Last night were the Xrco Awards at the Ohm Nightclub in Hollywood. These events and conventions are starting to feel similar to extended family holiday gatherings. The dynamics vary, but the guarantee of excitement mixed with alcohol and booming voices are always present. The adult industry is like a family and shows love to most everyone, but yet competition within the industry is encouraged. It is human nature to want to be appreciated for your career. These award shows allow for these magical moments to unravel.
The Xrco Awards are a great memory and experience to have been blessed with!
Exxxotica Denver began on the last day of March(aka my birthday). So on my birthday morning, I jumped on an airplane to Denver from Las Vegas. An adult industry convention is always an adventure. The adult stars and the excitement fill the atmosphere with high energy and once in a lifetime experiences. It is a weekend to shine for many adult entertainers. A weekend to network and monetize their career with a sprinkle of instant gratification. The adult industry Exxxotica conventions happen three times yearly in different locations(Chicago and New Jersy are the other 2017 locations). They are a smaller version of the AEE and AVN week, but they allow for more interaction due to the intimate setting. Exxxotica Denver was the perfect place to actually interact with the stars.
“Great town, amazing weekend and convention!!” ~Dominic DiLorenzo (@WeAre321Music)
The devoted fans had no qualms about dressing up even though the weather was not accommodating. I experienced snow for the first time this winter and it was on April first in Denver(maybe it was Spring). Some of my adult industry friends from Florida had not seen snow in years! These conventions are a great way for us who work in the adult industry to have a well-rounded career and personal life. We get to experience things outside of our everyday norms and are lucky enough to be surrounded with an adult industry community.
Society loves to hate the adult industry. Therefore we must take extra care to be kind and loving of our peers. The adult industry wars against society together in many different ways. There is a level of respect, compassion, empathy, and love that people who work in the adult industry retain. We have the ability to empathize with each other more than we can relate to a civilian(someone who has never been in the adult industry).
“I hope we return to Denver next year! Denver was so welcoming and I met so many new friends! I would love this location to be annual because I want to re-live that weekend all over again! It was one of my favorite Exxxoticas of ALL TIME!” ~Shawna Lenee (@ShawnaLeneeShow)
Meeting new people was a theme of this convention. As an adult industry journalist, I attend many adult industry functions. At Exxxotica Denver I was lucky enough to really get to interact with others who work in the adult industry. There are a lot of adult industry people who I basically stalk at these functions for a career.
My stalking award for Exxxotica Denver goes to Ivan(@IamIvanxxx) co-owner of the Puba network, director, and 2016 AVN Award winner for Best Web Director. Ivan first caught my eye on the red carpet at the AVN nomination party at the Avalon in Hollywood(Nov 2016). I had no clue he was so fancy and talented, but after connecting with him at Exxxotica Denver the research began. Not only is Ivan involved in the adult industry, but he also works in mainstream horror movies. Adult industry films allow him to utilize his creativity while mainstream movies are a tangible creation he can share with his family.
“A labor of love” is how he refers to his career. This alone speaks volumes of his character and work ethic. To be successful in the adult industry one must be liked and treat others fairly. Ivan’s career longevity is not only due to his education, talent, and work ethic, but also his ability to create symbiotic relationships within the adult industry. At the Puba network there are no contracts like at other adult industry studios where a year contract is common place. Ivan stated in a matter of fact tone,”If the girls are happy they stay. Why would we want to keep girls under contract who are not happy?”
Happiness of the actual adult industry workers is rarely openly discussed. Exxxotica Denver was a rare moment when I had the privilege to witness the joy of adult entertainers while surrounded by each other and their fans. There were no awards to foster competition or jealousy at Exxxotica Denver. Therefore, this was the most lighthearted adult convention I have been to yet.
“It was a great crowd I can’t wait till next year to go back and see all the new people who will come.” ~Mike Falk (@Way2Broad)
Everyone needs a sense of community, even adult industry member and adult stars. Exxxotica conventions throughout the year and nation bring us all together to celebrate the lives we live against the grain of society. When your career is what you do for work and not your lifestyle, anything is possible in the adult industry.
While on the flight descending upon Denver a few days prior to the beginning of Exxxotica, I started to think about what to expect. You see, once you’ve experienced the Exxxotica Expo over a handful of times you kind of have an idea. You have your givens and the regulars. Whether it’s the talent, the vendors, the production companies, the fetish toys etc. However, I saw someone that I didn’t expect to see. Someone who had retired six years ago.
I met her for the first time about eight years back at Exxxotica Miami Beach while she was at the height of her popularity. I am talking of course about Jenna Haze. So, as I approached her booth at the Bad Dragon section of the convention center, I wasn’t quite sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me or it was another starlet that happened to resemble her. Once the sea of people cleared & I was able to catch a closer glimpse at the name on her table my suspicions were confirmed. I began to engage her in an indepth conversation that spanned through her entire career. She told me that this is her “farewell tour” as she described it. The final chance to say goodbye to her fans.
There was a certain air of wisdom to her words. She has been through a lot during her time in the industry & you can definitely tell she was more than willing to divulge her knowledge onto others. You know the “Do’s & Don’t’s”, the “pros & cons” the learning curve “ups & downs” & the insight that she wished she had then but cherishes now. On her table she had pictures & DVDs that she was prepared to sign for her loyal fans. The DVDs were most certainly dated. I could tell by the talent on the covers. Some of them were from yesteryear and were also retired. Some would say this collection of assorted DVDs will soon be considered vintage.
There was a nostalgic, slight melancholy vibe to our conversation but I welcomed it. Enthusiasts such as I of the adult industry can really appreciate moments like these. Hopefully the fans in the upcoming cities can see her one last time. I’m sure the real hardcore fans will make the pilgrimage to the venues to say a final goodbye. Thank you Jenna Haze for the memories. You have left your mark and it is a beautiful thing to behold.
Here I sit in my bed at home in Las Vegas writing on my new laptop. My birthday was last Friday and over the weekend was Exxxotica Denver, so it has been busy to say the least. Plus, I recently got a new rescue dog so leaving home for a work trip was extremely more difficult than normal.
In my daily life, I am ordinary and work from home mostly alone and love it. After years in dark bars surrounded by drunken people who are unpredictable, I enjoy being in a controlled environment. Conventions are the part of my career I push myself to go out of my comfort zone and be surrounded by people again. My nerves are apparent, but I doubt people know why I am nervous. It took me till this past weekend to realize going out of my ordinary controlled environment I have created here in Las Vegas causes me social anxiety. I love to travel and go places for fun, but mix in work and having to talk to people and I turn into a bit of a wreck.
After this realization I felt a bit of relief, but I cannot say I have found a solution. Today has been a day of self-care and loving myself for conquering my comfort zone. Starbucks, laser hair removal, chiropractor, quality time with the dogs, and a trip to the medical marijuana dispensary have all been apart of my day of getting back into my ordinary groove. I love my life at home and have finally created a life I do not feel like I need a vacation from.
This weekend was the adult convention Exxxotica in Colorado. It was an intimate gathering of adult stars, webcam models, press, and fans. For a weekend we invaded Denver to create a tangible adult industry community to remind us all why we do what we do.
People bombard me with their questions about fun at these events and it drives me absolutely insane. I am blessed to have the career I have created after retiring from stripping. However, I also believe work when mixed with passion should be fun/enjoyable. Mainstream society has such a skewed view of the adult industry and the work that goes on to keep the adult world available to the general public. It only makes sense that we like to get together and mingle with others who understand our work lives.
Work is work, but if you are fulfilling your purpose it should be fun(no matter the industry).
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” ~Pele