Skin City

Don't misunderstand me.  I love Las Vegas.  I find a city based on enjoyment, indulgence and loss vastly irresistible.  Throw in a cheap buffet and a cheap multi-colored glare at night and I will be mindlessly happy, if only for a few days.

However.  I was in Vegas from Thursday to Sunday for working purposes and it was simply Dantesque.

To begin with, on the flight over I was being bludgeoned repeatedly by my sinuses.  My head didn't explode, a concern I've shared with several people, but when we landed I wasn't feeling any too jolly, either.  And the Mandalay Bay hotel looked so pretty and gold by evening light, too.  One should at least be healthy enough to admire fake shinery.

I was there to work on the Adult Video News Awards show – again.  Picture a panoply of pornographic pariahs packed into one arena, won't you?  Because I'd rather not.

The event itself was on Saturday night.  On Friday there were walkthrough and meetings.  On Friday and Saturday afternoons I was at the Adult Entertainment Expo to hand out press credentials to every scruffy denizen of the journalistic underworld who had qualififed for one.  Closing up on Saturday, we were still waiting for the guy from to show up.  There was a girl handing out free vibrators.  A co-worker who shall remain nameless took three.

Any chance I got, I slept.

Saturday.  Final walkthrough at 4:30PM.  Media check-in:  5:30-6:30PM.  Red carpet:  6:30-9PM.  Awards show:  10PM-12M.  Media room – photos, interviews:  12-1AM.

When I sat down at the check-in desk, the first thing I noticed was the stained black tablecloth.  It looked, as someone noted, as if someone had drooled on it.  The second thing I noticed was the walkie-talkie.  I never knew how to use those things.  And seriously, did I really need one?  This wasn't the Blitzkreig, for Chrissakes.  I didn't think this had to be run as if Patton himself was at the helm.  And there were no magnificent bastards there, anyway.

I hate W/T's.  I always keep the volume on too loud – so that later that evening when I heard:  "C'mon, c'mon – we gotta get those chicks moving!" or "The carpet closes in 1/2 hour – why the f*ck does he want five badges now?", everyone did.

So for nearly four hours I sat at my dirty table, waiting for things to happen.  I only had a handful of questions to field, or to pass on to others (would it have been wrong if I prefaced a W/T communique with 'Breaker, Breaker'?).  This year I was not thrown into the shooting gallery that was the red carpet.  I stayed outside, in a drafty hall…I should have been at a slot machine, with a glass of Cristal at my elbow.

However I did get first look at the nominees.  I saw vast stables of girls walking down the hall like a cleavage-heavy battalion.

For the most part, the gowns were a vast improvement over last year.  This is not to say that the aura of a Fellini/Frederick's atmosphere was absent:

Flower Tucci still does not realize that this is a BYOB (bring your own briefs) affair.

95% of all porn actresses are the width of a neutron.

There will always be room for some more cheesy cheesecake.

There was much that was see-through, low-cut (front and back), fake, low slung, pushed up, pushed together, pushed down, fake, separated, pulled back, roaming free and fake.

But some of the dresses were outstanding.  In fact, it gave me a bit of a pang to see embroidered and ruched creations, worthy of Old Hollywood, worn by members of the pornographic hierarchy.  Belladonna makes extremely nasty videos, yet she wore a tight black strapless gown, with a taffeta train at least four feet long, that was extremely dreamy and elegant.

Let's see.  There were the Vivid girls, Jenna's girls, the Digital Playground girls, and the Fashionistas.  The latter will always amuse me.  One, with hip bones like arrowheads, wore a plastic dress that…flashed – as if she had fireflies for nipples.

There was maybe one truly beautiful face out of the 170+ bodies that were escorted/stampeded/chased down the red carpet.

I watched the show in the media room, and all I can say is I surely pity the editors prepping it for public viewing.

I went to bed at 4AM.  The next thing I remember clearly is being seated on the plane, listening to the stewardess announce:

"Please turn off all electrical devices, because this Boeing Is Going."

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13 responses to “Skin City

  1. it's been said to death but what happens in vegas stays in vegas. oft times for the better. 🙂

  2. I'm jealous for some reason. Vegas + porn awards show = so much over the top insanity my brain would implode.Is the Mandalay nice? I'm trying to plan a trip to Vegas and I have no idea where to stay!

  3. Something like this would be very difficult to imagine on our own. Thank you Aubrey for making it very easy to feel as if we had been there….and rather I'm rather glad I wasn't! ;)Fascinating, however!

  4. Colleen, they are ALL nice. But, if you want to be right on the strip, Mandalay is more down at the south end. My hubby loves his Vegas trip and we have stayed all up and down the strip. More central are….Tropicana, Caesar's, Bally's, Flamingo…..further north are Mirage, Bellagio, Venetian, TI (formerly known as Treasure Island), …oh, zillions of others.Hubby read they are adding 30,000 hotel rooms this year, so there will be plenty of places to stay!

  5. "Fellini/Frederick's"– perfect! Would that the porn industry brand of lusciousness didn't translate into brittle blandness. The jadedness makes perfect sense in this context. It's as though you were guarding entry to a glittering setpiece in a Francesca Lia Block short story.

  6. Oh my gosh, that was you behind the desk? If I'd known we could have gone out for drinks or something!
    …but I kid.
    The American Library Association's midwinter meeting was also last weekend, so please excuse me for a moment if I imagine the two conventions overlapping, oh, the hipster librarians hitting the exhibits like kids at Halloween ("They glow in the dark? Sweet!"), the feminist-vs.-free speech protests, and the lost sensibly-shoed woman holding a Wilson Publishing bag and a map, thinking, "I just want to see the Baker & Taylor cats…!"
    They're Scottish Folds, very cute. Anyway. Sorry about the sinuses–been there, done that–nasal irrigation has changed my life. Really.

  7. There was much that was see-through, low-cut (front and back), fake,
    low slung, pushed up, pushed together, pushed down, fake, separated,
    pulled back, roaming free and fakeThat's it in a bra-cup, Aubrey. I remember your posting about this event last year. The fascination endures and you're such a perfectly sane commentator.Belladonna's dress reminds me of Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke. Except for the enormities in the frontal region.

  8. I'll be in Vegas this August. Looks like I missed the AVN Awards show, again. Damn.

  9. Thank you for sharing this! What a great look into an area most of us will never see!! Is it funny that it is just as I expected except for the free gifts? Is your co-worker gonna use them all? Some of us have hubbies who are worinkg overtime lately…….LOL!

    I feel bad for Jenna though….she has lost so much weight that she is not very attractive anymore when she was very pretty just a year or two ago. 😦 I caught her on LA ink and she looked sick… ill sick.

    I caught myself laughing out loud throughout the entire thing! You rocked the AVN Awards!

  10. Next year, can I just come and hang out at the table with you and watch it all go past? I love that kind of stuff! Is there such thing as a fashion "designer to the porn stars"? I'd love to have a job title like that. I used to get amused just by what these women wear as their street clothes before and after filming.I'll be in Vegas next month, trip #16 I think? I take it for what it is and love it. Can't wait to down a scorpion bowl at the Peppermill. The tower of wine at Mandalay is fun too. 3 vibrators is a good idea; you need back-ups in case one dies on you.

  11. I had a friend out there for the GayVNs portion of the weekend. I'll have to catch up on your links later.Glad you made the best of it. And I'm getting kinda jealous of your job – despite not knowing what it really is – cause I know I'd have a hell of a lot of fun at many of the "unsavory" events you've had to work.

  12. panoply!!!Argh. I missed it, but only by a hair. I wanted to attend so much. Boo. In other news – my goal is to make an LA trip soonish. What's your s'hedule looking like?

  13. Are you going this weekend to the 2009 AVN's? This will be my first year in Vegas and there so I'm pretty excited. I kind of agree with Bugmom above, Jenna looks a little sickly even this year :(Alexis

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