by Curtis L. Isom – Founder / Editor-In-Chief
June 23-25, 2017 saw Exxxotica Chicago at its usual home in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. The 2017 show seemed to have fewer vendors compared to previous years which made the event seem smaller in size. At least the crowd attending that weekend didn’t seem smaller. But even with some vendors missing, this didn’t mean that there wasn’t enough activity for those in attendance to enjoy. And what there was in missing vendors was made up for more than enough by the amount of adult talent present. There was also an increase in the number of web cammers for both MyFreeCams.com and Chaturbate. This year I wanted to make sure I got more photos of things like the seminars and the new entertainers that performed on the main stage. This isn’t saying I didn’t get some of my “usual fare” but I wanted to make sure I tried to convey what happens each year at Exxxotica Chicago.
So when I event opened on Friday, I went around doing my thing. It’s always great seeing people I have become acquainted with while I’m in this business and making friends is always an added bonus. I’ve had people ask me “How do you talk to someone in the adult entertainment industry?” And my reply is always, “With respect.” This is something you’ll hear me mention from time to time – just because someone works in the sex industry doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to be treated with respect like anyone else. And believe me, you disrespect someone in my presence, if they don’t deal with you, you bet I will. I’m not talking about anything physical, just a polite reminder about manners and respect.
One of ways you can get “your feet wet” in interacting with the adult talent is during the panel discussions where the audience gets to ask questions to the adult talent on the main stage. The panels are usually made up of women. Some times the crowd doesn’t know where to start so I have a few questions to help “prime the pump” and get things going. Usually the panel discussions are ran by a male Exxxotica staff member, but this year the panel discussions were moderated by female Exxxotica staff member Tita who got married last year at Exxxotica Chicago. During the first panel discussion, I asked a question along the line of, “What is one of the most embarrassing things to happen to you while doing a scene?” During the first panel discussion we heard some pretty intense, and sometime borderline gross, stories. So when it came to the second panel discussion, the crowd again was silent so I asked the same question. But before any one of the ladies could answer, Tita pipes up and says, “I don’t like that question because of what we heard the last time. So I’m going to ask a different question.” Really? She didn’t like what the an audience member had to ask? The questions I’ve heard asked during these panel discussions are well within what I’d call good taste. I understand she was moderating the panel, but this is where the fans get to interact with the adult performers. You want to encourage that. So to tell a member of the public, and a member of the media to boot, that their question isn’t to the moderator’s “standards” is not only rude, but makes people not want to participate. And this isn’t the first time I’ve asked this question and most of the ladies who are acquainted with me know I’ll come up with something interesting to ask to get the rest of the audience asking questions as well. This is how you get things done. I really don’t care if Tita didn’t like my question, it’s the impression she gave the rest of the audience when she rejected it that’s annoying. It was like telling everyone there, “If I don’t like your question, we won’t ask it.” What a fucking great way to get people to NOT interact and leave the stage area. Which some of them did when she did this to me. And I could tell at least one of the ladies on the panel wasn’t happy with Tita either. So Tita not only pissed off members of the audience, but raised the ire of an adult talent. Way to fucking moderate Tita.
But back to the rest of the show.
In covering the rest of the show, I was able to get both the preliminaries and finals of the Miss Exxxotica contest even though getting face shots of some of the ladies while they performed was difficult. Some of the other main stage performance highlights included: a burlesque performance by Carlotta Champagne, who has appeared in Playboy, and a light wand show by Puerto Rican Princess Zuma. Both shows certainly crowd pleasers. We were also treated to a show by JetSetting Jasmine and King Noire, who I met earlier in April 2017 at the Ebony Exotic Experience. If you have never seen these two in action, you’re seriously missing out on something special. There was also a twerking contest held by Alexis Texas. Not only did this contest have a variety of backsides, but there was a male contestant who just blew the audience away and got into twerking more than some of the other contestants did. And if you look at the pictures, you’ll see this guy isn’t exactly your average size male. More power to him! I also got pictures from a few of the seminars which include: Evan Stone and Allie Haze, James Bartolet and Ron Jeremy, and JetSetting Jasmine and King Noire. If you ever attend an Exxxotica show, I highly recommend the seminars which give you another chance to interact with those in the adult entertainment industry.
One of the highlights of this year’s show was a Wicked Ball match between the ladies of LA Direct Modeling and the female webcammers. Wicked Ball was at the 2016 Exxxotica Chicago and I hope it keeps coming back because it’s just too much damn fun. If you haven’t seen a Wicked Ball match, it’s where two teams, each wearing a large inflated ball, play a game of soccer. It not only gives you an excellent workout, but it’s a blast to watch and when done indoors you have to keep your eye on the ball to avoid getting hit. In this years match, the ladies of LA Direct won and if I had to pick a game MVP it would be Tori Black who has a competitive spirit like no other. The woman is just an animal.
But there was a bit of a let down at this year’s show. Paige Little, a great friend in the industry and the first person I ever did an interview with, had come to the event to announce that she was retiring from the industry. Now I have met and known others who have since retired from the industry, but Paige Little is one of the most genuine people I have met and someone I know I can refer to if someone is wanting to get into the industry. Especially if there are interested in doing webcamming. I wish Paige and her husband, whose name I keep private, all the best in the next chapter of their lives. They will always have a place in my heart.
And that’s where I think I’ll end this. Not on a downer, but a great example of what respect can get you if you are patient in dealing with those in the adult entertainment industry. Not everyone I’ve met has become a good friend, most are acquaintances who still recognize me and greet me warmly. But the good friends I make, like Paige Little, are examples of what honesty and respect can achieve you. It’s the same for life in general – honesty and respect can get you far. I recommend if you get the chance to attend an Exxxotica event, do so. It not only gives you a chance to see some of your favorite adult performers, get to know a little more about them, and maybe, just maybe, make yourself a new friend.
Anything is possible.
The photos from the 2016 Exxxotica Chicago can be found in the Event Photo section of the website. Enjoy!