Adult film actresses and sex toy dealers will descend on the two-story Clarion Hotel on North Boulevard next month for what’s being billed as the state’s first adult entertainment expo.
Why? “Because it’s time for it,” says Sundari Prasad, aka Sun Karma, a spokeswoman for the RVA Adult Expo. “We need to move into the future a little bit and try to get beyond our prudish past.”
The sexually liberated Richmonders who pay $25 to attend the June 1 event will find adult entertainers (among them are performers with names such as Lisa Lish, Roxy Reynolds, Black Coffey and Courtney Cummz) and a mishmash of loosely associated retailers — tattoo artists, plastic surgeons and lingerie dealers. In addition, local DJs and local rock band Against Grace will perform.
“It’s like any other expo you’d go to — a car expo, a home expo, a garden expo — you’ll find vendors from the adult industry,” Prasad says.
The event is a first for Richmond and for MMCP Enterprises, a consortium of five local promoters and business owners. Unlike Prasad, who’s appeared in and written for Hustler magazine, the promoters contacted by Style Weekly requested anonymity for fear of jeopardizing existing business relationships in the area.
Organizers expect anywhere from 400 to 600 people from across the region. If all goes well, the plan is to repeat the format every six months in venues across the state.
One of the event’s local sponsors is Taboo, an adult store chain owned by Alison Barber, who says she frequents larger adult expos in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She says she isn’t entirely sure what to expect.
“There tends to be a lot of semi-nudity and people are very free and graphic with live toy demonstrations — things that would never fly in Richmond,” she says. “But I think it can be done in a way that Richmond is comfortable with and still not be a disappointment. I’m as curious as everyone else to see how it’s going to go down.”