Behind the scenes at the Adult Entertainment Expo

Adult film star Allie Haze attends the 2014 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 16, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Gabe Ginsberg | FilmMagic | Getty Images

It's a Las Vegas ritual.

Every January, the adult entertainment industry converges on Sin City with its biggest stars in tow for the Adult Entertainment Expo. Tagging along are dozens of companies hoping to be the next big things in porn. And don't forget the thousands of fans.

As hardcore scenes loop in the background, women in barely discernible outfits, lingerie and body paint (and a few much more comfortably dressed men) sign autographs and flirt with followers, often hopping off their stool to pose for pictures and occasionally gracing fans with a hug.

It's also a place where deals are signed. Toy companies court distributors to carry their new lines, and big mergers have been known to happen.

While the industry's most ardent fans make a pilgrimage here each year, not everyone is able to make the trip. For those people, here's a day in the life at the porn show.

—By Chris Morris
Posted 21 Jan. 2014

Jesse Jane

Jesse Jane
Image Source: Chris Morris

Jane hasn't been especially active in the porn world for the past year.

In fact, the 11-year veteran of the industry says this could be her farewell tour as a performer—as her contract with Digital Playground/MindGeek expires this year and she doesn't intend to renew it.

That hasn't stopped fans from lining up for a few moments with her, though.

Jessica Drake

Jessica Drake
Image Source: Chris Morris

The longtime Wicked Pictures contract star (and member of this year's Dirty Dozen) had a long line of fans hoping for autographs throughout the show. The wait for a couple of moments with the industry's most popular performers can be 30 minutes or more at AEE.

Stars, meanwhile, spend up to four hours at a stretch meeting and greeting their fans.

Bonnie Rotten

Image Source: Chris Morris

While she's only been in the industry for two years, Rotten has seen her fame grow at a tremendous rate. In the past 12 months, she has shot between 60 and 70 films, and this year she will begin directing, having signed a six-picture deal with Girlfriend Films.

Covered with distinctive tattoos, she still manages to appeal to a wide audience in the adult world, rather than the niche that some heavily inked performers find themselves in.

Legendary stars

Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley
Image Source: Chris Morris

While porn is often about the freshest faces, some stars remain popular regardless of how long they've been performing.

Ron Jeremy and Nina Hartley are porn legends. Jeremy, whose mainstream notoriety rivals his porn fame, has been performing for 35 years, while Hartley is being celebrated at this year's show for her 30 years.

The Lair

Image Source: Chris Morris

"Fifty Shades of Grey" may not be quite as hot as it was last year, but interest in the book's subject matter is still piqued among showgoers.

The Stockroom, a retailer that caters to the bondage community, sponsored The Lair, where aficionados of the subculture could shop for goods and watch demonstrations by professional members of the community.

Whips and chains

Image source: Chris Morris

We can't show you much of what's going on in The Lair. Even in a post-"Fifty Shades" world, it's not suitable for most audiences.

But we can show you some of what's on sale. Blindfolds, whips and other toys for the adventurous have been in high demand, with just about any type you can imagine—as well as dozens you probably couldn't.

Girlfriend Films

Girlfriend Films' Dan O'Connell and Dana DeArmond
Image Source: Chris Morris

The film studio cut the ribbon to open this year's show. Here, founder Dan O'Connell and performer Dana DeArmond share a moment before the formal ceremony.

The Naked News

Image Source: Chris Morris

The Naked News, whose anchors deliver the day's headlines without shtick—or clothes—were on hand.

We caught up with Whitney St. John (left) and Eila Adams (right) before they got (un)dressed for work.

Adult Novelty Expo

Image Source: Chris Morris

While it's not open to the general public, AEE also has an area dedicated to pleasure products, where retailers meet with wholesalers to discuss the coming year—and where companies debut adult novelties.

This year, Revel Body won the innovation award for this product, which uses sonic vibrations (based on technology similar to the Sonic toothbrush).

The crowds

Image Source: Chris Morris

Roughly 25,000 people are expected to attend this year's AEE, with fans traveling from across the country and even other parts of the world.

The show is the industry's largest public event and culminates in the AVN Awards, which are the porn world's equivalent of the Oscars.