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February 05, 2018

1st Time AEE Exhibitors Show What's New In Adult Entertainment

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—This year's Adult Entertainment Expo was notable in part because of its super-sized exhibitor booths, some taking up nearly half the width of Muse Hall and a similar amount of space in Artist Hall—but the Expo was nonetheless welcoming to its smaller exhibitors, including various companies showing their wares for the first time at AEE. Some of these "newcomers" are the focus of this article. At least one major media outlet claimed that virtual reality was virtually absent from AEE 2018, but nearly half of the first-time exhibitors we spoke with were going full steam ahead with VR offerings. Most impressive was CamasutraVR, which set up its own "virtual bordello" to showcase state-of-the-art motion-capture avatars that were nearly indistinguishable from live humans. AVN spent a day on the set at the company last spring, where more than 140 hi-def cameras captured even the tiniest details of actress Lily Lane's body, and CamasutraVR's programmers took that material, as well as similar captures of about a dozen other actresses, and combined it into the most realistic VR scenes currently available that didn't consist of simply filming live humans. And once CamasutraVR secures a bit more funding, it'll be turning its porn star avatars into programmable bots that VR users can bend to their every sexual desire. "This trade show has been very important for us, and the reception we've had has been great," said CamasutraVR spokesperson Jason Rockwell. "The people that have tried it on the floor loved it and so we're very happy so far. There's a really positive vibe here, and it's helping us really reach out to the public. "Right now, we're looking for investment," he added. "There's a few people interested already, and right now, we've got a demo ready, and more importantly, the feedback that we get from the people here is going to help us fine-tune the experience, so the convention is also acting as market research for us because what we think isn't necessarily what everybody thinks because it's a very personal opinion. So we're asking questions after people have the experience itself and we're taking note of those to fine-tune our product." (Those who'd like to help CamasutraVR fulfill its promise can inquire about doing so at [email protected]) Another company with its own hi-def avatars was the German-based VRXcity, which boasts "about 900 erotic stars" on its website, and invites the public to become "alpha testers" of its latest products. "We're bringing porn to a new level," stated VRXcity's Sebastian Malm. "We produce a VR experience with a VR headset where you can not only watch people having sex but you can do it yourself. We scan porn stars with a 3D scanner, make them into digital avatars, go into the motion-capture studio and then program interactivity into them with AI and all that kind of stuff, and then you can basically have sex with her just like in real life. You can touch her, follow her around, touch the breasts, all in VR. It's very, very immersive. It's something completely different; you have to really see it to believe it. Everyone who stopped by has been amazed by it. They were like, 'Holy fuck, that's the future!' Because it's another step on the ladder and it's where everything is headed." Among VRXcity's plans are a line of web-connected sex toys to be used with its virtual sex scenes, so that as one of its VR porn stars is bouncing on a user's cock, the user will be able to feel as though he's actually inside her, thanks to motors and vibrators within the rubber stroker. The company can be found at vrxcity.com. VR Novels, on the other hand, is aiming to create "mini-features" for its own virtual reality platform, starring some familiar porn actresses as well as a selection of newcomers. "We shoot our own content, storyline videos and VR; we're also shooting short films as well," said company CEO Daryl Foster. "All of our performers have different scenes that they will do, and we also tie them all in as a novel, as a book to where the series can keep going on and on and on. "Our key features right now are Miss Nyomi Banxxx; we have Miss Lethal Lipps, we have Miss Kelli Provocateur, we have two male performers, Bolo the Entertainer and we also have Anthony Borelli, and we're also working with a lot of new artists," he continued. "We have the Chi-Town Twins, the Double Dose Twins, a lady by the name of E-Class; we're working with some comedians as well, internet sensations, Nino Brown and such, so we're just building and we'll continue to grow. We have a lot of different acts, a lot of different content  on our website, so people can come check us out at 360vrn.com." It's a subscription site, of course, but in addition to the VR scenes, subscribers can chat live with some of the gals, and even upload their own content. Moving away from the VR, a couple of the new exhibitors were already well-known to AVN.com readers: Fist Pump Films and FuckingAwesome.com, both of which are ramping up online scene and even feature production. "We've not been in business that long; it's almost two years," said Fist Pump's Jonny Gash. "It was going to be just a one-off originally, sort of a one-and-done, but it was actually really quite fun, and then I kind of fell in love with the photography side and the glamour side, and I've been trying to do as best I can. Only one film's been released, and that's the one we're nominated for, which is Condoms Are For Pussies, which is an all-anal film, and the other scenes that we've done haven't been released, including a big blow-bang movie we did back in November, called Girls Just Want To Have Foam. "Mostly, we've spent the past year trying to find where we fit; our niche, if you like," he continued. "We've shot 60 scenes, and of those 60, three of them are where we want to be. Don't get me wrong; they're all great, but we think what we'll do is release the 57 on cam sites and Clips4Sale and start again from where we've come now, and push forward into a proper release. We're not sure about DVD production only because technology and whatnot; VOD seems to be a good platform for us." Basically, according to Gash, the company is still trying to find itself—which may explain why, with roughly 60 scenes in the can, the company's website is still just a landing page, fistpumpfilms.com—though for a landing page, it looks pretty nice, and gives an idea of the sort of outré content Gash prefers. "The site should go live in the next month or so," Gash stated. "We've taken a very long time to make sure we do it right the first time because you can only really debut once and we want to make sure we step out with our best foot forward. Now that we've got a proper team in place and we've got all the right crew, we're looking to do one film a month. That's our plan, and then we'll focus also on photography, which I quite like, as a separate entity." Gash himself directs the content, and he's hired veteran performer Jack Vegas as his PA. FuckingAwesome, on the other hand, has been in production for more than half a year, and it's been releasing one new scene per week, using some of adult's top new starlets. "We're fairly new," explained company spokesperson Brad Johns. "At fuckingawesome.com, we shoot porn stars, the top girls in the industry; we have fun scripts, great content, and that's what we're about. We release a new scene every Monday, brand-new scene. Generally speaking, we shoot in L.A. Some of the stars people can find on our site are Keisha Grey, Natalia Starr, Janice Griffith, Spencer Scott, top names—I mean, you name her, we've shot her ... We're a subscription site, and although we're not officially affiliated with any other sites, we work closely with all the big brands." Each FuckingAwesome video runs about 30 minutes, and most feature the industry's top male talent as well, most notably Mick Blue. The site even has a countdown clock to let subscribers know when the next scene will drop. Also newly exhibiting at the Expo was industry vet Jeff Dillon, late of Gamelink, who's started his own content site, Xblizit.com, albeit one with a twist: "Subscribers" (it's a free, ad-driven site) get rewards for each level they access, and the stars can make cash by getting viewers to vote for them. "Xblizit is a new take on video-on-demand," said Dillon, who's way familiar with VOD sites. "It's a gamified VOD site built on a very powerful commercial engine of 50 levels. Every level issues a new reward and then studios can make money putting their content on our platform and building a channel that will bring in ad revenue and subscription revenue; stars can make money by getting their fans to vote for them. The most popular star every month will receive $500; the second most popular will receive $200; and the third will receive $100—every month, So fans can keep voting for their favorite star, and it's a great way for everybody to make money. The customers make money from our rewards program, the stars make money from our contests, and most of all our content producers, which is why we're here, because we're here to jerk off, watch the stars—we also pay them and they're getting a share of the ad revenue, which they're not getting on the tube sites." Xblizit currently has about 20 studios posting content to the site, and Dillon figures to cap the number of providers at 40 altogether. "We're keeping it to a very limited selection of studios which are very focused towards the needs of our audience, who are the core focus," he said. "A lot of tube sites will carry everything, but we're going to be more of a curated catalog of content." Among the current providers are ArchAngel Video, HookUpHotShot, Screwbox and the recently signed PervOut. There are also interesting little ditties like BallWonder, whom Dillon describes as "the amazing story of a cancer survivor, now with superheroes, and women can't resist him ... A bunch of companies here at AVN are super-interested in coming on board, and we'll be signing deals aggressively over the next few months and getting them online." Another new exhibitor was TeaseUm.com, a 10-year-old content provider with a specialty: photos and videos of women in bikinis—and they do a bit of webcamming as well—and those bikinis don't stay on indefinitely. There's another twist as well: The TeaseUm ladies will be only too glad to book you on "luxury lifestyle cruises" to places like Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta, and even Alaska—and a lot of the models go on those cruises, ready to pose in the tropical sun for all sorts of photos. "There's no hardcore; we just like to tease 'em," explained model Lauren Lucia. "That's why we named it TeaseUm." "I'm the director of models for TeaseUm, so I help run over 6,000 models," said Crystal Knight, who was staffing the booth with seven of her fellow models. "We have over 300 staff photographers. We do destination photo shoots to Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, all over. We're a bikini, lingerie and nude website that has photo sets, videos—we have probably 100,000 of each of those, and then we also have webcams, we have bikinis for sale, some of the tiniest bikinis probably in the business—someone said it's like dental floss and coasters on your body. Other than that, we help build models' careers, teach them how to make a name in the industry, and then they go wherever they want to go from there, whether it's porn, just lingerie, glamour, runway—so we help build girls and teach them to be a persona, a force to reckon with. "I'm 22 now, and I started this the day I turned 18, so I'm going on my fifth year and I'm super-excited," she added. "I'm a bikini, lingerie and nude model as well as a dominatrix, so I got into that lifestyle and made clips; they taught me how to cam and really make a name for myself, and it's really fun. We are also content distributors to about 200 magazines right now, so we get girls in Playboy—all the Playboys, even the international ones— FHM... really, anywhere and anything you want to get into, whether it's tattoos, motorcycles—we help you find those magazines to get you published." While TeaseUm may have had eight models chatting and signing photos, Dolls Playground featured about a dozen "models," all displayed across the back wall of Artists Hall. Of course, they were all rubber, but that shouldn't make a difference, right? "Dolls Playground was set up last year," said company spokeperson Daniel Kachler. "We are a party of three: a Canadian guy, me as a German and Jenny from China. The company is located in Spain, so you see we are very international. Our dolls are made of TPE, made in the USA. The difference between those Chinese guys around us that are using the cheap Chinese TPE, we're using the high-grade, FDA-approved TPE, so you can enjoy them without getting any problems." As has become the rule for higher-end sex dolls, the Dolls Playground inventory all have orifices that are removable for washing. The company currently has a showroom in Germany, and does most of its sales over the internet, though its home page at dollsplayground.com seems to be under construction—possibly because the company is planning to open a showroom in Los Angeles, and is searching for a partner with whom to go into business. On the production side of things, one booth that drew a lot of interest was Padcaster, a portable iPad-based production studio that basically fits into a knapsack. "Padcaster is a way to use your personalized IoS device—your iPad—to capture high-end video," explained a company spokesperson. "You take the iPad and put it in our proprietary metal frame, and we have three different mic options: we have a lavalier, we have a shotgun mic and we also have a stick mic. In addition, we also have an LED light. This solution also comes with a teleprompter, so if you have a script that you need to read, you can read it off the teleprompter. What's cool about the teleprompter is that you're actually looking into the camera of the iPad while you're reading it so there's zero eye drift. In addition, it comes with a wide-angle lens and a micro lens that you can use as well if you don't want to use the camera that's on the iPad. You can also use other lenses that come with Canon or Sony or Panasonic, etc." The company was running an "AVN Show Special" which, thankfully for non-attendees, will continue through the end of 2018. It includes dolly wheels, a tripod, a case to hold the iPad and accessories, all three mics, the LED light, the two-lens options, the teleprompter, and it also comes with a backpack that holds everything, so wherever one wants to shoot, all the necessary equipment is right at hand. Also included is a green screen so if one is camming at home, with a flick of the editing software, one can be on the beach or on the golf course or in a hotel—or a swing club! The whole thing costs just $1299, and is available at Padcaster.com. Finally, attendees at the show saw one of the coolest sex toys currently available: the Opro2x sex machine for couples. Perhaps the best way to think of it is that it combines the best parts of a Sybian and one of those fucking machines—or just look at the photo above! "The purpose of our machine is to bring couples together; we're trying to bring the man and the woman together," explained Chris, the company's owner. "There's so many machines out there, mostly for women; there may be a few out there for men, but we want to have something for couples play. Our machine is different from the others. You have a dildo that actually is doing penetration, and inside the dildo is a tube that delivers lubrication. We don't want to have women have to stop in the middle of intercourse, in the middle of having fun, to lube up. You have it internally, ready to rock and roll. "You have the functionality of the dildo and your attachment, and you also have the vibrator, your clit vibe, adjustable but you can lock it in place hands free, let it go, and with that said, we also want to bring the man into the mix; we want to make sure he has lots of fun," Chris continued. "Back here, you do have a nice, tight, wet pussy that will act as a vacuum seal, and it has a stroker inside so the man will be satisfied. We don't have lube inside the stroker, but it's much easier for a man to lubricate and stay inside than it is for a woman to stay on top of this thing, I guarantee you that. We also have a handle so the woman can just hold on; you don't want her to fall forward." But that's just the beginning of this top-level gadget. For one thing, it's got a digital readout of all the speeds for both the clit vibe and attachment. Also, the included lubricating dildo is removable, and various third party devices can be attached in its place. But even that's not all. "The really cool thing about our machine that we're excited to bring out is our wi-fi capability through our app," Chris said. "You're able to have full functionality in the palm of your hand with your phone and your tablet, and you have facetime interval with your partner; you get to see her, she sees you, and you are on with our app and you are able to run the clit vibe and the attachment speeds and everything from anywhere you are in the world. It's a big seller, especially among the military; we have a lot of military. We are based out of San Diego; we're very proud to be made in the USA so we are in a big community with military so we do have a lot of military folks with wives and girlfriends that are at home, and this is about as close as they can get to just having a little bit of pleasure, fun and sex with their loved ones." Those interested can find the Opro2X sex machine at Opro2x.com/.  

 
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