AAN Members Do It All For the Nooky
A few days back from the AAN Conference in New Orleans and I'm rested, hydrated, and generally scandalized. Even a Vivid Video employee retreat doesn't have as much wanton sex, (I imagine).
I knew going in that conferences, regardless of the group, inspire impromptu pairings. And I knew that there's no city in the U.S. more amenable to extramarital sex than New Orleans, except for maybe Las Vegas, but still I was shocked. I even heard one conventioneer complain that he'd have had more time for carousing if there weren't so many seminars to attend. Perhaps I'm just naïve and should have readied myself for as much. But this being my first AAN conference, I expected, well, a little less nooky.
Starting on Wednesday, the real theme of the conference began to unfold. Forget awards, forget informative sessions, forget Oliver Stone's rambling sermon -- I learned that the point of this conference was grubbing down with as many people as possible.
On Wednesday one of our southwestern colleagues (let's just call him Cowboy) taught me that in his mind and the minds of many, a conference site is actually governed by a different set of rules than the rest of the world. Kind of like diplomatic immunity, or an enclave country. And by Saturday this "I may be in the United States, but I'm playing by Bangkok rules," mentality seemed to have infected quite a few present.
Within an hour of our meeting, Cowboy had plainly asked me to make out with him. Thinking, "whatever happened to dinner?" I told him that I have a boyfriend -- and I do -- believing that this was all the answer I needed. Without missing a beat, he said, "Well, I have a wife," in a tone that suggested that I should comply because he had more to lose.
Vowing to never get married, I stood my ground. But the week had just started and I had more to learn, as did many of the other women present. (A friend of mine told me of how one man pretended to usher her through a door with his hand on her back only to let that hand drop solidly to her ass within seconds and how another man walked right up to her and just started sniffing her neck.) After four days of unsolicited gropings and sniffings in elevators and crowds, I couldn't help but wonder if all this reporting we've been doing on the sex scandals of others might have made some of us just a wee bit randy.
Like that extremely drunk man from Wednesday night that attempted to follow my roommate and I up to our room. We intentionally got off on the wrong floor to shake him while Matt, a gallant Pre-1 exhibitor, tried to wrestle him back onto the elevator. But Drunk Man broke free and ran after us, screaming, "Ladies, come back!" We narrowly managed to escape.
But nothing said or done during this year's convention comes close to the question posed by a man I'll refer to as "Mr. Masturbator" (my boyfriend simplified his name even further to just "The Bator" when I recounted the story). Like Cowboy, he asked for a kiss and I told him that I have boyfriend. And, like Cowboy, he followed that with the same "Well, I have a wife," response, again with the same intonation on wife. However, where Cowboy moved on after the second polite "No", Mr. Masturbator -- (who's negotiating tactics and relentlessness lead me to suspect he's in sales) suggested that we just masturbate for each other instead. I guess he reasoned that it's not cheating if you only touch yourself. I declined.
I don't know what it was that made everyone so -- affectionate. Maybe we're just so -- excited -- about meeting our peers that we can't wait to get to know everyone better. Maybe we're all so stressed with this economic downturn that everyone just wanted to burn off some steam (and calories), or maybe -- and this is my best guess -- everyone was drunk, horny, and staying in the same hotel -- as sure a recipe for booty as any I know.
If you need more proof that AAN-ers are a bunch of horn dogs, consider this: On Friday night, my last night at the convention, some new friends and I went to the Dungeon, a fairly seedy, well-known, French Quarter bar designed to look like a dungeon. Inside a young man was sitting alone in a cage and asked me to join him. After telling him that on my last visit to the Dungeon I witnessed a girl on her knees Monica-ing her boyfriend in that cage and that I would be doing nothing of the sort in there with him, I sat down. Immediately he began kissing my neck. Just like that. No "Hello." No "What's your name?" Just his Dracula-like focus and some voracious nuzzling and tasting. Too surprised to be mad, too amused to storm off -- I gently pushed him away and attempted to make small talk.
"So, what brings you to New Orleans?" I asked him.
"AAN?" I asked, already sure of his answer.
"Yeah. How could you tell?"