Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Disgusting Philistines at this Year’s Adult Entertainment Expo

So here I am at this year’s Adult Entertainment Expo, and let me tell you, I am learning quite a bit about the state of the American cultural landscape. The part of the Expo that I am exploring consists mainly of various booths for porn production companies. They come every year to show off their wares and they bring their Lucite heeled stars with them. Fans wait in lines that snake all the way up and down the convention floor. 10, 20 minutes they wait in line to get a fast autograph, to simply stand next to a woman they have lusted after from so far away. Hopefully she will smile at them for a couple seconds.

Unfortunately, what I see at the expo doesn’t leave me with a lot of pride for my gender. The problem really comes about when I make it to the far corner of the convention hall, specifically the booth for the Adam and Eve Production Company. When I get to Adam and Eve, the actress on display is a young woman by the name of Joanna Angel. With her copious tattoos and multicolored hair she works in what has been dubbed as “alt porn.”

Now, by no means have I seen all of Ms. Angel’ works. Young Ripe Melons 8, Grand Theft Anal 10, Joanna Angel’s Guide 2 Humping, these are all films that I cannot pretend to know. Nonetheless, I do believe I have seen enough of what Ms. Angel does to be disgusted by what I find at her booth.

What I find at her booth, after having to wade through the trite mediocrity of the other booths, is an autograph line that consists of no more than four people. FOUR PEOPLE! This makes no sense whatsoever. As I’m sure you know, this woman of porn is clearly a national treasure and I cannot describe to you the disgust I feel when I only see 4 people in her autograph line.

Joanna’s Angels, the Charlies’ Angels themed porn that she did: Brilliant. Burning Angels, the Brooklyn based adult website she founded: Groundbreaking. This woman, raised orthodox within a Jewish household, has accomplished so much within this industry and yet the fans of AEE don’t seem to care. Everywhere I look I see these unbearably boring blonde bimbos, every one of them with staggeringly long lines and yet here, before an actual artist, there are no more than four people. Is this really what America has been reduced to, a country of tasteless philistines? For shame, porn fans of Vegas, for shame indeed.

I understand that possibly I should make some allowances for the subjective nature of such things. Maybe it’s even possible that I’m the one who is wrong here. Maybe it’s just a case of rooting for the home team since she’s Brooklyn based. Maybe I like to think that every night I’m not out successfully having copious amounts of random noncommittal sex can be offset by the work she is doing in New York. Somehow she’s working to balance the scales. Whatever the reason, she still seems so much cooler than the throngs of overly-siliconed fembots populating the other booths.

Initially I want to tell her what a disgusting shame it is that she has so few people in her line. I really am dismayed by the wretched taste everyone seems to have. I really want her to know that I feel for her, with the not being as popular as some of the lesser talents that I passed by. But eventually I wonder if this is really the kind of thing she wants to hear from a stranger.

Even if your intentions are in the right place maybe reminding someone about injustices they have no control over isn’t really the nicest thing to do. I mean if you’re a one armed Log Cabin Republican or something maybe you don’t really want some well meaning stranger coming by and rubbing it in with a “Hey sir, I just wanted to say how much it must suck to be a one armed, Log Cabin Republican, with the belonging to a political party that actively strives to prevent you from getting the same basic rights that other people have, and all that, and then when they do successfully pass a constitutional amendment preventing you from getting married you can’t even clap for it (being a one armed man and all), so I just figured you’d want me to tell you how much that all sucks. I feel for you bro!” So in the end I decide not to saddle her with my disappointment.

In all fairness I might just have caught her on a slow hour. And even so it isn’t like she is just sitting there by herself doing Sudoku. I just kind of feel like there is an unjust discrepancy in fan attention at the AEE. I decide that I’ll try to do my little part to make her feel properly fanned. Hers will be the only line I stand in to get a picture.

The kind of strange thing is that I feel this weirdly shy, celebrity intimidation thing as I’m standing in line. This is something I don’t entirely understand. A week earlier when Leonardo Dicaprio jumped into my poker game at the Bellagio I wasn’t uncomfortable at all (in fact I was so comfortable that I took middle set about $2000 farther than I should have against him).

So maybe my uneasiness is not so much a proximity-to-celebrity thing. Maybe it just has something to do with this weird social inversion where I am only just meeting someone long after I have already seen her hoo-ha.

I understand that when you’re in a stage fright situation it’s sometimes helpful to picture the intimidating people as sitting there without their clothes. In this particular case though, I imagine that is probably somewhat unhelpful, unconstructively redundant in fact.

Still I find the courage to overcome my shyness and when I make it through Ms. Angel’s short line she gives me a comforting smile. I tell her what a huge fan I am and, as I am wont to do in such situations, I give her a hearty handshake of gratitude. Much later I wonder if this was presumptuous of me to unilaterally take her hand. I just mean some people might find it kind of gross to be obligated to touch the unwashed masses. I bring this up to Christi, and she tries to explain that if you did have some sort of Howie Mandel OCD thing about being touched, then maybe the porn industry wouldn’t be your primary occupational focus. This makes a lot of sense to me.

Anyway, neither my celebrity shyness nor my hand grabbiness seems to bother Ms. Angel. I ask if she would mind if I took a picture and she says that for such a big fan it would be a pleasure. She hops off of her autograph signing chair and I snap the pic. It is at this point that I discover something that I really feel like I should have realized about her but never did.

Joanna Angel, as it turns out, is a tiny, tiny woman. I mean she’s like a mini-person. Like 2 feet tall or something.

Of course that’s neither here nor there. It doesn’t have any bearing on how super hot she is. For some reason though I’m always a little disoriented when a celebrity turns out to be significantly taller or shorter in real life than they are in my head. And in Ms. Angel’s case this forces me to rethink a lot of her work.

I’m not sure if they still use it or not, but there used to be an ad for the Rosewood Grille in Vegas that I would always see. If you really understand this ad, what it means and what it represents, you will probably understand pretty much everything you will ever need to know about Vegas.

The ad consists of a picture of a man in a tuxedo, presumably the well dressed maître d’ of the rosewood Grille. This well dressed man is holding up a lobster that is almost as large as he is. If you had to guess you would assume that the lobster must be 4 feet long and weigh 300 pounds. You walk away from this ad thinking, wow, if I wants me some big ass lobster, the Rosewood Grille must be the place to go!

Old friend Dave Avrick, self professed fat Jew criminal and esteemed professor of all things Vegas, was the first person who told me to look a little more closely at the man in the ad. When I did, I noticed something a little off about his fingers. Staring at those stubby fingers I eventually realized what Dave was referring to. That’s no maître d’ in the tux, that’s a midget! (Technically I don’t know if he is a dwarf or little person or even what the contemporary inoffensive phrase would be (bald footed hobbit?), but whatever it is he is it.)

The Rosewood Grille hired the tiniest person they could find that would look normal in a tuxedo so that the lobster would look monstrous by comparison. Of course there’s no explicit lying involved in this ad. It’s not like it’s a computer generated lobster or latex rubber maître d’. No, it’s not a lie necessarily; it’s just that special sort of Vegas magic that allows a man’s pituitary defect to be artfully exploited to create the illusion of a lobster feast for four.

Since the gentleman in the tux looked like the proud maître-d’ of the restaurant, and since steak houses are obviously, by their very nature, viciously size-ist, it was natural to assume that this was an average sized person and a grotesquely oversized lobster. However, once you realize that the gentle man in the tux is so small you have to reevaluate how frighteningly large the lobster is.

In a similar vein, while it was a little strange to realize that Joanna Angel was so petite, it did allow me to reevaluate some of the more frightening objects that seemed so very intimidatingly large in her movies. With this new understanding of who Joanna Angel is I may have to do an extensive restudying of her oeuvre.

It may turn out that, much like Vegas, everything you see in porn might not be exactly as it seems. Live and learn.


themaroon said...

I feel like alt-porn is an overreaction. Real women may not be blond and have watermelon-sized breasts, but they generally don't have tattoos taking up most of the real estate on their rear half either. I think that's why it's a relatively small niche.

I wonder, is there a market in between, and if so, how many people were in their stars' lines?

Anonymous said...

There is no "e" in Avrick, you dipshit. And it's about time that I finally get some play on this blog!

Kid Dynamite said...


love it... thanks for reading.


ziggles said...

mike, you make me laugh. another fine post from a great man. And happy birthday, muthafucka!

Twin C said...

Mike, got here through your Kid Dynamite comments, which were freaking hysterical by the way, and I really dig the blog. You're an excellent writer. And yeah, Joanna is really tiny and really hot.

Jonnymagic said...

So Mike, I actually know, or knew Joanna. She was one of my good friends good friends at Rutgers(and later the city), and the first time I talked to her she said she wanted to get into porn(but smart porn). Its nice to see she's still living the dream.

jane said...

I'm interested in your informative chart of hot chicks. Someone recently called my fondness for glasses a fetish (honestly, what do they think I'm doing with these glasses?). I think it's only because I do not wear glasses, and presumably do not rock.

Since you wear glasses and like glasses, you're the control group that can prove or ruin my theory. Does anyone tell you it's a weird preference?

Mike May said...


As you well know there is nothing that a man values in a woman more than a keen intellect (and in rare instances wit). Since glasses, for whatever reason, have become the go-to cultural fashion symbol for intelligence, it is only natural for all men to find glasses sexy.

Of course, in public, we have to say it's the boob stuff that we like so much. But that was just kind of an inside joke that got a little out of hand. We never actually thought you guys would buy it. I mean really, the idea that a woman has a bunch of fat on her chest and that makes her somehow more desirable, come on. Obviously we never thought you would take us seriously. But then you all did, and it kind of spiraled out of control with the silicone mutilation and all that. And after a while it just became really awkward, like when you know someone for so long but you still don't know their name. After a certain point you can't just ask them what their name is. It would be too embarrassing for everyone. It's a lot like that. What would we say now to the ladies that had bags put under their skin because they didn't realize we just thought it was a funny idea? "We, uh, we were actually just kidding... sorry?" No, naturally we just have to keep plowing through and fake it. We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

So in answer to your question all dudes secretly have a thing for chicks with glasses. But most of them are polite enough not to talk about it.

Jeffrey V. Korn said...

Hey Mike. This is Jeffrey from Genoa. Try taking a pair of glasses and putting them on a large breast, then drawing a face on the breast. See how many years of therapy it takes to get that off your mind.