Editor's note: This feature contains full and/or partial nudity as well as adult language. For readers 18 and over, please. By browsing the pages in this feature, you are voluntarily choosing to do so, and we are not responsible for your actions. Finally, if this section offends you, tough shit! You shouldn't be reading this fuckin' magazine anyway! -DN
A kid in a candy store at the AVN Convention
Sands Expo Center
Las Vegas, NV
Photos by: K.K.
“CLEAR A PATH, YA PERVERTS!” I snarl, hating to say the words, since I’m such a nice Christian guy…but they need to be said, because the people hogging the aisle do need to clear a path.
This is the last day of the 2005 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Venetian/Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, and it’s mobbed. I’ve paid $45 to get in, it’s one o’clock, and the clock is ticking. I’ve got to be at work at 5, giving me four hours to make this worth my while. I need to A) find seven well-known adult-film actresses to give them advance review copies of my book, B) find a production company that’d dare to produce it as a how-to/documentary, and C) grab as many autographs and swag as possible (yeah, I’m an autograph junkie, so sue me).
This high-tech labyrinth of neon and flesh simultaneously intimidates, dazzles, and awes me…and shows just how far the “Adult” industry has come. This is no longer a shadowy alcove for lechers in dark raincoats, this is big business. No, it’s HUGE business. There are 305 exhibitors here (a 23% increase from last year’s convention), over 8,000 industry professionals and 16,000 fans. The booths and displays are magnificently professional…which makes my heart sink at what I’ll have to pay for a booth at next year’s convention. Still, I’m a kid in a candy shop.
Prototype porn stars are everywhere, posing, flashing, chatting, and signing autographs for free. (Compare this to the $20 per photo I paid at horror conventions!) I thought I was somewhat knowledgeable about new adult performers, now I realize I’m a dinosaur. I’ve never heard of 75% of these ladies, but they’re all being promoted by their studios as the best thing since sliced bread. One in particular that should be a cash star is Britney Rears, a dead-ringer for a certain other Britney, and playing the role to the hilt in a skimpy cheerleader’s outfit (man, I hope that photo comes out all right…)
I find Sydney Steele, praise her for her work in Red, get her autograph and give
her a book. Though she is most gracious and friendly, I find myself embarrassingly tongue-tied. I really want to chat with her, charm her, tell her jokes and perhaps serenade her with my version of Dino Danger’s “How can I say I love you when you’re sitting on my…”, but I’m unable to summon any charisma. No big mystery as to why: she and her co-stars are beautiful, wealthy and powerful, due to an industry that has put women in the driver’s seat. Female performers make thousands per day, while male performers get $500 if they’re paid at all. (So if all you anti-porn crusaders out there really want to end pornography, track down all these women and ask them to work at Wal-Mart. Best of luck).
On to Monica Sweetheart, a toaster-hot babe from the Czech Republic…and she’s one Czech I’d like to ‘bounce’, make no mistake…then Trinity, then Harmony Rose, then I wonder--who comes up with these NAMES? Janine Lindemulder uses her own name and works consistently, so really, what’s in a name? When are we going to come full circle and get to watch Norma Berkowitz do her first D.P.?
The line to meet adult film legend Nina Hartley (and her current stable of stars, including new latin sensation Carmen Luvana), seems to go on for miles. Although she said she’d review my book, Nina uses a Mac and one of my disc copies would be useless to her, so I gravitate instead to my second choice, Stephanie Swift.
While other porn stars cruise on ultra-blonde hair and fake breasts, Stephanie is a petite brunette with a natural body...and a heartbreaking face with piercing eyes. A formal dental assistant, she’s become one of the most sought-after actresses in the industry, due to her professionalism, ability to actually (gasp) speak, and energetic scenes that demonstrate her love of sex.
Unfortunately, during my approach, some cretin lights up a cigarette, and Stephanie goes off. “Oh, MAN, somebody lit a cigarette! I can’t STAND cigarettes!” She rants, looks around, and sprays perfume on herself and me.
“It could be on my coat, Steph, I had one a while ago…” I say.
“No, this is a fresh one…”
Indeed, it’s smoke that made Stephanie quit the club-dancing that most Adult film stars earn the lion’s share of their money from. But she’s doing fine, and even has her own company now. I get a photo and give her a copy of ROCK HER WORLD, and damn, I hope that photo comes out...and she reads the book. But I’ve got to move on. Not that I want to, it’s that Guy #15,999 has sidled up to her booth, and also wants a photo.
It’s these guys that keep the adult industry going and growing…and they’re all on their best behavior, but you wouldn’t want to meet them in a dark alley. The difference between the AVN fans and a street gang…or a Dungeons & Dragons group…is horribly slight. Tattoos, piercings, sleazy t-shirts and obesity are the order of the day. High-tech cameras are clutched in their hands like talismans. You
look at them and realize that pornography is their sex life, because the average American woman won’t give them the time of day.
Or perhaps the average American woman won’t oblige them with…ANAL SEX! Gaaaahhhhh! Who the HELL came up with this, and why is it such a mainstay for the Adult Film Industry? Anal teens, anal grandmothers, anal midgets, et freakin’ cetera…Your humble servant has had 194 girlfriends, and only ONE has initiated anal sex (which I backed the hell out of).
There are basically two reasons behind the adult film community’s obsession with anal sex. One, the fact that most non-‘industry’ girls (i.e., your wife) won’t indulge in it…thereby making it ‘forbidden fruit’, and Two, the fact that most adult film salaries are negotiated per scene, with anal scenes paying the most. Since most starlets realize their careers are temporary, they obviously want to make as much money as possible. Thereby Manuel Ferrara’s ANAL EXPEDITION #4 is born, along with AZZFEST #12, ad nauseum.
For better or worse, the purveyors of anal sex give consumers an easy, obvious choice between porno and adult films. Put on ANAL ADDICTS #16 for your girlfriend’s viewing pleasure, and watch her run for the hills…or you can put on QUEST FOR THE SNOW LEOPARD, and she might end up making the popcorn for you (since it has extremely high production values and little niceties like ‘dialogue’ and a ‘plot’). But since the average porn buyer is a man with his eyes, groin and fast-forward button all inextricably linked, there is only one QUEST FOR THE SNOW LEOPARD while there are 16 (or more) ANAL ADDICTS. This keeps the porn biz right where it is, profitable but scorned by mainstream society.
It also gives me a sinking feeling that my own works—should I choose to produce them—would be artistic successes, but commercial failures. TEMPLES OF ICE could do a beautiful tango down the line between titillation and terror, but porn buyers would still have their fingers on the fast-forward button, growling “Where’s the ANAL?”
Some entrepeneurs I meet have bet all their chips on the most jaded of porn buyers, and leapt headlong into sheer perversity: there is actually a movie called CLOWN PORN, and its promotional postcard does indeed show two clowns getting it on. “Praise God!” I say, having been a clown myself in the past. “At LAST clowns are getting the respect they deserve.” A bit farther down the aisle there’s a poster for PORN STARS FROM MARS, complete with green-skinned starlets, “Ron Jeremy as President Bushwhacker”, and an oriental midget. I suddenly feel like scouring my retinas with a Brillo pad. A few more paces and I’m suddenly in the GAYVN section of the convention, and do a fast one-eighty back out of it. Apparently gay and lesbian porn is bigger than ever, but not big enough to make me jump the fence and work in the field…even though ‘Gay For Pay’ actors are rumored to rake in $75,000 per year.
Lesbian porn continues to be a hot ticket, though, with series like No Man’s Land and Where The Boys Aren’t selling past Volume 20. There’s quite an amusing paradox here: the sight of two toned and tanned women going down on each other continues to be a Holy Grail for most guys, while the sight of two men doing the same thing is a form of visual torture.
The line to meet Jenna Jameson stretches around several corners, and good for her, but I don’t truly understand why. Jenna’s good-looking, and a decent actress. What qualifies her as the “Queen of Adult Films” escapes me. She doesn’t do anal, isn’t an acrobat, and really hasn’t done anything that any other starlet hasn’t done. I give out a few more books and snag autographs from hot new Canadian Christine
Young, hot new Frenchwoman Tiffany Hopkins, and a girl named Kelly Kline, who looks more like a babysitter than a porn star. She’s dressed quite conservatively, is decent-looking but not stunning, and I wonder what she’s doing here. Then I look at her promotional photo and see the caption “Barely 18”.
Ah, the ‘Barely 18’ girls. This is the other hot ticket in porn. ‘Barely Legal’, ‘Breakin’ em in’’, ‘I Dig ‘Em In Pigtails’, etc. No offense, but what is the point? I guess it’s for certain guys to reminisce about their first time, when sex was still mysterious and thrilling, whereas now their wives have the average weight of two ‘Barely 18’ girls combined. Otherwise, this fixation on the very young seems shady to me, bordering on pedophilia. Yes, they have cute faces and prototype bodies, but let’s face it, the average 18-year-old girl who isn’t a porn star probably thinks “G-spot” is a new rapper.
Wishing Kelly the best for her career, I turn and see Ron Jeremy signing autographs. Gaaaaahhhhhhhh! The man is so ugly I think I’d be turned to stone if we made eye contact. I’m not insulting him overmuch, because he gave himself the nickname “Hedgehog”, and he could lose weight, but chooses not to. Despite this, he still gets paid to have sex with beautiful women, and work in both adult and mainstream films. He’s in the catbird seat of the adult industry, where only a few dozen male performers work consistently.
And speaking of working consistently, it’s time to bail out and get to my own day job. Not as glamorous as Ron’s, perhaps, but I’m not sure I’d trade places with him. Sex for pay sounds like a dream job, but I’d get booted out of S.A.G. and ‘mainstream’ America would instantly paint a Scarlet Letter on my back. I might not be a household name like Briana Banks, but I don’t need a bodyguard watching my back every minute, either. No thanks…but no offense, either. I’m no Puritan, but I don’t feel I’ve sinned overmuch by visiting AVN. Regardless of what moralists shriek, there is a documented link between insanity, crime and sexual repression (rather than indulgence); there is also an almost equal ratio of the violence in a culture, to the extent that culture represses its women.
While AVN continues to grow by leaps, bounds and threesomes, most Americans will probably continue to publicly scorn porn, while keeping their tapes of ANAL ADDICTS #16 on a shelf out of sight. AVN—and the adult industry itself—is a fun place to visit, but you might not want to live there.
Thanks K.K. Now, for the moment you've all been waiting for...the photo album. the madness begins here. -DN
© 2005 Crypt Magazine. All Rights Reserved.