June gloom may have dulled the skies, but the show organizers were glowing about the audience turnout for the second day of Erotica LA.
Organizers expected an even better turnout than last year's show, and the sentiment was echoed by representatives of Wicked and Private. Lisa Radamaker, a salesperson with Private, said she noticed more fans at this year's show and, according to her informal survey, more novelty manufacturers.
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"It's as high as I've ever seen it," Daniel Metcalf, Wicked's director of marketing, said. "I'd say we're seeing the biggest lines that we've ever seen [at Erotica L.A.]. By the time the doors swung open at 12, there were fans already waiting for the girls' autographs. It's been skewering toward younger couples, more so than what I've seen in the past." He added he expected the attendance to continue to set records.
Consumer One, as he preferred to be called, and Kelli were one of the younger couples Metcalf noticed. They said this was their first Erotica LA and One described it as, "Interesting." He added that the number of exhibitors at the event was what struck him at first.
It was also the first show for the San Francisco-based Exodus Trust and the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (the Exodus trust endows the institute), which provides graduate-level education for those seeing advanced degrees in human sexuality and collects items associated with the adult industry and art.
The institute showcased fine erotic art and one sheet posters of classic adult movies from the '70s. Though not all the pieces were for sale, the proceeds from the items that did sell will benefit the Adult Industry Medical Heathcare Foundation. Ted McIlvenna, president of the institute expects about $20,000 to be raised from the sale.
Another first-time company, 3D Fantasy Films, showcased their three-dimensional titles. John McVicaer, a partner in the company, said he's done well in the show. "We've just shot two features and we have a wall to wall DVD, all in 3D." He added the company is putting together a deal for a $10 million feature and will begin streaming video on 3dhotsex.com.
Outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, another crowd gathered around those that would never step into the event. Three Christian protestors raised signs, one reading, "Fearful, unbelievable, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and all lairs will burn in Hell. Revelation 21:8," and raised their voices against the event and to amused Erotica LA goers.
David Smith, a preacher from Choice Hills Baptist Church, based in Las Vegas, and who carried one of the signs, said Erotica LA attendees violated the Ten Commandments. "In this particular case, Jesus said if you look at a woman to lust after, you've committed adultery in your heart. The seventh commandment includes all kinds of sexual perversions," Smith said. "What we do is we go out, and we feel we get more bang for our buck, to tell as many people as possible, the various ways we've all broken God's laws and what we need to do to turn around from that."
However, the confrontational nature of Smith and his companions' preaching did not sit well with all the Christian attendees. Pastor Mike Foster, from xxxchurch.com, said Smith and the others made it more difficult for his organization to engage the adult industry through direct communication and building a relationship with the industry.
"We're not here to bash people," Foster said. "We're here to convince people. We're not here to say you're all sinners going to hell. Though that may be the reality of it, it's a bad place to start. We're about solutions… if there's going to be change in the porn industry, it'll come from the porn industry."