opinion

Six DAZE o' Sex Toy Shows... WHA?!?

Kim Airs

Yes, on Thursday, July 7, starts the six DAZE of TWO back-to-back sex toy shows - the Adult Novelty Expo put on by Adult Video News in Pasadena and the Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo in Burbank - try saying ANE and ANME in the same sentence - I dare ya! - so the ANME show is often referred to as "The Founders Show."

Why two shows you ask?  Well, once upon a time....

Back around 1995, the five major manufacturers, aka The Founders - Doc Johnson, Topco, California Exotic Novelties, Nasstoys, and Pipedream Products, decided that they couldn't do their business at the grandaddy of all adult shows, the big Vegas show in January put on by Adult Video News.  At that time, the show allowed everyone, including fans, to pester the manufacturers who were there to do business and sell within the industry, not to fans.  So the Founders decided to do their own show and only sell to those in the jizz bizz and the newly born ANME shows coincided with the Vegas show in January and the long gone VSDA show in July (does anyone remember what VSDA stood for? The Video Software Dealers Assn.) and has always resided in Porn Valley in various hotel ballrooms.

The show went swimmingly until 2005 when one of the founders decided to move the show to Vegas.  Well, the 4 other manufacturers decided they didn't want to have to schlep their wares across the Nevada border (4 of the 5 founders are in Southern California and 3 of these are in Porn Valley, the 5th manufacturer is in New York).  So along comes AVN who said "We'll run your show!" (I'm sure there was more than that said in negotiations) and thus, the ANE show was born.

Now, the ANME show that was supposed go off in Vegas caused much confusion with other manufacturers ("Which show should I attend?") and it turned out that not many people wanted to show or attend it in Vegas.  So the one ANME cast-off came back with skinned knees and asked to be included in the ANE show which was, at that time, held in Pasadena. His booth was not included on the main floor of the show (which had been sold out months before) and was in an adjacent hotel ballroom.

So this marriage between AVN and ANME continued until about three years ago when The Founders said "Hey! Let's take back our own show! We're paying big bucks to have booths at the show we started!" and then the ANME show was "recreated." ANE said "Screw you! We're gonna keep doing our own show, invite smaller manufacturers, and have a "let's-pat-ourselves-on-the-back" awards show for the adult products industry, too!" And thus, the divorce between the two shows wound up with both ANE and The Founders being custodial parents of the adult product industry shows.

Now, there are differences between the two shows. The Founders show has always been selective in who they allow to show at the show, focusing on themselves first, of course, and having the smaller, well established companies showing in smaller, satellite rooms of the hotels. The ANE show tends to have smaller companies, too, some new, some established. What is cool about the ANE show is that there are often companies who show at this show as their first foray into the adult product industry so you can always find some pretty nifty products that you might miss seeing anywhere else. The Founders show offers plenty of new whiz-bang gizmos from the major manufacturers as well as great products from established companies as well.

And of course I attend both shows and have never missed either The Founders show since 1997 and ANE (except for the ANE show which was in Miami last summer). Why do I attend the shows? Because, as owner of Grand Opening! (now on the web), I like seeing new products to add to the website, as my current position as a consultant to many aspects of the adult toy industry such as stores ("What products should I carry?"), to doctors and the medical community ("What should I recommend to a patient with vaginismus?"), to home party companies ("Which products will allow us to mark up 4-6x?"), to product developers ("Are there any other products like this out there?"), and other areas of this wacky business that I know and love.

I think I need a nap to charge up my body batteries for the six days of sex toy shows and the five nights of parties that happen at the same time.

It sucks being me....

And oh yeah, I forgot the JOTB... I was too focused on the two shows... so here it is...

Why do blondes love sun roofs?  

"More leg room!"

Why do blondes love tilt steering wheels?

"More head room!"

On that note, I have to go to day 3 of ANE and the first party of The Founders Show.  Whew!

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