AVN Adult Expo, Day Two

Michelle Maylene signs photos for fans.
photo: Tristan Taormino

I've only been to four or five Adult Entertainment Expos, but it feels like I've been to them all. Once you've seen photos of starlets blown up to sixteen times their actual size, mile-long lines of fans, and every kind of sex on display in 75,000 square feet, the wonder of it all is sort of gone. It was difficult to rouse enthusiasm this year, so I decided to seek out an AEE virgin, hoping that she might show me the event through her wide eyes. When I meet 18 year old Michelle Maylene, she had just finished being primped by a makeup artist. The daughter of a stripper, this half Filipino, half French young lady tells me she's wanted to be in porn since she was fifteen. Less than five feet tall, with bright beautiful eyes, Michelle was introduced to the industry through her boyfriend and has been working for seven months. She estimates she has shot more than fifty movies. I follow her back to her room, where she fusses with her eye shadow ("I wanted it darker, but she didn't do it right") and her hair. Then we head to the convention floor, where her first stop is the Club Jenna booth. She is a contestant in Jenna's American Sex Star, a reality show hosted by Jenna Jameson on Playboy TV and today the four finalists will be announced (the winner gets a contract with Club Jenna). She walks right up to Jenna, compliments her and chats her up before Ms. Jameson's security detail shoos her away (security is so tight in fact, that I am not allowed in the booth at all). Michelle is named one of the four finalists, and thirty minutes of photo ops ensue. From there, she heads to the Sin City booth, where she'll sign autographs for fans. "I never expected that in the first months of my career, I'd be signing at AEE for one of the biggest companies," she tells me. But that's the extent of her awe. When I ask her if she is overwhelmed by all of it, she says she loves the attention. She's got a big smile on her face and within an hour, she has collected a pile of small gifts—pieces of candy, cards, a box wrapped with a bow. My search for a newbie has failed in some ways since nothing seems to faze this down-to-earth, articulate, and remarkably self-possessed teenager. Well, maybe one thing. She does find her work challenging: "Sometimes I am with guys whose dicks are thicker than my wrist. But it's amazing what you can fit in there!"

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