By Haley Cullingham

Sex Matters host Cynthia Loyst is an expert on all things sexy, from between-the-sheets to outside-the-box. We picked her brain for tips on a great Valentine’s Day-whether you’re single or attached, talking kink with your partner, society’s attitude towards sex, and, of course, good old fashioned masturbation. Read on for Cynthia’s words of wisdom, and tune in on Feb. 11th for the premiere of Sex Matters on CP24.

SDTC: Single ladies this Valentine’s weekend: What are three things you would tell them to do?
Cynthia: Treat yourself. Whether it’s with a toy or a workshop – indulging your own private sex life is a gift that keeps on giving (and believe me, whether you are single or in a relationship, you will always have your own private sex life that you should indulge!). There are so many great stores in Vancouver, Montreal and of course, Toronto that you can comfortably go in and see and touch the toys that you’re interested in. My favorites in Toronto are Come As You Are (, Good For Her ( and Red Tent Sisters ( and all of them have great websites that you can order from if you can’t be there in person!

Plan a date….with your girlfriends…And make it a day – I would stay start with a trip to the spa! Body Blitz ( is a great place for “women-only” in Toronto which features 3 different pools of different temperatures, steam and sauna rooms and delicious body treatments. After you’ve indulged your outer body – why not take a trip to chocolate heaven, also known in Toronto as SOMA (, to indulge your inner body? Be sure to try the Mayan Hot Chocolate which is kind of like drinking sex. Then, I would suggest you cap off the evening with a trek out to a sexy restaurant. Some of my Toronto suggestions would be Laide ( which features a super dirty bar and vintage porn while you eat and The Beaver ( just cuz everyone there is generally pretty darned hot and the Turkey burger rocks.

Try speed dating. Okay – so I went to speed dating this week for the show and while I’m not sure that there were any “love connections” made – I did observe a number of women who came with their girlfriends and had a great time. Even if you don’t find ‘the one’ you will undoubtedly have a funny story to tell “the one” one day about the wacky things you did in your search for him…or her.

Suggestions for Couples?

Cook something special. Okay – so let’s say you don’t want to deal with the crowds and jacked up Valentine’s prices. Not to worry! You can always delight your love with an incredibly indulgent home cooked meal. One word of advice, if you’re the type who gets performance anxiety cooking in front of your love – do things in advance. And remember, as food critic Gael Greene once said, “Great food is like great sex –The more you have the more you want.”

Get creative. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do something entirely creative and special. I once made a small scrapbook filled with memories, photos and saucy thoughts and sent it to a long-distance lover who was away during Valentine’s Day. Another time, (when I clearly had a lot more time and energy than I do now) I sent my partner on a scavenger hunt around the city which led back to my place where I was wearing some icing that I’d got on myself while baking cupcakes and not much else. The point is – a thoughtful handmade gift is way better than a thoughtless box of anything.

Go sexy. Let’s face it – when you’ve been in a long term relationship everyone can use a bit of inspiration in the bedroom. It could be a night at a sexy hotel , a sexy workshop , or a little role-playing ( And be sure to watch “Sex Matters” ( this Thursday for other hot gift ideas!!

What is the best thing you can do to spice up your sex life?

Remember the most powerful sexual organ is your brain. Use your imagination.

What’s the worst?

Over talking. We live in a culture where we have often been brought up with the idea that we have to share every little, tiny thing with our partner. The problem is that when it comes to sex, over-communication can be a real deflator. An air of mystery is a powerful aphrodisiac in the bedroom – use it. Having said that – if there are things you really want to do with your partner (or have your partner do to you), there are some sexy ways that you can ask for them without blah, blah, blahing it. The Guide to Doing Me is a great place to start.

You’re kinky, but you haven’t gone there with your partner yet. What’s a great way to open up that conversation?

Start with a few simple handkerchiefs and let your imagination take over – blindfolding is a gentle way to enhance your other sensations and when you add in a little light bondage (like tying your partners hands together), you’re off to a great start! And a copy of “The Story of O” never hurt anyone….

What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve heard so far on the show?

Nothing that outrageous so far, but I have been pleasantly surprised by just how amazingly sexy the people, places & events are right here in this country.

What are some great resources for people looking to explore kinks and fetishes?

Come Hither by Gloria Brame is a frank & friendly guide for any beginners who have ever wondered about the ins and outs of bondage, spanking, or cross-dressing. Another great book is Deviant Desires by Katherine Gates who explores the “obscure outposts of the erotic frontier.” The fetishes outlined in that book are pretty unique but Katherine is a brilliant researcher and writer so it’s a thrilling read even for those who are more on the vanilla side. Toronto also has regular fetish masquerade parties at Vola Lounge on Adelaide ( And if you’re an artsy type and want to meet some like minded artsy/Kinky people, check out “The Keyhole Sessions” ( here in Toronto. Promoted as “not your grandma’s life drawing sessions,” the models are dressed up in a variety of different sexy outfits and if you’re lucky you might be able to watch the model being exquisitely wrapped in a Japanese-style rope bondage to add an extra kinky flair to your drawings.

If you could change one thing about society’s attitude towards sex, what would it be?

That’s a really hard question to answer. Globally speaking, I would love to change (and by change, I might mean drop kick) anyone who thinks that they can abuse women on the basis of some kind of warped sense of “honour.” I would also like to change any kind of ideology that sees women as chattel or property, as well as obliterate the widespread intolerance around homosexuality, transgenderism and anyone else who lives on a consensual sexual fringe.

On a simpler note, I would love to change this idea that sex is one of those subjects that people “shouldn’t talk about.” Not to state the obvious but sex is the one thing that we all have in common. People should always be allowed to honestly express their ideas and thoughts about sexuality – even, perhaps especially, when their desires are on the outskirts of what is considered “normal.” We can’t understand things if we don’t hear and listen.

What topic on the show are you most excited about discussing?

All of them! But okay…if I had to pick one or two I’d say I’m particularly excited about talking about body image as I’m both fascinated and distressed by how hard women in particular are on themselves and conversely how celebratory we can be of other peoples so-called ‘flaws.’ Also, I’m looking forward to an the episode where we’re exploring the question “To breed or not to breed?’ because, as a 30-something woman believe me, that IS the question. I’m also excited to talk about women and their relationship to porn as I think it is a complicated topic that can provoke a really strong reaction and so hopefully it will also inspire a really potent discussion.

What do you think is the biggest social sexual taboo?

There are still lots of social sexual taboos but one of the most surprising taboos that still exists to this day is masturbation — in particular, the idea of women and masturbation. It may seem like a long time ago that Jocelyn Elders was fired by the Clinton administration shortly after suggesting that masturbation should be taught to young people – but think about it: could you imagine any of our leaders saying anything like that today? The fact is she was right – masturbation should be encouraged for all people of all ages. It is incredibly empowering – especially for young women – to have the confidence in knowing and trusting their own bodies.

Airing Thursdays and Fridays on CP24 at 10:30 p.m. and on Star! Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30pm ET/ 8:30pm PT.