LOS ANGELES—Of the two adult-oriented conventions sharing the Los Angeles Convention Center this past weekend, Adultcon got the smaller room—but that only made the experience all the more intimate for its attendees. Moreover, unlike previous years, Adultcon 2018 billed itself as a "sexual lifestyle expo," perhaps taking a cue from the various Exxxotica expos, which seem to have abandoned the West Coast since they did a show in L.A. several years ago.
So rather than creating a show that was basically porn star booth, porn star booth, porn star booth, porn star booth (etc., etc., etc.), Adultcon invited perhaps the most diverse exhibitor list we've seen in quite a while—though, of course, topped by the ubiquitous MyFreeCams, which had (as usual) the largest booth on the floor.
But where in L.A. are porn fans likely to find exhibitors like the Salvation Army (with big signs reading "Combating Human Trafficking" and "Stop The Traffik" [sic]); the Rescue Plus Freedom Project, where one could apparently adopt the (caged) cat and two rabbits on display at the booth; or Marica Hase's raffle to "Help Marica Save Puppies and Kittens," proceeds of which would go to the Animal Rescue Alliance? Or erotic artist Scrumptious Lass?
"I raise money for abused animals with my posters, T-shirts, videos and exclusive content," said Scrumptious. "I would really appreciate if members of the public would become members and enjoy my fabulous art while helping animals. I have strip videos, one for $20 or three for $40, and posters for sale for $15 each." Those interested can find them all at scrumptiouslass.com.
On a slightly more sombre note, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also had a booth.
"They asked us to come this year, because we're aware that there have been a couple of suicides in the adult industry recently, and we're excited to be here," said the group's Community Outreach Chair for Greater L.A. Ruth Golden. "This isn't a population that we naturally get a chance to encounter in force, and we know it's been a problem and we're glad they recognized it and asked us to come. Our website is AFSP.org."
And then there were the cannabis-oriented purveyors, like Cannabis Geographic (which had lots of maps on display but no one to explain it all), Humboldt Solutions, a grower/distributor; and Canna Intimate, featuring the "Bonnie & Clyde Collection."
"We're introducing a new line of CBD-infused lubricants," explained Canna Intimate spokesperson (and adult star) Silvia Saige. "There's one for the man, one for the woman, and one for the couple, and a very basic lube for anybody because there's no chemicals, no harsh synthetics or anything like that."
And how exactly do those products improve one's sex life? "For the men, it will induce testosterone and blood circulation; for the women, it will have more of a calming effect while also releasing extra pheromones they need, because they're infused with oils, very basic ingredients, good for anybody—and they're available online from RXCannacare.com."
Humboldt Solutions had a medium-size booth near the front of the exhibit hall, and those who stopped by were offered a whiff of their main product.
"Our top-line product is Trinity Gold, so we're often referred to as Trinity Gold," said Humboldt's Christopher Lewandowski (no relation). "We're in east L.A.; that's our distribution center, and we distribute to different dispensaries, legal dispensaries throughout the state. We're in compliance with the Bureau of Cannabis Control," he assured.
Not to be forgotten, there were porn stars, cam performers and nude models there—a lot of them! Of course, we arrived at Adultcon just after it opened for the day—1 p.m.—and it was clearly aimed at an evening crowd, being open till 9 on Friday and Saturday, so several of the booths weren't yet occupied, but going by the names on them, attendees could expect to see Lucious Lopez, Riley Reyes, Vicky LaSabre & Lindsay Banks (at the Cam Girl Takeover booth); Sheridan Love, Norah Nova & Fallon West (at Whootylicious booth); Christy Love (at the ChristyLove.tv booth, where she was billed as "adult actress/webcam model/motivational speaker/life coach"); VR Novels, with big sign featuring Kelli Provocateur; Zoe Knight, Ellie Lane and Luna Del Rey (all sharing one booth); Aspen Edwards (offering "One lap around the con on a leash" for $20—couldn't tell if it would be Aspen or the customer on the leash); Edyn Blair, Ryan Conner, Heavenly Dulce, Astrid Star, Sofie Marie, Honey Gold, Kat Monroe, Alison Rey, Nina Kayy and Rome Major—and of course, there might have been a few more dancing behind the curtain for Deja Vu Showgirls, which one had to have purchased a VIP ticket to attend.
We managed to get in a few questions for some of the stars in-between posing for fan pix and signing autographs.
"I just got my hair back to my natural color because I had it blue for a while and that didn't work out, so I'm back at it," said stunning redhead Edyn Blair, who'll be appearing in Kay Brandt's Unleashed, releasing next month. "I'm here today to meet some old fans and make some new ones, and ironically enough, my movie with Kay Brandt that I did (Adventures With the Baumgartners), I sold out of already, and so I'm also showing off my new male masturbation toy from Pleasure Products today. It's my first time at an expo with it, and there's a lot of interest, which is great. It's really cool; it vibrates, has my voice on it, nice little orgasm on there to be reactive to when they play with it, so it's wonderful. And otherwise, I'm just waiting till the next time I get fucked or fuck somebody." (To which we couldn't help but reply, "Us too!)
"It's 2018; this is my second year in porn now, and I'm just expanding," Kat Monroe told us. "I'm at Adultcon, though I normally go to only the AVNs and Exxxoticas, but I thought I'd give Adultcon a shot this year and so far it's been fabulous. I've been shooting porn; I created my own website this year so now I'm selling my own merchandise. I'm going so far in this industry and I couldn't be happier."
Um ... are you wearing a leash? "Yup, I'm wearing my leash. I am owned, yup. But people can find me on Katbox.org, and that will give you all my social media sites and so on."
One not-so-newbie was Alison Rey, who said she's branching out from her performing roles.
"I just started doing some booking for ATK and FTV, so I'm getting a little more involved on the production side of things but I am still performing," she said. "I just did my first interracial; it's not out yet, but it's for Reality Kings. People can find me on Twitter at AlisonReyxxx."
Finallly, we spoke with adult performer/nude model Zoe Knight, who was proud of her latest achievement: Getting the centerfold of the GlamorGirl issue with Stormy Daniels on its cover.
"I do full nude, I do toys, girl/girl, a lot of fetish, and I do nude cosplay as well; that's a big hit too," she said. "Besides GlamorGirl, I'm hoping to be in Penthouse soon. For those who'd like to see more of me, I am ZoeKnight93 on Twitter, Zoe.Knight_ on Instagram; ZoeNightshade on Tumblr, and I just launched my website, which is GoodKnightZoe.com."
And speaking of live performances, we also spoke with Lili Von Schtupp, a burlesque dancer with Peepshow Menagerie, which does a monthly burlesque night at L.A.'s Fais Do Do club on third Fridays and sometime also on first Fridays as well—and who would apparently give attendees a taste of burlesque on a stage next to the table where she sat.
"I am a burlesque producer, MC, magician and performer as well as an educator," Lili, sporting a bejeweled eyepatch, said. "I've been in burlesque since 2004. I've studied with people like Dixie Evans, Satan's Angel and Tempest Storm, classic burlesque dancers who are still in the community. I now teach the art of burlesque as well and I perform all over the country." Those who'd like to enroll in burlesque lessons can go to BurlesqueClasses.com; they can also find out more about Lili's shows at PeepshowMenagerie.com.
All in all, it was a fun day at Adultcon—made all the more delicious by the fact that as we entered, a group of (mostly) men were standing at the doorway, shouting that if we went in, we would "BURN IN HELL!!!!!!!" Somehow, we don't think that dissuaded anyone, and the cops were soon called and they were gone when we exited.