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Las VegasToday, the first day of the Adult Entertainment Expo, is a "trade only" day open to industry members. That means no random fans swarming the starlets for photos and autographs. Traffic on the floor may have been light, but it seemed to represent every corner of the porn world, from a rookie girl who'd just had her wisdom teeth removed ( "I don't like the idea of meeting so many new people while I'm on painkillers, so I am just not going to take them") to the owner of a chain of video stores in the South who told me she found her G-spot by watching a porn movie. I even spotted Dustin Diamond of Saved By The Bell fame, presumably here to promote his porn tape Screeched.
With so many wacky characters gathered in one place, I've decided to focus on a different segment of this unique metropolis by trailing someone each day for a few hoursa director, a buyer, a star, and a fanto get their perspective on the convention.
"For me, it's really exciting to walk onto the floor and see poster after poster of stuff I've done, trailers for my movies playing on big screens," says DCypher (his nom de porn), a seasoned adult industry pro.. "When people come up to me that I don't know and say they like my movies, that's cool." In the decade he's been in the business, DCypher has worked for nearly every company and held a bevy of positions: gossip columnist, publicist, performer, screenwriter, and director. In August, he signed a contract to direct exclusively for Club Jenna, Jenna Jameson's company, now owned by Playboy.
DCypher told me he's probably been to eight Expos. For him, they are first and foremost about sales and networking: "The whole reason you come is you're trying to get work done and to make things happen. It's not about the girls or the parties or are you doing blow and bangin' chicks." His experience this year has been markedly different. "In the past, it would have been about trying to get to another level," he says. "Well, I've gotten to the level I have always wanted to be at, and I can't imagine being with any other company."
Wonderland, a film he wrote and directed for Metro Interactive, is nominated for seven AVN Awards, but DCypher isn't feeling hopeful. He admits that he felt robbed last year when he didn't win the best screenplay award for his feature Prisoner. He says he has no expectations this time around. "They keep insisting there's no political edge to who wins, but I feel like there is. I don't know how it all operates. I just know that you do the best you can."
After a decade of attendance, can the expo bring any new surprises for him? "I remember one year I just went to the awards and an after party," he recalls with a huge grin. "[Porn star] Nikita Cash was wearing a big fur coat and no pants and asking guys to randomly finger her. I was down for it, but I was married at the time. My wife was there and she was wearing the same coat as Nikita so [my wife] was hating on her all evening. I didn't get any fingering in. I'm not married any more."