The Adult Video News convention in Las Vegas is a strange and absurd spectacle, a hybrid mix of flesh and gadgetry we may never understand. In a grand physical salute to one of the greats and gonzo pioneer HST the staff at Rideworks presents: Fear and Loathing at the AVN.

Center bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Las Vegas Nevada sometime in the pre dusk, low slung afternoon sun radiating through the glass doors. This was our morning and strong drink was imperative. My business partner had settled on a jacket made from the hide of a wild animal, maybe a wolf, and a ushanka-hat probably cut from the same savage beast. I was wearing a yacht hat, essential for navigation on what was sure to be high and choppy seas ahead. We sat at the bar drinking Stella and whiskey and that’s when the acid started to take hold. The first waves rise up your spine with nervous anticipation. More strong drink at the center bar while the pixilated parallel universe shot from the floor like psychotropic northern lights. The center bar had a grip on us, but within sight was the entrance and inevitable weirdness beyond the gate. The time to move was upon us.

The AVN is raw human spectacle packaged into consumable carnival form, booth by increasing strange booth. The convention halls have been converted into a grand and never-ending testament to the sexual appetite of the American dream. Fresh faces and supple bodies are currency here, and visual tapestry for the event. It’s a mixed bag of tricks and around the corner from the main hall the washed out, older, seasoned stars can be found in the low rent section; all of them still riding the old porn fallacy that there is an exit strategy at the end of the tunnel. Careers are born at this convention, but it soon becomes apparent that there is no end in sight. Once you have committed to the porn industry, escape is fleeting, and the vortex keeps pulling you back in. There is a permanence in the industries grip, just like the bukkake that now I can never un-see, once your performance is recorded and distributed it cannot be undone. Forever woven in the fabric of online sex acts served up one click at a time to an unquenchable voyeuristic consumer demand.

Beyond the half naked porn girls, stars, and human resources of the industry on display; gadgetry is certainly front and center and the other half of the AVN show. The array of gadgets and gizmos was beyond comprehension, some cosmic cross section of sex and computer horsepower. In what is sure to now be permanently burn into my psyche, drenched in acid and struggling to stay collected, the VR booth proved to be at test of wills. It was total emersion, a point of view spectacular with visual intensity more vivid than the real thing. In a surreal twist only to be experienced at AVN the girl in the VR video, buck-naked and riding your virtual manhood, is seated at the booth watching your reaction and asking if you like the size of her “ teen titties “ as she is considering getting a boob job. The psychological fissure this dichotomy of physical and virtual all at once creates, takes true grit to endure on a head full of acid. I wished she would just stop talking, I couldn’t remember if her voice was inside the VR or if she was actually real, sitting in the booth yammering on about her breasts talking over her own orgasm. When I finally peeled the VR unit off the reality of the AVN crowds began to invade my space. Panic and the lust for fresh air gripped my being. Time for a drink and a mad dash to the exit, much needed air, and a cigarette. During this great escape we ran head long into the Dragon booth. At AVN if it can be imagined, there are people pushing fantasy into grotesque physical form. If the VR was hard to handle, the reality of hundreds of oversized dragon dildos in all color shape and variety was a seismic beast to slay. Although there were no actual demonstrations as far as I could tell, my mind was gripped in vivid imagery. The imagination ran wild and conjured images of women being fucked by dragon cocks. Why not a live demonstration? Why hold back? I was certain if there was anywhere on earth overflowing with willing volunteers this was the place. What were they waiting for? What about the dragon fucking?

Definitely worth the time and highly recommended at least once, the AVN of Las Vegas is a madhouse trip worth taking.