by Curtis Isom, Founder / Editor-In-Chief
Moving an established event from one venue to another is like rolling dice.
When The Castle (formerly Excalibur) in Chicago was closed and put up for sale, Larry Goone, owner of SEXCON, had to find another place to hold his yearly one-night industry party. And after being at the Castle for seven years, finding the right venue was important for SEXCON to thrive and continue. Some people said there wasn’t going to be a 2015 SEXCON to which I replied, “Until Larry Goone tells me otherwise, SEXCON will happen.” So when I heard SEXCON was going to be at The House of Music Entertainment (H.O.M.E) Bar in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, I was very interested in seeing how this years event was going to play out.
And Larry Goone didn’t disappoint me.
Now there are pros and cons to where SEXCON was and where it’s new home is. At the Castle, which is large and multi-leveled, you could have a very large crowd and large number of vendors. The problem is that with so much going on, I could never keep track of what was happening when and thereby missed getting shots of some of the activities. At H.O.M.E., the space is smaller, two major rooms, which limits the crowd size and number of vendors, but allows more coverage and getting shots of the activities. It also creates a more intimate atmosphere for SEXCON which I think will benefit it much more being at H.O.M.E. than previously at the Castle. Another nice feature of H.O.M.E. is the outdoor patio which allowed you to go outside to smoke of just relax and take in some fresh air. No worrying about getting hit by the street traffic.
Even with a smaller venue the types of vendors stayed varied and you could buy just anything from tattoos, artwork, vaporizers, and sex toys. If you wanted, you could even get your body painted. Two of Chicago’s biggest clubs, Allure and Heavenly Bodies, were represented. Of course there were plenty of women including Natalia & Natasha Starr, Naomi Knight, Jaded Dawn, print model Nikki Fritz, ladies from Stripper Porn Stars, and the entertainers from thestripmall.com including Ruby Ryder. The main stage was always busy with acts from pole dancers, male strippers, the A Capella group Green Denim, the band Sleeze and others. There was a smaller stage in the dining area of H.O.M.E which had female entertainers putting on show after show.
As you can see, the list of industry people and entertainment was varied and as Larry Goone stated at the pre-party meeting, “It’s the right people for this event!”.
I couldn’t agree more and had a great time at SEXCON as did the crowd attending, I was able to catch up with old friends, like the gang from Psycho Babble, and make new ones. When I met print model Nikki Fritz, she gave me one of her shirts on the condition that I wear it the entire evening. After I put the shirt on, she took a selfie with me as proof. And yes, I wore the shirt the entire evening and it’s now one of my “shoot shirts” when I’m covering other events. The stage shows were amazing as always and when you went from one room to the other, there was very little sound “bleed over”. Very nice for a venue like H.O.M.E. The only small complaint I had is that the smaller stage in the dining area is low which made taking some pictures a bit difficult when your trying to shoot around a bunch of people taking pictures with their phone (fondly referred to as “phontographers”). But that’s a small issue that come with being a member of the media. I even took time out to try the food at H.O.M.E. and was very pleased with the quality and the service. The staff and management of H.O.M.E. were very helpful and polite and I look forward to the next time I’m there. Well done! My congratulations to Larry Goone for another successful event and for SEXCON, there definitely no place like H.O.M.E. and H.O.M.E. is where it should be!
If I missed anyone or have you misnamed in the accompanying pictures, my apologies. Please let me know so I can correct the mistake. Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them for you. Looking forward to SEXCON 2016!