The debut of XCritic's XSwing is Proudly Sponsored by Swingtowns.com your best first stop on your swinging journey.
We’re the Slayters - Damien and Sierra. Our relationship started 12 years ago, but we’ve known each other even much longer than that. You see, we weren’t always this open. We’ll be doing a more introductory piece in the future, but for now, X-Critic has asked us to do a recap of our experience as a fledgling couple entering the industry together, who come from a lifestyle background, at the annual AVN Expo and Awards in Las Vegas, NV. If you told us five years ago that we’d be swingers navigating the adult industry, I don’t know that we would have believed you…
Fast forward to now and I’m rushing through the lobby of the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas on AVN Award show day in lingerie, making my way through the crowds to get to my agency’s booth. They’re already preparing the lobby for the red carpet, setting up roped off areas and laying down the winding path through the casino floor. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a group of guys waving at me and calling me from the Circle Bar in the middle of the room. In my hurry and thinking it’s someone we know, I quickly stray over to say hi and apologize for being in a rush, when I realize that I don’t know anyone I’m approaching. I shake hands and introduced myself, trying to play it off, when the crowd they’re in moves aside and they introduce me to incognito Darius Rucker, of Hootie and the Blowfish fame. He’s polite and friendly and offers to buy a round of drinks for everyone, but I freeze up awkwardly, excusing myself and basically running away explaining I need to get to my booth because I’m running late and my anxiety of navigating the massive crowd into the Expo is kicking in.
AVN is so random.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves though. This is our second year attending the annual AVN Expo and Awards in Las Vegas; More or less the Oscars of the adult industry combined with porn summer camp. It’s crowded, it’s hectic, it’s wild, and it never fails to surprise you in some way, even if you’ve been there before. We made a good decision coming in early on Tuesday to avoid the rush and got situated with our room (we wound up paying for a suite strictly because the front desk told Sierra there was a large bathtub in the room…), got our talent badges, picked up all of the sweet promotional stuff that AVN Stars and MyFreeCams flood you with, and eventually headed down to a little gathering they had organized at one of the bars to present the Hall of Fame inductees with their trophies. Afterwards, we wound up hanging around and speaking with everyone from fellow performers to novelty vendors, but eventually succumb to the exhaustion of traveling all day.
Each day starts off pretty much the same with a few exceptions. Makeup, hair, and down into the sea of people that is the expo. It is probably the best highlight and also most unpredictable part of the entire trip. I watch fans meet their favorite performers for the first time, posing cheesed-faced for photos and getting their prints and DVDs signed. I also watch performers connect with their fans on such a personal level. Sure, they may watch you have sex, but they also monitor your personal adventures on social media, keep up with what color nail polish you chose for the expo, and commiserate with you on the world’s current state of affairs. Sometimes, there is so much normalcy in these industry events that I often wonder if the vanilla world is all that different, aside from the sex and lack of clothing, of course.
I spread my prints out at my table and adjust my outfit. The first day there are always butterflies: How’s the light here? Where should we stand for the best picture? The influx of new attendees flood the halls and the interactions begin. My favorite are the couples that come in together, often holding hands or walking closely with each other, whispering and smiling at all of the models. It reminds me of Damien and me at our first Exxxotica Expo a while back. We came as a lifestyle couple and left with a whole new understanding of our sexuality and what it could evolve into.
I pose for pictures and have the honor of getting to know so many different types of people. It’s a bit like speed dating, I would think. You tell me what you like, I tell you about what I’m into, and we both gain a new relationship on some level. I love showing people how normal we are. Yes, I love sex just like you. Yes, I have a spouse just like you. And yes, we love porn like you. The only difference is that we film it for everyone to see (and sometimes it involves friends…). I’ve learned that performers and models have a relationship with one another that really defies all vanilla metrics. We all generally have a really good knowledge of what consent is, treat each other with respect, and I also get to hold my friend Annabel’s epic tiddies for a photo (No big deal.) I can cuddle up to and hug Keira Croft for the cameras. It’s always fun when you’re signing with other talent that you really get along and vibe with. I’m signing with my agency’s booth and the East Coast Talent girls are all so wonderful to sign alongside. We have fun with it and laugh and play it up for the flashing lights with each other. It’s no wonder we’re all so damn horny here all week.
My first day is spent mostly running around like a maniac. I’m checking to see if Sierra or any of the girls need anything at the booth, picking up prints from the business center, helping some of our other friends get ready and to their booths, and filing through the crowd trying to get in and out of the expo. While exhausting, it does give me more of an opportunity to run into random people, fans, or industry friends that we haven’t seen in a while. It’s a little different for us in that regard, as we live out on the east coast and not in the Valley, so all of these adult conventions really are somewhat of a reunion for us with a lot of people. In that spirit, we decided to have a low key gathering in our room, since we had a suite with a giant spa tub in it and all. Sierra took a bath with someone, and then I wound up in there with two friends at some point that evening. Room upgrade – worth it.
Much like previous days, Thursday was a busy day. I decided that having a hair stylist come at 9 AM was a surefire way to get me out of bed and moving early. I was preparing a bag to take to a trade shoot with Siren SaintSin and Aria Khaide, when I realized I didn’t have to pack a whole lot. We were shooting a bondage scene and all I needed was a tiny, strappy slave outfit.
I’m a minimalist by nature, so I was relieved.
As an actual sub myself, I was drawn to work with Siren and her commanding presence, especially alongside my porn-wifey, Aria! We get along with Aria and her husband really well; we have relationship similarities, we’re both based back east, and get together from time to time. I was sad Damien didn’t get to watch us shoot this time, but he was busy with his own content.
He and Aria Carson were in our room going over the details of their scene they were about to shoot as I got back to the room. I rushed in gushing about my scene, stripping my clothes off in the process and cleaning up to change into my next outfit. Conventions are always wrought with outfit changes, makeup retouching, and cleaning up. I slid on a fishnet onesie, packed a bag, and kissed Damien goodbye. I wished my hubby and Aria luck with their scene and made my way back downstairs into the crowd. Navigating the ramps into The Joint in giant heels through a sea of people can be tricky, let me tell you.
After I finished shooting with the beautiful Aria Carson, I walked her over to her ride pickup and then met up with one of the main reasons we’re involved with this industry and one of our dearest friends, the tiny bombshell sexual hurricane, Kenzie Reeves. She’s finishing up signing at her booth and we stop by to visit Sierra and the other ECT girls, go shopping around the various clothing vendors, visit a few girls and then decide to go grab some food in the casino. Sierra is getting done at the booth at this point, so I call her and tell her to meet us. She shows up with Aryana Amatista in tow eat for the first time in what seems like forever.
We have a great dinner and go summon the energy for a second wind to get ready and head to the Evil Angel suite party with Kenz. The place is absolutely wall-to-wall packed, there’s tons of press, and Emma Hix and some other impossibly beautiful women are all taking incredibly hard-to-look-away-from photos on the bed. We head out to the porch and run into some friends, but after a bit, we all decide to head out. This gives us some time to catch up with both some friends from MaisonXS back east and CamGirlCouture owner, Alabama Whirly before heading to bed.
Friday was even busier. I rushed to pack up my booth space at the end of the day, gather my things and begin the 20 minute journey out of the halls. I managed to find a quiet(er) space with good reception and plopped down to wait for a phone call for a Drinking Dirty NJ podcast interview talking discussing what was going on at the expo. Whenever I’m interviewed I always enjoy the random, off the wall questions the most: “Scissoring or Scrapple?” That right there is probably the biggest conundrum of my day as a girl-girl performer in addition to food freak. There was also a segment where we touched on being a functioning couple in the industry.
After the interview, it’s back to the room to get cleaned up and ready for the White Party and press line. Our agency got together and all walked the carpet and got photos taken individually and all together. I love the pictures of all of us. These are my humans. My family. Kiara Edwards and Kenzie made Damien go walk the carpet a second time.
Vanity is packed. First all of the industry people get inside and settled and then members of the public that have purchased certain packages at the expo are admitted as well. We had a large private booth area and bottle service going. Some once again, random, celebrity encounters; Even a few of our east coast friends made it to enjoy the beautiful chaos.
After the club, we wound up bringing around 20 or so people back to our room. The tub came in useful once again, we had a lot of ridiculous moments, and inevitably stayed up entirely too late considering all the madness that was scheduled the following day. While the partying is worth it in a sense, you make a lot of great memories and things like that, you have to balance that with being professional and treating this like a job. Luckily, we've been surrounded by people who can maintain that balance. It’s easy to get sucked down that rabbit hole in this atmosphere.
Saturday morning I awoke on two hours sleep to more hair and makeup. Not only are the crowds larger, but ALL of the big name performers are here anticipating the big night at the awards. I know that once I leave this booth today, the convention itself is officially over. All of the new fans I met I’ll hope to see at the next show or online. My banner and prints get packed up and stowed away.
Its crunch time in the Slayter’s room. Damien and I are both rushing to clean up, change, and get ready. Fans are lining up along the red carpet as talent is being corralled down a seemingly endless line of stopping and walking. The end goal? The talent-only cocktail hour before the show. After a moment to catch our breath, we’re being filed in to The Joint to find our seats. As we make our way down to our seats, I managed to finally track down someone who I’ve been searching for all week; Girl-girl icon, and recent Hall of Fame inductee, Charlotte Stokely. Prior to the expo on Twitter, she’d been kind enough to point me in the direction of Petra, my hair and makeup stylist for the past week. We took a quick photo and found our seats. This year was definitely an upgrade in comparison to last year. Our closer seats gave us a close-up view of all the winners, plus epic performances from Doja Cat and Diplo. The end of the show came suddenly, drawing to an end what seemed like a week-long marathon.
Food was all we could think about at that point and luckily, Vegas never sleeps because we ran across the street and easily found something to fix the fact that we both had barely eaten all day. As we had gotten less and less sleep all week, we were completely spent and wound up just going straight to bed.
I know, we’re rock stars.
Sunday we woke up feeling a lot better. The stress of the week and having to be in a million places all at once, not getting to eat on a normal schedule, long days; I don’t know how half the girls function, to be honest. You don’t really see all the work that goes into what they do on a daily basis until you experience it firsthand.
After managing to drag ourselves out of bed, we headed over with the Khaide’s to the Wood Rocket Cereal Brunch at their studio. Honestly, this was one of the biggest highlights of the trip and I hope they continue doing these. Infinite cereal choices, a bunch of neat sets, Kool Keith was there, and there was an animatronic triceratops you could ride around; So the resulting pictures were obviously genius. Sierra was just happy she had so many cereal choices...
After bidding the Khaide’s farewell to their flight, we went out for a quiet dinner at the Bellagio with her agent and our friend, the lovely Zoey Taylor. We take a moment outside to pause and watch the fountain show and just quietly reflect on the craziness of the past week: All the chaos, all the fans, the parties, the awards, friends old and new, funny moments, and all the ridiculously good looking people crammed into the Hard Rock for one last hurrah before the rebrand.
All of us (and Deadpool), against the fucking world.
Thanks for reading! We’ll be back with another article soon!
-Sierra and Damien Slayter