LAS VEGAS—Within seconds of Adam & Eve contract girl Bree Olson cutting the ceremonial ribbon to open the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo 2010, Best New Starlet nominee Nicole Ray had a short line of autograph seekers cued up to her table at the Hustler Video booth.
And so the festivities got underway, with a steady stream of attendees trickling into Hall A at the Sands Expo Center to handle whatever intended business they might on this trade-only day before the floodgates open to the masses on day two. A decidedly positive energy permeated the air, and many expressed optimism for the industry's first summit of the new decade continuing throughout the weekend ahead.
Adult legend Tom Byron, signing at the Evolution Distribution booth (distributor of his Tom Byron Pictures), offered, "It looks good. As far as business is concerned, the whole outlook, as opposed to last year, I think it's a lot better."
Byron said he's looking to branch out into various niches in the coming year, and revealed one particular project he's had in the back of his mind for a while. "I got this idea, I got this title," he expounded. "It's an acorn: One Flew Over the Cuckold's Nest. I want to develop it, I want to nurture it, I want to at least make it as good, if not better than the Milos Forman movie."
Cumback queen Raylene was signing at Jules Jordan Video's giant outpost—her first time back at AEE in eight years.
"It's like cultural shock," she exclaimed. "It's just been such a long time since I've been around anybody who wants to take my picture that I have to get used to it and absorb it again. But this is interesting, I'm enjoying it. I'm sure by tomorrow, it'll be like riding a bike. My face will hurt from all the smiling."
She did note that compared to the last time she'd been here, "It's much smaller. There seems to be less people. My line seems a lot shorter than it was eight years ago. But I was at the Vivid booth, so there's always a line."
Of course, the Vivid booth still reigns supreme as one of the biggest and most prominent of the show, as usual on the very front line of the hall. There, sales maven Howard Levine was caught chatting with Vivid Ed director Tristan Taormino about the immense success in 2009 of a certain installment in her Expert Guide series. An excerpt of their conversation:
Levine: "After the last year of watching all the Vivid Ed stuff, my sex life at home has just absolutely exploded, after 30 years of marriage. And probably my favorite Vivid Ed [title] is Anal Pleasure for Men. My wife just loves it."
Taormino: "I think it's important for more and more straight men to really embrace this, and you're part of this movement of guys who stand up load and proud..."
Levine: "I don't know if 'movement' is really the right word to use ... I've never had so many foreign objects shoved up my ass [than] in the last six months. I'm kind of digging it, as a straight guy. And it doesn't make me gay."
Taormino: "Not at all. I say it in the movie. I get hundreds of emails every day from straight guys who love anal pleasure. Did you know that it's the best selling Vivid Ed video on my site?"
Levine: "It's also the best selling Vivid Ed in distribution."
Taormino: "You know what we're coming out with this year, Howard? The Expert Guide to Advanced Anal Sex."
Levine: "Is that where she actually will tongue my ass? That I love. And that most certainly doesn't make me gay either. But I like that."
Meanwhile, at the neighboring Digital Playground booth, the company's entire stable of contract girls dove straight into the exhausting schedule of nonstop interviews and/or signing shifts intricately mapped out for them down to virtually every minute of the convention.
On the back side of Wicked Pictures' campground, Real Doll had models on display of a few of the newly launched line of Wicked Girl dolls. A booth rep demonstrated for cameras the immense flexibility of an armless jessica drake torso.
Also on the novelty side of things, one exhibitor who seemed to have possibly hit upon an untapped market was RetiredPornStar.com. Wares available at the booth included an array of t-shirts, hats and other items bearing such slogans as "My Wife Is a Retired Porn Star" and "My Boyfriend Is a Retired Porn Star."
Across the landscape of the show floor, everybody—exhibitors and crowd members alike—seemed happy, upbeat. Perhaps Byron summed the mood up best:
"Things are lookin' up, Chaloots!"
Click below for photo galleries from AEE Day 1: