Exxxotica 2011 is All About the Fans
This past weekend, Exxxotica made its 10th annual visit to the Miami Beach convention center. Formerly the largest adult expo outside of Las Vegas, this year’s convention still filled the better part of the building for the entire weekend, drawing thousands of fans and many of the industry’s biggest names. The show has become a fans’ show, as the focus of Exxxotica is now on meeting stars, seminars and live performances. But as the focus has shifted from business to entertainment, the fan experience has also gotten a lot better.
BIGGER ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER
This year Exxxotica seemed smaller than in years past. There were even fewer protestors outside, presumably because they were all busy preparing for Saturday’s alleged Armageddon. And while plenty of starlets adorned the convention center floor, there were rows of booths that sat unoccupied on the fringes of room. A big part of this is the shrinking of the industry due to the overwhelming amount of free porn available.
“It’s the little guys who really get hurt by all the free stuff,” said Jules Jordan, owner of Jules Jordan video and distributor of the popular “Brazzers” adult content. “It’s almost impossible to break in now.”
But even lacking the little guys, Exxxotica marches on. This year Club Magazine featured a massive signing booth with the likes of Jesse Jane, Jenna Haze, Alexis Texas, Kagney Linn Karter, and pretty much every top name in porn today. This was a welcomed change from some past years where big stars were spread out and appearances staggered over the entire weekend. Again, much beneficial to the fan experience.
PORN CAN BE EDUCATIONAL, TOO
In addition to the fans’ ability to meet their favorite adult stars, Exxxotica offered – as it always does – a slew of interesting seminars for the adult-inclined. This year’s lineup offered attendees the chance to learn about the virtues of an open relationship in “The Ethical Slut,” or hear female porn stars rag on men in “Girl Talk with the Stars.” The standard guide to getting into the porn business was also there, although that is apparently now impossible. As well as a seminar on improving anal sex. It reasons, as those who need to improve their regular sex life probably aren’t the type to go to a porn convention in the first place.
There were plenty of live performances, though the constant hip-hop beat in the background made the convention a little loud and stressful. An all male dance review called “Men of Adonis” appeared as part of Friday’s female-geared lineup. And Miami rap group 2 Live Crew also performed, though without Mayoral candidate Luther Campbell. Sunday featured the finals of the Miss Exxxotica pageant, though the talent portion was a bit disappointing.
PORN: THE SILVER LINING TO THE CONDO CRASH
For their part, the starlets seemed to be excited to be in Miami.
“I shoot down here once a year, and I always look forward to it,” said starlet Alexis Texas. “The laws are a lot looser here, so we can film stuff on the beach and outside. You can’t really do that in LA.”
“I really hope Miami becomes a bigger location for the industry,” said Kagney Linn Karter, also an adult performer. “There’s a lot more you can do here and we always have a lot of fun.”
Interestingly, the local real estate market has also played a part in the popularity of filming in Miami.
“Yeah, with all the houses and condos in foreclosures and everything, we film in all kinds of places here” Texas said. “People need to make money so they’re renting them out.”
So it is nice to see that while the rampant overbuilding and speculating that went on here decimated one part of our local economy, it has fortunately given rise to another.
There were many after parties associated with Exxxotica. Though after years of going to parties “hosted” by porn stars where the “hosts” showed up late – if at all – and sat at some VIP table safely away from fans, we opted to skip those in 2011. Mansion, Cameo, Pangea and Play all boasted “official” after parties, although every porn star we talked to said they pretty much like to party at LIV. Probably because there nobody can tell them from the regular patrons.
So while Exxxotica has mirrored the porn industry and become much more concentrated, the fan experience at the show has actually gotten better. Stars are more accessible. Entertainment is more varied. And there are not as many exhibitors there that one might feel they need to see. Exxotica is one of the most accessible, carefree, fun events that comes to South Florida every year. Because much like the industry itself, Exxxotica doesn’t take itself too seriously and just wants people to have a good time. And as long as the good folks who run it maintain that attitude, they’ll always be welcome in South Florida.
Photos by Carlos Miller
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