Dispatch: AVN Adult Entertainment Expo, 1/8-1/11/09 (3/3)
So what's the Adult Entertainment Expo like? Scenester photographer Igor from Driven By Boredom explained that "This is just a huge room filled with booth after booth of sex related things. Mostly porn companies in the front, but towards the back there are booths for hookers, strippers, sex toys and a lot of ugly clothes that only the biggest manor of scum bag would wear. (Discounting the rad kids at the I <3 Vagina booth)... I met a bunch of people and saw a lot of friends." It should be noted that while Igor didn't mention the marketplace on the lower level, his description of the upper level is mainly accurate.
As for first-timer aeenewbie, he admitted that "I'm not going to lie, I pictured the average fan that attended the AEE as a fat 30/40/50 something creepy looking loner. Once I lined up to pick up my tickets on Friday, that stereotype was shattered. There were a wide range of people (20 something guys, old couples, young couples, etc...). It basically looked like a 'normal' crowd to me. There were also people from CES that decided to drop by the AEE. It was a pretty surreal moment to walk up the steps for the first time to see Box Covers and Posters blown up. I can't think of any other industry that allows its performers, media members, and fans to mingle together under one roof... I'm not a person that gets star struck but I must say it was pretty neat to be able to chat with the stars and to have your picture taken with them... I rarely had to wait over 15 minutes to meet a porn star. Several performers and fans told me there was a big drop off in attendance this year. I found it really easy to navigate through the convention and less people made it easier to meet more stars. From this point of view, I can't complain about less people being there... Overall, I had a really great time at the AEE. You don't realize how attractive and tiny the porn stars are [until] you see them in person. With the exception of one person, I had a pleasant experience meeting the stars. If you're kind to them, they will be kind to you in return. Behave yourself and don't touch the porn stars unless you have permission. These are real people and not some blow up doll for you to grope. Also, if you bring a camcorder, don't record 'up skirt/dresses' footage. It's creepy and from what I saw, the porn stars don't like it."
Similarly, LA resident and Flickr user calibre 68 raved that "This year was pretty insane. This was my first year to this show and I kind of knew what to expect since we have the show called Erotica L.A. which I have attended. All I can say is that AEE is much bigger and a bit wilder than the stuff you see in L.A. All the big name stars were there and there was photo opportunities galore. I think I am hooked. Looks like I will make this trek to Sin City next year as well."
And AEE veteran gato stated that "I think these shows are great because it does build up hype for the stars/studios and takes the love for porn out of the shadows. It shows the mainstream that it's ok for couples, females, old people, etc, to be interested in porn. I know some people in the industry want to keep the show trade-only but it's the fans that stir up interest. Take E3 (the video game Expo). For years, that expo was a crazy, loud, madhouse, with tons of fans, extravagant displays, booth babes etc. A couple of years ago, people were complaining that it was too big and loud, and they went to a trade/press-only admission for a couple of years. They found it was dull. So this year they are back to their old format."
NOTE: Photos 23 and 28 are NSFW (topless and bottomless action).