Erotica LA: Fun, Fun, Fun

LOS ANGELES - There are reasons why everyone thinks they want to come to Los Angeles. The weather's always beautiful. From the snow-capped mountains to the sunny beaches, everything's just a short freeway ride away. And the natives are open to any and all possibilities when it comes to lifestyle choices. Even the dreaded faux-hawk haircut is embraced with respect and acceptance.

Of course, the truth is a little different. There's racial tension, floods, earthquakes, fires and a great disparity between rich and poor. Charles Manson realized it and hatched some half-assed plan to launch a race war by having his minions commit several gruesome murders. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys knew it and it sent him into a decades-long mental tailspin. Jim Morrison knew it, wrote some hysterically pretentious odes to the City of the Angels, became rich and famous, and then died in a Paris bathtub.

But who cares about all the darkness and negativity when you can hop on the Metro light rail system and shuffle on down to the Los Angeles Convention for the 11th annual Erotica LA show? For a little while, anyway, everything's A-OK.

Described by some as a mini AEE, that label's a little too glib and misses the mark. Because it's a consumer show, and because it's held here in Los Angeles, Erotica LA has its own vibe and energy.

And, of course, the women – even the ones who aren't sex video performers – are all top-flight. Really.

Because the event's geared toward the consumers, the booths reflect this. Instead of the hard-charging, let's-do-business attitude inherent at AEE, Erotica LA is breezy and fun. And the booths are a diverse group.

"Dude! Did you see the Zumanity show yet?" asked one very impressed attendee. "That stuff is off the chain!"

Obviously, he hadn't yet been to the Platinum X corral where the mechanical bull, complete with horned head, was ready to buck.

And what Los Angeles event would be complete without celebrities? Dave Navarro interviewed stars and fans for his Spread Entertainment show at the AVN Racing booth. Jenna Jameson's arrival was greeted by a crush of fans that would have made the Who nervous.

There were tattoo booths, and even an exhibit by a local limousine company. "Man, that's SICK!" said one bewildered ticketholder when he beheld the odd vision of a stretch Corvette.

The day-long event also featured entertainment on the so-called Sensual Stage. First up was an erotic fashion show with The Pink Punks Featuring Flava.

The organizers are onto something by providing these shows. And they deserve a big nod for keeping them short. It allowed things to keep moving.

There was also media coverage. On hand were Fox 11 News, Spanish-language stations Univision and Telemundo, TV Guide Channel and many others. Print media was also out in force with coverage by the LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, LA Daily News, Rolling Stone, and many more.

And what would a consumer show be without porn stars? Fan faves were everywhere. Tera Patrick, who later in the day hosted the Tera Patrick's Mistress Couture Fashion Show, caused a stir with her presence. "Dawg, that girl is da bomb! And I ain't lying," said one buck wild fan. Also spotted were Sunny Lane, jessica drake, Nikki Benz, Joanna Angel, Ashlynn Brooke and countless others.

Scattered on the floor were a number of fun opportunities for fans of adult entertainment. Bang Productions sponsored a free photo booth that gave the floor a bit of an arcade feel. And before you think that anything untoward was taking place in the booth, it was specifically spelled out in the program that "Individuals found to be engaging in or encouraging inappropriate behavior may be removed from the show floor." Smoking was also prohibited.

There were also educational opportunities at every turn. Saturday seminars included the topics Exploring Your Bondage Desires, A Practical Guide to the Art of Burlesque and Oral Sex, A Discussion of Pleasure and Technique.

The evening climaxed with the 2nd Annual F.A.M.E. Awards. Held on the Sensual Stage, the awards ceremony was a huge hit with the crowd - as was the entire show.

Heard on the convention floor as things wound down: "This was a like a circus, a county fair, a trip to Magic Mountain and a strip club all wrapped up into one!" With that, the satisfied consumer straightened his faux-hawk and wandered happily off into the Los Angeles night.