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AEE To Hold Sex Seminars for Fans

Las Vegas- In yet another sign that the sex industry is going mainstream, Adult Entertainment Expo seminars will be open to porn fans for the first time this week in Las Vegas.

The annual conference’s seminars usually target adult industry insiders only, but this year’s fan-friendly topics aren’t necessarily what people might expect to find at a porn show: a female orgasm workshop, a sex toy demo and, perhaps most surprising, a relationship clinic called “Monogamy Without Monotony.”

Seminar sponsor Adam & Eve (NSFW) admits that the workshops are an attempt to attract a new, younger demographic to the company’s line of instructional videos.

“Adult has come out of the shadows, and we feel we’re at the forefront of that,” said Peter Reynolds, vice president of sales and marketing at Adam & Eve. “How refreshing that you can go to something like this and it’s all fun and positive, not like a bunch of creepy old men in raincoats.”

This year’s Adult Entertainment Expo, or AEE, will offer the usual blend of trade business and fan access, with corporate deals taking place behind the “take a picture with a porn star” curtain at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.

As the adult industry struggles to find its place in a rapidly changing consumer environment — competing with amateurs, pirates and independent producers — AEE organizers are trying to find new ways to convince fans to plunk down $80 for a day pass to the show, which runs Jan. 9 through 12.

Boobies, it seems, are no longer enough.

“People are coming to AEE to see porn stars and be in this Hollywood sex world where it’s all about the fantasy,” said New York-based sexologist Jamye Waxman [pictured], who is leading the classes. “These workshops can help people incorporate the fantasy back into the reality.”

Waxman has a master’s degree in human sexuality from Widener University and has been a professional sex educator for almost 10 years. Her seminars are based on the Personal Touch (NSFW) line of educational porn videos she is directing for Adam & Eve.

Adult actors Dick Chibbles and Daisy Layne, a married couple who star in the series’ Exploring the “O” video, will join Waxman for Friday’s “Uncovering the O: Female Orgasms and More” session and Saturday’s “Sex Toy Workshops: How to Choose Them/How To Use Them,” helping to demonstrate tips and techniques.

Chibbles said he believes that hosting the seminars at AEE represents a shift in American culture.

“In the past five years, the country has really loosened up about pornography in our society,” he said, mentioning several television series and specials that revolve around porn and sex. “It seems that America is starting to get with the rest of the world, not being so uptight about sex. I think it’s great. It’s about time.”

But will fans want to work on their relationships at the porn show?

Waxman said she thinks so: “Porn is a good gateway for men to talk to their women about things they might want to try or experiences they might want to have.”

“The monogamy clinic recognizes that you’re going to be in a long-term relationship, and focuses on ways you can have a great sex life,” she said. “It’s not about inviting a third party in, it’s about role-play and mutual masturbation and anal sex — both sexes can have pleasure from having stuff up their butts — and other things you can do to keep that sizzle, or bring it back if it’s gone.”

Others aren’t so sure. Julian Prichard of Seattle, a porn fan and Sex Drive forum participant who won’t make it to the convention this year but has always been curious about AEE, said the seminar topics, while interesting, don’t seem like a good fit for the event.

“They seem like standard relationship workshops bolted on to the conference,” Prichard said. “Why not have workshops like how to use porn to enhance your relationship, or a beginner’s guide to porn and relationships, and things like that?”

It remains to be seen how eager fans will be to spend an hour away from the AEE porn extravaganza to learn about sex. Michael West, a network manager who lives in Alabama and has always wanted to attend AEE, says he would check out the seminars if he were able to go this year. “It’s a reflection of the normalization or mainstreaming of porn these days,” he said.

Gabriel Carrejo, vice president of adult social networking site Sin2.0 (NSFW), is a bit more cynical. “No one is going to AEE for the seminars,” he said.

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