Beating the June Gloom with XBiz in Las Vegas

Now that Easter is over, we look forward to Memorial Day weekend, then the summer, followed by winter’s slow decay, and our inevitable deaths. Luckily, Porn’s dependence on 18-year-old girls allows us to not dwell so long on thoughts of our own mortality.

XBiz’ annual Summer Forum returns to the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino from June 8-10, and this year the company’s consumer wing, XFANZ, will host its first XFanz Expo on June 10 and 11 in and around the Hard Rock’s massive “Rehab” pool.

XFanz bills its inaugural fan show as “the world’s first-ever outdoor erotica event.”

I beg to differ. Has XFanz not heard of Lilith Fair? Those singing fuckdolls strumming through the patchouli reek of their own tribadicly-strained labia create an erotic event that would make even a Stipe take notice.

The XFanz Expo fills a sudden void.

For centuries the porn world’s calendar jump-started with the AEE/AVN Awards in January and was bolstered halfway through the year with the fan-centric Erotica L.A. in June. The critic-driven XRCO Awards (like the Golden Globes if those awards came after the Oscars) are a springtime staple and, lately, XBiz has been hosting its own events in February and in the summer. (It is around August when my colleagues and I look at each other and say, “Do you think there’ll be a/Do you have your room for/ AVN next year?”)

But there will be no Erotica L.A. this year, a further sign of the declining times in porn, and XBiz has stepped in to fill the gap with the consumer show it has doubtless been itching to put on.

“Some may think that it was ‘grand master planned’ to fill Erotica L.A.’s shoes,” says XBiz President Alec Helmy, “but it really wasn’t.”

Indeed, the XFanz Expo seems more fortuitous than anything else. Lately XBiz has been drawing more people to the Hard Rock event, and for the past two years there has been an increased porn star presence with the bikini-clad “Miss XBiz” contest, won by Nikki Jayne in 2008 and Ashley Fires (pictured) last year.

It seems smart to just tack on an extra day (in this case, a Friday) to the non-weekend event; attendees can either stay for a weekend in Vegas or enjoy the lack of traffic back to L.A. or elsewhere.

While the adult Internet community has reason to go to Vegas in June, however, and while the XFanz addition is a calculated risk, the fact remains that Erotica L.A. was canceled due to declining fan attendance and the unwillingness of tentpole exhibitors to pony up the cash for floor space. (I give credit to AVN for pulling out rather than debasing Erotica L.A. to Adultcon standards. Still, I will miss my annual excuse to visit The Pantry.) Will fans, performers, and exhibitors who haven’t been going to Erotica L.A. show up in Vegas instead?

“It’s a unique canvas that we’re painting on here,” says Helmy. “We’ll see how consumers respond to it.”

I’ll be there. I need more porn stars to pose with my copy of “Jaws.”

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Making money at the 2009 XBiz Summer Forum; Ashley Fires does
See also: XBiz Forum, XFanz Expo

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Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist

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