Sydney Sexpo still hitting the spot after two decades

SYDNEY - Virtual reality porn, a giant penis-shaped amusement ride and an artist dubbed Pricasso, Sexpo, Sydney's adult entertainment and lifestyle show is celebrating its 20th year but is just as hot as ever.

The four-day show in Australia's largest city features big-name porn stars, numerous sex-toy stores, a giant ride named "Shafter" and moved further into the digital age this week with virtual reality porn.

"Twenty years is a long time in this game," Sexpo Australia's event manager Bentleigh Gibson told AFP.

"I think it is terrific that Sexpo can be operating through this period of time and it's still so well-supported by the industry and the populations of the countries and the states that we go to." The show has been franchised to South Africa and Britain bringing with it favourites such as artist Tim Patch, also known as Pricasso, a former Australian builder who uses his penis to paint.

While Sexpo draws thousands of Australians through its doors, it is also attracting young Asian fans keen to get a glimpse of Japanese adult internet star Mao Hamasaki, as well as an inaugural cosplay, short for costume role-play, contest.

Cosplay - where enthusiasts dress up as characters from anime series, comics and video games, mostly from Japanese pop culture - has been growing in popularity in Australia and around the world, with Sexpo organisers keen to tap into the fantasy craze.

"Sexpo came to me and said we are doing this thing and we'd like for you to be involved," avid cosplayer and Australian adult star Lucie Bee told AFP.

"We've got so amazing mainstream (cosplay) conventions in Australia... but this is like a place where you are so free from judgement, everyone's here to kind of lose their inhibitions a bit, discover something new." Also making an appearance is virtual reality porn, with the fully immersive technology promoted as more than just a gimmick.

"We are trying to keep up with the industry trends as well, especially in terms of health, education and technology," Gibson said.

"Virtual reality, VR, porn is a big one at the moment. Obviously when the internet... came on board in the '90s, that was a competing factor, so we had to embrace that onto the floor with our exhibitors.

"(VR) technology is going to be the next step in this industry I think."