Yalun’s note: To celebrate the oncoming arrival of the Asia Adult Expo 2012 (shout out! 17-19 August at the Venetian for all your sex toy and weird guy-related needs), I’d like to share a story from when I visited an adult film set in LA. So here goes: A couple of months ago I was in LA working on a story comparing the adult film business in the west (shot in Los Angeles) with that in the east (shot in Japan). Sure, Hong Kong had “3D Sex and Zen,” but I think people here were more excited about the "3D" part, which explains all the uncontrollable moaning during “The Avengers.” While the sex industry only really comes to Hong Kong during the Expo, it is ubiquitous in LA, so I thought it appropriate to visit a set and see what really goes on. I contacted the PR at Digital Playground, a leading US adult film company, and explained that I needed to watch people have sex for a story. After a thorough screening to ensure I wasn’t what they call a “trench coat guy” (shows up, masturbates, leaves), Jen agreed and it was off to the races. I was told to go to a nondescript building at a certain time for a “commercial” shoot whereupon I would meet Bibi Jones, a rising porn star, for a chat about the business. And then I’d observe the business. The next day, my friend and I showed up at the set, only to be stopped by a beefy bouncer. “We’re here for the commercial shoot,” I explained. “Oh, you’re the talent,” he nodded, which made me feel both embarrassed and kind of awesome. “No, I just write for a magazine,” I said sadly and he looked at my crotch as if to say, I see, then ushered us in. There we met our intrepid bisexual PR, who very matter-of-factly told us stories about her previous husband, wife, and the interesting challenges raising a kid while working in the porn business. It was fascinating when compared to my normal uptight Hong Kong conversations with relationship doublespeak: instead of “Let’s hook up” it’s “Let's have another drink at yours”; instead of “I don’t want to see you” we just turn our phones off and hide in the bathroom. Jen’s world was, in a manner of speaking, more open. I strongly doubted she ever hid in a bathroom asking, “Is she gone? Is she gone? Cover me while I run.” While musing this, the woman of the hour entered: Bibi Jones, a blond-haired, blue-eyed firecracker, looking exactly like the girl next door, assuming you lived next door to a porn studio. We talked a bit about the business, how she got started and what the future holds for the Bibs (my nickname for her), until she dropped a bombshell. “It’s weird doing this and only being 17.” A minor? WTF?!? Our eyes bulged! Then—Bibi burst out laughing. “I’m 20” she said, shaking her head. “I just wanted to see the expression on your face.” Damn it. We were fooled by a 20-year-old porn star. I could see why my mother warned me about such people. “Are they ready? I want to have sex!” Bibi complained—apparently she was ready. That was weird. I stopped and thought about how I had gotten here. In a red Kia Soul, I remembered. Right. “Get ready,” a production manager told her and she went off to the restroom to do whatever it is one does to get into “character.” The production manager then turned to us. “I’m really sorry but there isn’t space in the room.” We looked at each other, crestfallen. “But did you get enough for your story?” he said. I stopped thinking of my Red Kia Soul. Had I? I guess I knew about the biz, the backstory and the Bibi, so maybe it was enough. I nodded: a little annoyed, a little relieved. The same way I feel every day. Yalun Tu is a columnist for HK Magazine. You can reach him at email@example.com or @yaluntu on Twitter.