Expo bringing porn stars, nearly-naked bull riding to Miami Beach
BY JAMES H. BURNETT III, Miami Herald
Only in South Beach could people with names like Buck Naked and Tootsie Pop be welcomed with open arms.
But then only South Beach could host Exotica, the largest adult entertainment-themed convention on the East Coast.
Exotica will be held June 9-11 in the Miami Beach Convention Center and will feature contests and live entertainment — whatever that means — exhibits and sales of all things erotic, from clothing, to art, to adult videos, to, er, bells and whistles.
The open-to-the-public event, which will have 250 exhibitor booths and is expected to draw 15,000-20,000 attendees, will mark the first time ever, organizers say, that a porn conference on the East Coast has been large enough to warrant more than a hotel ballroom.
Among the exhibits and contests, the O’Face (think Office Space) Amateur Film Festival, and the First Annual Nearly-Nude Mechanical Bull Riding Championships, sure to chafe a few folks.
Porn stars Tera Patrick and Nikki Benz, along with adult film veteran Ron Jeremy will be on hand to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans.
Sure, there’s a giggle factor, if for no other reason than the stage names. Even the guys putting on this event, J. Handy and Ben LaJoie — yes, real names, admit that.
But the $12.6 billion the porn industry raked in nationwide last year, according to Sugarbank.com, is no joke.
Handy described Exotica as ”a celebration of sexy” and said the event represents the rapidly increasing commercial success and mainstream acceptance of adult entertainment.
As for South Florida, Handy’s Victory Tradeshow Management chose this location for the first big East Coast porn conference ”because South Beach is sexy,” and ”it’s been amazing how South Floridians have embraced the concept,” he said.
Market research, LaJoie said, has shown women and couples attend events like Exotica when they’re looking to spice up intimate relations and often because they can hide in plain sight.
”We’re going to have education seminars, where our exhibitors inform the public on how to use their products and explore their adult lifestyles,” he said.
“There are a lot of people who want to learn about different aspects of the industry, but are too embarrassed to got to a boutique or retail store for it. At a large convention like this they will be surrounded by other people and won’t necessarily stand out.”