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December 1, 2007
4 Play celebrated their 10th anniversary with a bang, and a bull. There was a bull riding contest, along with a long list of the hottest dancers in LA going on stage.
Some ex-employees that worked at 4 Play over the years also came in to show their love for the club they used to work at.
Both in-house feature dancers Tally Stevens and Penelope performed their amazing sets on stage. After Penelope's performance, she literally got a standing "O" from the audience. These in-house girls make many of the so called adult features look lazy and untalented.
The bull riding contestants were Athena, Dallas, Jennifer, Sterline, Electra, Sheryl, and Yvonne. Athena and Dallas came back and did a double-trouble bull riding session. The girls went topless but not nude. Probably because of some hygiene law. I'm not sure who won but it certainly was different. This may be the first and last time this happens at any nude club.
Frankly, I was a little disappointed with the bull riding. I knew that nobody was going to be thrown off and have their heads cracked open, but I thought there would be a little more movement so that there would be some booby jiggling. But with lawyers lurking everywhere, no such luck.
But all in all, this night was an amazing milestone, as well as great
fun, along with a fantastic lineup of beauties on stage.
Congratulations to 4 Play for 10 wonderful years, and I hope to be around to
see the next 10.
March 1, 2007
One noticeable change this year was that some
major players were not even present. Although Vivid Video provided lanyards
for the press badges, they had no booth at the Expo. Other major studios such
as Wicked and Hustler had the large booths they've had in previous years.
The great increase in alternative sources for adult video and pictures is certainly of some concern to the major studios - while providing more options for consumers. But a more sinister change in the industry is the ongoing enforcement of the Federal law known in the industry as "2257" (specifically, U.S. Code Section 2257), which last year was amended and expanded into new areas that concern anyone producing or distributing adult media in the US.
The two major concerns over 2257 are its expansion to "secondary producers" and a new section making its requirements applicable to "simulated" sexual activity. The role of "secondary producers" is controversial and was thrown out by the courts a few years ago, but has been rewritten and will certainly require a new court challenge to avoid its enforcement. Essentially, this provision requires that anyone who edits or repackages or reuses adult material must keep the same records as those who originally film or photograph the models. The implications are enormous - anyone who licenses a photo set or video for use online, a store which displays porn box covers on its web site, and even a DVD manufacturer which produces "compilation" discs, must maintain records for all of the models involved.
The new provisions requiring recordkeeping for simulated sex have huge implications for the mainstream Hollywood film industry, since mainstream films are filled with simulated sexual scenes, many involving actual minors. A legal challenge is underway by the adult industry, of course, which will probably mean many months of legal briefs and court battles which will lay the course for the future of adult entertainment for some years to come.
As is traditional, the Anabolic Video booth was host to new young performers who were happy to ham it up for the camera. Fresh from Barcelona, Spain in 2006 is Rebeca Linares, who was cute and very polite, but delivers very hot performances on film. She told me she's enjoyed working here, but is looking forward to flying back to Barcelona soon to spend some time with her family. Joining her in the booth were Ashley Jensen and Natasha Nice, also newcomers featured in Anabolic's great calendar which graces my workroom wall each year. Rebeca was my favorite new girl this year (so you get two pictures of her!).
Drawing much attention this year was a video of teaser clips for the sequel to the 2005 adult blockbuster, "Pirates." While no scenes with actors were shown, teams have reportedly been working on the visual effects for "Pirates II" for over a year, and some impressive computer-animated scenes were shown. Filming is due to start later this year "when the days are longer" and there are more hours to film outdoors.
Another upcoming video that received a lot of media attention last fall was the Jasmine Byrne faux-biopic "J-Ho: Jenny on the Cock", the mere title of which was reviled by Jennifer Lopez and others. However, despite reports that Jasmine would be at the show promoting the video, she was nowhere to be seen, and only a single wall poster touted the title.
Another favorite from previous years, Nautica Thorn smiles as I approach her, then gets a puzzled look for a moment when I ask if she remembers when we last met. After a few eyeblinks she grins, exclaiming, "You took my pants off in L.A.!" (Back in December, as I sat at the tip rail during her appearance at the Spearmint Rhino, she had trouble taking off the camouflage pants over her boots, and sat down in front of me to ask for help.) When I offer up a couple of last year's Expo photos for her to sign, she readily remembers me and comments on the outfits she wore that year.
In contrast, the girls at Sex-Z-Video are dressed every day in matching sleek black outfits modeled after racing jumpsuits. The most well-known is probably Eva Angelina, famous for the glasses she wears in most of her scenes. She was doing strip club features for a while last year, but told me she is taking a long break from it. "I really didn't like featuring," she said. "It was just too hectic, all that traveling."
Also signing at this booth are Exotica, as well as newer talent like Amber Rayne and Veronique Vega. Amber and Veronique haven't let the adoration of fans spoil them yet, as they're both excited like schoolgirls when I show them I've brought back a print of a photo I took of them yesterday, for them to sign. "That's so cool that you do that!" Amber exclaims, and gives me a hug before I move on.
Wicked had a large booth as well, with stars like
Of course, there is more than just "meet & greet" going on at the Expo. The Kink.com booth had live demonstrations of various fetish activities, including a "kinky robot" and a 20-minute live rope bondage demonstration featuring Annie Cruz.
Another booth had a mechanical bull with some very enthusiastic riders.Also present at the show were booths of a few major Las Vegas area strip clubs. We spoke with the general manager of the club Seamless, who invited us to come check out the club. It was conveniently across the street from our hotel, so we walked over to give it a try. This club is visually impressive. The decor is posh, and the dancers delightful, including the "hostess" who greets guests at the entrance swimming in an 8-foot martini glass. Seamless has the look of a casino VIP dance club, and indeed it transforms at 4am into an after hours dance club that stays open until noon. In fact, there's a completely separate set of furniture for the topless club look and the dance club look, and the catwalk the strippers use rises into the ceiling during the changeover, to expose the hardwood dance floor. Seamless isn't cheap, but certainly worth a look, if just to experience what kind of club a $20 million investment can put together.
I'd like to thank my fellow photographers MWD and RLS for their help in documenting the event.
January 6, 2007
One by one, the contestants took to the stage, doing their sexiest strip tease for the audience members, who voted in election style at the end of the contest to determine the winners.
Contestant #17, Romy took 3rd place and $500 with a very sexy and slow strip tease performance, which included some pole work, a dog leash and collar, dancing to Beyonce's "Naughty Girl".
With a more traditional routine, and in a sexy black lingerie, contestant #18, Alexis from the Valley Ball took down 2nd place and $1,500.
Using a school girl / cheerleader hybrid outfit, contestant #6, Madeline brought home 1st place and $3,000 (plus trophy, studio photo shoot worth $500) with some fantastic pole work that shocked some audience members. Madeline is from Spearmint Rhino, Torrance if you want to see more of her pole work abilities.
Thanks to everyone who came to the competition and stayed to vote for their favorites, and the Rouge for hosting this great event.