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.