AMBER LOVE 13-NOV-2012 First off, I would like to thank Exxxotica and everyone involved for not only holding the convention in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy destroyed several counties and left most of us affected in some way, but also to extend gratitude for all the donations that attendees brought to the Raritan Expo Center for families in need. I wasn’t sure they would even be able to have the convention considering how much of the state was suffering power outages and loss of communication from damaged cellular or cable systems. The next NJ Exxxotica is scheduled for April at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Considering how badly the city was devastated, I’m not sure if everything is staying as scheduled.

***WARNING: LINKS MAY TAKE YOU TO 18+ CONTENT***

I thought for sure, I’d have a difference experience than two years ago because I was approved to have two photographers with me and therefore never leaving me alone for more than a couple minutes. AmberUnmasked Feature Editor Ashley Neuhaus and freelance photographer Philip Ng of Knightmare6 shot stills while I ran video footage and took notes. The show, like all conventions, had good points and bad points even within the particular moments themselves.

STOYA BY KNIGHTMARE6

The one thing I absolutely wanted to see was Stoya’s aerial act which was slated (daily) for a 15-minute slot on the main stage. Her performance is only about three minutes. It’s a miraculously display of super human abilities only seen in outlets like Cirque du Soleil and other carnivale type settings. She could be any superhero/villain. She works her body in ways that comic book artists actually portray their characters though they berated by those of us who say, “the body can’t do that!” Stoya proves us wrong.

Before the show, I was able to read a blog from Stoya’s tumblr that ended up on Jezebel wherein she discusses disturbing behavior of men who downright assault her.

I can actually remember every time a person at a convention or trade show has touched me inappropriately. My first year at the Venus Fair in Berlin there was a man who shoved two of his fingers into my panty-covered vagina. It was really fast, like he was standing there one second and the next I was trying to figure out how the gusset of my underwear had ended up in my vulva. ~Stoya

That’s how her warning starts out. It’s not a warning to women though. It’s a clear warning to men that she won’t take this abuse any longer and she will in fact, cock punch you. I read her report and felt empowered – yes, absolutely, I will be like her and not take shit from anyone anymore. Wow how I was wrong. So.Very.Wrong. (Side note: this phenomenon is investigated in a LiveScience article).

For most of the Saturday I attended, Ashley and I were “invisible” among the crowds. We wore jeans and tank tops, nothing spectacular. Then near the late part of the afternoon, we asked the artists of Transformational Bodypainting at the Liquid Latex vendor if we could be bodypainted. We took our tops off and spent about an hour being transformed into second skin versions of Wonder Woman and Rogue.  Naturally there was a lot of attention. I was surprised because it was Exxxotica. It’s a porn show. There’s porn and strippers EVERYWHERE. Guys snapped pics as if they had never seen a breast before. That didn’t upset me, mind you, I was just really surprised because I figure we wouldn’t look “odd” or “outrageous” in that sea of dildos, thongs and fishnets of all places.

We posed for a few pictures with men. Nothing as much as at a comic con when I dressed as Firestar or Power Girl. Yet, a couple douches spoiled the pot (I’m sure there’s an old wives’ saying in there somewhere). One was a guy that asked nicely for a photo then proceeded to lower the camera and only frame out breasts in the shot. It was just insulting. Really. We have faces. If we had been embarrassed and requested, “Please don’t include my face because I don’t want to be identified,” you can see how that would be different.

The second douche du jour was a guy that approached Ashley in the VIP section. He asked if he could “touch it.” We naturally thought he meant the shiny paint. He stuck out his index finger and in ridiculously slow motion proceeded to try and poke her nipple. Both of us had ample time to physically grab his hand and we didn’t. We froze up so to speak. I sat there watching like an asshole, as Ashley squirmed in her chair trying to back away from this finger coming at her nipple. The guy ignored her obvious squirming and kept redirecting to stay on target. I think she finally uttered an “Uhhhh…” and he only got to poke the meaty part of her right breast.

So that was a story of both of us not being able to follow through with something that got out of our comfort zone and I feel like shit about it. I had vowed to myself that I would be able to keep either of us from being touched inappropriately (as I was two years ago) and I failed miserably.

At least the bodypaint of comic characters did act as conduits for some decent nerdy discussions with a couple of fans. Only three or four had a clue who Rogue or the X-Men even were. One gent was a good sport as we debated how Rogue would in fact be able to overpower Wonder Woman by sapping her powers unless Wonder Woman had a ranged attack of knocking Rogue unconscious with her boomrang tiara.

TORI BLACK

The Q&A panel was only average in my opinion. There nine past and present porn stars on the stage taking questions from the audience. I was glad someone asked the only burning question I had about Ballot Measure B in California which has passed in L.A. county requiring porn stars to wear condoms. They answered as I expected they would: the actors do not want to be told what they can and can’t do with their bodies. They are tested every two or four weeks, depending on the company, for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Therefore, they believe they are cautious enough.

Several other questions were shot down by Nailin’ Palin star Lisa Ann who felt they were douchey or lame questions. Gee, sorry, Lisa Ann, fans wanted to know how difficult it is for porn stars to carry on with personal relationships given their profession. Yeah, so lame. I was actually glad when Tori Black took it upon herself to answer that question after it had been passed over for something else. Once Tori spoke briefly and showed off her new engagement ring, other people on the panel opened up about relationships too. No, they don’t bang like you see in the movies every single night with their partners. In fact, they said on days of shoots, they are not likely to have sex with their partners unless they were fortunate to be working together.

We saw one of the performances of the male stripper troupe Australian Badboys. They were entertaining but not exactly mindboggling. They did four dance moves over and over and over. If they had a choreographer, there would definitely be something worth seeing. Clearly the three sculpted men had talent. They need someone to help them bring that out and make their revue better. A sign they need help: the only part that was interesting was when they took three “civilians” on stage. The three women from the audience did a better job interacting with the men than when the men had professional girls on the stage with them or when they were alone.

SUMMER SIN

The Rigor Mortus Revue acts were quite enjoyable. I’m not into scary gory things so I was afraid there was going to be drippy blood splattered bodies writhing on stage. The dancers are stunning and unique. They performed to a variety of music from harder core to sassy zombie burlesque. Summer Sin, Jesse Spank, and Loretta Vandetta represented their Philly based troupe. It was Summer Sin’s creepy weird one-eyed doll mask that haunts me. When I asked for a photo with her, I asked her to take the mask off because she’s gorgeous and has spunky platinum hair. I didn’t need the creepy crawly feeling when all I wanted a pic with a talented dancer. I also treated myself to my first set of pasties shaped like the STAR TREK: TOS badges from their merch booth.

I loved the exhibits of tricked out cars. I know absolutely nothing about them. I’m not actually interested in bouncing chassis or trunks filled with speakers. I enjoy vintage cars in pristine condition more but cars are cars and they were nice to see.

I would have liked to catch other lectures but the bodypainting took longer than I imagined. Since I had never done it before, I didn’t know how long it was to apply then dry then add another layer. The “50 Shades” trend meant the BDSM area in the back of the hall was steadily busy. I would have liked to ask a question at the panels if the book really is a poor representation of their lifestyle. From what I hear through reviews, it’s not accurate at all and the famed author E.L. James probably has no experience with the S&M subculture. That’s not criticize blanketly. I love murder mysteries and I’m friends with authors. None of them are actual murderers (to the best of my knowledge, Senator) but they do an immense amount of research including talking to people who are experts.

One thing that is in the power of the organizers to upgrade is the VIP section. All it was was a roped off area with a few tables and chairs, two stripper poles, and fountain. There was nothing particularly VIP about it. There also wasn’t any press area in which to recharge devices (in the black hole/no signal building) or conduct interviews out of earshot of the blaring music (usually 2-3 different areas of competing music no less). I did see other film crews with actual mics which are out of my budget so maybe they didn’t have a problem but I didn’t even bother to try once I realized how difficult it was to speak to someone and hear what they were saying.

Ashley and I were interviewed by PornHub.com. All I remember is that the host said she wanted to talk to me because of my gigantic boobs and I said, “they’re real.” She said, “I CAN TELL!” I hope that’s a good thing. We spotted some really awkward implants and one bad boob job where the nipples were three inches too high. I’m not a complete elitist about natural breasts. I think it’s sad when women get implants that are grossly oversized for their body frames and when the breasts look gravity-defying and round. Breasts are not round. They are “roundish.” They have curved sides but they are not circles. This is why I was delighted at the number of performers who had small breasts or flat chests on their athletic bodies.

I also don’t have any information on the New Jersey law regarding adult activity and alcohol. Ashley and I had our flasks of vodka and were sternly told if we took them out again, we’d be removed immediately. I had no idea. Last I knew, as long as there wasn’t “full nudity” that NJ allowed for alcohol to be present and when we got bodypainted, we were repeatedly told to cover our nipples until the paint was on. You can get shitty overpriced beer at comic conventions after all. The stars had their bodyguards. There were tweets about S&M and three-ways. Where the hell is okay for that inside a convention but not booze? I was confused but now I know better.

“NERD GIRL” BY KNIGHTMARE6

I also wasn’t about to venture from NJ to New York City just for an after party Sapphire either. It made no sense. Yes, the stars had limos and buses and there was a reasonably priced bus service for the commoners, but why NYC? Bourbon St. Gentlemen’s Club was one of their exhibitors so why not host the party there? It’s only a few minutes away from the convention center. These are obviously things I am not meant to understand. My lack of status for a chariot to NYC meant that Ashley and I left when the show closed at 10:00 p.m. and were home by 11 and completely sober, very unlike our comic convention work.

My synopsis of the Breaking Into Porn lecture will be posted separately. It was informative and thought-provoking. I suspect a lot of people hoping to launch their own sites left disappointed after hearing of all the bureaucratic.

The highlight video contains Stoya’s full performance from Saturday plus some of the Q&A panel and the Rigor Mortis Revue acts.

Read Ashley’s Recap

3 comments on “NJ EXXXOTICA 2012 recap and review – Part 1 (NSFW)”

  1. Thanks to you and Ashley for reviewing this. These shows have always intrigued us, and now we’re not so sure we’ll keep it on our list. (Did you see many couples among the general public attendees?) I have wondered whether this show was just like a comicon for the adult industry, but it sounds like the community is a bit less interactive.

    Was interaction with actors mainly at Filmmaker booths? I’m guessing there wasn’t anything like the typical autograph lines at a con? (Wouldn’t it be fun to have a little artist alley there, as well! Was there any cool merchandise to be had?)

    • Hi, John

      There were a lot of couples attending together and shopping together. It was pretty nice to see that in relationships – visible signs of communicating needs, etc.

      The interaction with actors was exactly like comic con. They have rows of tables and some had long lines. I think they had different “signing” times so that helped stagger the aisle traffic a bit. Some stars charge just to have their photo taken, even with your own camera. Others might not if you also buy something. Each one has her own stock of products like DVDs, posters, etc. Lexi Belle (a sweetheart) had a free day on Saturday – no charge for pictures at all. Not sure if she did that all days though. The only other possibility I saw for interaction with stars was at the Q&A panel at the main stage. They fielded questions from the audience but Lisa Ann was quite a bitch about them and insulted several of the questions saying they weren’t interesting enough to discuss.

      Merchandise was almost the same as previous years: toys, lingerie, DVDs. The one vendor that I wanted to see but wasn’t there was a corset vendor who I believe I’ve also seen at the Steampunk shows in NJ. Other booths were mostly for membership sites like Chaturbate, MyFreeCams, and the like.

      There actually were artists. I didn’t get cards though. A couple different booths of paintings. They definitely weren’t the same as the one I met two years ago.

  2. Great review of Exxxotica. I was hoping to check it out, but was unable to work it into my schedule. Sounds like there was a real mix of nice people and douche’s. I can’t believe someone would come up to blatantly touch your breasts. Unreal. The body paint is definitely a sexy look, so I’m not that surprised that you both received some looks. I wish I was able to go, but maybe next year.

    Thanks for the review and insight on the event.

    Jim

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