AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2016 Diary

If you’re here primarily for the photos of the girls, see our AEE 2016 photodiary below.

Day #1 – Anyone Can Be A Porn Star

adult entertainment expo 2015

Adult Entertainment Expo
Photo by Hew Burney

Day #1 at the 2016 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo:  Throngs of adult film fans, booths manned by cute girls in the skimpiest possible lingerie, a fetish center with the latest in whips, paddles, dog collars, and other scary-looking stuff, the X Burlesque dancers on stage.

I tested a couple of the virtual reality headsets. The first one put me in a room where I was watching three different couples having sex in 3D–one standing up to my right, their genitals a foot from my face, another on a bed about two feet in front of me, and to my left a couple doing it doggy style. The next virtual reality headset put me in a bed where I was on my back having sex with a crazed naked girl in cowgirl position. VR is definitely coming of age.

I didn’t stop to inspect the dildos or lubricants or sex dolls or x-rated dvds today because there was a seminar I wanted to attend called, “Ask a Niche Porn Performer,” about the “rewards of a specialized porn career.”

They could have titled it, “Anyone Can Be a Porn Star.” There was a good crowd for the discussion–maybe fifty people, a real cross section of America, men and women, old, young. The panel on stage consisted of four women with a male moderator. There was Busty Cookie, a black BBW from London who is in the running for an award this year for BBW Performer of the Year. There was Chelsea Poe, a trans woman; Lily Lane, a fetish performer; and Daisy Ducati, who now does Fem Dom porn exclusively.

I’ve always liked countercultures–hippies, punks, scooter tramps, theater people, gamblers, musicians, standup comics. But what I like most about porn people is that they’re so generous and appreciative of their fans. They talk to everyone who stops to talk with them and they’re always willing to pose for photos and take selfies with their fans. Like strippers, the women in porn are among the most liberated women in the world. They’re smart, fiercely independent and they live by their own rules.

Daisy said that before she got into porn, she started out as a “dominant stripper,” which she explained meant she was “not the kind of girl who would sit on your lap and whisper sweet nothings in your ear.” No, she would “tell you to hand over your wallet, take me to the champagne room and leave me alone.”

Lily, the fetish girl, in answer to the question, “What’s the craziest thing you were ever asked to do?” said that she had an African-American man who wanted her to treat him like a slave.

But the question most people in the audience wanted answered was, “How do you become a porn star?”

The answer: Just do it. Don’t wait for someone to make you a star. Just make your own video at home and post it online on one of the many sites that allow amateurs to post their own porn. And use all the social media you can to get yourself out there. A couple websites that help people break into porn were mentioned: Clips4Sale.com and Pervout.com, both of which will take care of the business end of sales, while you simply provide them with your homemade videos. The moderator said that “everyone in this room could have their own porn online this afternoon. There’s nothing stopping you.”

It was a crazy day. I’m heading over to Sapphire (club review / club website), where adult stars Makayla Cox and Shawna Lenee are going to be doing something on stage. Adult film stars are performing at Sapphire all this week.

Day #2: Carnal Comedy

Ron Jeremy at Carnal Comedy AVN Adult Entertainment Expo

Ron Jeremy Turns Out to be A Good Stand-Up Comic

You haven’t lived until you’ve seen legendary porn star Ron Jeremy do standup comedy. At Sapphire (club review / club website) on Thursday night, for the second year in a row, adult film actress Rebecca Bardoux hosted “Carnal Comedy.”

The event featured live performances by Ron Jeremy, Nina Hartley, Kurt Lockwood, Rebecca Love, Evan Stone and Kyle Stone. Some 200 people showed up for the event and it was a scream.

Surprise! Ron Jeremy was really funny. He started out by introducing himself as “living proof that anyone can get laid.” He also did a series of “my dick’s so big” jokes, like:

Ron: “My dick’s so big…”

Audience: “How big is it?”

Ron: “While I’m standing here talking to you, my dick’s out in the parking lot being a speed bump.”

Nina Hartley was also hilarious at describing how “fake” porn is. She even revealed the secret behind how women in pornos squirt. Awwww, you mean those gushing blasts aren’t real?

A few of the performers were about as good at comedy as Dirk Diggler (Boogie Nights) was at singing.  That was funny too.

But the real surprise of the night (for me) was Evan Stone. His act was better and funnier than a lot of pro comics I’ve seen in Vegas comedy clubs. He doesn’t tell a lot of joke jokes that you can repeat. He started out by coming out in a jumpsuit, lighting a cigarette, then explaining that he was an astronaut who smokes.

But most of his act consists of describing exactly what it’s like to shoot a porn scene, acting it out as he goes and giving a real feel for how inane it is to have sex with dozens of people in the room and the camera guy hunching over your shoulder and the sound and lighting guys leaning in between you and the girl so you can’t even see her and you’re supposed to be shooting your load onto her face, wherever that is, but you’re holding onto the cameraman’s legs so you don’t lose your balance . . .

Cool show. I hope Rebecca Bardoux brings it back again next year.

Day #3: Random Remarks of Men in Porn

men-of-pornOne of the seminars I went to at the Expo was titled “Men of Adult,” in which a panel of seven male adult film stars discussed working in the business. The event was held in Vinyl and the room was packed–standing room only. Vinyl is one of Hard Rock’s rock/comedy venues and it has a capacity of 850–so a lot of people were interested in this seminar.

I didn’t catch the names of all the men on the panel and they’re not listed on AVN’s official guide. Those I got were Mark Wood, Mick Blue, Derrick Pierce, Ryan Driller, and Dick Chibbles–all guys who came off as intelligent, with a good sense of humor. At the very end of the discussion, an eighth male star came bounding onto the stage–Evan Stone–whom I had seen doing stand-up comedy (and doing it well) at Sapphire the night before. Most of the panelists had at least 10-15 years in the business as actors.

Their comments were flying so fast that I couldn’t keep up with note-taking, so I audio-recorded the session and transcribed my favorites.  Sorry I can’t credit each individual guy for his comments, but as you’ll see below, the guys are used to it.

I’m a Prop

♦  The girls make the money. Porn is about seeing beautiful girls. Nobody pays to see us. The chicks should make the money.

♦  I know my face isn’t going to show up in half my productions. I’m just there to make the girl look good. I know I’m not going to make as much money as the girl, but I also know there’s a line of 10,000 guys waiting to take my place. The girl is bringing in the money and the sponsors. I’m a prop. I know I’m not the star and I’m okay with that.

The Double Standard

♦  At the end of the day, if I walk out in public and admit I’m a porn star, I’m not getting ostracized and blacklisted and stoned or anything like that. If anything, I’m getting high fives. When I made my first big porn post on my personal Facebook page, nobody shunned me or reprimanded me. But I know a ton of girls that got kicked out of apartments or got blacklisted from jobs because it’s not an acceptable thing for a girl.

Dreams Do Come True

♦  This is basically a childhood dream since I was 14 years old, sitting in my fort in the woods with a nudie magazine and the pages were stuck together from the rain. I saw a pictorial spread with Ron Jeremy and Ginger Lynn and said oh my god, someday I want to be like that. Years later I’m sitting up here talking to you guys. Dreams do come true. How many male performers are there worldwide? Maybe 200 guys? We’re an elite group of human beings who live out the sexual fantasies of seven billion people on the planet. To be part of this is one of the most amazing things I can ever achieve.

♦  My first few years in the industry my fetish was that I was able to have sex with girls and I didn’t have to talk with them. With porn I didn’t have to talk to the girl for three hours. The director did that for me. And then I had sex.  Sixteen years later and I’m still here and very happy about it.

On Condoms in Porn Films

♦  I don’t want to use no damn condom. Hell no! I don’t know anyone that wants to use condoms. As far as STD testing, we have 14-day turnaround tests, so the window’s very short and if you don’t test, you don’t work. The reality is we haven’t had an on-set HIV outbreak since Darren James in 2004.

♦  Many people don’t know that we get tests for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis, trichomoniasis–everything every 14 days. If you’re a regular citizen you won’t get these tests because they’re very expensive. For regular people it’s not necessary. But for our industry, because we have sex without condoms, we have this testing system in place.

♦  People should know that whenever there have been improvements in the testing, the adult business has taken it upon itself to always use the latest and best testing methods. The picture that’s been painted in the press–that we’re a bunch of diseased deviants–is wrong.

♦  The practical reality is that condoms are not made to have sex longer than five minutes. The condoms on the market right now are for regular home sex. But scenes can last 35-45 minutes, sometimes hours. You can’t rely on condoms when you’re having sex for hours. They break.

Re: Viagra on the Set

♦  I think all of us, including myself, will take a little chunk of Viagra when it’s three o’clock in the morning and we’re in the middle of a long work week. But most of us don’t rely on it. It takes away from that emotional electricity that you have with your scene partner, so we try to stay away from it.

♦  The most important thing is that you have a healthy lifestyle. The better your cardio is, the better your heart works, the better your heart works, the better your penis works.

Just Regular Family Guys

♦  I’ve been married to my wife, Daisy Layne, who wasn’t in the industry when we first met, but we’ve been together for over ten years.

♦  I’ve been married 14 years. I’ve been in the business 18 years. It’s definitely a challenge to keep a relationship with this job. Fortunately my wife’s in the industry so she understands and I can talk to her about what’s going on at work. It might be harder if I was with somebody else.

♦  I’m married as well. I think relationships in our industry are not so much different from regular life, if you respect each other and talk to each other and don’t keep any secrets.

♦  I just got married in August to a civilian, not in the industry, but she appreciates what I do and understands it. I get to go home and have a normal life. It’s been good. It’s been great. I love her and it’s awesome.

♦  I don’t wanna get married.

On Monogamy

♦  My wife and I experiment. We’ve been married 14 years . We had a girl from the business living with us for a while, but she didn’t cook, didn’t clean–caused a lot of friction. So now, we’re not monogamous, but we’re not in a polyamorous situation.

♦  My honey and I have been married 15 years and maybe down the road we’re going to start playing, but we’re both in the industry, we both work with other people, and it’s kind of like really really nice to come home and just enjoy each other and be there for each other.

How Do You Become a Porn Star?

♦  Um, oh, you just have to kill one of us and take our place.

♦  I answered a Craig’s List ad in the Gigs section.

♦  I would say stay in school, get a degree, and just watch porn.

♦  That term porn star gets thrown around a lot. People say to me, are you in the business? Yes. So, you’re a porn star? No. Because we fuck on camera does not make us a star. The girls are the stars.

♦  If you start working in this business, always ask the girl in the scene what are you comfortable with and what kinds of things are you not comfortable with. It’s always good to make the girl feel as comfortable as possible.

♦  I don’t like new guys. They cut into my pocket. That’s the truth. When a new guy comes around, I’m not friendly. I’m not here to find friends, not if you’re trying to get my position. Don’t come looking to me for help. I’ll try to break you on the set. I’ll fuck with your dialogue. I’ll get the director to yell at you to stop fucking around.

Day #4:  John Stagliano on His Art

Why I Wanted to Interview John Stagliano

John Stagliano

John Stagliano

To me, porn is a legitimate art form–a genre with specific conventions, content, and technique, but a category of artistic endeavor as valid as the western, thrillers, or film noir.

No doubt part of the reason I feel this way is that I started my own career in porn–not porn films, but porn novels. For a few years in the early 1970s I wrote men’s erotica for Greenleaf Classics under the name Lance Elliott (or Eliott, or Elliot, depending on the editors’ mood that day). My big claim to fame for that period of my writing life is that four of my novels–More than a Father, Reluctant Coed, Her Classified Friends and Daddy’s Little Daughter–are now in the Stanley Fleishman First Amendment research collection in the UCLA library, along with marital instruction manuals and research tomes on rape in the animal world.

For me, writing porn was an exercise in frustration, because the publisher used to edit out all my jokes and character development to add more sex terms willy nilly to give the books “flip strength.” If I wrote, “A blonde walked into the room,” he’d change it to, “A blonde with big tits walked into the room and eyed my package.” One time after editing out all my jokes, they had to return the book to me because it had only half the required word count.

Still, I tried.  And I figured that at the Adult Entertainment Expo I’d meet kindred spirits–countercultural types who got into the gig out of some kind of artistic sensibility that they were trying to express through or despite the conventions of modern adult films.

I got to talk to John Stagliano on this very subject (and others).  Stagliano is the owner of Evil Angel, one of the biggest and most successful adult film production companies.  The first Evil Angel film I ever saw was Stagliano’s Adventures of Buttman, a film that changed the adult film genre forever.

It was far and away the best porn film I’d ever seen and I’d been watching porn since the late 60s.  The Buttman character was an everyman type who wandered around begging women to pull down their panties.  The film was shot from the first person point of view, which basically put you, the viewer, in the position of begging women to show their butts.  It was the most erotic film I had ever seen, and it was funny.

Stagliano went on to produce many more films in the Buttman series, as well as many other innovative adult films.

John Stagliano in His Own Words

I came up with the name “Buttman” in the summer of ’89 when the first Batman movie came out. I wanted to do a buns fetish movie, because that’s my obsession, and I was also obsessed with the idea of doing the film from the first person p.o.v., where I was in the movie as a cameraman. I put these two ideas together and my girlfriend at the time, Brandy Alexandre, said, “Well, why don’t you call yourself Buttman, like Batman?”

And now I am stuck with it and to this day people will say, “Hey, that’s John Stagliano, you know, Buttman!”  I had already done 40 movies before I did my first Buttman movie. People think it looks so amateurish and easy, but even if you just look at the camera work, it’s not amateurish.

I was actually trying to make films that lived up to the standards of what a decent movie would look like, and I had been shooting a lot at the time, contracting out to shoot for other people, all while I was starting Evil Angel. The first eight releases from Evil Angel were normal adult movies. The ninth release was The Adventures of Buttman.

To me, porn is a combination of regular, narrative film making and reality film recording, because the sex act is a live act, with all that uncertainty and tension, while the set-up and the dialogue are like a narrative movie.

All of the Buttman films had stories. In fact, every Buttman scene in the early movies has arguably a more complicated narrative at the beginning of my adventure than the average porn scene of the time. I was spending a lot of time editing the complex intros at the beginning.

A lot of viewers probably don’t want that much story. Fashionistas [editor’s note: This was Stagliano’s Vegas production show–a musical that was staged at the Krave nightclub from 2004 to 2008] had a story that you had to pay attention to and a lot of people probably didn’t want to bother. They just wanted to see a magician or a comedian. That show wasn’t even topless because I got better dancers by making it not topless–much better dancers. And it was a really hard dance show. Topless tends to be done just for the Midwest tourist to see tits.

My first version of Fashionistas was a movie–one of my favorites of my own work, and also the most successful. Some of my other favorites of my own work were my vampire movies–they were fun to produce. With the vampire movies I was trying to do some special effects to show horror and they were really fun to put together. The culture has moved forward in terms of rougher sex, so we were more free to explore rougher stuff.

I’m still experimenting. I shot two girl-girl movies in October that I’ll be releasing in April or May. I shot three single-girl masturbation movies–another obsession.  One of them was called Twerkin’ and Jerkin’. Last year I shot three Buttman Toy Master movies. These are fun to do. But I don’t make much money as a director because of my choices. Most of the money I make is from running Evil Angel, so I have to spend my time on that.

There’s some possibility that I’ll produce another live show in Vegas, but to do it in a way that would be creatively satisfying to me makes it much more difficult. I’m not working to do something that’s just going to be commercial. I visited the Erotic Heritage Museum where Puppetry of the Penis is playing–just a little theater–but that got my mind working on what could possibly fit in there. So I might think about that some more.

But I currently have a dance movie–non-porn–that I’m working on the script for, and I own a dance studio in Los Angeles and the classes are run by a friend of mine. I’ve been taking classes with this gentleman for 30 years. I still take classes. I’m planning on doing some live stuff in there in preparation for the movie, but that project is moving slowly.

[You may also be interested in our AVN Adult Entertainment Expo Diary 2015–The Women and AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2017 Diary – The Toys.]

AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2016 Photodiary

You didn’t think I’d forget the pictures of the girls, did you?

All photos are by Hew Burney.


End-Girl-Opt

One Response to “AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2016 Diary”

  1. Matt

    very sexy and sensual, the ladies r HOT HOT HOT!!! and not to mention beautiful!!!

    Reply

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