For the first time since 2006, the three-day Exxxotica convention will call someplace other than Miami Beach home when the festival makes its 2013 debut at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center this weekend, from Friday, May 31 through Sunday, June 2.
For the past seven years, Exxxotica called the Miami Beach Convention Center its South Florida home, and many of the associated events and parties centered on South Beach and neighboring areas.
“It’s a little bit weird,” Exxxotica founder J Handy said. “We’ve done Miami Beach for so many years to fly into Fort Lauderdale, not drive down Collins Ave., not stay at the South Seas on 17th and Collins. . . . It’s a little bit different, but we’re excited at the prospect.”
Exxxotica parties branched out in recent years with the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood a frequent stop. Other venues in Broward will now form affiliations with Exxxotica and host numerous parties over the weekend.
“Of course, right now before I get to Lauderdale, I am sad we aren’t in Miami,” adult actress and frequent Exxxotica guest Teagan Presley said. “But (my husband) Joshua lived in Lauderdale, and he assures me Lauderdale is just as fun, and a little more laid back. Miami just becomes too hectic.”
Exxxxotica, billed the “The Largest Event in the U.S. Dedicated to Love and Sex”, recently celebrated its 8th anniversary when the event kicked off in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last month.
“It was just a logistical thing,” Handy said. “Atlantic City ended up being, time-frame wise, April was the best opportunity that we had to do the show there.”
The Atlantic City event also featured the debut of the FANNY awards, which are voted upon by fans.
“The awards themselves was a super success,” Handy said. “It was one of those things that could have gone either way. We had all our ducks in a row, tickets are sold, and we think this is going to be awesome. But we were one computer meltdown away from this live show not working and something completely [messing] up. The whole time, you were on pins and needles. By the time it was all said and done, it was amazing. It was a world class event.”
While the guest list was overflowing for the Atlantic City show, the number of confirmed attendees is down for Fort Lauderdale. The final tally, however, should be much higher. Outside of the big-name stars like Tasha Reign, many of the up-and-coming stars advertise their involvement directly to their fans through various forms of social media.
Although Exxxotica moved north, the typical hilarity and fun associated with the event remains. The convention offers a wide array of adult-themed seminars and products, and fans of adult films can meet some of their favorite stars.
“I basically spent five months convincing people that this thing was going to work,” Handy said of the initial convention in 2006. “There were a lot of ups and downs and all-arounds with the process of putting together the first one.
“Now to look back eight years later, and to just be a recognized brand not just in the adult industry but in a pop culture type of way, it’s definitely interesting to step back a every once in a while and see what it’s become.”