Armchair Vegas: Twitter AVN (And A Bit of CES)

by Violet Blue on January 8, 2011

Jesse Jane, David Spade, Riley Steele

Friday night: porn stars Jesse Jane and Riley Steele; dingleberry David Spade. From Riley Steele’s Twitter feed.

Two conventions in Las Vegas, Nevada are in full swing right now: CES, a convention of gadget porn and hype, and AVN – a convention branded by a porn magazine centering around an awards show that recognizes one self-tanned silicone-stuffed titty-sack’s corner of the world’s porn. It is not at all, as many would have you believe, the entire world of porn. I have a number of friends there, doing the usual yearly combination of being there to do the right thing and represent, while wondering what they fuck they’re doing there and pounding vitamin C so they don’t come home sick from well vodka, secondhand smoke, and an ulcer from having spent three sleepless days watching a few thousand careers simultaneously circle a drain called DVD.

Surprisingly, CNBC is covering it – though I send you to their coverage with the usual warning that they’re writing about it in the fake OMG “coming out of the shadows” style. Which is really unnecessary these days. Regardless, it does not paint a positive financial picture for mainstream porn. In a remorseful post, the Las Vegas Weekly blog tells us that major companies Adam & Eve and Vivid are not even there this year, with the convention somehow shrunk even smaller than last year.

I’m pestering everyone for media, as I am at home working on launching my next big book (coming out sooner than expected). Porn stars can poke Twitter with their unicorn horns, but apparently the hashtag #AVN is too complicated for these delicate flowers. I chased down feeds of people I know and put together an armchair photo gallery from the more exciting tweeters – photos after the jump include porn stars such as Sasha Grey, Dave Navarro, Lexi Belle, Stoya being interviewed by G4TV, Lupe Fuentes, Riley Steele, Bobbi Starr, Fleshlight and many more. Pics are from Friday.

Before you jump, I think it’s interesting to note that I was invited to go be on panels and do coverage – but I decided not to. I said that at the end of the day, I feel that the ROI for the porn convention, in its current form and iteration, is just bad for business (saying this as a businesswoman). While I think about that, I’m piqued to see that over at CES this year there are companies that would ordinarily be at the porn convention – Lelo, OhMiBod and Trojan (links via Viviane, FYI: I *love* Lelo). They’re promoting their sex toys at CES – which is odd when you read the CNBC article saying that AVN is banking on recovering by focusing on sex toys… Here’s a great video of a few sex toys companies *not* at the porn convention this weekend:

Compare that video of CES to this video of AVN on opening day if you want to compare and contrast:

Stoya being interviewed in the Fleshlight booth by G4TV – mysteriously, G4′s Twitter feed didn’t mention this…

Stoya G4TV

Lupe Fuentes being interviewed by a man who gets fashion tips from Michael Lohan:

Lupe Fuentes

Sad panda and sad porn superfan Dave Navarro with Sasha Grey in the airport:

Dave Navarro Sasha Grey

Dana DeArmond looking hot in a Betsey Johnson dress, for Girlfriend Films. Watch their picstream for cute girls. Seriously.

Dana DeArmond

Lexi Belle looking gorgeous in those glasses. Rock! She just gets sexier all the time:

Lexi Belle

Daisy Delfina showing us her cards:

Daisy Delfina

The excitement. It. Never. Starts.

AVN tits

Schwag:

porn schwag

Finally, some real fucking porn. Fries from the In-N-Out Burger delivery in the Gizmodo truck at CES:

in n out burger gizmodo

Pretty Bobbi Starr taking a lunchbreak from signing for Evil Angel. Her post about what it takes to get ready to sign and do porn appearances is interesting.

Bobbi Starr

Kaine from the Ying Yang Twins at the Fleshlight booth.

Kaine Ying Yang Twins

The bed in the Fleshlight booth. This strikes me as unsanitary. I am kind of bummed that Ustream pulled the plug on Fleshlight’s livestream – though I’m not surprised, the prudes – but I think it would have been a lot of fun to watch. Suxxors.

fleshlight bed

{ 4 comments }

1 Amanda January 11, 2011 at 10:26 pm

this Swedish sex toy company called LELO did the right move – exactly what violet said, they were at the personal electronics section of CES. And it was quite the success too, with Guy Kawasake tweeting about his, ehem, pleasurable experience http://twitter.com/GuyKawasaki/status/23226141493960705

2 violet January 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Ery, I totally agree with you. When I posted this I wanted to add that if I had a sex toy company, I’d be going the CES route (among other tech channels) rather than go to AVN – for a lot of reasons. (I’m personally generally VERY frustrated with what I see are the failures of the porn convention, but I don’t want to be too negative in this post.) Frankly, I think JimmyJane and a variety of sex toy designer/manufacturers ought to be in the “Personal Electronics” section of CES. They don’t “need” AVN at all. Ones that are primed for mainstream consumption and can be taken seriously, with real tech, honest packaging, and non-offensive marketing. I think that if the move goes in that direction, we’ll get more of a chance of seeing the kind of innovation you’re talking about. And that would be very, very exciting.

3 Viviane January 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Thanks for the linkage! Interesting that AVN seems smaller, whereas attendance at CES is up this year (a 6% increase from last year’s CES, according to CNET). So it’d make sense for the toy manufacturers to appear at CES.

4 Ery January 8, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Is it really so odd that sex toy makers are at CES rather than AVN? Vibrators certainly seem more like Consumer Electronics than Adult Videos to me.

And I’ve actually been thinking that the sex toy industry has a good deal to learn from the cell phone industry lately. Sex toys are almost always output-only devices, they vibrate and squirm, and maybe even thrust or warm or squirt, but is that all there is to sex? Don’t we also want the opportunity for introspection and learning in pursuit of more and better pleasure?

Imagine if we could roll an iPhone up into a cylinder and use it as a vibrator. How much could we learn about ourselves? It’s got accelerometers and gyroscopes to track how we move it, it’s got hundreds of thousands of little capacitance sensors to track how and where we’re touching it (and which I suspect could be adapted to monitor wetness as well), it’s got a camera for capturing even more data about how it’s positioned relative to our body (and maybe for making a show of it if we’re the exhibitionist type). And that’s just the equipment that it comes with by coincidence, having never been meant as a sex toy; add a couple of cheap LEDs and the camera could do pulse oximetry to track our heart rate and genital blood flow, add a resistive touch layer and we could cross check the capacitive layer and track pressure when we squeeze. And that’s not even getting into the more advanced haptic technologies that seem to be coming in the near future.

Tie all those sensors together with the right software, and we’ve got a sex toy that can adapt itself to us, and that can keep track of our actions and reactions when we’re not in the right state of mind to keep track ourselves if we’re doing it right. Like, if we’re looking to tease ourselves or our partner, we might set it to watch for signs of nearing release and crank down the vibrations to hold us on the edge for longer. Or if we’re playing with ourselves while looking at something sexy online, we could link our vibrator to our computer/phone/tablet via Bluetooth, and when we’re done we’d have a story with all of the hottest parts automatically highlighted according to our real time reactions (ditto for pictures or video).

And, if we chose to submit anonymized feedback to the makers of those stories/pictures/videos/etc, imagine what it could do for the world of porn. Having a nice big data set of feedback directly from your users’ throbbing genitals telling you exactly what they all found arousing would have to make it easier to find and address niche markets with their own tastes and desires, while simultaneously guiding the mainstream market in a shift closer to what their potential customers really find hot.

And of course, there’s no reason the data has to be anonymized before sharing if the we the users don’t want it to be. The exhibitionists could get a leave-in magic bullet model and have it tweet their arousal in real time if they felt like it, or play any number of other fun games at the intersection of their legs and social networking. And couples could work to get over awkwardness and embarrassment in learning each other’s favorite ways to get off by sharing their logs with each other and experimenting with what they find.

I have to wonder why this sort of thing doesn’t already exist. There are a few awkward novelty “teledildonics” devices, but no real attempt at mainstream penetration. Is it just a matter of the technologies being relatively new and expensive? Has it really not occurred to anyone to apply them this way yet? Or is it more of a social issue? Maybe it’s something as simple as the old women and technology don’t mix meme? Or could it be there really isn’t much demand for this sort of thing; perhaps curiosity is overwhelmed by some sort of fear of exposure in sexual matters like this in the population at large? I just don’t know…

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