XBIZ Week 2023

The X3 Expo and XBIZ Awards returned to the Hollywood Palladium in January directly following XBIZ LA, a conference targeting industry networking.

X3 Expo

There were much more attendees this year compared to last year due to less concern about COVID/Omicron. Even though there was substantial rain that weekend, lines for the public wrapped around the Palladium block waiting for about an hour to enter at their opening times. Tickets were a bargain at $50 for two days, $25 if you had a coupon code. Even if the ticket prices had been higher, I don’t think that would have dampened attendance or enthusiasm for the show.

Inside, I did not observe any obvious prohibition on explicit pornography or nudity in the merchandise that the talent could sell like I did last year. Talent signed throughout the lower and upper bowl of the venue. The busiest lines I saw were for the Brazzers booth, specifically with a corded-off line for Angela White. It was just a really good expo overall.

Angela White with Brazzers

X3 Photos on Flickr

Since these events were a week after AVN, the activities and busy crowd took both mental and physical tolls on me personally. I’m sure other mutual attendees would agree. Many talent that were advertised to sign did not attend, possibly due to exhaustion.

CeeLo Green was the closing musical performance. It was almost like a disjointed karaoke session in that CeeLo would rap over other tracks of other people’s songs. Are his concerts normally like this?

Rose Carter

So I escaped with a friend. Thank you for being magical, Rose.

XBIZ Awards

I was originally not supposed to stay in LA that Sunday. However, a pretty girl asked me to be her plus one for the XBIZ Awards. I also thought it would be better if I was behind the red carpet rather than wait in line with her for two hours to be on the red carpet. Because of the rain, they moved the red carpet indoors in a compact area so the walkers were bunched up with each other and so were the photographers and video crews. I did what I could, even with a non-cooperative photographer next to me.

XBIZ Awards red carpet on Flickr

The XBIZ Awards were clean, integrated, and mostly to the point. Hosts Joanna Angel and Small Hands moved the show along with levity. I agreed with many of the winners chosen, and there were no surprises even though I don’t know the XBIZ voting bloc well. The only flaw for the night was the somewhat uptight Palladium security given the mostly industry attendees. They were too aggressive kicking the audience out after the show into the pouring rain.

Exxxotica New Jersey 2022

I know. Sounding like a broken record for the past year, Exxxotica New Jersey was the most attended Exxxotica I have been to in the last 12 years. Organisers said that attendance was even larger than a typical AVN Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) but it wasn’t obvious due to the larger square footage., which kind of scares me on what a post-pandemic AEE would look like the same week as the Consumer Electronic Show.

Angela White for Brazzers

Like the past Exxxoticas this year, Angela White and Violet Myers had the longest lines stretching haphazardly several booth lengths. Even when Brazzers officials would try to stop the line near the end of the day, fans would continue to wait in line hoping that Angela would continue signing after closing, which she did.

A new booth debuted, Ricky’s Room, by Ricky Johnson that featured Blake Blossom and Mila Monet. I congratulated Blake on her Best New Starlet title with AVN while I was surprised to learn that Mila had been in the industry since 2019. The pandemic has thrown my sense of timing off. I didn’t stray too far from the hotel in the after hours.

On to the last convention of the year with Exxxotica DC.

The rest of the photos on Flickr

Exxxotica Miami 2022

This may sound repetitive, but the second post-pandemic Exxxotica Miami show was the busiest out of my years of going to the Florida shows. Not only were there many more attendees that persisted through the three days, there were also much more exhibitors in that they opened up an additional hall to house them. I like going to the Miami show because it is often the only opportunity for me to see talent from the Florida-based industry. Most of the shows I go to are dominated by talent living in LA or Las Vegas.

Brazzers crew: Luna Star, Alexis Fawx, Angela White, and Ebony Mystique

Brazzers had the busiest booth at the convention, and Angela White had the longest lines waiting for her. She would spend at least five minutes with each fan. On the day that I decided to wait in line (for about 30 minutes), I spent my five minutes talking about my bar cat who had died while I was at the convention. She asked me not to share photos, but I did. I know there’s an urban dictionary term for awkwardly imposing your grief onto non-consenting subjects, but I forgot what it is.

Lexi Lore & Leda Lotharia
Ivy Minxxx & Daphne Madison

I think the main reason I go to Exxxoticas is hanging out with my friends during the downtime. Even when there is no onsite after-party, I would be catching up and eating pizza & cookies with people I hadn’t seen in months or years in the lobby couches, pool, or outside smoking areas; sometimes until 5am even. When I hung out with talent, they would be propositioned by skeezy fans that I see at numerous shows who present themselves as producers to collaborate on shoots.

The one party I did go to was hosted by Chaturbate at a night club with a good balance of men and women. Even though I do not spend much time on the site, I have befriended many of the webcam models over the years since their events are more accessible than the competition. They also don’t mind too much when I drink their hooch.

Photo Gallery on Flickr

Exxxotica Chicago 2022

The second show in Chicago after the pandemic, the attendance was almost overwhelming as people ventured out in full force compared to last year’s antsy group. I didn’t see any mask wearing, and people treated any other precaution like spacing as an afterthought. There was a good balance of the genders, especially on Ladies Free Friday. I saw numerous fangirls excited to meet their stars compared to the usual creepy awkward or entitled obnoxious male attendees that you see at any porn convention.

The talent must have been happy as I saw steady lines waiting patiently, sometimes even hours when it came to the most popular stars like Angela White, Abella Danger, and Violet Myers who signed on tirelessly. Brazzers had the busiest booth at the show, and it was actually cool to see the support staff actively greeting attractive attendees that may become future stars for the website.

The convention would stay busy deep into the late hours on Friday and Saturday, and that became somewhat of a problem with the availability of food options. Not only that, the after-parties started around that time. I was smart enough to choose food rather than drinks but would visit the parties in their closing hour, only to be dragged into the after-after parties by my friends (thanks, Lacy) and strangers that seemed to recognise me somehow.

I mingled quite a bit with cam models like Hime Marie, Ivy Minxxx, and Demi Hawks from the Chaturbate booth. From hosting the parties, their staff, and even the layout of their booth, I found the booth much more accessible to the fans than their main competitor at the convention.

Photos on Flickr

This might have been the busiest Chicago Exxxotica I’ve been to, and I am already dreading the crowd at the upcoming Exxxotica New Jersey in October.

Weekend at XBIZ

I attended my first XBIZ show since their last fan event with the Summer Expo at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas in 2010. I don’t think this would have been possible if the pandemic had not happened. Over the last twelve years and prior to that, I had never attended their events because of several reasons:

  1. I was not interested in the web business side of the industry. There is some irony here since I write for IAFD.com, but we’re not doing this for the money. I also defer the business networking to Jeff.
  2. I don’t vote for the XBIZ Awards. I’m sure they exist, but I don’t personally know any voters outside of the people that work for XBIZ .
  3. Since XBIZ week usually occurs before AVN week in January, I did not have the time or budget to do both.

Since 1 and 3 did not apply this year, I looked forward to going to the only in-person capstone events for 2022 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.


Given that it was my first XBIZ event in nearly twelve years and the pandemic, there were some logistical issues to figure out at the beginning like finding where media registration was, proving my vaccination status along with the exhibitors and talent, and then being redirected to wait in line with the fans while the expo opened 30 minutes late, presumably to give the exhibitors and talent time to set up. The registration and vaccination check people couldn’t be any nicer.

After being let inside, the Palladium is similar in size to The Joint at the Hard Rock. There were not that many company booths, but there were many performers at individual tables to sell their wares on the first and second floor of the theater. One of the weird things I noticed was that there was actually a lack of porn on display at the expo. There was a prohibition against nudity in all forms, so even the items performers were signing like 8x10s and DVDs were subject to that prohibition. There were also these booths that had these cool influencer backgrounds to photograph against like I’ve seen at popular bars and clubs. In terms of new performers since the pandemic, I enjoyed meeting Haley Spades, Kay Lovely, and Jazlyn Ray for the first time.

The floor was busy at certain points and the most popular booth by far was Brazzers as lines hovered for Angela White, Phoenix Marie, and Lily Lou. Angela had the longest lines at X3, but thankfully took the time to pose for photos when I skipped her line. Phoenix complained she would never see me when her lines are bonkers while Lily’s lines grew over the two days when the fans saw how great she was.

I don’t normally like to skip the lines since fans can wait up to an hour to meet their favourite performer, but it was agonising to watch enthralled fans talk for 15-30 minutes each sometimes about menial subjects, and then I take about 30 seconds to snap some photos and give my pleasantries. From a practical standpoint by waiting in line, I missed out on shooting many performers that were walking around or had short signing shifts. I also saw many fans being overly aggressive with the performers to their dismay, grabbing and touching their breasts, butts, and legs without asking for consent. The sale of alcohol on site did not help with that either.

While talking to the attendees, we discussed the impact of the pandemic and compared the measures that California had taken compared to the other states I had been through because of Exxxotica. I was disturbed to learn that people were cheating the mandatory vaccination requirements by forging their vaccination status, sometimes with the help of a shady health care provider. This also included members of the industry that did not want to be continually tested if they were unvaccinated just like it was happening with players in the major sports leagues. It makes me question how much of the breakthrough Omicron cases were actually breakthrough cases. XBIZ was heavily criticised for hosting these events given the recent surge, but we are all adults and should know the risks that we are taking. However, you must be fucking bonkers if you are willing to go to one of these things unvaccinated and are willing to cheat the system to do so.

Overall, this was still a fun fan expo that I would recommend people to attend in a non-pandemic environment. Two days is ideal in a setting like Los Angeles. People were excited with the finishing musical performances of Too Short on the first day and Busta Rhymes the second day. Busta had the more polished production of the two.

The rest of the X3 photos on Flickr

XBIZ Awards

I hate doing red carpets. To clarify, I like being at the Awards themselves, meeting and greeting people that I know, and watching theirs reactions when the winners are announced, but I can’t document the behind the scenes with my camera since I don’t have the all access badge to do that. However, I decided to do a red carpet after an absence of 5 years because I had never done the XBIZ Awards before, wanted to demonstrate my work to a new audience and generation of performers, and figured the attendance would be lower due to the pandemic.

The XBIZ staff ran the carpet professionally even though it was outside with our backs to Sunset Blvd. I did not have to worry about fans or vagrants behind me stealing my equipment due security protecting our space.

Red carpets are high stress environment for not only the people that walk it, but for the photographers behind the rope. We are all basically fighting for the same shots even though there can be a wide discrepancy in skill between us. Some are more distractingly vocal in their directions, and I wish they would shut the fuck up since the talent knew how to pose for the most part. Further since the photographers were spaced adequately, I don’t know why they were even trying to draw someone’s attention from me. Since I was near the end of the photographer line, some of the talent skipped me to go to the interviews, which leads me to my next point.

Wonder Bread Bros sandwich

Since my outlets, IAFD and AdultDVDTalk, generously give me all the time in the world to work on the photos; my social media and phone got barraged by industry people who wonder where their photos are this week. Some are people that I never photographed or people that would otherwise never give me the time of the day outside these things. How did they even get my number? Can’t they continue to confuse me with Jeff Koga or Gordon?

After the red carpet was done, logistics was again an issue because I could not bring my equipment inside the venue, and there was no place to store it. So I trudge 30lbs back to my hotel by foot and missed a portion of the Awards when I returned. I then found out that I couldn’t step foot into the industry area and join my date because we hadn’t gotten the proper wristbands as an industry +1 right after the carpet. If only we hadn’t been separated by logistics, but she eventually got me in.

The XBIZ Awards were a clean and straight forward production. The winners were deserving and happy. All aspects of the industry were represented in an integrated manner. When the Awards was over, the venue made it a point to kick everyone out in a timely fashion.

2022 XBIZ Awards red carpet on Flickr

The vultures, err I mean the pornorazzis, were hovering outside for the drunk, high, and horny members to behave in an immoral fashion for their cameras. Imagine my annoyance in trying to get my date into a Lyft to go back to our hotel, only for the vultures to follow us back.