by Curtis L. Isom – Founder/Editor-In-Chief
(This article and related series of pictures is dedicated to my dad, Jerrold A. Isom, whose health took a downhill slide the day after I got back from Exxxotica Chicago and eventually passed away on June 26, 2015. He was a Navy Veteran and one of my best friends. He was proud I found my niche in the Adult Entertainment Industry and the example I use to be who I am. I love and miss him more than I could ever put into words. This one’s for you Dad!)
Usually held in July, the 2015 Exxxotica Chicago was held June 12-14 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The show was about the same size as the previous year’s but there were a few noticeable differences:
- The Exxxotica Dungeon was replaced with The Stockroom which I found to be “more enticing” with a better and wider layout for traffic flow.
- The VIP area faced the main stage as before, but there you could only access it from the backside making it feel more like a VIP area than previously.
- The main stage was smaller than previous years which made taking pictures up front from the floor a bit more of a hassle then before. But the stage placement was much better than to keep the noise level down when one is trying to do an interview or shoot video.
For those who don;t know, Exxxotica Chicago, or any Exxxotica show, is where you can come and meet people from the Adult Entertainment Industry. The age range of the attendees goes from 21 to those over 80 and has just as many (if not more) women as there are men. With the layout of the vendors booths and everything else, getting an approximate crowd guess is difficult, but I would say was easily over 10,000 especially when you factor in the “Ladies Free Friday”.
I always enjoy this show because it’s great seeing how much people here in the Midwest coming to this show and having a good time. The amount of adult performers seemed larger than previously which says a lot about the popularity of Exxxotica coming to Chicago. Now I’m not saying this show is any different than AVN in Vegas, just a smaller version of it. But Exxxotica is much more intimate and gives you a better opportunity to visit with the industry talent. If you want a more “up close and personal” interaction, I always suggest you attend one of the many seminars that were held through out the weekend. You will never be disappointed.
Besides the adult talent present, there are a wide range of vendors at Exxxotica. They do change from year to year, but you do have a number of regulars like DnJ Toys, Lollicock, Nudes-A-Poppin Festival, and Mall of Exxxotica. But there is always a few “non-industry” related vendors mixed in like Touch of Fur and Horror Show Jack. “Why?” you may ask. “Why not?” would be my response because you never know at an event like Exxxotica where you might gain new customers. And from what I saw, the “non-industry” vendors were getting business. Good for them! There was also a booth for the artist Fang Ling Lee, whose art is just incredible. If you have seen her work, look her up! I promise you won’t be disappointed. I also did an interview with and as soon as we get the new video channel established, you’ll see that as well as a couple of others.
At every Exxxotica there are numerous stage “shows” and this year’s was no different. This year they included male strippers, panel Q & A’s with the talent, Rubberdoll thrilling the crowd as always, and one of the last public performances from the late and great Vayda Kiss. And from what I saw, the crowd was always having fun. As I said before, The Stockroom replaced the Dungeon at this year’s Exxxotica and the stage show put on by The Stockroom, headed by Mistress Isabella Sinclaire, was incredible. Especially when you saw Skin Diamond dressed up as her version of Catwoman with a kinky twist which was one of my personal favorites of the weekend. The thing about the stage shows was they seemed to be so behind schedule to a point that I left around 11:40pm Friday night thinking there wasn’t going to be a Miss Exxxotica 1st round because the show closed at Midnight. But evidently there was an “abbreviated” one and I apologize for not getting shots of it. I also missed the Miss Exxxotica Finals, how I can’t tell you because I was at the show all day Saturday, but I eventually found Miss Exxxotica herself and her picture is included in #3 of the accompanying photo galleries.
As mentioned, there were plenty of adult performers at the show like Allie Haze, Sheridan Love, Lisa Ann, Sarah Vandella, Tanya Tate, Lexi Belle, Rita Daniels, and Karen Summer. From Covering Exxxotica Chicago and AVN, I’ve been lucky enough to make some great friends with some of the talent and I get asked from time to time how I do it. The best piece of advice I have when talking to any Adult performer is BE RESPECTFUL! Just because they have sex on camera, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the respect you would give to anyone else. I’d say about 99% of the adult performers I’ve met are very easy to talk to when they have time. But at every Exxxotica or AVN I attend, I hear or see at least one person being disrespectful to the adult performers – especially the ladies. For example, I was waiting to take pictures of Adriana Chechik, who’s talking to a couple of guys, but I could tell something was bothering her. After they left, I asked what was wrong and she tells me one of the guys just there was talking about his cock and how good he was in bed. Fucking idiot. Just because someone is an Adult Performer, it doesn’t give the public the right to say shit like that. But Adriana Chechik just shook it off like the professional she is and had fun while I shot a few pictures.
And I’m not saying there wasn’t male talent present as well. Evan Stone, Ron Jeremy, James Bartholet and the male dancers were there. Why there wasn’t more male talent I don’t know, but I didn’t hear anyone complaining.
A “highlight” of the weekend happened early Saturday right after the show opened. I was talking to Karen Summer when the fire alarm went off and we had to leave the exhibit hall. So I escorted Ms. Summer over to the one of the hotels while we waited to get the “all clear”. We had no sooner sat down after getting something to drink when we got the “all clear”. That’s how it always goes right? But we took our time and just chatted. If you don’t know who Karen Summer is, shame on you, She was one of the stars of the classic “Candy Strippers” and other movies from the Golden Age of Porn. She has just returned to the industry after about a 30 year hiatus, voted into the AVN Hall of Fame, the Erotic Wall of Fame, and one of the most down to earth ladies in this industry you will ever meet.
Another interesting tidbit of info I learned was that Wicked Pictures contract star, Stormy Daniels, was “retiring” from acting in adult films to focus more on directing them. I’ve seen a little of Ms. Daniel’s work, so I’m interested in seeing more. I also got to see a fun side of Ms. Daniels when was also involved in a playful “catfight” with Lexi Belle due to Stormy hiding Lexi’s stuffed rabbit. Who says the talent doesn’t have fun at these events?
In closing, Exxxotica Chicago is something I strongly recommend attending if you are able and curious about how the Adult Entertainment Industry works. There are Exxxotica shows also in Dallas, TX and Edison, NJ so you have a multiple choices for a chance to get up close and personal. The front page slider of the website has the show dates as soon as they are available I appreciate those reading this and hope you understand why it took so long to bring this to you.
The accompanying photo galleries for the 2015 Exxxotica Chicago can be found here: