TEXXXAS Porn Expo Raises Concerns About Uptick in Sex Trafficking
Trigger warning: short list of pornographic film titles included in this article.
Houston, we have a problem.
A pornography expo, not-so-subtly titled TEXXXAS, is taking place at the Hilton Houston Galleria Area Hotel in Houston, August 17-20.
TEXXXAS event organizer John Grey has publicly stated:
“Houston needs something like this, I think, and there is a market for it. The industry has gone mainstream.”
We note that among performers who will be participating this event, their film and scene titles include: “Mom Needs Money,” “How to Bang Your Teacher,” “My Son Banged My Wife,” “Interracial Gangbang,” “Mother-Daughter Exchange Club 22” and “My Sister Has a Thick White Booty.”
Contrary to Mr. Grey’s assertion, the mainstreaming of racist, misogynistic, and abuse-laden sexual material such as this is not something that the citizens of Houston support.
This event will attract a largely male audience that is desensitized to exchanging money for sexual experiences. Therefore, we expect an uptick in the demand for prostitution, and ergo sex trafficking, of women and children in the area.
The grim reality is that there are inescapable ties between pornography and sex trafficking.
Pornography consumption is linked to an increased demand for sex trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation. Further, many former performers have reported prevalent coercion, abuse, and coercive prostitution within the pornography industry itself.
It is also important to note that hotels are a primary location where sex trafficking transactions occur. This is because they provide convenience, relative anonymity, as well as temporary, private accommodations. Polaris’ “2015 Statistics” from its National Human Trafficking Resource Center indicate that hotels rank second among the top venues for sex trafficking. The TEXXXAS event will unfortunately be held at a Hilton hotel.
Last year, Hilton Worldwide adopted a policy to no longer sell on-demand pornography due to the brand’s desire to provide guests with a safe and sexploitation-free environment.
While that was a good step forward, Hilton’s inconsistent approach to these issues is concerning. I hope they will resolve to stop facilitating organized sexual exploitation in order to prevent any increase in sex trafficking on their property, and to protect the safety and wellbeing of their employees and guests.
To learn how to better stand against events like this, you can attend the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation (CESE) Summit, September 29-October 1. The CESE Summit will serve as the antithesis of the TEXXXAS expo. At the CESE Summit, there will be training, education, and strategy on ways to combat sexual exploitation and to defend human dignity.