GameLink Goes to AVN: Superstars on the Floor
My job this weekend was to wander the floor of the Adult Entertainment Exposition in Las Vegas and take pictures of the various luminaries on display, and honestly what better use could one make of one’s weekend? In Las Vegas, the noise is somehow both apocalyptic and monotonous, the lights are enough not just to trigger a seizure but to cause epilepsy spontaneously in people with no previous history, and the atmosphere is so rich in the byproducts of used tobacco that you could probably walk through a casino with a dryer-lint screen and assemble a cigarette from what you caught in it. But when you’re at the porn convention and your job is to accost hot girls and their job is to look sexy for you, all of that fades into insignificance.
The AEE is a unique microcosm of the porn world; it’s a place where you will see hundreds of girls, any of whom might become the superstars of the future you never know which one is going to be a breakout sensation. I have pictures from previous conventions of women who were literally just another face in the crowd and award-winning superstars the next. You can also rub elbows with legends, meeting the women who have inspired years of debauched reveries and cost you a small fortune in tissues and lube.
Bonnie Rotten is one of porn’s brightest lights creative, energetic and ready for anything. I found her at the Digital Playground booth on Friday afternoon, looking much saucier but no less adorable than when I saw her hours later in jeans and a hoodie at the Evil Angel nightclub party. I got to tell her how much I liked Cape Fear XXX, which was a lot.
Monique Alexander, former Vivid contract girl, was also signing for Digital Playground. At first I didn’t recognize her because she used to be a blonde, but when I heard her talk, it all came rushing back. She looks less cute and more dangerous now, doesn’t she? That’s Peta Jensen behind her on the desk, putting on a little show.
Nina Hartley is pretty much timeless. I have been seeing her at conventions, parties, and movie shoots for ten years now, and she doesn’t look much different than she did the first time, and just as good as she looked 30 years ago. Nina Hartley has now been part of my life for longer than she hadn’t been before I first saw her, if you can parse that.
Julia Ann (also a brunette these days) hasn’t put in quite as much time as Nina Hartley has I don’t think that any woman has but she’s a fixture just the same, having made a convincing comeback in recent years. Like Nina, she always looks elegant and sophisticated, and her line was one of the longest and best attended at the show. There are booths with performers sitting and waiting to be noticed, but Julia’s is never one of them.
The last time I saw Nikki Benz at a show, she was blonde, but she too is sporting dark hair at the convention maybe there’s something going around. When she was platinum, she looked a little like a very, very good RealDoll, but as a brunette, there’s an extra dimension to her that I like.
Venus Lux, winner of the Transsexual Performer of the Year Award at this year’s festivities, has only been in the business since 2012, but she is already more or less legendary, both as a transsexual performer and as a kinkster nonpareil. Compared to the rest of the industry, the TS side of porn is just emerging into the mainstream (even if it’s just the mainstream of porn), but it seems likely that Venus will be a fixture for years to come.
Joanna Angel might not be a household name (at your place anyway she definitely comes up at my house a lot) but her influence on porn is undeniable and seminal. The undisputed Queen of alt-porn is one of my favorite performers and directors of all time, looking way more serious than you would think, given how lovably goofy she is.