Who goes to a porn convention?
Snap a picture in your mind, and the image conjured is probably of a greasy-haired or balding dude whose face causes your skin to creep up the backside of your neck. And if you do the same for the “fairer sex”, a bleach blonde woman with lips and breasts so pumped up she looks like she might be leaning forward, may possibly develop.
Now tear up those images, because guess what? They’re wrong … well mostly wrong anyway. During the first evening at the eXXXotica Expo 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, my own preconceived beliefs were confronted and systematically dismantled as I considered and observed the crowds of people moving around me.
Near the entrance of the show a large portico-like structure welcomed attendees as they passed under its pink and black attractively illustrated eXXXotica 2013 heart logo, pausing briefly to pose for pictures. As I stood close-by observing the photo ops, it only seemed right to offer a hand at taking pictures.
Framed within the lenses of the various cameras or phones, were the faces of men and women in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and beyond. Their complexions ranged in variety from peaches and cream to silky and black, Caucasian, Asian, Middle Eastern, you name it – with tall, thin, short, heavy and somewhere in between physiques – single, with partners or husbands, and in groups – they had long hair, short hair, extensions, braids, ponytails, colorful locks and the most basic of shades.
These were the people going to the porn convention … sisters, brothers, moms, dads, uncles, aunts, cousins, sons, daughters, and grandparents … the professional, the unemployed, the neighbor, church goer, and the curious. Ordinary folks who shared a commonality both with each other and with me – every one of them walked into this venue with a story – searching for a place to belong, feel alive, valued and noticed. Hurting people grabbing for a band aid to shelter, protect or hide the wounds incurred from this battle known as life. Some of them oblivious to the gaping hole in their hearts walk cheerfully into the porn show, while others accustomed to the pain, venture numbly on looking for a fix.
Who goes to a porn convention? Well, Jesus does and I do too. Because I am that woman, the one whose loneliness and lack of identity and worth drove her to a life of destructive choices. The moment I met Jesus He drew a line between who I am today and my past, and though that line separating me from the women and men I met at the Expo is thin and straggly at best, it is the most important one I’ve ever crossed over.
Having the opportunity to share Light, Love and Life at a porn show … honestly, does it get any better than that? I don’t think so.
Written by Jennie Nagy, a Strip Church Network Member, about her first experience at a porn convention. Jennie runs a strip club outreach in Sacramento called As You Are Outreach.