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March 24, 2019

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Jesus, lawyers and 3 other unexpected sights at the porn convention

Porn Expo Oddities

Leila Navidi

Dee Dee Johnson of Texas poses at the XXX Church booth, a church dedicated to porn addiction recovery, at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

See also: 2012 AVN: It’s time to party with porn stars in Vegas, baby

See also: AVN 101: A primer for those aching to attend

See also: Why porn queens and CES tech geeks have parted ways

Skin, silicone and single men: There’s any number of racy and lascivious sights one expects to encounter at an adult industry trade show. But at the 2012 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo on Thursday, the Hard Rock Hotel convention hall surprised with a few presentations that deviated from the deviant.

From high-tech to holy, here are some of the adult trade expo’s unlikely offerings:

    • Andre Haynes of Las Vegas receives a kiss from Tarryn Wylde of DCW Associates, an investigative services company in Huntington Beach, Calif., at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

      Andre Haynes of Las Vegas receives a kiss from Tarryn Wylde of DCW Associates, an investigative services company in Huntington Beach, Calif., at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

      Private investigators

      Gumshoe David Williams ran a booth for his international investigation firm DCW & Associates, which specializes in research and background checks in the adult entertainment industry. The services for his clientele -- largely nightclub owners and adult filmmakers and distributors -- include age verification for performers and criminal-record investigations for bouncers and dancers.

      “The clubs don’t want to be hiring hookers and drug addicts,” explains the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based investigator who has attended the expo for several years.

      Williams says expos like AEE are key to his business, with about 30 percent to 40 percent of his clientele obtained at the event each year.

      “If we’re not here, they think we’re out of business,” he says.

      The buxom starlet behind his booth, Tarry Wylde, is just one of the girls Williams hires as an undercover contract investigator to infiltrate strip clubs and film shoots for his clients.

      “Beautiful women are great for getting information -- and few people suspect them,” he says.

    • Sapphire Las Vegas strip club dancer Toni Montana, left, promotional model Nichole Olafson, right, and cocktail server Kimberly McCarthy, center, check out 3D porn at the Blue City 3D booth at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

      Sapphire Las Vegas strip club dancer Toni Montana, left, promotional model Nichole Olafson, right, and cocktail server Kimberly McCarthy, center, check out 3D porn at the Blue City 3D booth at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

      3D porn

      CES may have parted ways with AVN, but technological innovations nonetheless abounded at the expo. And with the increasing popularity of 3D, it seems that it was only a matter of time for the eye-popping HD sets to enter the world of adult film.

      “It’s like coffee and doughnuts, really,” says Nick Vigliotti, who reps 3D porn production company Blue City Pictures. The 9-month-old company is the first and only in the industry to film their flicks using 3D high-definition cameras rather than convert 2D films for the new TV sets.

      Vigliotti admits that it was “a bit of damper” when he found out that CES and AVN wouldn’t run concurrently this year but says Blue City’s 3D films have been met with enthusiasm from fans and industry players alike at the expo.

      “The industry has been shying away from 3D, but with prices of sets starting to drop, it’s starting to pick up,” he says. “On top of that, people are really excited about the visual quality of our films.”

    • Bailey Stewart and Anjali Patel promote Sky Combat Ace, a Henderson flight company, at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

      Bailey Stewart and Anjali Patel promote Sky Combat Ace, a Henderson flight company, at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012.

      High-tech security

      Similarly, expo first-timers VikingWorx Inc. has been enjoying healthy interest from AEE attendees. The information-security and technology-services corporation specializes in protecting Web-based businesses from hackers, fraud and information loss.

      Security services manager Ryan Hale explains that while this is the company’s first foray into the adult entertainment industry, more than 100 performers and industry players have expressed interest in VikingWorx’s services over the past two days.

      “I’d say around 40 percent of the people I’ve talked to here have said they’ve experienced some kind of situation where the privacy and information on their Web site has been compromised,” Hale says.

      With piracy rampant in the adult film industry, Hale says branching out his services to porn was a natural -- and lucrative -- choice.

      “There’s definitely a need for us,” he says.

    • Trevor Essmeir, dressed as "The Shocker," does marketing at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

      Trevor Essmeir, dressed as "The Shocker," does marketing at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

      Lawyers

      While lawyers are an obvious necessity in the adult film world, the innocuous, buttoned-up fellows helming the booth of Eric M. Bernstein & Associates probably invited more double takes than the scantily clad girls surrounding them.

      “We handle a lot of First Amendment issues, labor matters, zoning issues for filmmakers and distributors,” says Jay Kopita, the firm’s marketing consultant. “But we also have a lot of fans and amateur filmmakers coming to us for advice.”

      Kopita says that while AVN has notably shrunk in size and attendance over the 12 years the firm has been attending, the expo also has become business-oriented.

      “Because of the economy and the rise of piracy, people in the industry are much more cognizant of what they’re spending,” he says. “They don’t just come here to party anymore.”

      For him, that makes the expo a prime opportunity for networking and client hunting.

    • Dee Dee Johnson of Texas poses at the XXX Church booth, a church dedicated to porn addiction recovery, at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

      Dee Dee Johnson of Texas poses at the XXX Church booth, a church dedicated to porn addiction recovery, at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2012 inside the Hard Rock Hotel on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

      Jesus

      Jesus loves porn stars, or so says the dogma of the XXXChurch, a Christian nonprofit offering recovery services for porn addicts and performers who want out of the industry. Those services include providing finances for those trying to leave the film world an and innovative software, X3 Watch, which keeps tabs on an addict’s online behavior.

      But the Pasadena, Calif.-based group, whose hip, cheeky logo evokes the 1970s retro style of porn’s heyday, isn’t at the expo to protest porn or impress their ideals on attendees.

      “A lot of people laugh it off,” says XXXChurch rep Tara Klusmann. “Many people we talk to don’t realize that porn can be destructive to individuals and to families.”

      “We’re not here to condemn porn -- we’re here to be a resource for those who want it,” Klusmann says.

      Nonetheless, one might think the very pro-porn reps and retailers surrounding them might view the nonprofit as a threat to clientele. Klusmann says that’s just not the case.

      “They’ve been receptive,” she says. “We just want to show love. Jesus’ love. We’re not against anyone -- we’re for the people.”

    Follow Andrea Domanick on Twitter at @AndreaDomanick and fan her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AndreaDomanick.

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