According to preliminary numbers released by Erotica LA organizers, approximately 40,000 people attended this year's show, which is a staggering increase of over 60 percent over 2004's final figures.
This year, Erotica LA had expanded its floor space more than 65 percent, spurred in part by the event’s success from the previous year and by the division of the floor into three interconnected marketplaces: Gay, Romantic and X.
“We are simply blown away by the success of the show to date,” Chad Beecher, vice president of operations and marketing, said in a statement. “Erotica LA has always been about reaching out to the average consumer. Yesterday’s attendance numbers demonstrate that conclusively that Erotica LA truly reaches out to the mainstream.”
The show’s stages today offered erotic fashion shows featuring Musotica Wear, Forplay and other companies along with a dynamic hip-hop dance performance on the X Marketplace Stage and all-male revues La Bare Hollywood and Hollywood Men stripped down to their g-strings, while the women in the crowd screamed in appreciation. Seminars today included AIM Health Care’s Sharon Mitchell, Ph.D, lecturing on safe sex, Dr. Patti Britton (author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Sensual Massage) giving a lecture called “The Art Of Sensual Touch” and Miyoko Fujimori teaching an introductory class on the art of the striptease.
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(Photos: Don Camp & Adrian)
On the floor, the presence of couples enjoying the day and buying various implements for spicing up their sex lives was the norm while men roamed in packs looking to get slicks and DVDs signed by their favorite porn stars and occasionally loitering by the AVN/AVN Online-sponsored mechanical bull to watch girls writhe appealingly on the motored monster, as performer Tiffany Mynx did on Saturday to the approval of many. Attendee Steven was fresh off his own eventual spill off the bull and was enthused about his first time at the show.
“The bull was cool and there’s a lot of hot girls here. You can count on seeing me here at this show every year. I can’t believe I haven’t done this before,” he said, mopping a little sweat off his face with a t-shirt.
Couple Jose and Gaby Anguiano were on a quest for glass penis key chains and information on home sex toy sales parties. This was their second year attending Erotica LA.
“This show just seems to get better every year. There’s a lot more people here and more stuff to see and more girls and to top it off, my wife is not as awkward about coming here as she was last year,” Jose said.
“Hey! That’s because I get to see guys now! I really like the Hollywood Men,” Gabby retorted.
“I couldn’t get her away from them today,” Jose continued. “She had me standing there and standing there. ... It’s not a bad thing, really. It pays off at night.”
Companies that exhibited this year were optimistic about the show and their future attending it.
While other booths had quite a bit of traffic, the lines to see Jenna Jameson at the Club Jenna booth were simply awe-inspiring.
“Erotica LA is the perfect environment for Jenna and the stars in our roster to interact with and reach out to the entire spectrum of her fan base. Jenna and Erotica LA was, and always will be, about the mainstream acceptance of erotica," Club Jenna President Jay Grdina said in a statement.
Lewis Adams of the new company Damaged Productions was enjoying the traffic that passed by his booth that was close to The Erotic Museum’s gallery.
“The purpose behind us doing the show was just to get our name out to people and we have 15 years of catching up to go to get to where Evil [Angel] is so we made a nice DVD sampler to put into people’s hands so we are just letting the quality of our product stand up for itself,” Adams said between encouraging sales of his Tabu title. Performers Brooke and August signed for fans there.
Kevin Song, founder of ArkDVD.com and the ARK DVD stores, had regular traffic stopping by to buy DVDs off his counter.
“This is a fantastic show. We were a little skeptical at first that the new segregation of the markets would affect us but we’ve been pretty pleased and we did better this year than last year,” Song said.
Christine De La Torre of PaintItBlakk.com sold hardcore rock n’ roll-themed garments and purses and was pleased with her sales, saying, “We sold way more than we thought we ever would. This is our first show, even as a customer so we had no idea what to expect, and even though our product isn’t really sex-based, people are still cool with it. It’s all cool…. They can buy a dildo next door and they can buy a t-shirt here!”
Platinum X Pictures flanked the Red Light District booth with porn stars Melissa Lauren, Hillary Scott, Jada Fire, Kylie Ireland and Harmony signing for happy fans.
Debbie Schwarz, director of sales for the company, said of the weekend, “We’ve had a lot of great response to the girls signing and the fans have been really receptive to us. They know who Platinum is now. I think the show this year is bigger for us. The facility itself seems a lot nicer as well.”
Lisa, director of sales for Black Widow Productions, had contract girl Malou and Vicky Vette signing at her booth and said, “We’ve has great turnout and people are really into our stuff. What we do is edgy and has a little variety and they are responding to that well.”
Wicked Pictures had constant, steady lines - second in length only to Jameson's - for fans wanting autographs and photos with Julia Ann, Jessica Drake, Kaylani Lei, Keri Sable and Stormy. Director David Stanley also attended.
This was Stanley’s first-ever Erotica LA and he said, “It’s surprisingly fun. It gives me a big charge to realize how many people come out for this and to see that they are still able to treat sex with a healthy, obsessive eye. There are a lot of clean-cut older people and younger people - it’s not a meat market, it’s not a strip club, it’s commerce. In this post-modern era of pornography, the one with the biggest booth wins and I guess Wicked wins. That’s great for me. I am happy.”
Wicked publicity director Daniel Metcalf said, “We couldn’t be happier with the feedback we’ve received from the fans visiting Erotica LA this year. ... Having Wicked at the head of the Romantic section has given us a more direct avenue with our core demographic which 12 years down the line is still women and couples. The response has been great with couples walking in and seeing the video company that caters to their needs. Everyone at every level of Wicked thanks Reeder Bradbury security for being the best celebrity bodyguard service we’ve ever used. We are making them a permanent part of Wicked’s public outreach.”
This was Sable’s first show as a Wicked Girl and she worked hard to get through her lines and give time to her gonzo and new feature fans. She said of the weekend, “The show has been great. It’s so fun meeting all of the fans. It’s exciting being a Wicked Girl here. I’ve never experienced something like this. The fans are all so nice and respectful.”
The day closed with Integrated Innovations giving away a set of custom rims and a final erotic fashion show.
For information on attending next year’s show, visit www.erotica-la.com.