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.

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 2017

Exxxotica came to the Denver area for the first time, and my memory of it is already hazy. Porn stars galore descended near the capital of Colorado with the perk of THC being legal at least statewise.

Adriana Chechik
Adriana Chechik

The best thing about Exxxoticas is how accessible the porn stars with their fans at least in terms of getting to meet them. Unlike AVN Expos where you have long lines and suffocating crowds, you can meet your favourite stars within a wait of about 1-10 minutes. The crowds were not overwhelming, and there was a fair representation of men and women.

Abella Danger
Abella Danger

The show was dominated by the two major webcam companies, MyFreeCams and Chaturbate. Their cam girls were not accessible to the fans as much given their focus on the webcams on their computers and relative inexperience in greeting their fans in person. However, I make it a point to meet them as several may be the porn stars of tomorrow.

Phoenix Marie
Phoenix Marie


The nightlife was more mellow with the best parties being in the middle of the host hotel or the rooms upstairs. Security was tight checking to making sure everyone that did belong at the hotel or had a ticket were let in.

Jenna Haze
Jenna Haze


  • Yes, there was a lot of weed. I didn’t have to find a dispensary to obtain any since people were freely offering and sharing.
  • Meeting pets of the girls are always fun although you wonder if it’s appropriate that they should be in high stimulus environments with blasting music and crowds.
  • Seeing Jenna Haze again was a nice blast from the past. She is planning to do a final dance tour as goodwill for her fans as she transitions into a new career. Given that she was the first porn star I met at my first porn convention, I recognised my own convention mortality.
  • The most popular girls seem to be Adriana Chechik, Abella Danger, and Phoenix Marie.
  • I met Giselle Palmer again since AVN. Her beauty leaves me speechless.

Giselle Palmer with Charlotte Sartre
Giselle Palmer with Charlotte Sartre

For the rest of the photos:

  • Flickr (relatively safe for work)
  • Tumblr (less safe for work)

Exxxotica New Jersey 2014

Exxxotica: NJ

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.

The Entire Gallery on Flickr

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.

Belle Knox Onyx Muse Stoya

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.
  • Phoenix Marie was dressed as a panda on Sunday. A PANDA! What could be better than a panda until  I found out there was a second panda with Jada Stevens‘s booty. TWO PANDAS!

Mick Blue holding Anikka Albrite Phoenix Marie & Jada Stevens - TWO PANDAS

Interview: Phoenix Marie

Courtesy of Naughty AmericaMorbid Thoughts traveled to Las Vegas for the XBiz Summer Forum where he met up with one of the industry’s leading stars, Phoenix Marie.  You might know her from her Twitter where she tweets as @PMarizzle or from her scenes over at Naughty America or Brazzers or the over 180 movies she’s appeared in so far.

Phoenix Marie at the Internet Adult Film Database: http://bit.ly/c9GAPo