After a four year absence, I returned to Chicago for an Exxxotica. I usually try to attend one Exxxotica a year, and my plan was originally to go to Dallas until Dallas decided to ban Exxxotica from its convention center and initiate a legal battle.
Not much has changed about the Chicago show other than new faces in the industry. Again the busiest day of the show was the first night when they allowed ladies to attend for free. With the Anime Midwest convention occurring concurrently, I thought it would be a great opportunity for cross-attendance, but that mostly happened on that first night after the anime convention hours ended. Women and men fit right in with their revealing cosplay uniforms.
The highlight of the convention was a wedding of an Exxxotica producer, Tita, officiated by Evan Stone. Tita rode in on a horse with a dildo for a unicorn horn.
I saw the return of multiple award winners and Hall of Famers, Hillary Scott and Briana Banks. There was a point in 2009 where I couldn’t recognise Hillary because of her hairstyle change back then, but there was no trouble this year with her familiar blonde wavy locks.
The absences included Skin Diamond and Kimmy Granger. Skin’s was notable since she was scheduled to perform a cabaret show on stage each day, and well Kimmy is Kimmy.
I followed respectively a day in the lives of Vicki Chase, Chloe Amour, and Christiana Cinn. I think the most fascinating thing about seeing behind the curtain are the different personalities and how they approach the mundane tasks that prepare them to meet their fans.
I didn’t bring my camera into the after-parties because they were not allowed in the VIP section. I had two choices, either to drink with the VIPs or not drink outside the VIP section, so the choice was easy.
Well it took more than a week to decompress and sort through the photos but here’s the obligatory report on my seventh Exxxotica, the first in New Jersey that I attended. It was by far the busiest one which surprised me considering the limited accessibility of the location. The New Jersey Convention Center & Expo is in an industrial park area with limited public transit and no retail within a mile radius. You pretty much have to have a car to attend and stay around unlike Exxxoticas Chicago and Florida. I guess having a city of nine million nearby plus the megalopolis known as the East Coast helps with the attendance.
Friday was busy with the ladies free promotion and so was Saturday. If you wanted to see the ladies without lines, then you go Sunday. I saw a lot of bright and perky friends which I attributed to the later start time of the show (1pm). They were happy to have their photos taken (with one exception), but if you wanted a photo with them then it cost you. I also noticed photobooths for the first time which were a cute novel idea.
Some thoughts & observations:
Arrangement Finders booth was the busiest booth with their placement in the front of the convention, an emcee, and a photobooth. I think the only requirement to take photos with the girls was to signup. Onyx Muse was a delight and presumed I didn’t need to sign up and I didn’t understand how backhanded this was until I found out later that it was site for sugar daddies and sugar babies. Heh. I didn’t catch her being naughty like Anime Nut did in Chicago but still heard her ordering the guys to, “pull my hair” & “grab my boobs” for their photos. Oh Onyx. Not only are you on the Reggie Cleveland porn roster with your name, you are also now a favourite of mine.
Belle Knox was the first person I saw. I found her shy and outwardly very young. I felt awkward and old asking her about school, and she seemed uncomfortable answering.
Stoya did not want many photos taken of her outside of the photobooth. At first I was puzzled since I had taken many over the years but I caught her blinking multiple times after each flash that I deduced the hundreds/thousands of strobes that go off a day hurt her eyes. Not only at the signings but when she goes out to dinner. One night, we were at the same restaurant and I noted that the wait staff was more busy asking her for photo ops instead of actually serving her and prefacing the request with, “I’m your biggest fan!”. She told me about a restaurant owner in Japan who met his wife at a Tomoyasu Hotei concert and decorated his restaurant with Hotei memorabilia from the last 20 or 30 years but never described himself as Hotei’s biggest fan. The moral I got then was to turn off the flash with Stoya and always squeal “I’m your biggest fan!” when I see her.
Mick Blue told me a story about how he once got cock blocked by a cow in the Alps. You have to hear it directly from him. I don’t remember how this conversation came about but I remember telling him about cow tipping as a kid, which he thought was a dumb idea.
Went to the first Exxxotica Ft. Lauderdale after it had moved from nearby Miami. Did it as a spur of the moment thing only telling my closest colleagues of pending plans. Okay, twittering them is still somewhat public. As for the show, the weekend was overtaken by storms and the dreary weather probably tempered attendance. Yet I didn’t see much difference between attendance compared to when the show was in Miami.
I was delighted to see Remy Lecroix and she is the main reason for my spur of the moment decision to go.
Her booth, Bangbros, was easily the most popular of the convention. Ron Jeremy was the most popular porn star as people lined up to see him. He looked much frailer than in recent years but that is understandable considering his recent heart issues.
Meeting Farrah Abraham of MTV’s Teen Mom was somewhat surreal. When I asked to take her photo, she had to get her manager’s clearance since I was media. Except the manager was not around, so I only got random candid shots of her. Other girls signing around her commented she was standoffish towards them. I’ve never watched either of her MTV shows so I don’t know if that was just her normal personality or she was disgusted by her surroundings.
Met a new yet familiar webcam model named Bridgette who was one of the most beautiful girls at the show. At first I thought it was because she looked a cross between Jana Jordan and Franziska Facella, but later on I realised she was a popular glamour model that my friends have shot.
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.
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.