CannaSexual Does AVN in Las Vegas
It’s 2:30am on Friday January 20th and there are five sexuality educators wearing onesie pajamas on the casino floor in the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas. We each just finished eating a $7.77 steak and shrimp dinner with green beans, mashed potatoes and a drink. A random gambler exclaims “onesie party!” as we walk by. I suspect that was not the most unusual thing that casino patrons saw that week.
Thanks to Sherri Shaulis of AVN and Wicked Pictures contract star jessica drake, the mistress of sex education for AEE, I was invited to give two talks about sex and cannabis at AVN. The first one, on Wednesday, was a panel moderated by Sherri and also featured performer and activist Buck Angel. We were focusing on incorporating cannabis products and accessories into the adult retail space, and we had some great tips about mindfully choosing products and moving away from stoner stereotypes. One of the things I’ve noticed in the cannabis industry is a shift toward more thoughtful and sophisticated consumption. “The days of smoking out of beer cans are behind us,” I joked in the panel. Another item I suggested avoiding were tasteless novelty items like a dildo that doubles as a pipe. Inventory like that just perpetuates harmful stereotypes. I directed people toward well-designed products like Jane West’s new glass line. There were some great questions about the DEA’s recent final rule notice with regards to how it impacts the legality of CBD products, but (not being a lawyer myself), I directed folks to Hoban Law Group and suggested consulting an attorney about local laws and zoning before stocking any cannabinoid infused product.
After my first panel was finished, I went up to my hotel room and took a deliciously relaxing bubble bath in the massive bathtub. I puffed on my Hepburns petite preroll and did some sexting with my lover B as a means of self-care. We also got to try out my new toy, the WeVibe Sync, which allows your lover to control the vibrations remotely via bluetooth. It worked. I was pleasantly buzzed and highly orgasmic within ten minutes.
One of the things I love about attending trade shows and conferences is getting to connect with colleagues and friends who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. Thanks to Nevada’s new recreational cannabis laws, I got to share some of my favorite products, which always makes me happy. It was fun to model thoughtful consumption and to actually check in with people about their tolerance, typical consumption and the last time they’d eaten. Because we were in the desert, it was especially important to make sure people were properly hydrated. That gave me ideas for more things to cover in my workshop at AEE –“Lovin’, Tokin’, Squeezin’: A Sex and Cannabis Primer.”
Thursday night was the 8th annual O Awards and the presenters (myself, Buck Angel, Dirty Lola and Ken Melvoin-Berg) and host Sunny Megatron arrived at the venue early to go over last minute details with Sherri and take some red carpet photos. Sunny, who described her role as being the “Jimmy Fallon of phalluses” for the night, gave a funny and heartfelt monologue at the opening of the show. The O Awards celebrates excellence in pleasure products, and she took that opportunity to remind manufacturers and distributors that they are creating products that really do make a difference. “Not only do we have body safe materials, but we have ergonomically designed products for all genders, all genitals, all body types…the products you have developed positively impact people’s lives every single day,” praised Megatron. “You help couples reconnect after the spark has faded from their relationship. You help people who are overcome by sexual shame actually learn to love themselves and accept their unique, pervy desires. You help queer youth connect and reclaim their bodies in ways that they never thought possible. You help people with disabilities have the fulfilling sex lives that they deserve. You do a lot more than just peddle giggle-worthy, pervy novelties.”
Not gonna lie, I got teary for that part. The waterworks continued when Buck Angel’s new toy, the Buck Off FTM Stroker by Perfect Fit, was awarded Outstanding Innovation. It’s the world’s first stroker designed especially for trans men and Buck gave a stirring acceptance speech. This is why I adore this industry. It’s made up of professionals working to empower people to find pleasure and acceptance.
“You help couples reconnect after the spark has faded from their relationship. You help people who are overcome by sexual shame actually learn to love themselves and accept their unique, pervy desires. You help queer youth connect and reclaim their bodies in ways that they never thought possible. You help people with disabilities have the fulfilling sex lives that they deserve. You do a lot more than just peddle giggle-worthy, pervy novelties.”
Saturday I was rushing around frantically trying to find a salon to do my hair and makeup for the AVN Awards. Thanks to my friend Robin Wilson-Beattie, I found The Cupcake Girls, a nonprofit devoted to supporting performers in the adult industry. Their website states, “since 2011, The Cupcake Girls have hosted an entertainers-only relaxation suite where we offer more than 300 clients compassionate, agenda-less care. Our spa professionals travel from all over the country to provide hair and makeup services, and we also offer a fresh smoothie bar, provide thousands of snacks and cups of coffee, and host a massage and aromatherapy room, tending to aching feet, ear infections, lost voices, and plenty of general weariness.” I found my way to their suite in the Hard Rock and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were able to fit me in without an appointment. I had my hair and makeup done (for free!) by some amazingly talented hair and makeup artists. I love everything about this organization, including the other community oriented services provided through their field offices in Las Vegas and Portland. Once hair and makeup were done, it was time for the awards.
The 2017 AVN Awards, called “the Oscars of porn” by many, including Wikipedia, were co-hosted by Riley Reid and Aspen Rae and featured performances by Flo Rida and comedian Colin Kane. It was awesome and surreal and hilarious and heartfelt all at once. I felt very grateful to be there.
I can’t wait to go back next year, but for now, I’m looking forward to catching up on all the sleep I’ve missed in the past two weeks!