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photo by Denali Winter

Porn Con Part 1: Stripping Down

Hotel: $500
Ticket/booth for the con: $135
Banner: $50 design + $50 printed
Zines: $37 printed
DVDs: $200 printed
Prep: $40 manicure, $25 haircut
Lingerie to shoot in: $75
Gas: $150
Mucinex when I got sick: $20
Food when the banquet wasn’t enough: $20

The experience of being around fat femme women who hate other fat femme women: …incredibly emotionally expensive

***

I went to the BBW porn convention with my eyes open, to be fair.

I had heard the rumors that because one company put it all together, the only models who got recognized were models for that company. I had raised my brows at the number of nominations that the one organizing company had, especially with a lack of transparency to accompany it, but I shrugged it off. I accepted that my nominations were very unlikely to amount to anything, as an indie queer performer that BBW companies don’t approach to shoot because my breasts, a mere 38E, aren’t seen as big enough to justify my belly and hips.

I had also beared witness to the extended drama prior to the event, which ranged in my mind from somewhat reasonable to absurd self centeredness and lack of professionalism. For the most part I thought I had stayed out of it.

Well, except for one- the PR person for the event had been pretty much ignoring me in all the promo leading up to the event. It was something I chalked up to her being resentful because I had said in a review years earlier that her glittery, strawberry flavored analingus spray was one of the worst things I had ever encountered. We had gotten into it again when she offered to get interviews and press attention to girls who paid her an extra $100, something I felt strongly was a manipulation of her position and the newness of some of the performers who may not know better.

I figured, “eh, it’s drama, I’m used to that, it’ll be fine” but I didn’t anticipate just how segmented the various porn performers would be, or how saccharine the saltiness of those still-ongoing catfights would seem. Unaware that performers I thought were friendly were actually being mean girls behind my back, I began to sense there would be a lot more tension than I anticipated. I was relieved to be a part of my own, Bay area clique, who felt just as alienated and confused as I did. We also had matching denim vests, which is important, reader.

But even with all that in mind I tried so hard to be optimistic. I had been told that there were loads of fans coming, that events had been planned and would be fun, that this was shaping up to be the best porn con. I packed multiple outfits expecting to have chances to shoot, or at the very least to do some dirty photos with fans at the booth.

I did, and had, none of these things.

We arrived at the hotel and femme-sploded while preparing for the strip night only to find our room was a probable death trap. It had broken air conditioning (in over 100 degree heat), the shower refused to give us cold water, and the boiler was very likely to explode at any time judging from the racket (like a walrus dying slowly). My friends and I puzzled out how likely it would be to get maintenance to fix the multiple issues, and decided to move to another room instead the next day. My cold was going from bad to worse, and the room was like a dry sauna. Every time I stepped outside, it was so dry my throat would send me into a painful coughing fit.

Two of us were dancing that night, and it was one of the highlights of the trip even if I did burn myself on a cigarette and give myself two massive blisters. While it was a struggle to persuade people to go up on stage before the strip contest happened, when someone did it was exciting to watch. I gave my girlfriend and a friend some money to tip the strippers, encouraging them to spread the wealth. I flirted with men, a rarity anymore, and the energy I got back felt flattering rather than predatory.

After all the drama I had seen online, the club felt full of people supporting each other and being lovely to each other, a welcome change. Slender women were coming over from the main floor of the club, cheering us on and being incredibly complimentary and sweet. I felt safe, and happy, like maybe there didn’t need to be so much competition between women of various body types after all.

We got home tired, with our friend as the strip contest winner, and smiling. Photos were taken of them showered in their earnings as we celebrated our raised spirits. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all!

We were ready for the con after seeing sexy fat naked femmes dancing… or so we thought.

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Professional Bleeding Heart. Sick & Tired. Patronize me: http://t.co/RSd5cSVGE5 Image by @mayakern

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