LAS VEGASThis morning, after a mere three hours of sleep, I headed down to the lobby of the Venetian , and it was already buzzing with activity. In addition to the attendees here for the Consumer Electronics Show and the AVN Adult Expo, a large contingent of snowboarders passed me carting their boards through the casino. I spotted several starlets, including a petite African American woman with tiny tight white shorts walking barefoot, a pair of strappy white patent leather shoes swinging at her side. Then, I saw a young man carrying the Torah wrapped in its traditional blue and white cover headed toward the elevators. Just another day in Vegas. Today, the convention was open to fans (Thursday is reserved for industry folk only), and it was packed. At first glance, it looks like any trade show with a few significant exceptions: hardcore sex on television screens, poster-size box covers that read World's Biggest Footjob Gangbang, and ten-foot-tall blowups of nearly naked women. People waited on long lines to meet performers, journalists refilled tape recorders with batteries, and flashbulbs went off at a steady pace all around me. I managed to score a VIP Pass to a reception celebrating a new collaboration between Adam & Eve and Digital Playground on a forthcoming big-budget film called Pirates. The club was decorated with pirate paraphernalia, and the staff was dressed to match the theme. One guy sitting next to me in the press area remarked, "Yeah, I think the pirate fetish is more popular than we might assume. Why do you think Pirates of the Caribbean made so much money?" I pondered the eroticism of seamen as I marveled at how the waiters could hold trays of hors d'oeuvres wearing patches over one eye.