Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned Again at Erotica 2009


A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Erotica Los Angeles expo in the Los Angeles Convention Center downtown. Open to the public for a modest entry fee ($35 per day), the sexual marketplace/gawker’s paradise was a Tom’s peep at the adult industry in L.A.—one that reminded me, believe it or not, of the lessons my parents taught me:

1. You Are What You Wear (And What You Don’t)
While the expo has a strict code of decorum prohibiting any actual nudity (plenty of models wore “pasties” and videos on screens censored genitalia), there were still plenty of starlets posing for pictures with fans who were so scantily clad they would have been cold even at the beach. Sexy, at an erotica convention. 

2. A Good Host Goes the Extra Mile
The expo housed a marketplace with hundreds of stalls in the Convention Center’s south hall, but what made the expo manageable was a large stage at the back of the hall where hourly stage shows kept guests entertained. Which leads to… 

3. Acknowledge Your Mistakes With Grace
One of the more interesting panel discussions (there were numerous talks over the three-day event) was given by a trio of porn stars (two female, one male) who shared their favorite and most awkward on-set bloopers, and what they—and we—could learn from them. Very helpful. 

4. Nobody Likes a Sore Loser
The expo was also host to the 4th Annual Fans of Adult Media and Entertainment (F.A.M.E.) Awards. With categories ranging from the Best Star/Starlett, to Dirtiest Girl in Porn, attendees flocked towards the stage to see the presentation and the winners. Congrats to the winners, and—for all the obvious reasons—congrats to those who didn’t win. 

5. Chocolates Always Make a Great Gift
That’s right, chocolates are appreciated even when they’re shaped like his and hers. The third-grader in me had a giggle at the Chocolate Walrus’ erotic chocolate pops and bars, but it was some of the best white chocolate I’ve ever had, and my friends loved it. 

6. What You Give Comes Back Tenfold
The adult industry is not without a sense of charity. Several of the booths in the marketplace were aimed at raising money for various causes. Actress Kyle Reese even opted out of signing autographs this year to help her friend at a charity booth—and found it more fulfilling.

7. It’s Never Polite to Stare
Okay, momma got one wrong. This convention is all about staring: from the menagerie of attendees (my favorite was a heavyset man in a raiders jersey, kilt, knee-high boots who carried a cat o’ nine tails at his hip), to the hundreds of starlets signing autographs and selling products, the adult entertainment industry was on display, kinks and all. It will be again when the Expo returns next year. Hey, you can’t brush up on social mores too often.