This weekend I got to indulge my inner naughty girl and attend Erotica LA Expo. My attendance was for research (I swear!) for a project I am currently working on. And no, not for the middle grade book I’m about to write. When I first entered the convention floor and was confronted with chocolate lollipops depicting various..uh..er…erogenous zones I felt myself become flustered. Now you might be surprised that I would feel any sort of embarrassment about something sexual (especially if you’ve read the sex scenes in Hollywood Girls Club) but writing a sex scene alone, on my computer is actually remarkably different than walking through a convention center with a thousand people (many of them in various stages of undress)looking at sex toys.
I admit there was very little that shocked or surprised me aside from one very large booth that sported cartoon films…porn meets sci-fi…think Star Wars convention meets Cathouse, meets Vivid. I was impressed with the branding elements (not like the kind used on cattle) that some porn stars now use. I guess Jenna Jameson is the Julia Roberts/Cameron Diaz of porn and she has her own brand of clothing and a group of exotic dancers. I was also surprised at how closely mainstream entertainment advertising parallels porn advertising and wondered when (if ever) the two will converge? I know from my research that porn actually eclipses Hollywood by almost double the dollar amount every year.
And although I left my judgments at home there was something about standing around watching older men, watch (and videotape) young women gyrate and slide up and down a pole that left me feeling like I needed to take a shower. I understand sexual empowerment and I’m totally down with women owning their sexuality and taking control of their orgasm and doing what they want with their bodies…I am OKAY with that. But when I watch some of these young women (and I mean YOUNG) I had to ask myself how many fully understand the choice they are making? How many are actually making a choice? How many feel forced or coerced into what they do? Will their older self regret their youthful decision to strip, pose, and/or have sex for money? Yeah, I know I’m suddenly getting deep and asking questions that I never would have asked at 22…but now I’m a mother. A mother of two girls. And the thought of my daughters expressing themselves sexually, in public, for pay well that idea yesterday left me speechless. As liberal as I propose to be, I wouldn’t be down with that at all.
Wow, I guess becoming a Mom does change everything.