Hello, my darlings! I am home from my travels and I have so much to share with you! Alas, I must save most of my sharing for articles that I owe to a few websites and eventually the book I’m writing, because they are all due way sooner than is appropriate and I have to be writing them. So here is a fun visual wrap-up of my time in Las Vegas at the Adult Entertainment Expo and Adult Novelty Expo in conjunction with the 2016 AVN Awards!
FYI: I did not take nearly enough photos or have nearly enough taken by my photographer (AKA my partner, who I cleverly sneak into events with me as my media guy–smart). I talked to and hung out with so many awesome people, and it’s silly how few photos exist of the coolness. (Also, you’ll be able to tell which photos are my partner’s because they don’t suck.)
But! That makes narrowing down what to tell you about all the easier! Hooray!
First of all, the thing you need to know about AVN this year is: Camming. It’s huge. I’d say at least fifty percent of the booth space on the show floors was taken up by webcamming booths. Having not been to the show for four years, I had an inkling that webcams would be a bigger player this time around, but I wasn’t nearly prepared for the camming presence at the show. It makes sense–original content is getting harder to turn a profit on as piracy continues with the ongoing condonement of the tube sites, so more money is being made in private cam shows that are much more difficult to pirate, and which offer greater interactivity.
Interactivity is big right now, too. Sex toys and camming are both getting smarter, much to the delight of the adult industry. Check out this new tech (VIDEO IS VERY VERY NSFW) from Flirt4Free and Kiiroo and Fleshlight that lets you have real-time sex with a cam model via an interactive vibrator and sleeve. I tested this stuff out (sorry no photos) and it is intensely cool.
The other thing you need to know about AVN this year is virtual reality. Remember like twenty years ago, and then again ten years ago, when everybody was like, “Oh, virtual reality is the next big thing?” And then, both times, it just… wasn’t? Well this time I think it really is, friends. And in a not-entirely-surprising twist, the adult industry is pioneering the crap out of it. Porn has always historically been the leader in tech, but that old truism felt slightly less true in the past decade when the internet tore through it just as effectively–if not more so–as every other entertainment industry. But based on what I saw this year, VR is very much a reality that is being made easily available to anyone with a smart phone, and webcamming companies are all over it. Google is selling cardboard VR headsets for like $25, and your phone can do the rest of the work. Keep your eyes open for AliceX next month, darlings–your webcam experience will change forever.
Ok so all that talk about internet piracy ripping apart the porn industry and the tube sites sort of taking a dump all over it? Yeah, that’s real. The short version, in case you’re unaware, is that there’s this giant monopoly in the adult industry called MindGeek (formerly Manwin) that owns most of the business right now: Brazzers, Digital Playground, Reality Kings, Mofo.com, and so on. MindGeek also owns PornHub and most of the other big tube sites on which pirated clips of copyrighted pornography are put up and offered to the world for free, which means that the people who made that pornography don’t get paid, which means that everybody involved in production makes less money. Historically, they manage this seeming conflict of interest by actively promoting the piracy of material by companies they don’t own, then when that company starts to flag, buying it and taking over. Needless to say, this has made MindGeek sort of Enemy #1 in the industry for those who are being hurt by their business model. Lots of companies have joined the Dark Side rather than fight it and are finding peace with their new overlords, but still… when I walked in to the convention and saw a massive PornHub booth, surrounded by nearly identical booths repping its subsidiary companies, all side by side with no personalities of their own, I thought, “…REALLY?” I wanted to go up to somebody in charge with my camera and microphone and be all, “How do you live with yourself?” But there were so many people mobbing the girls signing that I couldn’t see around the lines well enough to find the person in charge. So I just sulked and took this photo.
ANYWAY. More fun stuff! You guys. Interviewed jessica drake OMG!
& Casey Calvert!
& Abby Raine!
& Moe Johnson!
& Tim Von Swine & Ryan Driller & Jeanne Silver & a bunch of others that there are sadly no photos of (or no decent photos of)! But hopefully I will soon have some articles and a book to tell you all about those interviews!
Also at AVN this year was the obligatory Awesome Creepy Stuff that runs rampant at these events. Behold!
Speaking of awkward, uncomfortable stuff… sorry to kill your buzz, but… James Deen was there. I am not here to pass judgment or tell anyone what they should or should not do. He was nominated for a bunch of awards (and won two), so it made sense for him to be there, I guess, in a way. But I’ll tell you that wherever he went the whole weekend there seemed to be a trail of icy silence in his wake. It was super uncomfortable. I didn’t take any pictures. I just thought you’d like to know. Ali Drucker from Maxim shared my “this is weird” sentiment.
And, since we’re already on unpleasantness, over the entire event hung the very sad acknowledgment of the passing of David Bowie. The AVNs are held at the Hard Rock Hotel, which of course is the rock and roll center of Vegas, so Bowie was sort of everywhere…
…including on the red carpet!
I was still recovering from my horrible sickness I got in L.A., which hit me the day of the XBIZ awards. And then, in Vegas, my partner came down with a different horrible sickness, on the day of the AVN awards. And then on the same day, my earlier horrible sickness came back to get me once again. So we missed not one but two red carpets in one single trip! No awards ceremonies for us.
Ah well, you can’t have it all. We did lots of other cool things!
More later, my dolls! I’m off to write for other people now!