I wasn’t sure how I’d begin this article. Admittedly at first I intended for it to be a scathing condemnation of what most would assume to be the greatest celebration imaginable. I was going to say how when it was held in Miami it was made to sound like a showcase of debauchery, the very likes of which few of us have ever truly witnessed. I even wrote the introduction to this piece in my head while I milled around the NJ Convention Center highlighting the dashed promise of what was supposed to be one of the most festive weekends of the summer. I thought, perhaps it’s because I lacked the proverbial clout of some of the other attendees, maybe it appeared to be such a mess because the EXXXOTICA brain trust was left scrambling for a venue after being ousted by the Secaucus Gestapo. But in the end all I could think was what was, and what could have been as EXXXOTICA 2008 came to a close for me, perhaps posing as many questions as it answered.
I began my journey the night before. Being the professional that I am and wanting to get into the proper mood for EXXXOTICA I spent the previous evening at my local strip club. After spending my fair share of dollar bills I wrapped up the evening at some dive bar drinking cheap beer into the wee hours of the morning until I was told forcefully by the bartender to “go the fuck home”. EXXXOTICA wasn’t exactly around the corner for me so I figured I’d get an early start on the day, early in this case being noon. Exhausted from the night before, I loaded up my car, and went to meet my compatriots, ironically in the parking lot of the very same bar I’d spent the prior evening, assuming I’d probably end up there again. After it became blatantly obvious that the missing member of our trio had fallen victim to yet another 5 o’clock night we departed. After traveling the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Interstate Highway System and a couple of illegal u-turns later we were there. Upon arrival the convention seemed to be teeming with potential. In addition to porn stars being led from limousines by gentlemen who seemed all too happy to rip your spleen from your abdominal cavity the “normal” women in attendance were dressed as though they themselves had an audition for one of the many porn companies represented at the convention. After some squabbling with the help over missing passes I was in.
Again, being the professional that I am I made a full lap around the convention stopping to appreciate what each booth had to offer. After establishing in my mind which booths were worthy of another look later in the day (one gentlemen was having his teeth whitened?) I took in a couple stage shows. The first involved the fine women of Burning Angel torturing a lowly fan, who must have had balls of steel or none at all for that matter, for “America’s most dangerous game show” Strip for Pain subjecting him to kicks and punches to the groin in addition to the forced deep-throating of a faux-phallus, that easily rivaled Jack Napier, while wearing lipstick provided by an audience member. After viewing this spectacle of masochism and sadism it was time for another lap around the convention floor. It may seem hard to believe but after you’ve seen everything once, it isn’t nearly as much fun the second time around. Still we made do. After traveling to a local gas station, which, for the record, was hardly local for some much needed provisions we circled once more to get a look at Gianna’s tits, which were magnificent by the way, before taking in Ms. EXXXOTICA ’08.
Now for a gathering that did not allow nudity or booze (which I’ll get to later) this would prove to be one of the few bright spots on the dark Jersey horizon. After spending the previous evening at a strip club where only one dancer was fully nude (It’s BYO, so the girl’s have the option) we were in need of something more than just pasties and short shorts and these girls did not disappoint. While there was a strict edict against nudity, the women of Ms. EXXXOTICA pushed that rule to the very brink of obedience. Each took turns parading around the stage clothed in barely enough fabric to assemble an eye patch. While they may have been covered, their outfits left little to the imagination, clearly outlining their nether regions for all those in the audience to see. The situation only seemed to escalate as each girl tried to outdo the other, flexing and bending before the judges (although one girl shook the judge’s hands cause here at EXXXOTICA we’re all about class) and in a couple instances actually grinding on their laps. The competition culminated in one contestant actually losing control of her g-string as she raised her leg, causing the narrow piece of fabric between her spray-on-tan colored legs to shift exposing what everybody had gathered hoping to see. While the winner that was crowned was hardly deserving (I had her no higher than fourth), soliciting cries from the audience of the competition being fixed, the competition did prove to be the highlight of the evening’s affairs and allowed for me to at least partially justify the harrowing trek I’d made to take in what was supposed to be the splendor of EXXXOTICA ’08.
Now if you thought that a porn convention was boring the second time around (and you might not of, but it is) imagine how desperate you are the fifth or sixth. So, with a heavy heart we returned once more to take advantage of a photo-op with Gianna before vanishing into the night in search of a bar to drown our collective disappointment. On the way home I couldn’t help but think, had I expected too much? Had they provided too little? Where was the party, the debauchery and the insanity that EXXXOTICA seemed to embody? Should we have done acid before partaking? Is there any event that Ron Jeremy will not attend?
So now, after spending days on end nursing a debilitating illness I can only assume I contracted as part of the aftershock of a long weary weekend where I displayed the type of dedication it takes to be a great writer, sacrificing life and limb to get the story at whatever cost necessary, what insight have I gained? What life lesson might I impart on those of you too feeble to travel such great distances in the name of journalistic integrity? How do I feel I’ve changed, both as a human and as a man in the wake of what most would tremble and shake at the very thought of? Eh, I guess it was alright. I’d probably do it again but I’m still glad I didn’t have to pay for it. And though I did not have a V.I.P. pass, I’m told there wasn’t a bar in the lounge anyway, so really what was the fucking point?
Not that anybody asked but in the unlikely event they ask me to organize and orchestrate EXXXOTICA ’09 I do have a couple ideas that I think might make it a better time. First things first, the lack of booze is a serious concern. The guy that came down with me, he’s one of those friends you don’t really like that much but he’s always down for a night of drinking and stupidity so you give them a call because it’s better than drinking alone and you know that if you’re by yourself all of a sudden you’re no longer a social drinker and might be morphing into a more dependant state, said that he figured there wouldn’t be alcohol because they don’t want people getting all liquored up and manhandling the porn stars. But I ask you, what was security for then? Was there word of a Taliban strike on EXXXOTICA? Of all the places to provide alcohol, why was this not given consideration. I’ve been to tattoo conventions where they had a fucking bar and you’re not even supposed to drink while getting tattooed. So am I alone when I wonder when was it declared unhealthy to watch girls dance around half-naked while drunk? I mean that’s how I spend a majority of my weekends. Fuck, it’s how I spend most of my weeknights too. They don’t ban alcohol from strip clubs just because people might grope the dancers. And do you know why? Because it would suck, that’s why. Because the only thing that makes the fact that you’re not going to go home and bend one of those dancers over and pound them into a sex-coma seem okay is that half bottle of Jack Daniels that’s sitting in your stomach daring you to wonder if maybe, just maybe, you were to be extra nice and throw an extra Washington her way whether or not that snaggletoothed stripper with enough stretch marks to have birthed a dozen children might just take you home and ride you into submission. So why in God’s name would there be no bar at a porn convention. Porn and booze go together like, oh I don’t know, Jesus and loincloths. Christ, aren’t drunken step-fathers with boundary issues the entire reason most of these girls are in porn to begin with? No? Well perhaps not, but it still wasn’t appreciated by those of us, and we were in the majority, who would have appreciated a fine glass of merlot as we trolled through the porn booths stockpiling our wares.
And I’ll tell you the other problem I had with it and I’ve been alluding to it the whole time…pasties. Are you really going to sit there with a straight face and tell me that you’re going to have a porn convention and no nudity. You’re going to have a TV screen with some girl getting fucked in the ass, but as far as flesh goes, there isn’t going to be any. Isn’t that against the law, or at least a commandment? I mean I sort of understand. I know you have this rule where you can’t have alcohol and nudity at the same time, but why then would you decide not to have either. I’ll tell you what if I was running shit, if you were paying hard-earned money to attend a porn convention, I don’t care where I would need to relocate to, you would get to see some naked women. I just think that’d be a part of my patriotic duty as an EXXXOTICA organizer. There’s just no way you’re going to pay $35 to attend a porn convention, let me repeat that a PORN convention, and not see some ass and titties. It’s just not right. It’s just not American.
Now, with all that being said what’s my final conclusion? (Deep exhale) I don’t know, I guess it was pretty cool. It just could have been so much cooler. Let me tell you, that shit had such potential. All those ridiculously hot, scantily-clad women assembled under one roof and things didn’t get out of hand just one time. Again, it just doesn’t add up. I guess maybe if we’d been drunk.
So, what about electrical wire you say? Well, that’s just another story altogether.
Son of a bitch, every time I talk a lot of shit about something, somebody has to come with the straight facts and ruin everything. So, while giving this little ditty a final look through I got a phone call from none other than Victory Tradeshow Management, the fine folks who put on EXXXOTICA. So here it is. The cold-hard facts and the update that will make all that poetic shit I jut spewed out, pretty much, for naught. Now just so you know, I had emailed them asking for an interview, it wasn’t as though they just randomly called, we’re not pen pals or buddies or anything like that, but either way here’s what Mr. Daniel Adams, Spokesperson for Victory Management had to say. According to Mr. Adams, the Meadowlands, where EXXXOTICA was supposed to have taken place, was rather assuring of EXXXOTICA’s ability to provide alcohol. However when a retired police chief found out about the naughty plans for the Meadowlands, he contacted the Mayor of Secaucus and together a plan was formed to stop EXXXOTICA from being held there. Using what Mr. Adams referred to as “moral grandstanding” they dug deep for excuses (like the Meadowlands proximity to a daycare) to make EXXXOTICA lamer than it would have been otherwise. So with a week to go, the organizers scrambled to look for another venue. The week of EXXXOTICA they found the NJ Convention Center in Edison, New Jersey and began moving everything with just three days to go. Through careful and quick planning that included redoing floor plans and everything else considering that the Convention Center was smaller than the Meadowlands and required an alternate scheme and after TheFloatingWorld.org waived a non-compete they held for the venue (probably the real heroes in all this) EXXXOTICA was once more on. However PG it might now have been.
Alright, alright so maybe it wasn’t entirely the fault of the organizers, perhaps they wanted for it to be a good time but failed due to political and legal bullshit. As far as I’m concerned there’s enough blame to go around. There must have been some way to make it a better time. If I were more imaginative I’d probably have some ideas, sadly I’m not. So in conclusion, (and I’m actually going to conclude) all I really have to say is fuck you Secaucus, nobody ever liked you anyway and to that old cop who just had to get involved, why don’t you fucking hurry up and move to Florida to await your impending death, who the hell appointed you official moral authority of Northern New Jersey. You’re kind of like that kid at the party that has to cock-block everybody just because he can’t get laid. I fucking hate those people. So hold your head high sir, you’ve prevented some people from having fun, at least for a week. I hope that’s not all you have to hang your hat on. It’d be a pretty sad thing. I guess it’s pretty sad either way.