AVN 2019

IAFD is back and somewhat rested from the always grueling experience of AVN week. I commented last year that I didn’t know how people could work a convention, party the entire night, rinse, and wake up the next day to repeat the cycle, but I managed to do it this year without any pharmaceutical help because I was much more selective on who I wanted to photograph, where I wanted to go, and who I wanted to hang out with rather than try to do and cover everything.

The Expo

The expo itself was slightly smaller this year with less booths and what seemed like less attendees from previous years. It still hummed though. One positive but controversial change was that people were not able to bring in “professional” (DSLR and mirrorless) cameras unless they had an industry badge. Although unevenly enforced, this led to many less idiots holding up traffic flow by parking their asses somewhere and trying to get some upskirt shot. Another weird change was the use of metal detectors since everyone and their equipment/phones were setting them off which sometimes led to a followup hand wanding. I’m not sure what the point of that was since it falls below TSA protocols and the news had made it clear that TSA screening was not foolproof in preventing weapons going through.

Angela White

If you asked me who had the best booth at the show, I would semi-seriously answer whichever booth Angela White was signing at. She did quadruple duty signing for Evil Angel, Greg Lanksy‘s Tushy/Vixen/Blacked, Jules Jordan, and AVN itself and was accessible to her fans throughout the show even though she had the longest lines in the show. However, to be more serious, the best booth was Jules Jordan Video because of the quality of their signing lineup and how accessible they were presented to the fans. Abella Danger and Gina Valentina had long lines for them also, but the lines kept moving because the two kept plugging away at it. As Abella noted:

…trying to not look like dead😂 4 days in a row of standing for 5 hours straight doesn’t seem like much but i’m so used to being on my back

I was also sheepishly keeping Jill Kassidy warm in a perpetual hug throughout the week while her lines looked on.

Abella Danger Jill Kassidy Gina Valentina

Lansky’s booth was a work in progress through the week. Due to its location next to two other busy booths and elevated height, the great lineup they had was not as accessible to the fans. On the first day of the expo, you had to go through one line if you wanted to see any of the girls, and there was no guarantee that they would be there once you get to their signing area. There was a bar and photobooth inside the booth, and several girls utilised both heavily and were more busy participating in group activities meant to draw the crowds rather than actually engaging the fans. Entry into the booth itself was limited to VIPs, and I was denied entry by the bouncer even after presenting the designated VIP card, heh. You definitely are getting the velvet rope experience. Thankfully, they scrapped the one line rule by the second day, but the crowds overwhelmed any semblance of signing lines. By the last day, the girls that were there concentrated more on signing so someone is listening to fan feedback.

The golden couch

As in previous years, swaths of square footage was devoted to cam, clips and other self-production companies. MyFreeCams (MFC), the major sponsor of the show, had three large booths to accommodate all of their camgirls and threw exclusive parties for them each night. The positive is that you see all types of women with them, but the negative is that they are interacting more with their laptops and each other than with the public. Many also had groupies of regulars that constantly stay with them the entire convention. At some point you have to wonder why MFC bothers spending so much money here when they could easily just have their own exclusive event to take care of their members.

The rest of the expo photos on Flickr

The Nightlife

Most networking was done off site. I saw many performers walking about and socialising at the host casino that I didn’t see at the expo. With beers in hand on the casino floor, I caught up with many friends in the industry and ended up crashing several parties because of them; with the appropriate wristbands of course. I did not have the burden of bringing my camera with me thanks to my Google Pixel.

Out and About on Flickr

I did not attend or work the AVN Awards for the second year in a row. Being away from the bustle of the red carpet made me happier than being morbid. IAFD couldn’t procure tickets in time to go support our friends either.

Angela White Charlotte Stokely

Congratulations to Angela White who won 10 awards including repeating as Female Performer of the Year. This was the second year that IAFD voted in the Awards, and the list of winners were mostly consistent with the ballots of judges that we polled and ours. As I joked with Angela, “Who knew that voting actually worked?” Congratulations also to Charlotte Stokely for winning G/G Performer of the Year, acknowledging what I believe she earned years ago.

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Mark Spiegler, Ivan, Shawn of AGW, and Sascha Koch for hosting us on various shindigs. Shoutout to my boys from IAFD & ADT, Swine, and Sammy.

Lily Labeau Kendra Spade Mackenzie Moss Verronica Kirei Haighlee Dallas Destiny Lovee Celeste

Thank you to Lily Labeau, Kendra Spade, Mackenzie Moss, Verronica Kirai, Haighlee Dallas, Destiny Lovee, and Celeste for making magic with me.

Exxxotica Miami 2018

After a 6 year absence and a diversion to nearby Fort Lauderdale, Exxxotica returned to Miami. The city proper this time near the airport rather than across the causeway in Miami Beach. The convention followed the tried and true formula of bringing in the ladies for free on Friday, Saturday being the busiest day in crowds, and winding down on Sunday.

Abella Danger
Abella Danger had the longest lines

The stage and dungeons were in separate rooms which reduced the noise volume quite a bit, and there were no other individual booths that I could remember blasting the speakers.

The Exxxotica Hotties did not feature a sponsorship this time, but MyFreeCams and Chaturbate again dominated the square footage along with the main porn star central sponsor, Bad Dragon.

Adriana Chechik

Abella Danger had the longest lines during the convention followed by Adriana Chechik. Contributing to the line were the amount of time they would spend with each fan averaging around 5-10 minutes. There were a number of girls I met for the first time courtesy of East Coast Talent in its home city.  Kenzie Reeves, who I had met before, delighted her lines with her spin the wheel games and physical flexibility.

Jill Kassidy
Jill Kassidy

As for the after-parties, Mr. Blue Lou Boyle and I spent our nights at the Pink Pony to support several of our friends dancing. It is always shocking to see the things happening at Florida all-nude clubs compared to the more conservative ones in Texas. We had tried to visit a regular nightclub party hosted by Jynx Maze and Jill Kassidy, but we forgot we didn’t fit the profile of guests that Miami clubs want to let in.

For the rest of the photos…

Exxxotica Chicago 2018

Another busy Exxxotica for Chicago. This year the cam companies and their respective branding dominated the show over the traditional porn star. Not only do you see the MyFreeCams, Chaturbate, and Cam4 logos dominate the show floor, the Exxxotica hotties (their house dancers) are now sponsored by Cam4 which led to some confusion on whether I was interacting with a camgirl from the site or one of the paid dancers (it could be both, Jim).

Natasha Grey
Click on Natasha for the Flickr gallery

Camgirls ran around the convention floor interacting with the vendors, fans, and being general fans themselves by meeting the traditional video performers. Security seemed more relaxed than in Denver, and I didn’t observe too much obnoxious behaviour by the attendees despite the crowds.

Jenna HazeJenna Haze and April O’Neil had the longest lines of the convention floor. Jenna sold out her merchandise early on the second day and decided on sightseeing the rest of the weekend. She has stated several times that this is her last year touring before she moves on to the next phase of her career. April had fans geeking over her because of her rare appearances outside of AVN and her genial social media accessibility.

April O'NeilWith respect to after hours, this was the first time I remember Exxxotica hosting its parties away from the host hotel so I didn’t see too much rowdiness while escaping back to my room. The parties weren’t too far away, but my laziness defeated any desire to seek out trouble. The only major interaction I had outside the con was gabbing with Phoenix Marie  over drinks at the airport lounge with her tales of the horny and famous. I was almost relieved that my life was so dull in comparison.Phoenix Marie

For the rest of the photos on Flickr

Exxxotica Denver 2018

Exxotica Denver was a laid back affair this year, partly fueled by the THC-heavy  atmosphere.  Denver is the smallest Exxxotica city in terms of space given the limits of its hotel convention center and also attendance given the relatively smaller surrounding population area. It is also an opportunity to spend time with your favourite porn star or interact with your favourite webcam performer who may become the porn stars of tomorrow.

Jill Kassidy
Click on Jill Kassidy for more photos

For example, I gabbed every day with Jill Kassidy, AVN’s Best New Starlet, learning quite a bit about her background and career aspirations. She was humble, somewhat shy, and downright nice. It’s not that I had preconceptions about her before, but it’s always surprising to learn more about a person beyond what you see on screen.

Holly Hendrix
You can spank Holly Hendrix

Security has become much tighter in terms of protecting the exhibitors and enforcing a conduct code which was a very much noticeable change which may have been due to the fallouts of the allegations against Ron Jeremy and Exxxotica Dallas debacle.

Ambriel Willow Sphinx
Ambriel Willow Sphinx

Some of the enthusiasm around going to a venue with legal marijuana use among the industry people waned, probably since California had also legalised recreational use. The after-parties themselves were mellow affairs, and I think many treated them as pre-gaming to later partying in their hotel rooms.

Anna Claire Clouds
Anna Claire Clouds

Speaking of partying. Thanks and shout-out go to Don Juan DeMarko, who seems to do double duty as a critic writer and a publicist/marketer for whoever he meets and like, for introducing me to Ambriel Willow Sphinx and Anna Claire Clouds. I joked that we’ve run out of porn name combinations at one point, hence the need for three-part stage names.

AVN 2018

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.

August Ames: Never Forget worn by Penny Pax

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.

Stefanie Joy always takes the time to greet me.
Catjira, AVN’s Favorite Camming Cosplayer

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.

Riley Reid: demure
Abella Danger and her glee from receiving a Helga shirt from a fan

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.

Angela White

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.

For the convention photos on Flickr.