DALLAS—While some are rejoicing over the fact that Exxxotica will for the first time visit The Big D, not everyone is Dallas is ready to welcome the adult consumer show with open arms.
A women’s rights group, the Dallas Women’s Foundation, is opposed to the expo and its sponsors, which include online escort services, and is trotting out the same old, tired argument on why adult entertainment is “bad.”
“There is a huge correlation between pornography, sex trade, violence against women, and trafficking,” DWF spokesperson Roslyn Dawson Thompson told local news station WFAA. “How can you not reconcile that, and realize that this is not a good thing for our city to be doing?”
The group is also taking umbrage at the location of the expo: the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, which is named after a founder of the Dallas Women’s Foundation.
The Dallas Morning News weighed in on the “controversy” with an editorial that emphatically states the newspaper’s editorial board does not like the idea of the convention, but notes that it has a right to exist and take place in the big city.
“The sex exposition sends a terrible message about the objectification and exploitation of women, possibly even undermining efforts to combat human trafficking,” the editorial reads. “But there are a lot of terrible messages out there. Distasteful messages don’t empower a government agency to bar an otherwise legal enterprise from a publicly owned building based solely on content.”
Though some groups like Dallas Women’s Foundation have urged Mayor Mike Rawlings—who said he is “deeply concerned” about the convention—to not allow Exxxotica to produce its expo in the city, he is not willing to go that far. We are guessing that’s because it would be illegal, which is apparently what his city attorney told him.
Following the hoopla and headlines in Dallas media, Exxxotica’s founders issued a statement: The Exxxotica Expo, since its inception in 2006, has been an event for adults to have an open and ongoing dialogue about adult topics. We have produced 25 successful events that do just that, and Dallas, Texas, will be no different.
“In the last decade we’ve produced 25 events in 6 cities, all without incident,” said J. Handy, director of Exxxotica. “In every new location we face various misconceptions about what Exxxotica truly is.”
Handy continued, “Sex trafficking is a major concern in society and we are firmly on the side of those fighting it. We’ve worked diligently to make sure there are no unlawful activities at our events.
"The fact is, we are upstanding corporate citizens who do not engage or allow unlawful behavior at our events. Exxxotica, which brings between $5 to $7 million to the local economy, is simply a net-positive for the city of Dallas," Handy added.
We find it amusing that Dallas is uneasy about a three-day convention that, yes, does feature porn performers meeting and greeting fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures, as well as exhibitors, seminars and much more. Why are we amused? Because Dallas is not exactly a prudish city. A quick internet search shows that there are more than 40 strip clubs for men and women in the city. And that’s on top of the more than 30 pages of listings for adult stores we found on Yelp.
So clearly many citizens don't have a problem with sex and should welcome the city's porn stars guests. As for the protestors, perhaps they'd be more accepting if they were coming for one of the monthly gun shows that take place in Dallas.