by Curtis L. Isom – Founder / Editor-In-Chief
Most of the articles and photos I share with you are from what I consider the two major parts of the Adult Entertainment Industry – The Adult Movies and Strip Clubs (primarily the Feature Entertainers). But there are other “side businesses” of the industry like clothing, adult novelties, media, etc…. that add to and help make the industry what it is today. And I feel these other business need to get the attention they deserve. However, there are so many that I usually wait till the opportunity arises for me to cover one of these “side businesses” like my recent article, “2017 AVN “Private” Novelty Show”.
Now before I get into the event that this article covers, I need to share one of my observations about the Adult Entertainment Industry. We all know that there are numerous African-American adult performers as well as African-American business owners that cater to the Adult Entertainment Industry. What I have noticed is that at events like AVN or Exxxotica, if you look at the number of African-American adult talent or business owners in attendance, one might think that these individuals make up about one to five percent of the Adult Entertainment Industry. My opinion. Now I strongly believe that the percentage is much higher and often wonder why there aren’t more African-Americans vendors and talent. I see in the public attendance of these events a larger percentage of African-Americans, but again I wonder why I’m not seeing more vendors and talent. Is it because they can’t to afford to buy vendor space to promote their business? Probably, but I still wonder.
And before anyone thinks I’m making this a race issue, please extract your head from your ass. I’m just sharing an observation and opinion.
So in the years of covering events I get to meet some really great people and discuss why they are a part of the industry. One of these people is a woman who goes by the name “Mz. Jewcee” who I met a the 2014 Sexcon, is the owner of an adult novelty business, and has her own talk show “Jewcee Tales Erotic Chat” on Blogtalk radio. I’ve become good friends with Mz. Jewcee and have even been a guest on her show a couple of times which is always fun. Since we’ve met, we have talked about the presence of African-Americans in the Adult Entertainment Industry and how there needs to be someway of raising that presence. She wanted to create an event that showcased African-Americans who were a part of the Adult Entertainment Industry as well as people who enjoy the fetish lifestyle.
Hence the creation of the Ebony Exotic Experience.
Now creating a new event like this is an daunting adventure because you want it to be a success because the time and money you invest in it. When Mz. Jewcee first told me what she wanted to do, I was immediately onboard with supporting this event any way possible. I also understood the risk involved because at one time I was a theatre producer and the best one can hope for is to break even. You can make money, but expectations and goals should be kept more reasonable when you first start out.
The Ebony Exotic Experience was held April 21 -22, 2017 at the Holiday Inn in Matteson, IL. The two-day event was held in two of the hotel’s connected ballrooms which were opened up to create on large space. One side of this space was primarily for vendors with the other side having a stage at one end and seating when needed for particular portions of the event. There was also a live dj and a female comedienne as the event’s main emcee. There were over a dozen vendors along with a wide selection of entertainers including what I consider the events “main attraction” of JetSetting Jasmine and King Noire. They had their own room separate from the main room for those who would be more inclined to explore their fetish side in a more private setting. I have to admit that being a photographer at events like this has its drawbacks because you don’t get to participate as much as you would like to do. That’s not to say I wasn’t able to participate, just not as much as I found I’d like to.
After a brief opening welcome from Mz. Jewcee herself, the event started with the first of numerous performances from the group Body Talk which is a group of ladies that shatter the normal image of a burlesque troupe. After the Body Talk performance was a more personal greeting from Mz Jewcee who again shared why the Ebony Exotic Experience had come to be and what she hoped for the event. I have to tell you that at most events I’ve covered there is some type of opening greeting, ribbon cutting, speech, etc…. But what made the Ebony Exotic Experience an event like no other is that when Mz. Jewcee shared her thoughts and (what I would also say) her soul. The Ebony Exotic Experience became the most “intimate” event I’ve ever had the honor to cover. And when I say “intimate”, I’m referring to the fact that everyone that was involved with running the Ebony Exotic Experience as well as those who attended were more like a large “family” and not just a large group of strangers. You may not know, or remember, everyone’s name, but they were like some long-lost relatives you finally met. And were blessed when you did.
I most certainly was.
After Mz. Jewcee’s more personal one-to-all, the two day event was filled with more dances, exercise classes, erotic poetry (freestyle and prepared), yoga, body painting, talks with vendors, demonstrations from JetSetting Jasmine and King Noire, sexy games, plus a demonstration from fellatio expert, Auntie Angel. If you haven’t seen Auntie Angel, you should. She is incredible and has a number of videos including one you have to sign a wavier for because the technique she demonstrates can be taxing one a man’s system. Kid you not. And something else the Ebony Exotic Experience had, and maybe most important of all, was laughter. So much laughter. There were a few serious moments, like the panel discussion where the fetish lifestyle and relationship were discussed in a very open and honest way that shedding tears was welcomed and not dismissed. But overall, with all the available audience participation, if you didn’t have a good time and laughed while you were at the Ebony Exotic Experience, then you missed out. But from my observations, I don’t think that happened.
And something else about the Ebony Exotic Experience that set it apart form other events I’ve covered and that is a sense being proud of who you are. This was so present through out the event but especially brought to the forefront during the fashion shows that occurred on the second day. All the models, which consisted of various body types, had such style and confidence that you couldn’t help but feel the empowerment they possess in being proud of who they are. The admiration and respect I have for all of them can’t be expressed in mere words and I tired to capture that confidence the best I could.
I don’t know how much more I could say about the Ebony Exotic Experience because it’s an event you really need to attend to see and experience what I’m trying to describe. Somethings are just beyond words and only experiencing it for yourself is something you want to do again…..and again…..and again. Do I think the Ebony Exotic Experience was a success? Most certainly. Even though there may have been only over 200 people who came to the event, they were treated to an experience that I think exceeded everyone’s expectations. If 2017 was any indication of what this event could do, then hang on for 2018 because of the potential impact waiting to be tapped. Are there any changes I would make to the event? Very few and I shared them with Mz. Jewcee but she has created the framework of an event to be very, very, proud of and I wish continued success.
I want to apologize to Mz. Jewcee for not getting this article written sooner, but life throws curves at everyone, I’ve had my share this year, but I also feel my articles come in their own time. There is an accompanying photo gallery in the “Event Pictures” section of the website so I hope you check those out as well. If I have missed anything that needs to be included, I know Mz. Jewcee, or anyone else who was there, will let me know and I’ll update things accordingly. I fully support the Ebony Exotic Experience, thank everyone who was involved for a great event, and again look forward to it’s long and successful adventure.
Till next time……..