by Curtis Isom, Founder/Editor-In-Chief
One thing I can guarantee you about Larry Goone’s annual SEXCON is that an interesting and fun time will be had by all. And 2016’s SEXCON was no different and different is the key word here for describing 2016’s SEXCON.
For those who haven’t been to SEXCON, I’ve written about it here before, but I think after this year’s event there’s needs to be some clarifications made. It’s an annual PRIVATE PARTY held on the last Wednesday of April. You can’t get in unless you have purchased a ticket, are a sponsor, vendor, or a member of the media. The 2016 SEXCON marks it’s NINTH consecutive year of being one of the industry’s hottest parties. In the nine years SEXCON has been occurring, there has been NO major issues with the event reported from the police or other agencies that I can find. In 2015, SEXCON had to move to House of Music Entertainment (H.O.M.E.) in Arlington Heights due to it’s former location, The Castle, in downtown Chicago being closed and then sold. Since it was in a new location, there was, as always, a small number of police officers around making sure everything ran smoothly.
Again, no problems.
I thought to H.O.M.E. was appropriate for SEXCON due to the intimate nature of the event. So when the 2016 SEXCON was again at H.O.M.E., I was looking forward to another fun time. And I had fun, but as I said before, the 2016 SEXCON was VERY interesting as well.
When I got H.O.M.E. for SEXCON, everything seem to be going well. But when the “industry only” pre-party was about to begin, we were called together and informed that the Village of Prospect Heights (which governs the liquor license for H.O.M.E.) had made some “changes” to what could and couldn’t happen at SEXCON. Some of those changes included:
– No bare breasts. You could wear pasties, but you couldn’t have your breasts uncovered for more than 30 seconds or so.
– No thongs. Any stage performer had to wear underwear that was basically appoved by the police officers in attendance.
– No industry magazines or pictures could be on display.
– Vendors couldn’t display any sex toys.
If any of these and the other changes the Village of Prospect Heights were violated, then H.O.M.E. could lose its liquor license. The reason for this is that H.O.M.E. sits on the borderlines of Arlington Heights and the Village of Prospect Heights and the Village of Prospect Heights has control over liquor licenses.
Did I mention this was a PRIVATE PARTY?
So why the Village of Prospect Heights decided to used Nazi-like tactics to intimidate H.O.M.E. and SEXCON is no more than the “We don’t want this in our neighborhood” mentality. There was also a larger presence of law enforcement which was interesting since many of the officers there were present the year before. None of them seem to have any problems, so what changed and required more “storm troopers”? With eight previous years of SEXCON events, there was more than enough “evidence” to show that the Village of Prospect Heights SEXCON wasn’t the “threat” they thought it was. But they didn’t care and the Village of Prospect Heights put enough pressure on H.O.M.E. and SEXCON that the event had originally been CANCELLED as of forty-eight before SEXCON was to happen. Luckily the management of H.O.M.E. went to bat on behalf of SEXCON and got the Village of Prospect Heights to allow SEXCON to happen with a few changes made. You have to give massive credit to the management of H.O.M.E. for their actions and Larry Goone for willing to be flexible to accept the changes imposed by the Village of Prospect Heights.
I find the idea of a city government imposing it’s narrow-minded viewpoint on a PRIVATE PARTY disgusting and makes you wonder what type of restrictive rules and regulations they have for their own residents. It also makes me wonder what would happen if a group like the NAACP or GLAAD wanted to hold an event in the Village of Prospect Heights. What I don’t think the Village of Prospect Heights realizes is the possible lawsuits it could of faced if their plan to ban SEXCON for 2016 had succeeded. But compromises were made and the 2016 SEXCON was still fun.
So now I bet you’re wondering what effects the Village of Prospect Heights’ changes had on SEXCON? At first, the new “rules” didn’t seem to matter, everything went well, and the increased police presence didn’t keep people from having fun as usual. But as the night continued, I guess law enforcement decided they weren’t being effective so they decided to kick things up a notch. They mainly focused on the stage shows. Women doing pole tricks had to be mindful of what they had on underneath or be aggressively asked to get off the pole and leave the stage. Any Feature Entertainer doing her show(s) couldn’t take her top off even if they had pasties on. If one came off, an officer was right there telling them to put it right back on. And when the male revue show was on stage, the male dancers couldn’t do their usual “bump and grind” moves on female audience members they brought up on stage.
I have to remind you that through all of this this was NO NUDITY so what the fuss was about was beyond me. But somewhere around 1:00am there was some “violation” of the rules that was so severe that all stripper poles were taken down. Now I never saw or found out what this “violation” was, but removing the stripper poles did have a “sobering” affect on the event to the point that vendors started packing up. Now previously, this usually occurs around 2:00am, so overall things were just brought to a close a bit sooner than usual.
In reality, the Nazi mentality changes imposed upon SEXCON by the Village of Prospect Heights made very little difference at all. Annoying yes, but it dihe iddn’t stop those attending SEXCON to have the fun they come to expext. This speaks volumes to those who have attended in the past, those in and out of the industry.
There is also a lesson in this to be learned by narrow-minded city officials like those from the Village of Prospect Heights: Thinking you’re going to do away with a PRIVATE PARTY like SEXCON will be by a broader mindset and better understanding that our industry isn’t filled the degregation you think. That our industry is compromised of individuals who can conduct themselves with style and dignity and can take care of itself when you think it can’t.
So where does SEXCON go from here? As of this writing, I don’t know where next year’s event will be held. But I do know that Larry Goone is very resourceful and will find a new place for SEXCON to happen.
That’s how people in our industry roll folks!
Here’s some photos from the event which I hope you all enjoy!