Virtual AEE Provides Show Access Without 'Convention Throat'

CYBERSPACE—The internet was made for porn … or so they say, whoever “they” are. With air travel increasingly invasive and expensive, local alternatives just sound better and better.

Now, the industry that brought the world virtual cam encounters with naked men, women and transfolk is putting that technology to work for the good of even more of humankind. Specifically, the 2012 Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) and the professionals and fans “staycationing” at home this year, instead of traveling to Las Vegas to attend the event, taking place Jan. 19-21 at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Those who have been to previous years’ expos know who and what to look for in the schedule of live broadcast events, but seeing how the Hard Rock Hotel works as a host location adds a dash of high-tech Peeping Tom novelty to the annual event.

For $19.99, those dodging the traditional “convention throat” and opting instead for a virtual experience buy an AEE experience that attendees won’t have. No shoe leather need be compromised, no feet need become tired—and viewers can actually hear (most of) what the people holding microphones on stage or on the floor have to say.

And they have plenty to say on a variety of topics, including porn parodies, pole dancing, favorite fucks, sex toys, orgasms on camera, MILFs, amateurs, celebrity sex tapes, kink, Hall of Fame inductees, powerful women in the biz and more.

By “more,” I naturally mean an orgasm contest.

There are 36 hours of live video streaming scheduled, with the footage replaying during off hours; which is convenient for those who prefer to move about the cabin once in a while or can’t always be in a porn convention footage-friendly wifi hotspot. Some segments are broadcast from the exhibit floor, while others take place in AVN’s Virtual Penthouse Suite Studio at the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It’s not the same as walking everywhere on one’s own, but it’s also not getting lost, tripping on the carpet, or getting stuck behind the fan who cannot comprehend that there are other humans trying to see people, get places and fondle things.

Hosts include performers Jessica Drake and Evan Stone, the latter of whom seems to have an agreement with feature production companies to appear in at least half of all titles. And now he’s on the internet. The man truly is everywhere his fans want to be. Joining the luckiest man in porn is Mr. Skin himself, Jim McBride. Action and interviews on the trade show floor and elsewhere have their own hosts, because even Jessica Drake and Evan Stone can’t be everywhere.

Although live footage obviously stops being live once it’s been recorded, its VOD manifestation will exist until March for those who buy a virtual expo ticket. During the actual event, a variety of talented on-site cam cuties are available to torment attendees who are otherwise comfortably ensconced in their home or cube farm offices.

Aforementioned cam cuties include, but are not limited to, Vanilla DeVille, Zoey Holloway, Misty Stone, Kaylani Lei, Dana Dearmond, Tori Black, Sarah Vandella, Brooke Haven and, you know, more.

The sidebar on the right tries to psych online attendees into thinking it might be a Twitter-style two-way communication tool, but is more an information and image update mechanism, featuring tweets from @avnvirtualshow, the official show account, hosts and industry friends. Some live links make it possible to quickly add the accounts to Twitter subscribers looking for more porn pro tweeters.

In addition to the live stream, on demand and cam chat options, the Virtual Adult Entertainment Expo provides a schedule of events and opportunities to connect with some of businesses on the exhibit hall floor.

In addition to banners, the URLs and mini bios of companies including Eldorado, Fleshlight, Evil Angel, Magik View, Vivid, Hot Movies, AEBN and others, each listing includes a chat room for talking business when a representative is available or leaving a message when they’re not.

For those with an interest in the AVN Awards (which are, sadly, not something one can attend virtually yet), an Awards Party Preview will stream live on Saturday from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m. PST, followed by about a 15-minute peek inside of the exclusive AVN party at Body English (presumably, before the place becomes a deafening roar of conversation). The final live Virtual Adult Entertainment Expo broadcast features an appearance from AVN founder Paul Fishbein, who will help “handicap the likely winners of the 2012 AVN Awards,” something that sounds far more violent than will likely be the case.

There’s no question that the Virtual Adult Entertainment Expo is not the same thing as the Meat World Adult Entertainment Expo, but until there are flying cars and teleporters, there’s streaming video of Jessica Drake in a tight, short and sparkly, off-the-shoulder dress talking about Randy Spears’ willingness to emerge from retirement to appear in her educational series. All that and no long lines into the bathroom or the showroom floor.