July 11--Many people think of the Midwest as buttoned-down and uptight. Not so, says the producer of Exxxotica, billed as the "largest event dedicated to love and sex," and which opens today in Rosemont.
"It's one of our strongest markets," said Dan Adams, spokesman of the expo, now in its fourth year and growing steadily, with 18,000 attendees, ranging from tradesmen and mechanics to doctors and lawyers.
"The adult industry is no longer just for behind closed doors....it's definitely moved into the mainstream," Adams added.
The three-day expo features a chance to meet some of the biggest names in the adult film world, such as Tera Patrick, Ron Jeremy and Belle Knox, the Duke University co-ed turned porn star, who turned to the industry to help finance her $60,000 a year education.
At Exxxotica, Knox will be doing some teaching of her own, with a question-and-answer session. Other educational offerings -- at least the ones we can mention in the Tribune -- include "Breaking into the Biz: A How-To Guide to Getting into the Adult Industry," "Fifty Shades of Kink" and "Webcamming for Fun and Profit."
The show floor also features 100 exhibitors showcasing their latest products, "from the wild to the mild," according to a press release. Some of the more benign vendors are hawking phone accessories and insurance.
Women are not an overlooked demographic, either. "Ladies Free Friday" promises "two of the regions top male dance troupes" -- Stallion Male Revue and Dreamboys Chicago -- on the main stage.
The event -- promoted by some 20 billboards across the metro area -- draws better in Rosemont than some other more likely locales, such as Miami's South Beach or Los Angeles, Adams said.
"It's just a fun, upscale experience...There's no live nudity. It's not a swingers' convention or a peep show. It's like going to a comic book expo and getting to meet the artists."
Exxxotica runs through Sunday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Attendees must be over 18. For more information, go the exxxoticaexpo.com.
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