Gettin' Hard At the Hard Rock--XCritic Takes You Behind The Scenes of the 2012 AEE At The Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas!
By Rob Perez
The 2012 Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) took place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas last week and it was a spectacular event. Bringing together thousands of performers, industry executives, directors, media professionals, novelty companies and retailers from around the world, the adult industry’s most important convention signaled in a new era. For the first time, fans could witness the festivities via a live stream, talk interactively with their favorite performers, and even attend the many official and un-official after parties via their computers. 2012 also saw the AEE move from its long time home, The Sands Expo and Convention Center, to the much more porn friendlier Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which also played host to the 2012 AVN Awards Show. And while the space at its three adjacent halls (The Muse, Joint, and Artist Hall, site of the 2012 Adult Novelty Expo) was smaller than at The Sands—with pedestrian traffic causing major standstills, especially in the Joint—the record number of attendees marked what could only be described as an economic turning point. “The good times are back” as people spent their money on good old dirty smut—buying up as much merchandise from signed autographs, DVDs, sex toys, anything they could pack that might incur scrutiny and maybe some laughs at airport security.
In the coming weeks, myself and my XCritic colleagues—Sean DPS, Alexander “Ebert of Smut” Espinoza, and our fearless leader Chris Thorne—will be bringing you extensive coverage of the AEE/AVN, including print and video interviews, and of course, lots of pictures of some of our favorite girls. Our gallery is located right here http://www.xcritic.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=5794 but don’t worry, there will be more pictures added as time goes by.
Julia Sands www.juliasands.com
This was my first AEE convention in my seven years covering the adult business. While I’ve covered various porn star appearances, fetish festivals and porn expos, none compare to AEE. It was a blast meeting the many performers whom I’ve jerked off too, and industry people I’ve long admired and/or worked with. Dan O’Connell and Moose from Girlfriends Films were most giving of their time and you’ll be seeing their interviews posted soon.
Roger T Pipe of www.rogreviews.com was probably the person I was most excited to meet (and not in an “excited in the pants” kind of way) as I consider him to be the godfather of porn reviews. I’m not 1/10th the reviewer he is, but I’m glad to be in the same business.
As a porn journalist, most of my interaction is with the various studio and independent publicists who work the hardest out of anyone at these shows, dealing with the media and making sure their girls get exposure. I want to thank all the publicists who helped arrange these interviews for XCritic. All went smoothly and on time thanks to their help. So thank you Adella, Chris and Beverly from Fine Ass Marketing, Jennifer and Mike from Digital Playground, Katy from Adam & Eve, Lisa from EMM Media, Brian and Jill from BSGPR, and Karen Stagliano from Evil Angel.
Jim Powers in front of the Exquisite booth
Now let’s talk about the girls, which is really why we go to AEE. You couldn’t miss the gigantic Elegant Angel booth that was home to Asa Akira, Jessie Andrews, Holly Michaels and Lily Carter.
Holly Michaels & Lily Carter
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AEBN, which had booths at the Muse and the Joint, featured the likes of Lexi Belle, Breanne Benson, Sunny Leone, Kirsten Price, and Allie Haze.
Exquisite featured XCritic columnist Chanel Preston who gets my vote for most beautiful girl at the convention, fan favorite Jacky Joy looked amazing, as well as London Keyes and Charley Chase.
I met up with Alex Chance, whom I first met at EXXXotica New Jersey, and in my opinion has the best set of tits since Gianna Michaels.
Also from EXXXotica New Jersey, I hung out with the big beautiful and curvy Mimi Melons, Platinum Puzzy and Sienna Hills who were at AEE to promote the upcoming www.bbwfanfest.com (which I hope to attend).
Platinum Puzzy, Sienna Hills, Mimi Melons
Best ass goes to Sinn Sage. The picture of it you see below Sinn commented, "That's the best shot of my ass I've ever seen!"
Zoey Hollloway gets my vote for best MILF performer, and stopped to talk to XCritic for an impromptu interview and she couldn’t have been more friendlier. Magdalene St. Michaels, also one of my favorite MILFs, is what class and elegance is all about and very giving of her time despite the long line of fans waiting to speak to her. Likewise to India Summer, one of the overall best performers in porn today. Jelena Jensen is a goddess, enough said. Anyone who has picked up an adult magazine over the past decade knows what I’m talking. Kortney Kane, I don’t care what anyone says, has the best body in porn, and despite her intimidatingly good looks, is one of the more friendlier girls I’ve encountered recently.
Magdalene St. Michaels
Evil Angel, who not only had the best looking booth, complete with its own retail store with sexy looking greeters, also had signing for them the eventual 2012 AVN winners of Best New Starlet and Performer of the Year—Brooklyn Lee and Bobbi Starr, respectively. Brooklyn was a crowd favorite, doing several impromptu photo shoots for dozens of photographers and spoke with XCritic about her amazing first year in porn. Bobbi Starr, whom I had predicted in other media outlets would win Performer of the Year, is the best performer in porn today. Among all the elite performers, Bobbi is in a class all her own. Her scenes are first rate, her acting is superb, she’s versatile in that she can switch from gonzo, features, parody, kink, or a couples-friendly title, and is a favorite among fans and critics. No other performer today comes close to reaching the bar Bobbi has raised since her debut in 2006. Belladonna, sporting a bald hairdo, was also sporting her amazing body, signing for fans before performing her aerial acrobatic show, inspired by Cirque Du Soleil. Known for her gritty, gonzo/fetish titles, could airborne porn be the next bizarre series to come from the mind of Belladonna?
Jules Jordan, always the favorite to win multiple gonzo awards, did it again this year with the help of Alexis Texas and Kristina Rose, two of the best performers working today. While they were probably the busiest girls signing at the AEE all three days, with their never ending line of fans that circled around their booth, the two also stopped for photographers who couldn’t stop taking pictures of their moneymakers. Alexis Texas has got some ass on her for a white girl. Abella Anderson, in the business for only a year, also had a long line of fans waiting to speak to her the moment she set foot in Muse Hall.
I also want to take a moment to shout out the male performers and directors who took the time to pose for a picture and answer some questions, many of which you’ll be reading in the next few days. Tom Byron gave a great interview, as did Mr. Pete, one of the nicest guys around. Nacho Vidal and Joey Silvera also posed for photos and talked about their upcoming projects. Erik Everhard also talked for a bit and I’m convinced he’s one of the coolest guys in porn. Ron Jeremy at the HotMovies.com booth stopped to talk, make jokes, and of course promote the hell out of his various liquors, hot sauce, movies, anything at all that carries the Ron Jeremy name. And Max Hardcore, a man I have always been a fan of even when it wasn’t PC to like Max Hardcore, was beyond friendly and giving of his time, talking about his court case, time in prison, and his plans for the future which included a stunning, 18-year-old wonder, Bonnie Rotten. Ebert of Smut will be posting the video interview we conducted with Mr. Hardcore in the coming weeks, make sure to check it out.
Of all the girls I most wanted to meet, Amy Brooke is my kind of performer. If anyone deserves the title, “Dirtiest Girl In Porn,” is this lady. Throw anything at her, Amy is willing to do just about any scene. From gangbangs, double anal, fetish/kink, sex with fans, extreme toy play, even trannies—yikes—Amy was born to be in porn. That’s my kind of woman. Having interviewed Amy late last year for another publication, I can also tell you that she is down-to-earth, friendly, and no question is off limits. Girls like Amy only come around once in a long while, and I am definitely a fan for life!
I had to save the best for last. My relationship with Digital Playground goes back to my earliest days as managing editor at Blue Horizon Media, and it continues to this day. The DP girls are always among the busiest girls signing at AEE, and this year was no different. Led by one of the all-time beautiful girls in porn history, Jesse Jane, DP definitely has one of the hottest line-ups of contract girls—Kayden Kross (also an XCritic columnist), Stoya, Selena Rose, Bibi Jones, and Riley Steele. Stunning is the best way to describe the current line-up.
That wraps up my report of AEE 2012. More coverage from my amazing colleagues who joined me in Vegas this year will be coming shortly, including coverage of the red carpet at the AVN Awards, and the awards show itself, plus interviews, tons more pictures and videos. XCritic will be back at AEE/AVN 2013. Until then, keep coming back to XCritic for the best porn coverage on the web!
AEE 2012 Logo Courtesy of AVN Media
All Photos By Rob Perez
Follow me on Twitter @RobGPerez