Wow, AVN week went by in a blur and some of that experience could be blamed on some health issues and that I tried to keep things as low key as possible after the convention hours. I don’t know how people can work a convention, go out and party the entire night, rinse, and wake up the next day to repeat the cycle three days ultimately culminating in the Awards. I mean I used to do this on an annual basis when I was in my 20s, but those days are long gone.
The AVN convention or AEE (Adult Entertainment Expo) was dominated in square footage by the cam companies most specifically by MyFreeCams (MFC), Chaturbate, and Cam4. You would see cam girls not only at their booths but in the crowds visiting their friends or allowing their cam room to view the convention by taking their laptops and webcams with them. In fact, beyond just camgirls, it seems like the dominant theme this year is on performers whether cam people or traditional porn stars producing their own content and releasing them through outlets like Clips4Sale or ManyVids and receive a percentage. With the glut of Internet piracy out there this is probably the wave of the future for performers to make money in that they have to diversify their income beyond getting a set rate for a scene.
As for the traditional production booths, Greg Lansky and the general Mindgeek booths had the busiest claustrophobic traffic while Jules Jordan and Evil Angel had their own share of busy lines. Riley Reid, Abella Danger, and Adriana Chechik drew the busiest lines. Evil Angel had the most organised booth and were handing out August Ames shirts which were worn by attendees throughout the convention courtesy of Kevin Moore.
I noticed that many active porn stars did not attend the convention, and it was hard to catch people who did attend but not signing at a booth. Popular camgirls were also hard to track down because they were more interested in their laptops or hanging out with their peers than interacting with the attendees.
I did not attend the Awards this year even though IAFD got to vote for the first time. I did not want to deal with the red carpet or the ensuing requests from people who attended the Awards. Maybe if I have the energy next year, I’ll attend the Awards as a spectator to support my friends. Congratulations to Angela White, who had the trifecta distinction of being inducted in the Hall of Fame, hosting the AVN Awards, and winning a record 14 awards including Female Performer of the Year.
So wow. This Jersey show was the first Exxxotica that reminded me of an AVN Adult Entertainment Expo with the crowds and lines to see the stars. Where the other locations, even while busy, allow you to have the time to talk to the performer, conversations will end up building a line behind you.
Riley Reid, who is notorious for spending quality time (5-10 minutes) with each attendee that sees her, matched her busy lines at AVNs and easily had the longest lines in the show running 15-20 deep. Abella Danger, Adriana Chechik, and Angela White also had eye-popping lines and waits. I was extremely lucky that Riley, Abella, and Angela each took the time to take a break from their respective lines for my camera that I tried not to keep them from their fans by taking only a couple of snaps.
My phone took a beating physically and electronically. Abella and Angela’s appreciatively tagging my photos during the convention had my phone buzzing constantly as their fans gave their worshipping feedback. My Instagram and Twitter followers increased by the hundreds while I fumbled trying to turn off push notification for both apps. Meanwhile unexpected displays of affection from girls like Lexi Belle, Gina Valentina, and others sent my phone a tumbling onto the floor. Damn, Gina!
With such strong demand for the traditional performers, the cam companies and their girls were almost an afterthought. Many camgirls seemed either intimidated by the crowds or annoyed at attendees distracting them from their cam rooms. I can understand why several withdrew deeper into their booths to devote to their camming, and I think they use the conventions to network with each other more than try to build their fan base. Exceptions to this were Hime Marie, who had shot with several companies, and Kawaii Serina, who I had previously met in Denver.
As for the parties, I refused to leave the host hotel and visited the on-site parties for a max of maybe an hour each. Long gone are the days of 36-hour Morbid. My nights were more focused on visiting with my friends in a more low-key manner aka the hotel bar and any real partying were in the hotel rooms upstairs.
Another year; another AVN. The show expanded this year with the host Hard Rock Hotel building a new hallway for the Adult Novelties Expo. This increase in layout helped with thinning the crowds as there was more surface area to breathe. The main themes this year are webcam and VR companies which are signs of where the industry thinks consumers are going, trends that are hard to pirate.
With webcams, the user gets to interact with a person in ways that cannot be done on video. Not only was this year’s expo sponsored by MyFreeCams (MFC) and Chaturbate; you saw hundreds of camgirls running about causing mini accidents as they try to navigate the crowd with a laptop in hand. Just the MFC booth that lines the first hallway you see is intimidating where you see girls more interested in talking to their computers than with the attendees. Same with the Chaturbate booth which took up a good chunk of a ballroom.
Various virtual reality companies demonstrated their wares from Hologirls VR, Reality Lovers, and Cam4VR. Ela Darling led me through a rather innocent Cam4VR demonstration where the VR girl twerked for me in a bedroom. I was more curious exploring the environment than in engaging the virtual girl to her liking.
As for the photos:
The best booth this year was Greg Lansky‘s Blacked/Tushy/Vixen booth which featured its own bar. They had the best group of girls, and Riley Reid had the longest lines again for the 6th year in the row. Greg was very accommodating to the press and gave us a lounge area to rest our feet. Even though there was plenty of alcohol available, I just helped myself to bottled water and the couches.
Second favourite booth was Jules Jordan Video which also had awesome girls and featured the second longest lines with Abella Danger. Abella worked so hard she didn’t have much of a voice every night I saw her out and about.
As for the awards, I was put on red carpet duty instead of behind the scenes this year. Actually the first red carpet that I’ve done since 2009 and my last. Rather than taking a photo at a measured pace of people that are happy to see you with a drink or two in hand, doing red carpet means you have to try to catch everyone; calling them out to you, and blinding the fuck out of them while competing with other photographers. I had the issue of the two other photographers in my section overdirecting and monopolozing the shots. Not my finest moment.
Since I didn’t enter the Awards to watch the show, I can’t comment on it. I did notice many performers that had walked the carpet skip the show; some because they weren’t nominated to others who weren’t allowed to smoke inside the venue.