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Dallas and Gomorrah: City Unconstitutionally Bans Major Sex Expo

Dallas City Council banned the Exxxotica Expo on Wednesday. We spoke with politician-tryst maven Sydney Leathers about hypocritical, boring 'morality police.'
February 11, 2016, 5:45pm
Photo by Joe Kohen via Getty Images

Government officials in Dallas, TX may have violated constitutional law on Wednesday after the city council cast a majority vote to ban the Exxxotica Expo, an annual event held in cities across the United States that seeks to help "adults start their own sexual revolution." According to mySanAntonio news, last weekend a Texan billionaire named Ray Hunt urged the council to block Exxxotica on the basis that the event is against most Dallas residents' values, which are apparently dull.

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Sydney Leathers is an adult icon and the politician-tryst maven who swapped hot pics with former New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. She attends the Exxxotica Expo every year. Having had her own political aspirations torpedoed, Leathers is an expert of the conservative scorn that sexual progressives endure in the public eye. She's been attending the Exxxotica Expo since 2013, the same year she dominated national headlines as Weiner's mistress. "[Exxxotica is] a safe, fun way for performers & fans to interact. I sell DVDs, photos, I participate in educational panels & seminars," she explains in an interview with Broadly. "It's sad that in 2016 people are trying to legislate based on 'morality'."

The recent ban follows local protest at last year's Exxxotica Expo in Dallas. According to Dallas News, The Dallas Women's Foundation convinced mayor Mike Rawlings to help cancel the event, in part due to their belief that it fuels the sex trade, thus "undermin[ing] efforts against human trafficking." Though city attorneys advised Rawlings (last summer) and the council (this week) that it's illegal to ban the event based on its content alone, the vote took place nonetheless.

"The Dallas City Council doesn't care about the Constitution, obviously," Leathers says. "When we attended Exxxotica in Dallas last year, so-called Christians protested with signs that said, 'You deserve rape,' 'God laughs at your rape,' 'You deserve AIDS,' etc." As Leathers sees it, the values that moralists purport to uphold are often contradicted by their (ultimately violent) actions. "One female performer was even punched by one of these men. So these are the type of people we are talking about. Some morality police, huh?"

Leathers believes that Exxxotica, and other events like it, are culturally beneficial. "Sexually empowering events are beneficial because it gives people the opportunity to learn and explore." Considering the total lack of sufficient sex education programs in schools and other public institutions in the U.S., an open, sexually liberated event may be an important beacon for adults. According to Cosmopolitan, less than half of the states in our nation require public schools to teach sex ed, and "taxpayer money has been funding abstinence-only-until-marriage education since the Reagan era."

Why can't we accept every kind of sexuality as long as no one is being harmed?

"Such a wide variety of people attend these events: single men and women, couples," Leathers explains. "There are first-timers and those who go to every show. Some of these people come from rural areas because they can't experience these things or learn about them where they're from." She notes that there's nothing illegal about Exxxotica, that the city council is not charged with the task of moral condemnation, and that "if you aren't interested in an event with seminars on sex and love where you can buy adult toys and meet porn stars, don't go."

Though this ban may be unconstitutional, it is not particularly surprising to Leathers, who insists that "sexuality is 100 percent stigmatized." She says she' a staunch sex-positive woman, an advocate for sexual empowerment. "When I was first even considering doing porn, Thomas Roberts from MSNBC called me 'batshit crazy' on air." She criticizes the fact that Roberts, a gay man whose community has faced decades of oppression in the U.S. based on sexual identity, would pass judgement on her for considering working in adult film. The same judgement that Leathers faced is now leveled at Exxxotica by boring conservatives. "Why can't we accept every kind of sexuality as long as no one is being harmed?" she asks. "What consenting adults do shouldn't be judged or frowned upon. There's room in society for the kinky and the repressed."