The bawdy extravaganza featured live music, burlesque, circus and aerial performances and fetish demonstrations. Guests in the audience cheer as costume contestants pose on stage to determine a winner at the 19th Annual Portland Erotic Ball at the Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, October 27, Sasha Scarlett, female impersonator and hostess of the 19th Annual Portland Erotic Ball, prepares to meet guests backstage at the Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, October 27, Performers gather in the dressing room either before or after heading on stage during the 19th Annual Portland Erotic Ball at the Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, October 27, Guests cheer and raise their arms in hopes of catching free t-shirts thrown from the stage during the 19th Annual Portland Erotic Ball at the Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, October 27, Guests wait to be called on stage as contestants of a costume contest during the 19th Annual Portland Erotic Ball at the Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, October 27,
Over three decades, the annual indoor event became a major attraction in the San Francisco Bay and was attended by nearly half a million people since its inception with steadily increasing growth in attendance each year until , when the event was cancelled due to poor ticket sales and cost overruns. Because of the broad spectrum of conventional and unconventional entertainment offered on multiple stages at the Exotic Erotic Ball, it may be described as a combination of Adult-themed; Halloween festival, Music Festival , Burlesque show, Lingerie party , Masquerade ball , Fetish club , Swingers party and Adult Industry Trade Show. The expo was a two-day Adult-Expo typically held the day before and the day of the Exotic Erotic Ball. Activities included panel discussions on First Amendment rights with adult actress , actors, and media, wine tastings with porn stars , and various oddities such as the "spiritual oasis" with psychic readings and massage, body painting , a classic adult cinema , and a human petting zoo. It also features a commercial area with vendors and exhibitors who showcase the latest in exotic fashion, erotic art , adult products, games, websites, and adult novelties. The location changed over the years ending up at its last home at the Cow Palace in Daly City. In May , Republican legislators in California—countering a move to outlaw gun shows at the Cow Palace—unsuccessfully sought to ban the ball as well.