sex-positive business/career?

I wonder if our answer is going to be the same here. I’ve always been the go-to girl for my friends. I went to a private very conservative board school for high school, and I would often have girls knocking on my door late at night to ask me questions about bisexuality and other issues… For example, I remember distinctly one girl really worried that she’d turned into a lesbian because she had a sex dream about her roommate (for the record I believe everyone should feel free to define themselves, or not define themselves, by whatever criteria they deem fit). Plus even as a child I remember always being really interested in sex and sexuality… curious as to what made people tick, and why boobs were considered sexual. I love sex – it’s a fascinating driving force in our personal and professional lives and we need to talk more about it. No one should feel shame or embarrassment about their sexual feelings or inclinations. Talking about sex is important. My business and my work as Kat the Expert, and this blog, all help in little ways to help others open up about sex and enjoy their sexual selves.

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On Lovers and Learning How to Hold On Lightly

Lovers 1Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of lovers.

I know that the word “lovers” makes many of us cringe. Up until recently, I subscribed to Liz Lemon’s philosophy that the only place the word “lovers” belongs is in between “meat” and “pizza.” However, I’m asking you to hold back your dry heaves & bear with me for a minute.

I few months ago, I was out for drinks with a few of my girlfriends. My friend started to tell the group about an acquaintance of hers who, after turning 40, decided to completely re-think her approach to sex.

“She old me she’s done with the booty calls, one night stands and “friends with benefits” scenarios of her youth. Instead she’s decided to take lovers” my friend explained to us.

What followed was a discussion about the nature of “taking a lover” and how exactly it differs from the other options mentioned above. As it was explained to my friend, “taking a lover” is about an arrangement between two adults that involves enjoying each others company – both inside and outside of the bedroom – without the binding commitment of a traditional relationship. Unlike being “friends with benefits” which requires a pre-existing friendship, having a lover simply means you enjoy having sex each other and sometimes this comes with the added bonus of some quality companionship.

As I sipped my whiskey sour and mulled this over, I couldn’t help but think all of this sounded incredibly modern and sophisticated – like something out of a French movie. (Cue moody accordion music and cigarette smoke.)

“I think that’s what I’ve been doing with The European” I shared with them.

The European and I met almost a year ago when I decided to try online dating again. The first time I showed my best friend a photo of this guy her reaction was immediate: “Wow, Simone – he’s so not your usual type.”

Aside from being tall and handsome, The European is pretty much the physical antithesis of the kinds of guys I usually go for: he’s distinctly Nordic looking with naturally white blond hair and blue eyes. He’ll probably hate me for saying this, but without knowing him, you might mistake The European for (gasp) a Hipster. If you need a visual, think Alexander Skarsgard with geeky on purpose Elvis Costello glasses.

wallpaper_di_alexander_skarsgard-1152x864With that said, there was something that drew me to his profile. Although he was born in Canada, he’d spent most of his life living abroad. Amidst the (literal) sea of guys you usually meet online in Victoria, The European seemed smart, sophisticated and well, different. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I also liked how his arms looked in one of his photos.

We exchanged a few messages and a few nights later met for a drink at a local Oyster bar. My first impression of The European was that he seemed very serious, bordering on austere. However, a few minutes into our drinks and we were laughing and bonding over our mutual love of electronic music and the band Disclosure. When he walked me home, he kissed me outside of my house. I liked his lips and how he gripped me in his arms – gentle, yet deliberate and wanting. We made plans to see each other again.

There was a second date – this time at a local brew-pub (which I was completely overdressed for in my new Rachel Roy dress & cage heels) – and another kiss. Unlike a lot of my recent dates who just wanted to talk about Crossfit, I liked that I could have actual intellectual conversations with The European. I was looking forward to seeing him again.

However, a few days before we were scheduled to meet up, I received a text from him.

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10 Things To Do at The Everything To Do With Sex Show

 Remember that time I spent the afternoon hanging out with male strippers and checking out sex toys? Yep, it’s that time of year again! The Everything to Do with Sex Show is taking place in Toronto this weekend. The ETDWSS is North America’s largest sex and romance consumer show, packed with seminars, stage shows, celebrities, erotic art, shopping, and kink. Since I’m on the other side of the country working on book stuff, I thought I’d get my friend & writing partner John Drake to give you the low-down. Take it away, John!

Guest post JD

As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, many of us begin to hibernate and in favour of spending our time indoors. Organizers of The Everything to Do With Sex Show have provided their Top 10 reasons worth getting out of the house to visit North America’s largest sex and romance consumer show from Oct. 24th-26th at the Direct Energy Centre on the Exhibition Place grounds in Toronto. After visiting the show you’ll have plenty more reasons to spend time indoors…

1. It’s the ultimate date night. Looking to impress your latest Tinder match or your long-time love? Woo them with the Intimate Package, which gets you weekend passes to the show, a stay at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Toronto, chocolate-covered strawberries in your room, sparkling wine, and valet parking. We’re not saying you’re guaranteed to get lucky, but it can’t hurt.

2. You can learn from a sexologist. Yup, that’s a thing. Dr. Jessica O’Reilly hosts a show on PlayboyTV and is a go-to sex expert for publications like Cosmopolitan, and she’s holding seminars all weekend on how to drive your partner wild (live demonstrations and edible props included).

Seminar Presentation - Jessica O'Reilly

3. You’ll find out whether oysters are really aphrodisiacs. The Café Blvd stage is devoted to all things food and sex – find out how to cook a romantic dinner, test out some oysters, and learn about superfoods that will kick your libido into overdrive.

4. Two words: erotic art. We know you’ve seen painted models in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, but have you seen someone painted live? Come out to the erotic art space at the show & watch as flesh becomes canvas. You can also volunteer your arm, leg, or any other body part to get painted by artist MagicfinngaWong.

Erotic Art Area - JessGo Art

5. Magic Mike who?! Forget just stripteases, the main stage has a red-hot male revue, burlesque shows with performers like Roxi D’Lite, and a fashion show featuring latex, leather, and lace. Oh my!

6. You can bring 50 Shades of Grey to life. Curious about Christian Grey’s red room of pain? Explore the Kink Corner, which dives into the world of kink, fetish, and BDSM. Billionaire and helicopter not included.

Sex Show - 38

7. Because everyone loves to spoon. Not into red rooms of pain? Don’t worry, you can keep it PG in the Cuddle Zone. Take 5 and relax in the cuddle zone – you might need a break since the show is stimulating (pun intended).

8. Pole dancing is way more fun than the treadmill. Sex is a great workout, and so are some sexy activities like pole dancing. Check out the Wellness Zone where you’ll be able to learn burlesque basics so you can stay fit and sexy at the same time.

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Sex, Lust and Ruskie Business

Since writing this post several of you have reached out and requested more dating, sex and relationship stories. I often don’t write in real time, so here’s one from my personal vault – circa a few years ago. 

RUSKIE BUSINESS

Recently, a friend and I were discussing the topic of hooking up with people in other countries.A few minutes into the discussion I realized that my foreign boot-knocking experience is actually surprisingly limited. I never did the whole backpacking through Europe thing (everyone who did, seems to have some story about hooking up with a hot Spanish dude in a hostel), I’ve never been to an all inclusive resort and I was too broke in university to spend a semester abroad. All of my international travelling has been done with family, my ex, or through my old job. In other words, I’ve just never had a romance abroad – at least not the kind that would inspire a 1980’s Taster’s Choice commercial.

(Anyone who grew up in the 80’s remembers Jean-Luc)

I explained to her, “I’ve never slept with a foreigner. Kissed, flirted with – yes. Sex, no. Well, unless you count The Russian.”

“I feel like there’s a good story here, Simone.”

I then proceeded to tell her exactly what I’m about to tell you.

I met the Russian on my first trip back to Toronto after I left in 2011. The Russian wasn’t actually Russian per se. He was from another former Soviet country, close to where my ancestors are from and had been living in Canada for several years, working as an exec for a successful Canadian company.

I was out for drinks with one of my best friends in Toronto at a bustling restaurant-bar in the Financial District. We hadn’t seen each other since I had left for the West Coast, however it only took a  few minutes and a vodka martini (or three) before we were chatting up a storm like not a day had passed. Although the friend I was with that night very much a savvy, whip-smart, self-made woman, she has a tendency to attract, date and socialize with wealthy, high-roller types. She’s also one of the most fearless and confident people I know. So, I wasn’t surprised when an older, moneyed guy and his younger, noticeably attractive friend stopped by our table to say hi.

“Simone, this is ____ (older guy), he’s the CEO of _________ (insert well known Canadian company) and he dated ________(our friend)”

Then, she introduced The Russian.

“Simone, this is ______ (typical Russian name). He’s originally from ________ (insert former-Soviet country.) Typical Russian Name, Simone’s relatives are originally from your country. You guys should talk” she said with a wink.

She didn’t miss a beat before suggesting that the guys buy us a couple of rounds of drinks.

There was no doubt that The Russian was very handsome. He looked like a younger, better looking Mikhail Baryshnikov (my very first celebrity crush): sandy blonde hair, square jaw and blue almond shaped eyes that radiated just the right amount of mischief and sex appeal. Like many of the men on my Mom’s side of the family, he was built like a reverse triangle: broad shoulders, lean and muscular.

rs_1024x759-130605143037-1024.mikhail.cm.6513

Later, when I showed a photo of The Russian to my best-friend, she commented, “He looks like the kind of guy you’d meet on an Olympic podium, not in real life.” She wasn’t far off.

So, when the guys asked us if we’d like to accompany them to their next location, it was a no brainer. A few minutes later we were all hanging out at a very swanky hotel bar known for being a popular hangout for investment banker types, celebrities and high-end escorts alike.

While my friend chatted with CEO guy, The Russian and I were huddled close together at the bar, our legs touching. Although my friend has dated quite a few Russian and Ukrainian guys over the years, I explained that I had never really dated anyone who shared this part of my cultural background.

“Why not?” he asked.

“I don’t know. I guess I don’t know that many Russian, Ukrainian or Polish people outside of my own family. The guys that I have met, always tell me I look like I could be their sister.”

(This is true. My friend’s Ukrainian ex and I look like we could easily be related.)

“You’re beautiful. Not anything like sister to me.” he replied with a wink.

A few hours and quite a few vodkas later, The Russian suggested we all head back to his condo and continue the party there. Back at his place – a sparsely furnished, slick condo on the waterfront; my friend and CEO Guy talked business while The Russian and I vigorously made out in the kitchen. It had been months upon months since I’d had any physical contact from the opposite sex and let’s face it – he was hot. Although the free-flowing vodka definitely didn’t hurt, it wasn’t just the alcohol that was making me feel intoxicated, it was the Russian – the way he smelled (like freshly washed laundry), the feeling of my hands running through his hair, his lilting accent as he whispered in my ear that he thought I was sexy. We had chemistry. This much was clear.

ruskie 4

“I’ve never seen you like this!” my friend told me, once I’d been able to pry myself from The Russian’s lips long enough to come up for air.

“You mean single?”

“Well, yeah…and like, clearly ready to mingle!” she replied with a raised eye-brow.

It’s true, this is one of the first times we’d hung out since my big break-up a few months before and the first time she’d ever seen me with my arms wrapped around anyone other than my ex.

When things in the kitchen started to get particularly heated, the Russian and I moved our make-out session into his bedroom where we quickly became a tangle of naked limbs atop of his bed. He tore off my panties and proceeded to go down on me with such precision and vigour that it wasn’t long before I lost my breath as my back was arched in pleasure.

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10 Things We Can Learn From a 1970’s Guide to Sensual Massage

We need to talk about massage – or more specifically The Art of Sensual Massage, a book from the 1970’s that I found while cleaning out my basement the other day.

As the story goes, my sister procured this book at a garage sale to use as part of an art project, however I also suspect it was to horrify my Mom. I believe her exact words were, “Mom, this is going to make you barf.” My Mom is about as anxious to re-visit the 1970’s as I am to return to my junior high days of the mid-90’s (overly gelled “wet look” hair and crocheted vests, anyone?) Mom, I feel your pain. However, I also feel like there are some important things we can learn from the shudder inducing cultural artifact that is The Art of Sensual Massage. 

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According to the back of the book, massage is “as easy as making love. It’s the rediscovery of an ancient art, an erotic and healthy way of touching that has been practiced everywhere on earth from biblical times to the present. It’s as near as your own hands and as easy as your lover’s body.” 

And no, this book is not a Phil Collins song, although it sure sounds like it. Although it’s not formally suggested, I feel like this fine piece of literature would be best enjoyed while listening to some sitar music and wearing something tie-dyed….or as the book suggests, nothing at all. Because, as The Art of Sensual Massage wants you to know…

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Well, now that that’s cleared up let’s begin! The Art of Sensual Massage provides a bunch of tips on how to massage your lover or friend. If you’re not sure what’s “sensual,” The Art of Sensual Massage is happy to provide some insight.

1. Parakeets are sensual. 

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If you want to up the ante on your erotic massage experience, I would suggest you make like a Portlandia episode and put a bird on it. Parakeet, Toucan or Budgie – whatever you can get to sit on your naked shoulder while you massage your partner – just roll with it. Birds = very sensual.

2. Dolls are sensual. 

massage 1
For a sensual massage environment, make sure at least one creepy doll is watching you at all times.

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