Sexpo adult show: ‘This is not taboo anymore’
STRIPPERS, ESCORTS | Gathering so hot, 2nd one planned
It wasn’t the Chicago Auto Show. But there were plenty of bumps and grinds.
Chicago’s first ever all-adult exposition, Sexpo ’08, was held Wednesday night at Excalibur Nightclub, 632 N. Dearborn. Nearly 1,000 interesting people — strippers, escorts, adult retailers — filled the club’s second floor.
Conventioneers watched fashion shows and danced to hip-hop. The upside-down tricks of New York magician David Blaine could not compare to the Continuum’s tied-up exhibit in the balcony.
The Continuum is a private downtown Chicago dungeon.
Just like at your father’s convention, attendees were given bags to cart home literature. The plastic bags advertised Dr. Gregory Wiener, a Chicago plastic surgeon (save $200 off breast augmentation). Dancer Naomi Knight signed autographs. That’s like having Willie Mays at a baseball expo.
The Sexpo, open to the public, was the idea of Larry Goone. True name. He runs a Web site. Goone rented the Excalibur space.
The event was so successful, a second Sexpo will be held in February. “This is overdue for Chicago,” said Goone, 42. “We could not do this in an expo center. It had to be in a nightclub. This is not taboo anymore. There’s a couple of lawyers here who specialize in adult and Web site stuff. These people are proud of what they do. They feel empowered and positive.”
One exotic dancer named Stacey wore Sarah Palin glasses.
Just like Palin, she feels the pain of a limp economy.
“People are paying attention to their money, even the highballers,” said Stacey, 23. “They pay a lot for the show, but when it comes to tipping us, it is not what it used to be. But I still make more money in this than any other job. I’m a college graduate with degrees in business and psychology.” She would not disclose where she went to school.
The Chicago-based dancer did explain the glasses. “I’m wearing them tonight so I can see everybody better,” she said. “In my act, sometimes my partner and I wear schoolgirl outfits.”
Two silver stripper poles were installed on the Dome Room dance floor. Stacey took to one wearing her glasses, T-shirt, bikini bottom and stiletto heels. The pulsating bass from DJs Noiz Pollution blended with the sound of a nearby cracking whip on a submissive’s booty.
No one in this gathering wore a fez.
One booth on the second-floor balcony was run by the newly formed Sex Workers Outreach Project Chicago (swop-chicago.org), promoting human rights for sex workers through education and advocacy.
“A sex worker is anyone from an escort to a prostitute to a stripper to someone who works in a sex shop,” said Serpent Libertine, a Chicago sex worker who also runs redlightdistrictchicago.com. “To join, you can be an ally or a sex worker. Sex workers in Third World countries have more of an organized movement than in the United States.”
Sexpo ’08 was the first step in the group hug.
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