I made a quick stop in Chicago to visit Exxxotica this weekend. It was well attended show, especially on Friday and Saturday, and is much busier than my experiences with the Exxxoticas in Miami and Los Angeles. Again, the Ladies Free Friday promotion helped bring out the people after work. Girlfriends and wives were accompanying their men, and groups of women shopping were seen throughout the convention that day. Every porn star I talked to indicated that business was good and people were eagerly buying their merchandise.
The stage shows were stronger this year with Belladonna doing her aeriel silk show on the main stage this year and Stoya doing her aeriel ring show. Both performers have immensely improved from the previous year with their technique, strength, and tricks.
Click on Stoya for the photos on Flickr.
Some other notes:
- Gianna Michaels and Ron Jeremy were easily the most popular porn stars signing while Clips4Sale with Ashley Fires and Missy Rhodes had the most popular booth.
- Web model, Eva Lovia, won the Ms. Exxxotica Chicago contest, and she was easily the most striking new girl that I’ve seen. Imagine a taller Cris Taliana with boobs.
- Brooklyn Lee and Tasha Reign humoured me when I asked for a President Clinton shot. Probably because the request didn’t involve cigars.
- Brooklyn and Stoya also wrestled in a lube match sponsored by Fleshlight. Think oil wrestling.
- Teal Conrad and Raven Bay were both newbies who seemed happy to greet the fans. I had extensive conversations with them.
- Jesus may Love(s) Porn Stars,but apparently XXXChurch doesn’t love Buddhists. They visibly scowled at me when I explained that I would not accept their stickers because of my religion.
- Aleksa Nicole kept turning her face away when I asked and tried to take a photo. Not sure what was going on there. Maybe she was charging for photos of herself only.
Another year another AVN convention. Except this time it was at new venue, the Hard Rock Hotel, that seemed more appropriate and receptive to hosting porn stars. The physical layout was at first confusing with multiple halls around the hotel. The number of exhibitors seemed to be about the same, the number of people that attended seemed to be about the same, but the physical space shrank making this the most cramped porn convention I’ve ever been to. Thursday was especially bad when they let the fans in even though they would not open up the fan hall until Friday.
Due to the crowds I was much more selective this year in choosing who to shoot concentrating on people that I like or people that I found attractive, which are sometimes mutually exclusive. I also didn’t bother with anyone where I couldn’t get through the hordes of crowds like the girls at the Wicked booth. The most popular people this year seemed to be the celebrities, Bree Olson and Ron Jeremy, and Jynx Maze was the most popular besides those two.
I decided to shoot my first AVN Awards since 2009. I was asked to do it as a favour for another photographer and I would only agree if I didn’t have to do the red carpet. So I was given ability to roam around and pull random people that I liked to set up one or two shots instead of doing the usual pornorazzi machine gun fire. Pictures seemed to come out better that way. I was happy to see Bobbi Starr, one of my favourite people, win Female Performer of the Year and was pleased to see Brooklyn Lee win Best New Starlet since she was so nice and sweet to her fans upon meeting them for the first time at the convention.
So of course the reason I go to these events year after year is to be able to see my friends again. Whether it’s my crew at IAFD, Mark Spiegler and the Spieglergirls, or the guys of adultdvdtalk.com, I always have a great time with them especially with the social lubricant known as alcohol.
Some highlights (or lowlights depending on your perspective):
- Bonding with Ela Darling and being introduced to the concept of wizard rock.
- Arguing with my friend, Malte, that it’s classier to put Missy Rhodes on top of the toilet rather than on the toilet seat.
- Crashing this awesome penthouse suite because the bartender there thought Malte would make a good gay guy for one of her friends. #takeonefortheteam
- Meeting Mariah Mars, Tracey Sweet, and Ana Foxxx at a hot tub at the suite. I’d post photos but they’re not flickr friendly.
- Having April O’Neil guest star on my tumblr. There is something nerdy fierce in her sexuality in such a little package.
- Having Chyna threaten us in an elevator for some unperceivable slight. I kept my mouth shut since I don’t argue with people that have guns bigger than the size of my head.
I guess you want to see the pictures then:
I crossed the pond to go to the porn show in Berlin. As in the previous year, the show decreased in size in terms of space, exhibitors, and girls. Even the number of attendees seemed to be less. Since the show was hosted earlier this year, it might have been the nicer weather keeping the masses from attending a darkly lit convention hall filled with the musty smell of German perverts.
I am biased so the strongest booths this year were American and they were near each other so I didn’t have to do much walking back and forth to see something interesting. Clips4Sale featured the perennial MVP Ashley Fires who always knows how to work a crowd along with sort of newbie Missy Rhodes and special guest star, Monique Alexander. Meanwhile Girlfriends Films imported 4 American girls plus Sandra Shine & Hana Black.
I enjoyed gabbing with Shyla Jennings for a while. It’s a bummer she doesn’t do boys. Click on her photo or Ashley and Missy for a censored photoset on Flickr.
Previous Venus Berlins:
Made another quick stop into LA last week to see my friends at Exxxotica. It is the second year in LA for the show, and it was definitely bigger this year in terms of the number of exhibitors and attendees. However the crowd didn’t seem to match the Chicago show, even on Friday when ladies attended for free. Guess the LA women aren’t big fans of porn.
Click on Andy for the gallery.
My favourite booth this year was clearly the myfreecams booth. Like the name says, they were so many girls webcamming at show and some forgot they had a live audience in front of them. Thank you, girls!
I didn’t attend any of the parties nor did I want to after my experience in Chicago. As Murtaugh would say, I’m just too old for this shit. I spent the nights holed up in my room with a porn star or two, and my camera. Well that and also having dinner with Lily Labeau and company. I <3 her.
So I decided to make a quick 3-day trip up to Chicago to check out its first Exxxotica show. I had been to the Miami show the previous year, and it seemed about the same size in terms of number of exhibitors. Numerous porn girls that had signed for last year’s Chicago Exxxtacy show commented Exxxotica was much bigger in terms of booths and girls.
Stage shows were fun with a heavy bdsm theme. My favourite one was the Pretty Things Peep Show which featured Stoya performing her aerial tricks for the first time.
Click on Stoya for the photos from Exxxotica.
The amount of fans that attended the Chicago show was impressive. One promotion that contributed to this turnout was that women got to attend Friday for free. This resulted in the most gender balanced porn convention day that I have ever attended. Many girlfriends and wives attended with their men and I saw groups of women browsing with no men in sight. They seemed just as elated to meet the female porn stars and buy their products as the typical fanboy. Maybe even more so since they did not have to pay the entry fee.
However, this female balance did not translate to the parties. Only people who had bought vip tickets to the show were allowed into the Friday after-party or they had to pay $20 at the door. You see where this is going. Since the women did not have to buy tickets for the show, they would have had to pay 20 dollars to get in. You had a ballroom full of sausage absent-mindedly staring at go-go dancers. Mr. Pete and I were absent-mindedly helping ourselves to a grey goose bottle in the vip section until the show organisers objected that it was their hooch. Oops. I didn’t even bother checking out the Saturday after-party but heard the same complaint from people that had attended.
About the only other disappointment about the show was the lack of nudity compared to last year’s Exxxtacy show. Chicago seemed lax about the nudity during that show but every girl this year told me they couldn’t flash people because they were fearful of some thousand dollar fine due to a warning from the show’s organizers. Is that the going rate for indecent exposure in Illinois?