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AVN: 3rd Installment

I'm back with more wacky porn products I scrounged up at the porn convention!

1) Boy Butter

Greatest product packaging at the whole convention. At least in theory...I question whether I'd really want to dip into a vat of lube with any frequency (but maybe it's more of a guy thing). They've recently expanded their product line to include You Won't Believe it's Not Boy Butter! (the female version).


2) The Pornovator...?

I still can't really figure out exactly how this works. It apparently is a wrist watch (notably worn on the left hand) that, when manipulated I'm thinking Wii style, it controls the porn you're watching. A good idea in theory, but I wonder how exct the technology could be. 


see if you can figure it out:


AVN: 2nd Installment

As I mentioned in my previous post, one component of the AVN Adult Expo is a Business-to-Business marketplace in which many hilarious products abound. Here is a sampling of my favorite products at this year’s event:


1) The Real Doll 

For those not in the know, Wikipedia enlightens:

The RealDoll is designed to recreate the appearance, texture and weight of the human female form. Owners of such dolls generally use them as sex partners. This activity can be accompanied by certain preparations such as dressing them up in different types of clothing, changing wigs or makeup, and even adjusting body temperature by use of electric blankets or baths.

(Fun fact: all Real Dolls come with slightly open mouths replete with soft, pliable teeth. If only real women came this way, right?)

Most people have at least heard of this masturbation aid—sorry, “love doll.” What they may not know is that the franchise is branching out into slightly more abstract products. While disembodied genitalia abounded at the Expo (and left me highly, highly disturbed), some were just charming enough to warrant a photo.

Wit the single boob (I imagine it's not much different from the variety attached to most of the girls at the Expo):


The man torso—half a torso with amputated arms, legs and head. The best (worst) part is the removable penis….you can purchase an assortment of sizes and switch them out depending on your level of ambition. The guy at the Real Doll booth says these dolls are mostly purchased by gay men:


Grant Stoddard, who used to write a great column for Nerve.com called “I Did It For Science,” wrote a piece on Real Dolls, found here.


2) Clone-a-Willy

Though not as clever a name as the perennial favorite “Clone Your Bone,” I find this franchise oddly charming. They're now offering soap and candle molds:


 Again, an impressive piece by Grant Stoddard, who truly went the distance with this novelty product...you really need to read this.

3) G-Thrust

An honestly good idea, but unlikely to catch on. The people manning the G-Thrust booth were the inventor--a bald elderly man with a clear passion for his product (ew)--and the chief tester--a middle-aged woman wearing a midriff-bearing tshirt and too much makeup (double ew). I’d advise them to work on their presentation.



4) And then there was this horror of horrors:




I have nothing to say about this. Its existence merely needs to be noted.


5) Perhaps my favorite booth on the B-2-B floor was hawking a Japenese contraption promising to help a woman 'tighten up' post-childbirth. The best thing about this product is the pan-cultural advertising imagery. A step-by-step explanation of the product:



Yes, this is apparently what sex looks like in Japan:


6) Every year, XXXChurch.com (the #1 Christian Porn Site) sets up shop at the convention with an inexplicable booth that seems to half-assedly try to lure porn stars back into the fold. You’re never sure whether it’s a joke or not (I’m pretty sure it’s not), but nonetheless you can't help but snag one of their neon-colored bibles:


And on the back (sorry for the cropping):


That’s it for now! Stay tuned for more fabulous porn products...


AVN: 1st Installment

This is the first in what will be a series of posts about my recent trip to the AVN Adult Expo (It's Sexy! It's Powerful! It's Business!).

Not much has changed since last year--the convention is pretty straightforward. It consists of three components:

1) Main convention floor, which is a large space dominated by huge displays and large video monitors broadcasting companies' best footage; scantily-clad girls are strategically placed to generate traffic to every corner of the floor as they sign autographs and pose for photos with adoring fans; industry people troll about networking with each other
2) Business-2-Business marketplace, which is a smaller space in which businesses market new products to retailers (more on this later)
3) Seminars, a series of discussions led by panels comprised of various industry pepole discussing challenges and opportunities facing the industry (i.e. the nerd parade, but always the most interesting and insightful component of the convention)

Of course there's a big awards show the final night of the convention, but I've never gone due to the cost of tickets, length of the show, and my utter lack of interest in attending any awards show, porn-related or not.

As far as the main convention floor, it was pretty much old hat. Large number of men; small number of scantily clad women. The laws of supply & demand took over (not to mention that to most of the attendees, these women were superstars who play a major role in a very intimate side of life). Women were perched on podiums while men lined up for hours for the chance to get an autograph and a photo. As you can imagine, there was a lot of this:


and this:


and this:


and of course this:


and meanwhile, the line outside to buy tickets:


These ladies are nice and all...but..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

I know I’m a chick and all this T&A isn’t on display with my interests in mind, but moving through the convention and interacting with lots of trade people who regularly attend, I think I can confidently say that this stuff gets old. Fast. You become so desensitized so quickly...it's kind of amazing

But fear not—there’s lots more to come (har), and I promise not to fall asleep mid-entry again.

Notes from the Convention Hall

Stay tuned for tales from the AVN Adult Expo in Las Vegas....

"Mature" Porn


The New York Times reported Sunday that women of mature age are increasingly appearing in porn. The article discusses the mid-life career change of 50-year-old De’Bella, who decided to spice up her life working as an administrative assistant by appearing in porn movies.

According to industry insiders, the mature-woman genre represents “one of the fastest growing areas of video pornography.” In fact, it will appear for the first time as a category at the prestigious AVN awards ceremony next week in Las Vegas.

Multiple explanations for this trend are plausible.

Director Urbano Martin says the market for young, airbrushed beautiful women is “oversaturated.” I can get behind that idea—looking at the current stock of most adult movie stores, they could just as soon make one porn movie and release it with a million different box covers and I doubt it would make much difference. But the market seems to like its “variety,” narrowly constricted though it may be.

Another hypothesis centers on the market demographics. According to the article, the primary consumer base for this kind of content is young men with MILF fantasies:

[The growing interest in mature-age content] has been fueled in part by pop culture’s embrace of the sexy 40-something women of “Desperate Housewives” and “Stacy’s Mom,” the 2003 hit song about a teenager’s mother who “has got it going on.”

This just doesn’t ring true. For starters, the music video for the Fountain of Wayne song referenced above (“Stacy’s Mom”) stars Rachel Hunter, a famous blonde, large-chested actress. The video does not exactly celebrate your average middle-aged mom. Furthermore, the explosion of demand for Botox treatments and wrinkle creams does not at all indicate that pop culture is doing anything to “embrace” 40-something women. The Desperate Housewife actresses are as plastic as they come—a far cry from the women like De’Bella who appear in mature-age porn.

While it’s hard to discern the root of any trend, especially one of a sexual nature, my guess is that the trend stems from a combination of middle-aged baby boomers’ desire to see women a little closer to their age as well as a growing cultural awareness of female sexuality.

On the latter point, the Times mentions in passing what may be key to understanding this pattern:

The sexual confidence of older women…is fueling the supply side as well as the demand

I doubt I’ll offend anyone’s sensibilities when I posit that the beautiful, air-brushed 19-year-olds appearing in the vast majority of porn do not represent female sexuality. They are entirely constructs of male sexuality—they essentially serve as a pretty mirror onto which men can project their sexuality and fantasies and see it reflected back at them in a novel enough way to get men off. Women, in general, contribute little if any of their authentic sexual nature into the movies (and arguably, teenage girls are far from truly grasping their authentic sexual nature). This is a function of both age as well as the overall structure and dynamic of the industry.

But times are changing. Female sexuality, for centuries overlooked and repressed into obsolescence in the middle class, Western world, is finally starting to be reclaimed and celebrated. (See second wave feminism, third wave feminism, Good Vibrations, Toys in Babeland, Annie Sprinkle, Susie Bright, Nina Hartley, etc.) And it is older (as in 25+) women leading the way. They’re more comfortable in their bodies, less constrained by teenage insecurities, more fed up with impossible standards of beauty, and more inclined to figure out (and ask for) what they want.

Ultimately I see increased interest in mature-age porn as a good thing. I consider any representation of authentic female pleasure and female-directed action a positive contribution to the industry. At the same time, I do not delude myself into thinking that this marks some sort of turning point or that it represents a lasting trend. More likely, this trend will follow the more or less bell-shaped popularity arch of most porn niches.