The Sexual Health Expo, a.k.a. Sex Expo New York, returned this weekend for two days of high-energy events, consumer sales, demos, and plenty of industry mingling at Brooklyn Convention Center.
On Saturday, the event drew large and refreshingly diverse crowds to this bustling corner of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where attendees browsed for adult products, services, and the latest sex tech in between on-site workshops, DJ-ed hits, and a steady stream of giveaways on the packed expo floor.
As with any expo, it’s virtually impossible to see everything the event has to offer in just one afternoon, even for a keen Brooklyn-based freelancer. But like other attendees, I left Sex Expo 2019 with a big smile on my face, and the event definitely made an impression.
Here are just a few highlights from my afternoon within (and right outside) the East Coast’s biggest sexual health event.
Throughout the day, attendees representing a diverse array of ethnicities, ability levels and ages (all 18+) cruised the show floor, shopping for accessories, lingerie, and high-tech sex toys, or simply taking it all in (often while sporting free light-up, Playboy-style bunny ears from MotorBunny, or paper fans imprinted with “DTF”).
Tucked behind or orbiting their booths, the event’s vendors also represented a wide range of sexual health services and products, from relationship counseling and femme-domination to CBD body cream, erotic comics, and penis-shaped candy and molded toys.
Many attendees and industry members were dressed to the nines, sporting everything from cocktail dresses to full fetish gear, though ample others opted for simple, comfortable (yet attractive) weekend wear, plus the frequent addition of a leather collar or sex-positive t-shirt slogan.
Among some event-goers, it seemed the most popular booths were those hosted by the expo’s main sponsor, Chaturbate, an adult platform that allows users to interact for free, or in pursuit of cash tips, toward the goal of self-satisfaction.
Three booths on the expo floor were set up for live-demonstrations of this tech: equipped with laptops and large display screens to show the action from Chaturbate users’ side, cam models smiled, stripped, and/or spanked on request from atop their in-booth mattresses or couches, with periodic breaks to pose for photos (very graciously) with many expo attendees.
Without question, however, it was women of color who brought many of the very best exhibits, services, and outfits to Saturday’s expo floor, including some of the busiest booths (not surprisingly in this city and women-dominated industry, if unfortunately less common at events in this part of Brooklyn).
Attendees were eager to buy and discuss a wide variety of products and services from numerous Black-owned businesses at the event, from adult party planning and massage oils to custom jewelry and polyamory education.
One booth that drew particular excitement was hosted by The Chocolate Domme, LLC, which included a photo display of the group Black Domme Sorority—specifically, one group shot, and one from an apparent face-sitting session.
Many of the sex industry’s biggest and most long-standing brands were also on hand, including New York-based mainstay sex boutique Babeland, the ever popular sex-toy maker Doc Johnson, and Clips4Sale, a more than 15-years-young adult video site.
In addition to its bunny-ear promotion and other giveaways, MotorBunny also maintained an active presence on the expo floor with several displays of continuously gyrating, thrusting sex-toy setups.
Adult film actress and international celebrity Stormy Daniels was also at the event to promote and sell her latest book, Full Disclosure.
For $20, attendees could also take a picture with Daniels (though educator and activist @SXNOIR said she was able to get one for $10, the only cash she had left, which is a nice thing).
When I needed a break from the event, I joined some of the folks from cannabis-and-sex-positive collective NSFW in the sunlit parking lot of Brooklyn Convention Center, where we found some shade (and a rather nice view of the East River) next to Daniels’ combination tour bus and dressing room parked outside.
While we were relaxing outside, it seems Ms. Daniels and her team were also ready for a break.
As Daniels walked back to her bus between two large bodyguards (“completely necessary,” given the constant death threats toward Daniels, SX NOIR pointed out), our probably rather fragrant group cheered her and called her name, and received a small smile and wave in return.
A few minutes later, I interrupted a very interesting conversation about the nature of the word “slut” to exclaim to my pals that a tiny brown-and-white puppy, gently steered on a pink leash by its own apparent handler and bodyguard (complete with #TeamStormy t-shirt), had just exited the bus.
After a short tour around the parking lot, Stormy’s puppy’s handler very kindly led the animal over to our group, where it happily canoodled with industry members at some length.
When the puppy and its generous handler had climbed back onto the bus, one member of our group, Amanda—feeling rather moved—reflected that Ms. Daniels was likely the first porn star she had ever watched in a film.
As we went back inside, we all agreed, too, that this year’s expo was an exceptionally good time.