Okay, so most of you all know that this past weekend, we exhibited in Atlantic City's Exxxotica Convention. If you don't know what that is, in the name, it has XXX, so it was a XXX porn convention. Now hold on to your hats, it's not what you think..there aren't people having kinky sex randomly all over the place..it's nothing like that! Now don't get me wrong, there are all sorts of sex toys, videos, lingerie, magazines, shoes, art, bathing suits, vaporizors, an S&M Dungeon, porn stars, both male and female, signing autographs, lots of ladies scantily clad dancing on poles and swinging on swings everywhere you look, male exotic dancers, and of course Fukitt Clothing. Also wandering around the convention, looking at everything, buying goodies to take home and experiment with, are people and couples of all ages, from your newlyweds to couples married for 35 or more years looking to spice up their lives a bit. (On a side note, I will add that there are of course the random creepy guys, just wandering around to get their eyes full of the ladies, but for the most part, it's everyday, normal folks like you an me).
Friday, we get to the Trump Taj Mahal, check in to our room, and start setting up our booth in the Taj Arena. Our booth looks great, and we have a minute to kill, so we go rest quickly and freshen up in our room. At 4:45 pm, we head back down and wait for the doors to open at 5:00 p.m. People start coming in, wandering around, asking questions, and looking at everything. Our first sales happen pretty quickly in that a lot of people saw us the previous weekend at the AC Beer Fest or at last years Exxxotica and were waiting to see what we had this year. It was nice to see some faces we recognized who were all about our mission. We had the opportunity to meet some real great people who were touched by what we are about and shared their stories with us, of their struggle with depression and suicide and how they loved what we stood for and are now supporters of our brand. Thank you for sharing your story with us! We're proud of you!
Saturday is much like Friday, but on steroids! This place is pumping with great music, loaded with people of all types, shapes and sizes in regular clothes, to well, crazy fetish outfits to say the least...everyone is welcome here and no one judges! I saw men dressed as women, women being walked around with collars on a leash, celebrities, people in latex from head to toe, men in kilts, women in sexy lingerie, the list of things we saw were endless.
During the day there are many seminars and Q and A with people in the "biz", the adult industry biz, and honestly, a lot of it was interesting, entertaining and mostly, an insight to these peoples lives and who they are as humans. These are everyday, "normal" people with husbands, wives, kids, pets, hobbies, etc., and a lot of them smart businessmen and women. There are of course the stereotypical kind, what everyone thinks a "porn star" is, but for the most part, they are normal just like you and me, and you wouldn't know what they did for a living if you had a regular conversation with them. Me, personally, I had a conversation with Nina Hartley, a lovely woman in her mid 50's, in the ladies room of all places, (I had no clue who she was), about how ladies rooms are never clean and you can't put your purse down when you wash your hands because it'll get wet, and we laughed and chatted some more. Come to find out later that night at the Fanny Awards (Fan Choice Awards) Nina received a lifetime achievement award. She's been in porn since the 70's! Her acceptance speech was filled with amazing, inspiring words, kind and heartfelt, full of knowledge and I personally agreed with a lot of things she said. Some of the other ladies owned their own production companies. Some, are trying to live a better life then they did while growing up and take care of their families. Some, do it to take care of abused animals, and have farms full of animals who have been abused and abandoned. I guess if there's a will there's a way. Some do it to pay their way through Ivy League schools. Belle Knox, started in porn last year, to put herself through Duke University. She couldn't afford the tuition, but now she can and is completing her schooling. Hey, like I said, if there's a will there's a way. These ladies and men, they chose their way. I say good for them to do it with pride and not care. They bring a lot of happiness to the lives of people, keep marriages together, (hey, if mom and dad are getting busy, with each other, chances are, they'll stay together)... and allow some people to live a little fantasy for a little while.
After a successful and crazy Saturday, we got off to the "Fanny Awards", and see a lot of funny things, a lot of inspiring things, and the softer side of a few "porn stars". They were humbled by the awards they received. It has been an interesting 2 days thus far...!
Sunday is just like Friday, a little slower, but this is the day I can actually talk to some of the stars I've run into the past 2 days. Mostly it's been a quick hello, while they buy a shirt or hat or walk by, but today is different. Our new "friend" and porn star legend, Evan Stone (http://www.evanstone.com/) is rocking his Fukitt hat and loves our message. He knows a lot of people in his industry who are affected by drugs and depression and have taken the suicide route, and it's sad. I'm glad Evan was so supportive of us all weekend, every time he came by he stopped and gave us all hugs and talked for while and took a video for his Twitter and FB. I had the opportunity to have a lengthy conversation with Lexi Belle (all these names I never heard of prior to this weekend), (http://www.lexibelle.com/) the cutest, tiny little blonde girl, she looks so innocent. She's super sweet and has a friend who attempted suicide 3 times. She got a hat and was also inspired by our mission.
All in all, it was a crazy, fun filled weekend, full of surprises, smiles and heartwarming stories. So when people ask me, WHY did we do a porn convention, I'll tell you these things: First of all, I'm no better then anyone else, and I don't care what someone does for a living. I care who people are. I care how people treat others, and animals. Our mission is to inspire people to live life without regret and accept challenges worth the risk. No where in that statement does it discriminate against anyone, no matter their age, sex, race, color or creed. It's for all humanity, no matter who you are, what you do, what you believe in, who you pray to or not, and what your job is. Secondly, if we helped inspire one person, or touched someone's life, well then job well done I say! Exxxotica, we will be seeing you again in Chicago and Edison later this year! We hope to continue to inspire all "people" everywhere!