Adult Entertainment Expo 2020

Important Update: Due to the unprecedented conditions going on now around the world, we are suspending publication of Sex in Review. Everyone needs to focus now on family and protecting themselves, including us, and this publication just does not seem that important right now with this crises facing us. We will publish the full AEE Roundup as soon as we return to regular publication, and decide more about what we will do in the future then.

The major show for the Adult Industry is the Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE) held in Las Vegas in January. This is an opportunity to check out new adult products, and take a lot of pictures of porn stars and cam girls. It is also an important show for us as the things we learn there set up our editorial calendar for much of the year.

The show has a long and interesting history, and we have been attending them since back when they were still part of the Consumer Electronics Show. For a bit more history, check out AEE Memories.

This year the show was towards the end of month. We did do a January piece on the AVN Awards 2020 covering the winners, which is held the last night of the AEE, but the rest of our show coverage continues throughout the month of March. A lot of the new products shown at the show are not available for purchase until around March or even later.

We also have our Behind the Scenes look at the show, which you can check out on our blog on the Center for Sexual Expression (CenterSEE) site.

This year’s Adult Entertainment Expo felt a little different. One big difference I noticed, and the same was true about the earlier Adult Novelty Manufacturer’s Expo (see Lubes and Lotions, Games and Fun, and Sex Toys), was the way sex toy and other adult products are now being marketed.

In a very effective strategy so far, the industry has been rebranding their products into the sexual health and wellness category. This is how they have been finally getting back into the Consumer Electronics Show after the previous year’s debacle where a woman run company won a technical achievement award for their product which was yanked away when CES decided it was obscene. That created a huge backlash, and this year the doors are finally opening a bit more at CES (see our review), as long as the emphasis is on health and wellness.

Heaven forbid we talk explicitly about sexual pleasure. None the less, this approach has been helping adult products penetrate into markets that were previously unavailable to them. Major drug store and retail chains are now carrying products I never thought they would- even the very conservative Walmart.

Years ago the main focus at AEE was the big adult movie companies, who had huge and elaborate booths. Those days are long gone and their presence has been diminishing at AEE over time. Just last year the movie producers at least had suites upstairs. This year their presence was almost non-existent, with everything shifting to live camming and streaming services that tend to focus on scenes rather than full movies.

There were also fewer sex dolls this year. That may because the sex doll industry is consolidating. They are very expensive, and last year I just could not imagine how the market could support that many manufacturers.

A surprise problem for us was the loss of our professional camera, forcing us to shoot the show on our phones. Both had very good optics and features, but we were not as skilled with them. We still had our video camera, but one of the problems we had with it was that many of the areas where they had girls signing and posing were so poorly lit we cold not get decent video, since we did not bring the lighting kit.

We have covered the show at the Hard Rock for so many years we have it down. We know where everything is and how to get around. That knowledge will be useless next year, as the Hard Rock closed their doors for good on February 4th, less than two weeks after the AEE show ended. It will be renovated and become Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. That seems like a wildly inappropriate venue name for the AEE, but even so, they plan to have the show in the newly refurbished facility in 2021. Update: The 2021 AEE has been cancelled.

There is so much going on at the AEE that we broke it down into several articles. These articles will be appearing throughout the month. When the link is blue that means the article is up. They include:

AEE Show Round-up – Lubes, Lotions and Condom
Products to rub on, lick off, and for better health

AEE Show Round-up – Vibrators and Dildos and Masturbators
We show you a dazzling array of ways to make things vibrate.

AEE Show Round-up – Sex Dolls
There were some interesting sex dolls this year, with quality over quantity, while last year seemed more about quantity.

AEE Show Round-up – Cam Girls and Porn Stars
Cam Girls are ascendant in the adult industry right now. Here we include some of the major Cam sites and photos of some of the lovely women you can cam with. There were also porn stars

AEE Show Round-up – BDSM
Spanked, whipped, tied up, all that sort of stuff.

AEE Show Round-up – Odds and Ends
Things we did not know what category to put them in.