Working a Wank-Fest

Ambition, airbrushing, and water-powered sex toys at porn convention

 LAS VEGAS—When you walk into the 2005 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, you get the idea that the adult companies are engaged in a not-so-subtle pissing contest of my-booth-is-bigger-than-yours proportion. Who's got leather couches and neon signage? Who spent the most cash to erect a mini-mansion? Whose contract girls look the best enlarged to five times their actual size? Players in this business—as in any other whose sales hover in the $10 billion-a-year range—are absolutely competitive. Exhibitors at the event—which started as a section of the Consumer Electronics Show in the mid '80s and became its own entity in 1999—have two goals: to woo distributors, retail buyers, and salespeople and to create a space where fans can meet their favorite stars. These promotional goals merge at the sales level: Get more product in more stores and sell it to more consumers. Titillating stuff, huh?

Except for the occasional starlet flashing her G-stringed ass at a fan's disposable camera and the grunting from a flat screen showing a trailer for Cum Swallowing Whores 2, the annual mecca of the sex business is way more business than sex. Ignore the visual stimuli and you're left with the sales force's quarterly goals, the publicists' slick media kits, and talk of branding—just like any other business trade show. Adult companies (nearly 250 different exhibitors this year) are spending a lot of money to attract and impress, and they are making a lot of money.

Since the silicone sighting alone can be daunting, I thought I'd keep with the program and set some goals. Here are the 10 things I wanted to accomplish:

1. Find the most airbrushed promo photo. Since retouched shots are in abundance here, locating just one pic that's more Photoshop then flesh is a tougher task than you might think. Although some people tried to steer me toward the tranny girls, the ones I saw in person looked pretty damn good next to their printed likenesses. I decided that it had to be Taylor Wane, whose digital enhancements made her head look like it wasn't attached to her body.

2. Observe who gets in the autograph line for Buck Angel (transsexual-man.com), the first female-to-male transsexual porn star. With his naked photo completely unretouched—bold for the self-proclaimed "dude with a pussy"—Buck represented Robert Hill Releasing, which just signed him to an unprecedented 12-picture deal. The majority of fans in attendance were straight men, and so were most of those who got a signed photo from Buck. Many wanted to know what the deal was, and Buck tirelessly explained his gender identity and genitals to each and every one.

3. Nab the best promotional giveaway. Joe Gallant from Black Mirror Productions, the only New York-based porn company, gave me a pink-and-black tank top with a silk screen of Patty Hearst that read, "REVOLUTIONARY SMUT."

4. Identify who has the longest line of fans. This was a no-brainer, since fans waited the longest for giga-star Jenna Jameson, although another double J, Digital Playground's Jesse Jane, came in a close second.

5. Have sex with Teagan Presley. I really gave this one my best shot. I diligently researched whether she likes girls off-camera, and reliable sources confirmed she did. I got one of her directors to introduce us (I doubt she remembers my name), I attended any event I heard she would be at (she wasn't always there), and I consoled her after she lost the Best New Starlet Award. OK, I actually had a five-second conversation with her when I asked to take her picture. She missed our Sunday-morning meeting, a press interview where I hoped to flirt mercilessly, and the last I saw of her was in the casino Sunday night. We were both wearing heather gray hoodies. She was with her boyfriend. I knew then that I didn't have a chance. I know, I sound like Stu the Stalker from The Bachelorette, don't I?

6. Find out what a "feminine hydromassage appliance" is. When I read through the show guide on the plane, the product that stood out was an item described as submersible and promising multiple orgasms. My friend Jamye said, "Oh, yeah, I saw that, I'll take you to that booth," and walked me to a display of the DeeVa Love Jet. It hooks up to the shower or bath faucet and creates a water jet; except for the extra-long magenta plastic cord, it's a glorified shower massager that retails for $40.

7. Find out what a "feminine hydromassage appliance" really is. More than a half-hour later, I passed by a booth displaying a large plastic thing in what looked like a fish tank. As it turns out, this was the feminine hydromassage appliance, actually called a HydroGyne BathSaddle! A plastic, plug-in device meant to be used in a tub full of water, it channels bathwater into a powerful jet for clitoral stimulation. This was beyond using the shower massager to jerk off. It looked like true innovation, but at $169, it was pricey. Plus, I was turned off by the brochure slogan, "the ultimate in feminine feel-good personal care appliances." How about "Ride this horsey till you scream"?

1
 
2
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
New York Concert Tickets
Loading...