Cybernet Expo Parties and More: Day 1

Tom Hymes
SAN FRANCISCO — 2008 Cybernet Expo officially kicked off Wednesday and it quickly became clear that the venerable adult webmaster show has made a successful transition from Tampa, Florida to San Francisco, California, a move that traversed more than just miles.

Acquired outright by YNOT last year, the event remains productively intimate and still attracts a good number of players, but it was the shift to the more cosmopolitan and rebellious San Francisco that will improve the show’s chances of remaining a desired destination on the show circuit for at least the near future.

Tampa may also hug a bay, but that’s about all it has in common with San Francisco, a boundary-pushing city that almost feels as if it was created to host an adult convention. In many respects, an adult industry ethic already pervades the city, and one feels welcome, almost invisible, as if the alternative-friendly metropolis were itself a large porn set.

The city’s libertine tendencies also permeated the Cybernet parties, very much to their benefit, and the decision by YNOT.com president Connor Young and VP Jay Kopita to limit each night’s party offerings to one, was also helpful in focusing the attention of attendees where the organizers wanted it to be. So far, the gambit is paying off nicely.

Tuesday night, Cybersocket hosted the opening night party, sponsored by Epoch, Buddy Profits, Dickwad Dollars and Playgirl Gold, at a sweet little bar called the Element Lounge only a handful of blocks from the venue. Though many people had yet to arrive in town, the party attracted a nice crowd of at least a hundred, and the gorgeous, almost balmy weather meant that the many adult porners who still smoke cigarettes had a welcome sidewalk on which to furiously toke away. Indeed, when this writer arrived, it seemed as if the entire party was outside.

Wednesday was mostly seminar and networking driven, but the afternoon schedule did provide some competitive entertainment in the form of Round 1 of the XXX Iron Man Beer Pong competition, which saw some furious action among 12 teams of serious participants.

Sponsored by VideoBox, National Net, Cherry Pimps, LegitCash and SpunkyCash, six pairs of combatants survived the grueling contest in which one side attempts to toss or bounce a ping pong ball across a table into cups filled with beer. When a ball makes it into a cup, a member of the other team drains the cup and removes it from competition. When no cups remain on one team’s side, there is a winner, but the losers are filled with beer, so in a sense everyone wins.

Round 2 of XXX Iron Man Beer Pong takes place this afternoon, and the surviving teams were no doubt practicing in earnest last night, perhaps at the premier party of the evening, D-Money Presents Rock the Ball.

Located is a long and narrow, but very cool, club called the Red Devil Lounge, also a short walk from the hotel, Rock the Ball featured a rousing performance by the only live mash up band in the world, Smash Up Derby. With energetic help from the steaming AsianDivaGirls Go Go dancers, the band played an inspired set that was creative and strangely sexy. D-Money has proven that he can deliver great rock entertainment along with his traditional Player’s Ball hip-hop standards.

The Show and Sell event also took place yesterday, from 6pm-9pm, during which 21 companies provided table exhibits and giveaways in one large room where everyone could congregate before heading to dinner and the main party of the evening.

As always, there was some semi-official extracurricular entertainment that continued well into the morning, most notably one party directly across the hall from this writer’s room that was ultimately broken up at 3 am. All in all, an early evening for the experienced adult trade show survivor.

In addition to another full day of seminars, Thursday features the aforementioned Round 2 of beer pong and the much-anticipated Kink in the Kastle tour of Kink.com’s armory home. Lots of attendees are girding themselves with latex and leather wear for what promises to be a very unique and entertaining event, the transportation for which is being sponsored by Stockroom.com.

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