February 02, 2016 04:42am
Poking Around AVN 2016
Source: Adult Industry News
by: Rich Moreland
For industry people, the four-day trade show at Vegas' Hard Rock Hotel is a hectic atmosphere that pulls everyone in many directions and avoiding rush and rumble is next to impossible. Yet, in everyone's mind, fan satisfaction always comes first.
Wandering about as my schedule permitted, here is a sampling of the sights and scenes at this year's show.
Fan attendance appeared to be down. Not until Friday and Saturday did the narrow aisles of the Joint, the show's major venue, create the expected traffic jams. However, it was thankfully quieter. The ubiquitous club music was toned down facilitating conversation.
There was a notable absence on the floor: Girlfriends Films. Their central spot near the stage opposite Evil Angel was filled by another all-girl company, Girlsway.
Lines to meet performers were short. I networked easily with Penny Pax, Dani Daniels, and Allie Haze and had the opportunity to chat with fans while I briefly waited. Other girls, Casey Calvert and Yhivi in particular, were fan free when I stopped by. All good because for me face-to-face contact is always preferable to texting.
I spent a few moments with Vanessa Veracruz who was signing at FreeWebcam.com. An exclusive girl/girl performer, the dark-haired Latina explained her new business venture. A performer can't rely on "just shooting scenes," so other forms of income like webcamming should be in every girl's arsenal as an "extra way to make money on the side," she said.
Vanessa believes camming "feeds off a girl's website" and has developed her own crowded-funded site LVLZ.com to help models do this.
Success in porn is built on transitioning from performer to brand, where the money is made, she added. A girl must control, produce, and own her image. Webcamming is an important delivery platform that facilitates the process.
A visit upstairs to the Kink.com sponsored The Lair was next. This section of the show came about a while ago with the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey.
In its first year, there were ongoing live BDSM demonstrations in a crowded space. Now a handful of vendors and one demonstration a distance from the entrance were all I found. The set up was attractive but there wasn't much fan curiosity. I did meet a charming heavily inked couple, Nikki Hearts and Leigh Raven, who were manning a booth marketing BDSM toys.
Exiting the Lair, I talked with San Franciscans Mickey Mod, Siouxsie Q, and Lorelei Lee who were engaging passersby in impromptu BDSM sessions.
Before moving on, a word about porn's latest technology, virtual reality.
Near the stage at the far end of the Joint was a VR company from Montreal, VRSexperience.com.
Magik Jurewicz, the engineer who writes the software, and Vyxen Steel, the female model used in their content, described the product. Vyxen began with porn in LA, retired at twenty-three, and returned to Canada to work in VR.
I tried out a small, portable headset and found the VR experience to be surreal, dream-like, and disconnected from reality, especially when the male body and tatted arm reaching for the model did not resemble mine. But then again, I was raised with the VCR.
Good news is the Canadian technology works on every device, including phones.
Before heading for the Festival, Muse and Artist Halls I was pleasantly hustled by a vivacious Coxx model, Jet Setting Jasmine, who runs her own company by the same name.
SexPert and clinical therapist, Jasmine travels extensively offering fantasy flight parties, fitness programs, and fetish training.
She "helps folks discover their fetishes" and "normalize things that would be taboo in a traditional relationship," Jasmine says. Her client offerings also include lifestyle changes like "diet and health and fitness."
Walking between venues means bumping into people for brief "hellos." Daisy Layne and husband Dick Chibbles stopped for a quick conversation, as did Angie and Colin Rowntree of Sssh.com and Wasteland.com respectively. And I can't forget running into Madeline Blue, nommed for an AVN best actress award.
Later I caught up with Evil Angel's John Stagliano, filmmakers Jacky St. James and Eddie Powell as well as fellow industry journalist, Tod Hunter.
I visited the PAW (Protecting Adult Welfare) booth and met Dr. Bob, author of Sexual Words of Wisdom. Speaking of books, I spent a few minutes with Carrie Royale, author of the Carrie Royale Collection, a product of Novel Erotics. Her work looks particularly interesting as it appears female-oriented in the romance genre.
So, there's my quick travel review. Of course, there was much more not mentioned here, proof again that AVN is the premiere adult trade show.