There are a lot of adult events that you can go to. The major ones will appear in our new Events Calendar, which you can view from the Events menu option at the top of the page. You can view it month by month, or use the viewing option at the top right to view it as a list.
Some of the events in the calendar are not open to the general public, but most are. For the others, you have to be affiliated in some way with the adult industry. Some conventions have times where they are open to the industry, and other times where they are open to the public.
Adult Industry Events
There are parties which feature porn stars, typically held at nightclubs. If you live in an area such as Las Vegas, San Francisco, or Los Angeles that has a strong adult industry presence, many of these events will be focused on the industry but also open to the public with a ticket purchase or door charge. These events essentially offer the opportunity to hang out with porn stars, or at least hang out with your buddies while observing porn stars hanging out with other porn stars.
The AVN show in Las Vegas is the biggest of the adult conventions. While primarily open for the trade, it does have times open to the public where you can meet porn stars and have your picture taken with them and get autographed pictures. The emphasis on a show like this is not on selling items, although there is some of that, but for people in the industry to make business connections.
There are also trade shows, not open to the public, where people in the industry can see all of the latest adult products. Some focus on sex toys, some on lingerie, there is even a trade show for Gentleman’s Clubs.
Then there are the consumer oriented expos. They typically run several days, are open to the public, feature guest speakers, do have an emphasis on selling products, usually have an opportunity to meet adult stars, and tend to have a large focus on sex toys and other adult products.
Another type of show is primarily an autograph show. It features adults stars, but the emphasis is on the adult star or model charging for pictures and autographs. Taking pictures is restricted. They usually have other vendors showing their wares as well.
Shows featuring erotic art are not as common as you might think, and almost always risk the possibility of getting shut down by authorities (or even the owner of the venue). They tend to be small regional shows, although there are some big shows in major cities such as San Francisco and Seattle. I was unable to find any comprehensive listing of small local exhibits. You will want to watch your local art museums for erotic art themed exhibitions. For example, the Honolulu Museum of Art just finished their exhibition titled Modern Love: Japanese Erotic Art. You can also Google the name of your city and erotic art exhibit. Going opening night is always a good idea, as you meet lots of interesting people and you still get to see the show if it does get shut down
There are many types of events for swingers. The local swing clubs and get togethers are not listed on our events calendar, since there are just too many of them. You can find a listing of many of these local events on the North American Swing Club Association’s Swing Clubs Listing Page. Many of these events, though, are for couples only.
The main events are Swinger conventions, which can be as large as several thousand people. They feature speakers and presentations, dances, and other social events. They usually last three to four days. Swinger Cruises are basically a swinger convention on water.
The BDSM community also hosts conventions, which typically have both an educational and a social focus. There are conventions that focus on a lot of different aspects of the BDSM community, and while many are pansexual, there are also those with a more narrow focus.
Like the swing community, they have way too many local events to list, from clubs to munches (social get togethers typically taking place at restaurants). The Fetlife site, a social network for the BDSM and fetish community, has an excellent and detailed listing of local events.
While there is a great deal of crossover between the BDSM and Fetish communities, fetish events have a distinct identity. Fetish attire is one of the things that can make a fetish event so much fun. There are just all these great and sexy costumes.
A Fetish Ball is an event where everyone comes decked out in the their fetish finest. These events offer great eye candy, and an opportunity for you to dress up as well.
Polyamory is for those who believe that relationships can expand beyond just two people. There are many different types of arrangements, whether it be a triad involving three people, two couples, a primary relationship that involves select others, or any other type of mutually agreed upon situation.
There are several nudist conventions throughout the year, typically taking place at various nudist resorts.
There are a number of national events that involve some level of nudity but are designed to make a point. Two of the best known examples are the regular World Naked Bike Rides that take place in several cities, and the Go Topless events, intended to promote the top free equality movement. Some, like the famous San Francisco Bare to the Breakers have been fazed out due to newly enacted local anti-nudity laws.
By the way, the photo above is from a Go Topless event in Los Angeles, where the law required protestors to cover their nipples. They did so with pasties designed to look like nipples, which were legal and also pointed out the ridiculousness of the laws.
There are lots of bisexual support groups across the country. There are couples who go to these support groups, even when one of the members of the couple is not bisexual. They go to support their partner’s identity. We live in a society where it is easier for women to come out as bisexual than it is for men, but it can still be tough no matter what your gender. Bisexual men and women still experience prejudice from both the gay and the straight communities. These support groups are there to provide support, and are not places for a straight guy to try and pick up bi women. BiNet has a large list of groups around the country.
CenterSEE co-founder Kris is a member of the Los Angeles chapter of amBi. She marched with them in the Gay Pride Parade in Long Beach with the only float representing bisexual people, and the first one in years. It also won best float.
The most visible events are the gay pride parades across the country. We go to at least one every year and have a blast. The gay community is very well organized, and they have many local events. You can find a listing for these events across the country on the Gay Pride Calendar. You can also easily find events near you doing a Google search with your city name. There are certain cities that are considered gay friendly that will have an abundance of events. These include San Francisco, Palm Springs, Long Beach and North Hollywood in California. There is also Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas, and Baltimore, Maryland and Orlando, Florida. There are places you might not expect, like Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Providence, Rhode Island. Believe it or not, Salt Lake City, Utah has an annual Pride parade and festival, and 4.7% of their population identifies as gay.
In terms of big national events, Palm Springs has an annual White Party, the largest gay dance festival held every April. They also have the world’s largest lesbian event, the Dinah Shore Weekend, which takes place at the end of March. New York has the infamous Black Party in March. Still, it is hard to top San Francisco, no pun intended, where they have an amazing number of gay events. They have an incredible Pride parade in June, the Folsom Street Fair (the world’s largest Leather Event), the Castro Street Fair, and so much more.
BDSM and Swinger conventions, and Adult Expos all offer educational opportunities, bringing in knowledgeable sex experts such as Carol Queen (pictured above) from across the country. You might also want to check with your local couple or women friendly adult store, as they often have classes.
As to major educational events, we have hosted some through CenterSEE, but they are not very common as a stand-alone event. The most significant are the Sex Weeks hosted by a number of college campuses. For example, Harvard has their Sex Week in November, and all presentations are free and open to the public.