Day 2 of 2024 AVN Show Brings Joy to Many

LAS VEGAS—After a great display of fanfare and a strong showing at the beginning of the event, the second day of the 2024 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) began with sorrow as the industry lost seven-time AVN Award-winner Jesse Jane.

Tabloid outlet TMZ confirmed her passing in the early hours.

Later that day news broke that critically acclaimed fetish performer Masuimi Max also passed away. Max was scheduled to appear at the AVN Expo this year at Mistress Cyan’s The Lair after-party.

Some of the thousands of attendees had a somber tone as the day began. In light of these losses, sex worker's rights groups that have booths on the show floor are offering performers and industry members harm reduction supplies, such as Narcan, fentanyl test strips, condoms, and more.

All of this is for free and with no charge, questions, or judgment from the providers of these safety supplies. 

“Our main thing is handing out harm reduction supplies and networking,” said Summer Hart, a performer who actively works with SWAID Collective.

SWAID, booth 236, is a mutual aid organization specializing in aid and support for sex workers throughout the Las Vegas area and across the entire commercial sex industry. 

Hart, a nominee for this year's Sexiest MILF for the Fan-Voted AVN Awards, explained that the group has made such a significant impact in just a few short days. 

“As much as AEE is a consumer-facing event, there are literally thousands of people in the adult industry that are here,” Hart said. 

She stated that on the first day alone SWAID connected with hundreds of adult industry members, especially performers and content creators. 

“We are always going to be doing more events, more outreach, and raising more awareness,” explained Fxxk Buck, one of Hart’s fellow activists at the SWAID booth and a 2024 GayVN Awards-nominated performer. 

These losses hung over an otherwise uplifting second day at the internationally famous AEE on the The Strip.

Fxxk Buck explained, “I am a Las Vegas local—born and raised—so it is very exciting for me to finally be a part of such a prestigious event. Day 2, I find myself being more excited than Day 1. The vibes are just immaculate and I am ready for the rest.”

This sense of living in the moment and pure gratitude permeated the Thursday show. 

As is the case for any typical AEE, tens of thousands of people—fans, performers, producers, industry professionals, etc.—share in this communal sense of belonging. It feeds the energy for talent working tirelessly to give their followers their best and greatest work each day. 

“The fans are so interactive, the energy is so fun and so good,” lauded Leilani Li while she was signing and greeting adoring fans at the AVN booth.

Li, nominated for Best Trans Newcomer and other awards, shared that her work as a performer is guided by her humility. 

“This makes me feel very, very good and validated,” Li said. “I do what I do because I know that there are people out there who also love what I do. To know that they love it so much to include me in nominations and the fan awards is very honoring. I feel really thankful.”

Gratitude, as mentioned, persisted—as did pride.

Leo Vice, another nominated male talent who was out meeting and greeting fans at the AVN booth, told AVN that he's been able to network with scores of people. 

“I've been meeting all sorts of cool people,” he said. “Some great fans, a lot of great performers.” He said these types of events remind him and others like him that consistent hard work isn't going unrecognized. 

“It's good to know that I'm on the radar and people are paying attention to what I'm doing,” shared Vice. On a similar note, adult content creator Bree Austin is ready to advance her career and break the mold.

Promoting a rapid testing device called Binx, Austin told AVN that a major part of her long-term goals in the industry is to go forth and experience multi-faceted, holistic success by being authentic and down to Earth at events like AEE.

“My ‘civilian’ job outside my adult industry work is that I manage two labs in Arizona, and we have four Binx machines,” Austin said.

Sparing the sales pitch, Austin explained that Binx is a rapid testing device to detect cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea infections within a half hour of inserting a sample. The intent is to reduce testing turnaround and costs for talent.

But what's more for Austin is that she wants to remind critics of porn as they watch on and scoff that there is always more than meets the eye when it comes to porn performers, cam models, independent content creators, and others.

The expo is also a place of friendship, Austin said.

“It's a happy day to see all your friends all in one place,” she said, with a message for those who couldn't attend the expo this year. “Definitely save up to come next year because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Awareness and activism organizations additionally have a strong showing at this year's AVN. One such group is the NGO activism group Decriminalize Sex Work. 

Advocating for legislative reform to boost the legal rights of sex workers throughout the U.S. and the world, Decriminalize Sex Work told AVN that educating not only industry members but the fans is a major victory in normalizing the basic human right of being able to engage in the commercial sex work industry as a legitimate career field and strong money-making venture. 

“We've had a lot of positive response here at our booth,” said Henri June Bynx, community engagement consultant for Decriminalize Sex Work and co-founder of the Ishtar Collective. 

“One of the reasons why we like to come to places like this (AVN) is because activating the consumers of sex work is really important to us,” Bynx said. “We want to make sure people are engaged ethically with the content they’re consuming. and are looking out for the rights of content creators and service providers. It provides a really organic mode of connection and a safe space for people to talk about something you typically wouldn’t discuss over the dinner table.”

For some industry expo attendees, shows like the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo are old hat—and for good reasons. Jules Jordan, the man behind Jules Jordan Video, said AVN continues to be an event unlike any other in the wider adult entertainment industry.

“We are here always doing what we always do being with the top-tier talent,” Jordan explained. “It’s the one place on Earth where you can meet all these wonderful performers. It’s kind of the same booth every year, but the talent is always changing out — it is an exciting and really unique opportunity for fans to meet their favorite stars and for us to get our branding out there.”

Jordan is up for several awards this year, including for Best Directing Portfolio Non-Narrative.

“We always try and put on a good show for the fans, and they appreciate it,” he said, adding that it is the hard work and dedication of his studio’s performers that continue to drive his company.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized for your work,” explains Connie Perignon. “What’s so great about AVN is to be in the same room as your fellow colleagues, performers, and fans.” 

“Shout out to the fans. Shout out to everyone who supports. I am so happy to be here.”

Perignon, nominated by her fans for Most Amazing Ass, also appeared at the booth hosted by the team at the NSFW podcast Plug Talk. Created and hosted by Adam22 and Lena the Plug, Plug Talk is nominated by fans alongside a competitive slate of shows for Favorite Adult Podcast. 

Adam22 continues to share in the theme of gratitude during Day 2 in light of the sobering circumstances that befallen the world of adult entertainment that morning. 

“I can't complain, you know? It's just nice to have the whole squad out here,” Adam22 said, mentioning the camaraderie expos like AEE generate among creators, performers, producers, and production houses. “We got the Airbnb, waking up, and eating breakfast together.”

“You know, it's good—really good vibes.”

He ended his brief remarks by praising the decades-long tradition of AVN and the adult entertainment industry itself. 

“It's kind of funny being here, picturing myself being a part of an ongoing American experiment over the last few decades.”

On that note, the porn industry has really driven history and cultural trends as popular culture has grown accepting of oft-overlooked communities, especially in gay porn. 

“Yesterday was all but a small snippet of what today is,” said CJ Himes, Carnal Media’s Model Team Head. “The looks are incredible, the people are amazing. Sexiness is literally everywhere.” 

Himes explained that this year feels different—more special compared to previous years' AEEs.

“You can see how the different people in the gay industry, specifically, are coming together,” said Himes, segueing to the purpose of their booth on the expo floor. Carnal recently relaunched their signature editorial platform, The Gay Goods.

“The Gay Goods is a lifestyle website that ranges anywhere from gay gaming to politics. We talk about the adult industry, we talk about anything that we think the LGBTQ+ community might find interesting: certain political things that might be happening, as well as who wins Best Ass at the GayVN Awards. We’re all across the board.”

The Gay Goods booth is set up like a podcast operation, featuring Carnal talent interviewing a wide array of personalities in both the gay and straight segments of the adult industry. 

Thursday saw the 2024 GayVN Awards, gay porn’s biggest night, generate a Vegas-style turnout recognizing the best in LGBTQ+ content. 

The winners were revealed in 33 GayVN Awards categories—17 of which were voted by fans. 

Carnal’s very own Cole Blue, Adam Snow, and Noah White took home the GayVN Award for Best Three-Way Sex Scene. 

Another unspoken theme at AEE is continuing to raise the voices and exposure of adult content creators.

Fansly, one of the industry's leading creator platforms, offered industry members and the fans an interactive meet-and-greet experience similar to other booths operated by major brands.

“This is a great opportunity to celebrate our recent win as creator platform of the year,” Fansly Director of Marketing Leah Koons said, alluding to other adult entertainment industry honors recognizing the platform.

Koons continued, “The talent here is always incredible. It’s nice to be given the opportunity to really meet some of the consumers that mainly celebrate creators. We’re good at our jobs.”

“We are just having a good time at AVN and are honored to continue serving the sex work community,” she concluded. 

ANE, the pleasure expo, is also happening in the same place.

The adult novelty flight of the Adult Entertainment Expo has been compared to the annual CES trade show put on by the Consumer Technology Association in Las Vegas.

Unlike CES, ANE caters specifically to sex tech innovators, toy manufacturers, and wellness brands.

The types of products presented at ANE run the gamut from consumer-focused to B2B-focused. But, the greatest innovations featured at the show are honored at the ‘O’ Awards.

The team behind the drinking card game brand Do or Drink is ready to make its mark in the adult novelty segment. 

“There is a lot of volume of people walking through the doors,” said Dan Price, operations manager for Do or Drink. 

“We’ve been non-stop since we got here. A lot of questions, but that is why we came here.”

Kind of the odd one out, Price explained that Do or Drink has a strategic goal to get their card-based drinking games sold in adult novelty stores across the country.

“We make drinking games and adult party games. We have a lot of options now, but our first and original bestseller is ‘Do or Drink,’ a drinking card game,” Price said, referencing the company’s first appearance at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo. “We didn’t know what to expect. It is all new to us. I think we fit in. I think we fit in adult shops—we fit in this scene. Our games are on the edgier side of the party game space, and we are very unique in terms of everything we have.”

AEE isn’t even over yet, folks. The biggest night in porn is still ahead of us: the 2024 AVN Awards will be held on Saturday with a live performance by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. 

The show will be topped off with the crowning of the Grand Reel and dozens of other honors.

Fans can continue to vote for their favorite porn stars and adult creators through today.

Photos by Chris Brody & Michael McGrady