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HAPPENINGText: Eddie Pak

After several successful showings in the UK, Erotica, a sex themed convention, spent 4 days at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center. The coming of the convention (excuse the pun) supposedly brought on a lot of opposition from certain groups around the city, but nevertheless, made a strong debut into Manhattan.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I hoped for a lot of porn stars walking around, possibly some nudity, and lots of things that I would feel embarrassed to be excited about in public. I arrived midafternoon to the glass convention castle to find the line to enter to be fairly long. The crowd seemed to be a mix of young horny couples, your average horny guy, groups of average horny guys, S&M couples that weren’t ashamed to be horny, and couples that looked like they wished they were still horny.

After shelling out the steep admission fee of thirty bucks, I thought to myself, “now I have to see porn stars”. The convention wasn’t to be just a sleaze fest, but was to convey a broader spectrum of sex and all things erotic. But to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit about erotic watercolor paintings or funny sex quotes on T-shirts – at least not in this context.

So the initial reaction upon entering the convention space was a bit disappointing. However, by the time I got to the penis and vagina molded chocolates, things started to look a bit sweeter. As my girlfriend pulled me deeper into the convention space, I saw Anka, a sex columnist for Details Magazine, and some porn stars signing autographs and taking pictures with their admirers. A couple of latex clothing booths here and a couple of hot steamy vacation travel agents there. Not as crazy as I thought it’d be.

Near the center was a stage where erotic dancers and performers came on and danced/performed. During one of the “fashion” shows, a girl in a latex body suit hugged a guy up on stage; it was funny to watch his erection become more apparent as the show went on. To the sides of the stage were two sections: Adult and Bizarre. The Bizarre section showcased body piercing by local shops, latex clothing lines, and a nice selection of fetish videos by Bizarre Video.

The Adult section had booths by mail order company Adam and Eve, lubricant products, some more porn stars with long lines to get autographs, and Al Goldstein, founder of Screw Magazine and Host of NY’s Midnight Blue show. I guess in the midst of all the dildos and latex clad women, I grew numb to the erotica. I have to admit that my expectations were high (if not, driven solely by my libido), so when I left with only a few catalogs, some condoms, and a sample packet of KY Jelly, I wished I had seen or gotten something more.

Erotica Expo 1999
Date: April 15th – 18th, 1999
Open: 12:00 – 22:00
Place: Jacob Javits Center
Address: 429 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Ticket: $30
Tel: +1 212 447 4033

Text: Eddie Pak
Photos: Eddie Pak

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