by Curtis L. Isom – Founder / Editor-In-Chief
For an event to celebrate it’s 10th Anniversary is quite an achievement and 2017 saw the 10th Anniversary of Larry Goone’s SEXCON. I have had the pleasure of attending/covering at least half of them starting when the event was held in downtown Chicago at the Castle/Excalibur. In 2015 the event moved to H.O.M. E. but ran into issue with the local city government in 2016 (see the “SEXCON 2016” article elsewhere) which forced the event to be moved to another venue in 2017 which happen to be club Volcan in Chicago.
When Larry told me he found Club Volkan and how it seemed like an excellent place for Sexcon, I was about as happy as he was and looked forward to seeing the venue. Club Volkan is located at 2501 S. Kedzie in Chicago and sits on the border of a large Latin American business district and a residential area. The first thing I noticed when I arrived was the limits of where to park, but considering when Sexcon was at the Castle/Excalibur in downtown Chicago, parking was where you could find it. I eventually settle for paying $10 to park in one of the lots operated by the club. I parked in the closest lot, but still had to walk about 50 yards to get to the club. When I got to the club, I walked in a side enterance and was immediately given an orange wristband which I thought was one of Larry’s. The inside of the club is basically one main level with a couple of smaller rooms that make up the second and third “floors” and a “green room” located below the main floor.
For those who don’t know about Sexcon, it’s a private party made up of two sections with the first two hours being for industry only people to mingle and after that the general public is admitted. If you haven’t got a ticket, you don’t get in. Shortly before the industry only portion, I learned the orange wristband I had on was for the club whereas Larry used a white one to keep track on how many people attended. After being there a few moments, I caught up with Larry, had a brief chat, then went about taking photos of the various vendors in attendance. As I took pictures, I said hello to people I knew and introduced myself to new faces among the wide variety of vendors, clubs, artists, and performers which shows how popular Sexcon has become.
When it came to the industry only portion of the event, I volunteered to help members of Larry’s staff with admitting the industry people at the front door of the club. The process we had was simple – the industry people who weren’t part of the show presented their ticket, or bought one if necessary, received a wristband, and let into the club. Once they were in the club they were subjected to the club’s brief security check and then allowed to continue. Once you were in, there were NO in-and-out privileges. If you smoked, were you allowed out into to a fenced in area to do so. So there’s six of us standing in the small foyer inside the club’s main doors – three of Larry’s staff, myself (with camera), and two of the club’s personnel who were the “front line” deciding who got in when. Outside the front doors is a line of people, some of which are industry people wanting to get in for the first portion. Now we all know that not everyone gets to where they should be on time. And for the industry people, which included some of the entertainment, getting into the club was starting to become an issue. The “front line” wasn’t letting anyone in and Larry had to be constantly called to the front door to verify who the industry people were. And if you think a list of who was who would have helped, not in your wildest dreams because the club’s staff seemed to not give a damn about doing things anyway else but their own.
And this is when things got interesting and set the tone for the entire evening.
In trying to get the industry people in, those who didn’t have a ticket were suppose to buy a ticket from one of Larry’s staff. The club didn’t like this. After getting their ticket they were suppose to get one of Larry’s wristbands. The club didn’t like that. Now I’m standing behind one of Larry’s staff who is trying to explain the process to one of the club’s staff. It was like watching someone talk to a wall and all I was seeing was the club’s personnel getting frustrated, so I put my camera behind me, stepped slightly to my left to allow Larry’s staff member a little more room to move if needed. Now just as this “standoff” seemed to get ready to go where it shouldn’t – Larry reappeared. He asked what was going on, was told, but again the club’s staff seemed dead set on doing things their way. We did get the industry people into the club, but the idea of using Larry’s wristbands was scrapped as the club imposed doing the ticket taking themselves and using their orange wristbands. But let’s face it, when a venue agrees to hosting your event, they should be ready for the event staff to handle what they need to.
So after the debacle at the front doors, I went back to taking pictures of the event. The industry only portion of the event went well and we moved into the general public ticket holders being granted access into the event. The entertainment wasn’t contained to just the main stage, but all over the club. The main stage had bands, deejays, male exotic dancers, and an abundant assortment of beautiful women showing off their pole tricks, dance moves, and body paint. We were also treated to another of Larry’s “marriages” which is always a treat to see who he’s adding to his “harem”. Off the stage there were hula hoopers, a gentlemen’s club dancers using a lyra, a demostration of amazing rope work, and Ashley Addison, who did a crowd pleasing silk show that left the audience wanting more. One of the great things about Sexcon is that Larry packs his event with top notch talent, and those in attendance always seem to have a great time. All this entertainment gave me ample opportunity to get plenty of great shots. The only trouble I had was with the stage because it was “bathed” in blue light. Now most of the time, where I stood and my flash, helped override the stage lighting to give me good results, but some pictures still came out with a blue tint which you’ll notice in the accompanying photo gallery. Oh well, shit happens.
Now as the night progressed I couldn’t stop think about the front doors debacle and from time to time I’d make my way there to see how things were going. Again, this is a PRIVATE PARTY and without a ticket, you aren’t supposed to be allowed in, but on more than one occasion I saw people come in, NOT purchase or present a ticket, and still get one of the club’s orange wristbands. I have to admit this made me wonder how much money Larry was losing due to the club’s antics. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the layout of Club Volkan, but watching the staff as the night progressed left me with questions I shouldn’t have to consider.
Later on when the crowd started to thin out, I checked the time and saw it was only going on midnight. Usually the crowd starts thinning out around 1:30 or 2:00am. I learned later this “early thinning” was due to more club personnel antics. What The Fuck? Again, if you’re a club that decides to agree to host Sexcon, I know you were told how long the party usually last. Trying to change things during the event volumes about your club’s questionable business practices. My opinion. And if your wondering why I’m sharing all of this “behind the scenes” stuff, I support Sexcon. If you look at the feature image at the top of this article you’ll see Erotic World Media on the bottom left at the top of the list of sponsors.
So if you needlessly screw with something I support, expect me to call you out.
Overall, I still had a great time and hung in there till after the last major stage show by Ashley Addison. Her show was something I’d never expect from her due to its dark and emotional nature. It was one of those shows that at times I got caught up in watching but still managed to get pictures of. Bravo Ashley! Shortly after that, around 1:00 am., I caught up with Larry for another brief chat, said my good-byes, and headed back home.
In closing, my apology to everyone, especially Larry, for getting this out sooner. Photos from the event can be found in the “Event Photos” section of the website. I don’t see Sexcon at club Volkan ever again and that fault lies solely on the club itself. Where the 2018 Sexcon will happen I don’t know at the time of writing this, but knowing Larry, he’s working to find a home for his amazing event.
Thank You Larry for allowing me to be a part of the first amazing ten years of Sexcon. Here’s to the next ten my brother!