by Darklady firstname.lastname@example.org
There we were, the drag queen and the Darklady cruising east on Highway 101 on Friday the 13th in a rental car toward West Hollywood with a full moon blazing overhead. It was a magic moment, let me tell ya.
Snickers LaBarr (disguised as a man) and I had originally wanted to attend the Adult Video News awards in Las Vegas but couldnt roll enough drunks to raise the necessary fortune. Fortunately, we had an option: each year porn pioneer Bill Margolds fan group, F.O.X.E. (Fans of X-rated Entertainment), holds a fan favorites award show where the fans, not the critics, get to vote on which performers they feel deserve special recognition. Bill suggested we blow off the AVN awards and come see how the real forces behind the adult industry show their appreciation. The queen of Maybelline and I decided that this sounded fine and groovy and thus, after a quick flight on Alaska Airlines (complete with funky chicken salad and a religious notecard) we arrived at the city of Lost Angels and our erotic adventures began.
Given that Snickers and I have something in common (we both like men) we decided to spend a considerable amount of our L.A. story time in West Hollywood, a city which makes no bones about the fact it is homo happy and damn proud of it. If you miss the rainbow flags with the lambda symbol as you drive into the city from the west, there are plenty of other clues to let you know youve come to gay male heaven: shops with names like Out of the Closet and A Different Light Bookstore, as well as more model-perfect men per square inch than any other city on the planet. With film studios scattered throughout the area its hardly a shock. These particular beefcakes are so delightfully and demonstrably out that the only way I could readjust to Portlands more restrained atmosphere was to attend the Egyptian Rooms Butch Strip Night. But thats another (wonderful) story, isnt it?
We cruised Sunset Blvd., Hollywood Blvd., and Santa Monica Blvd., every day of our visit. We sampled some of the yummiest food imaginable and were unabashed sex tourists. We gawked at the celebrity stars on the sidewalks of Sunset, we fondled the dildos at The Pleasure Chest and tried to convince the counter staff at the now gay video and dancer only Tomkat Theater to let me in to see a movie. No luck. The irony is, of course, that the Tomkat is a historic building for porn pilgrims, having presented premiere showings of such classics as Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door. Outside, impressed into the sidewalk, are the hand and footprints of such porn greats as John C. Holmes, Georgina Spelvin, Linda Lovelace, Harry Reems, and Marilyn Chambers. While others were wading through the crowds to click their shutters at the prints outside Manns Chinese Theater, I had plenty of elbowroom in front of the Tomkat. Maybe one of these days the city which has made so much money off of the work of these skin superstars will peel off enough of its hypocrisy to allow one of them a star along with such mainstream talent as... well, the folks whose names wed never heard of but who had enough friends to buy them stars on Sunset.
One shining star (cough, cough) that Snickers and I got to see close up (and trust me, she didnt blind us) was the goddess of self-promotion: Angelyne. West Hollywood is graced (using the term loosely) with billboards featuring the heavily PhotoShop-ed bottle-blondes likeness and her web address (http://www.angelyne.com). I say likeness because the reality sure didnt measure up to the promotional material. How unexpected in a city where the word star means more than a dozen people have heard of you. Angelynes web site informs the curious that she does not do, she is. She certainly is something. Nearing retirement age and investing heavily in cosmetic surgery are a couple of my guesses. I recommend a less shiny foundation, personally. Meow. But, by god, we saw her in all her three-dimensional beauty; pink Barbie-corvette and all. It made me feel like such a member of the paparazzi to pull up next to her and capture her tiny soul in my disposable camera. We were so full of ourselves that, in our excitement, we arrived late (and totally overdressed) for our appearance on the Dr. Susan Block Show.
Dr. Suzy, as she likes to be called, has a degree from Yale in philosophy and also has an advanced degree in psychology. Shes not just another blonde bimbo with a dynamite bod sitting on an elaborately decorated bed with cameramen filming her every mood. Shes a well-educated, damn smart blonde dispensing good advice about sex and relationships over the Internet (Saturday nights starting at 10pm on http://www.radiosuzy1.com) and via the Los Angeles cable system. She must be on to something because one of the highly respected employees of the LAPD felt compelled to break up the taping the week before. Officer Eric apparently had concluded that the good doctor was handing out more than just sexual advice in her bedroom studio. Thats one party crasher whos never going to be invited to one of Dr. Suzys famous post-production parties.
But all of this was really only foreplay for the main event, of course: the F.O.X.E. awards. So far, the closest wed got to a real-life porn star had been crashing at the home of local girl gone big-time, Jacklyn Lick (http://www.jacklynlick.com) and a midnight showing of Bill Margolds pride and joy, Disco Dolls in Hot Skin (shown in its original 3-D glory, I might ad... Those glasses violate the Geneva Conventions rulings on torture, Im pretty sure of it.). Youd think an L.A. audience would be jaded and wordly-wise, but the Gen X-ers who enthusiastically attended the showing clearly had no idea what to make of gorgeous women with homegrown breasts and fluffy, abundant tufts of pubic hair. What is this world coming to when the sight of beautiful naked women with the body mother nature deliciously evolved for them grosses out young Americans? Ive got a bone to pick with the bikini line wax companies of this nation, I think. All I have to say is that Serena has got to be one of the loveliest ladies to have ever blessed voyeurs with something worth watching. It was fun watching for the unbilled cameo of John Holmes, too. But this only wetted our appetite. We wanted the real thing and finally, on Sunday night, we got it in spades.
The Mayan Theater has a long history with the adult industry and, although so much of the rest of downtown L.A. looks like it should have been six feet under long ago, the Mayan was still vibrantly alive that night... and crawling with humanity. According to the delightful mistresses of ceremony, Miss Sharon Mitchell and Nina Hartley, not everyone who wanted in could be shoehorned in.
The orange programs for the evenings entertainment proclaimed that the erotic essence of the order of the show is `disorder and truer words were never spoke. But it was an orderly disorder with fans buying F.O.X.E. T-shirts, snapping shots of their favorite stars in attendance, swilling drinks, jockeying for optimal photo positioning, and generally being entranced by the visions of loveliness whom they had only seen previously courtesy of the miracle of video tape. The crowd, predominantly males of all legal ages (but with an encouraging number of female fans), was like a collective kid in a candy store and everything they saw looked so sweet. Allowed, for the night, to touch, talk to, and be photographed with their dream girls, there were smiles everywhere and many a wet dream once they were safely tucked back in their beds at home, Im sure.
Three big screens projected the stage images for any unable to get close enough to the real thing. And what the real thing did on that stage was a helluvalot of fun to watch. Margolds latest discovery, Cannibal, performed a crowd-pleasing fire dance (I liked it when she held the burning batons between her teeth), Dizzy Blonde (a fresh faced male porn performer) showed very little flesh (what gives with that, huh?) but proved he was more than just a pretty penis with a tender love song, Meeshalynn (looking very classy in a dynamite red evening gown) proved that not all women are influenced by gravity, and the audience got an unexpected dance performance when the gorgeous Alexandra Quinn stepped out of the audience to replace a naughty porn star who stayed home to do her nails instead of shake her booty. Quinn, by the way, is returning to the industry after a five-year sabbatical. I say, welcome back gracious lady.
Snickers got to live the dream of his life when, prior to the awards presentation, he met Male Favorite award winner, Sean Michaels. Co-winner, T.T. Boy was not in attendance. Likewise, Female Favorite award winners Jenna Jameson and Stacey Valentine were nowhere to be seen, but their co-winners, Tiffany Mynx and Stephanie Swift happily accepted their own awards. Johnni Black, looking very naughty in sprayed on black hip-huggers and a cotton candy pink top which nearly covered two of her working assets, took home the Vixen (new star) plaque.
Special awards were presented in three categories: the Lady Liberty award went to free speech activist, Mara Epstein and was presented by past winners Gloria Leonard, Charlie Latour, and Bobbi Lilly (Nina Hartleys wife). Friend of F.O.X.E. award went to Kitty Foxx, the grand dame of the Silver FoxXxes, who prove that age does not equal celibacy. Kitty, who had not expected the award, was charmingly overwhelmed, as was Fan of the Year winner, Jay Holnar, a man who has served the Family of X (as Margold calls it) for over a decade.
It was another late night for Snickers and me but wed seen a lot of happy, enthusiastic people (clothed and unclothed) and had a great time ourselves. I was able to make the acquaintance of some new friends (including Titus Moody, early porn-Renaissance man and performer in some of my favorite B-movies... and his friend Jeff) and re-establish contact with some old friends (Ron Jeremy... you owe me lunch next time. Jef Hickey, you looked shiny-eyed and enthusiastic but need to check your pager more often. Nina Hartley, it was an honor to meet your wife and to have your fingers in my cleavage). It didnt matter that we hadnt had more than three hours of solid sleep strung loosely together, everything was good for Snickers and Darklady during our adventures in La La Land.
If youre interested in learning more about F.O.X.E. and showing your support for the adult entertainment industry, write to F.O.X.E. at: 8231 DeLongpre Avenue, Suite 1, West Hollywood, CA 90046. And, as usual, tell Bill that Darklady sent you.