So on Wednesday January 5, 2011 I left my happy hippie town for five days of mega, epic, non-stop glitter, glam, and debauchery at the Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) and AVN Awards show in Las Vegas, NV.
For me, Wednesday was a day of travel, badge getting, and gearing up for Thursday, which marked the official beginning of the four-day convention at the Sands Expo Center (January 6 – 9, 2011). Thursday was reserved for trade/business-related happenings only, but fans were welcome to attend the show Friday through Sunday.
(pictured above: the Las Vegas airport welcomed me!!)
The whole shebang hit an acme point with the 28th annual AVN Awards show, which were held at the Palms’ Pearl Theatre on Saturday evening, and a slew of after parties that went pretty much all night long (how porno!!).
And although the convention lasted through Sunday, I left Vegas the morning after the awards show – it had been a long trip, and I was (and still am) ridiculously tiiired…
…but I know you all are dying of AEE curiosity, so here’s a little Dr. Chauntelle’s AEE Vegas Adventures 2011 teaser for you!! I’m not gonna lie – I did a very poor job with photographic documentation. Major busyness does not lend to amateurish picture taking, but here’re a couple accompanying snaps for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!!
As I said, Wednesday involved getting geared up for Vegas while already in Vegas. I left the ATX early in the morning and was struck by a fit of giggles on the plane – I was clearly the only person on my flight headed for AEE. Everyone else seemed to be headed for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). CES and AEE have overlapped since the dawn of time, which I think alludes to the technological ingenuity (and sexual freakiness) of both “target populations.”
Either way, I eavesdropped on “Check out my sweet headphones with a built in MP3 player!!”(is that good?)-type conversations until I fell asleep. Then, after checking in to Hotel #1, unpacking, and lunch, I headed off to pick up my “Dr. Chauntelle” badge from the trade registry. I did a quick lap of the show floor and was struck by the absence of a Vivid Entertainment booth. Quick perusal of the show guide confirmed that this year they “meant business” and would only be present in the B-to-B (business-to-business) area. Meh! What ever did this mean?
(pictured: some rules of the show game)
Drinks and catching up with old friends occupied the rest of my evening – sleepytime happened relatively early Wednesday night as I had to be ready for action on Thursday!!
The show opens!! There was a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 am, after which trade people flooded the floor.
Now I use the word “flooded” kind of lightly – it was really more of a heavy rain… and in some respects, this makes sense. Trade-only days of any show are always less crowded than trade/fan days; however, this was different. The show seemed significantly smaller than it had in years past. Moreover, along with the aforementioned noticeable absence of Vivid and several other regulars, companies’ displays in general seemed somewhat pared down. And, as the convention progressed to fan days, I noticed a significant lack of promotional freebies and goodies filling their bags (penis pops, anyone??). This observation was echoed by myriad others (trade folks, that is; I’m not sure if fans noticed), and I was left to wonder: “Whatever does this shrinkage imply?” (*gulp*)
But on a bright note, I got to visit with my pal Dave Cummings, who was wearing an awesome DaveCummings.com t-shirt. In exchange for some friendly hugs, he gave me tips on how to fair well in Vegas’ dry winter cold – thanks Dave!!
And, as I already said, I did a poor job of taking pictures, but someone brilliant did catch me in the background here (all those porn chics were getting between me and my public haha!!).*
The highlight of my day, however, was easily a chance encounter with Jincey Lumpkin. She and I chatted for a few moments during a walk from the show floor to the cab line, and she was every bit as awesome as I had expected!! (“who is Jincey Lumpkin?” you ask – find out some about her here)
That evening, I attended a Wicked Pictures/Zero Tolerance/New Sensations bowling (yes, bowling) party. Snacks, an open bar, a chance to catch up with Joanna Angel, a long chit chat with Courtney Cummz, and a super fun bout with Justin “Alektra” Ribeiro dos Santos of JoyBear Pictures rounded out a fantastic Day #1.
On Friday, I saw an accident.
A fan leaned on a display of Real Dolls, which are life-sized and just about as “real” as one could ever want (really), mid-picture snap. The display consisted of four ladies/dolls, each interred in a giant heavy-duty plastic case (coffin). They toppled like dominos and tore down the side of one of the largest booths on the floor – it was simultaneously amazing and horrifying. The responsible party ran away.
Several people noticed the “Dr.” on my badge and asked “heh heh, what are you a doctor of?” When I told them Sociology, many of them ran away, which let me know that I was just as intimidating as a love doll/love doll accident. Others were intrigued (in a creepy way), one man thought I was a sexologist (I’m not), and one woman turned out to also be a PhD scholar sort. She was very nice and told me about her work in anthropology, but that conversation requires its own post.
Free Speech Coalition (FSC) held a meeting for performers on Friday afternoon under the auspices of discussing CalOSHA- and barrier protection-related issues. I was invited to attend, and a handful of key FSC members and leaders were on hand to get feedback from performers. All this would have been awesome… except only two performers actually showed up. It was very disconcerting in many respects, but this too requires its own post.
Friday evening involved more drinks with old friends and a wonderful new pal from Fine Ass Marketing and some serious late-night shenanigans in Hotel #2’s casino bar – plots and plans, girls having drama, boys giving lap dances, and one tired celebrity kept me out way too late!!
By Saturday, AEE was catching up with me.
…but an encounter with Keni Styles (who is even hotter and more charming in real life than he is in his work, if you can believe that) and the sweetest interview with Barrett Blade were worth the amount of Advil necessary to get me there. More on both these amazing men coming soon!!
(pictured: in Hotel #2’s casino trying to pull off the “I’m totally not tired” look after a long day on the floor)
Fans packed the convention hall on Day #3, but every trade person’s mind seemed to be on the awards show. Getting ready for Saturday evening’s red carpet, presentation, and after parties is a big deal. And understandably so – when it finally came time to make my way to the Pearl Theatre, I was faced with a damn impressive (and somewhat intimidating) crowd of red carpet looky loos and press were everywhere. I, however, managed to avoid detection ;)
After making my way into the theatre and finding my seat, the show eventually got underway. I waited with what was admittedly slightly excited apprehension for host Lisa Lampanelli to tear into the crowd during her opening statements (opening statements??). But aside from asserting that there were no Asian guys in porn (to which Keni Styles stood up in good-humored protest while the crowd cheered “Keni Styles, Keni Styles!!”), she was rather mild.
Really, apart from a couple surprise wins (see winners listed here), a somewhat touching homage to John Stagliano (recipient of this year’s Reuben Sturman Award), and a painful musical guest/entertainment audio malfunction, the awards show was just… an awards show. But the after party at Moon did me right ‘til the sun came up (well, almost).
A lovely little “breakfast” braced me for my early (well, at the time it seemed early) flight, and a few hours later my bedraggled ass was back in the ATX.
It was lovely to see you Las Vegas. If you’re reading this, you know everything else that happened that I didn’t mention here – shhhh!! I will see you next January (if not before), so try not to miss me too much ;)
In the meantime, I’ve traded in my heels for UGGS!!
Questions? Comments? Photos??!! Email me!!