I mean, there’s really not a whole lot I can really add to that. There was in fact, a stripper pole inside the dealers’ room at Otakon.
Looking at the writing on the base of the pole stand, it’s marked something about “pole fitness,” and I don’t deny for a second that it takes a tremendous amount of physical exertion and training to be able to work a stripper pole like well, a stripper, but I’m not sure who this dealer thinks they’re kidding when they’re displaying a stripper pole in a merchants’ exhibitor hall.
When I saw this, my jaw kind of lowered half an inch. I know Otakon has grown to massive proportions and being so big, they’re exposed to a ton more merchants who want to peddle and market their goods at the convention. The presence of obvious booth babes was no surprise, given how big the convention has grown and the cheap tactics some dealers will employ to get customers to them instead their competitors, but when I saw a place marketing stripper poles, complete with hired Panty & Stocking cosplayers to parade around the display model, I was kind like “wow.”
Honestly, I don’t really know what to think. Not that I’m some authority on decency or anything, but I can’t help but think the whole thing is tacky and kind of inappropriate. It’s minutely amusing, but I kind of wonder what goes on through the heads of the numerous parents who were roped into being at Otakon with their kids; I’m sure the dads were thrilled, but conservative parents probably had aneurisms when they saw a stripper pole in the dealers’ room.
I guess in the end, this is another one of those “I guess I done got too old” moments. I remember Otakons, and conventions in general of the past, having dealers’ rooms where people banked on having the rare items, the things they couldn’t find anywhere online from the 13 official dealers listed on Anipike or had ads in Animerica. The advent of the internet has easily changed that landscape, turning today’s dealers’ rooms into glorified show rooms for people to look for what they want, and then hunt for it online at a better price.
And now we got stripper poles and booth babes all over the fuckin’ place. Ahh, how the times have changed.