Our Picks for the 2021 AVN Awards

Oh, it’s been quite a year. I’m not talking about the pandemic but the actual amount of reviewing that it takes to vote for the AVN Awards. As AVN founder, Paul Fishbein, once said, “It is a very long, horrible process”. You would think that with production stoppages this year there would be less things to vote on, but there seemed to be even more categories with 10-15 nominations in each. Apparently, everyone on the nomination committee worked for Oprah at one time, but you can’t please everyone. Sure, we have the option of not voting in every category – this year we voted in 69 of 89 categories – but you still have to watch all 10-15 nominees in order to fairly rank them in that category!

AVN doesn’t give us guidelines on how to vote so every voter has a different criteria on what they look for. As I mentioned last year, and for all of you analytic-minded masturbating prognosticators out there, I use a hybrid clinical approach in judging the technical aspects in the production and director categories and an overall feel for the scene and performer categories. People have asked whether voters have biases based on their experiences with the industry, and the answer is of course we do. Experience does impact how we view a product. No one has offered us blowjobs or even a handjob for a vote though, but that’s a lot of work to coordinate even for those that have publicists. Most of the performers just know me as a photographer while the producers/directors tend to be more savvy in their discussions around me.

But for the sake of transparency and further rumour mongering, here are some of our picks for the 2021 AVN Awards:


I wish Rocco would come to America more. He is a legend and his performing prime may be behind him, but you get see the excitement of the American performers that get to work with him which we don’t see as much in his European work. Jane Wilde is such a filthy performer and Jonni Darko, who I believe is the most technically adept director out there, make a great pairing for her showcase.


I realise that feature directors have a very difficult job juggling more factors on their sets than their gonzo, umm I’m sorry, non-narrative counterparts. However, I still place a lot of weight on the heat of their scenes/movies which is why I favour someone like Miles Long or Chris Streams who show a workmanlike approach to their craft; technically proficient in capturing the heat without being glossy or abstract. I also find that female directors/producers like Casey and Scarlett are stronger at answering the “Why are these people having sex?” premise beyond “THEY ARE HOT & HORNY!” and bridging the “Why are they taking so long to have sex?” filler that differentiates features from gonzo non-narratives.


Angela White would have made an excellent phone sex operator in the days before we had camming. Her dialogue and charisma would turn a eunuch on. I think it’s the Australian accent. Penny Pax has shown great range in the movies I’ve watched over the years. She can go from shy housewife to goofy nerd to seductive vixen. Even though Mainstream Venture is not a traditional acting category, Lily Labeau was the only nominee there for her acting. I found her acting chops and comic timing appropriate in the series where she switches between being the straight woman and comic foil.


After the year we had, I didn’t want to repeat any winners from 2020 so we voted for a new group of performers. Mary Moody is the first performer chosen that I knew mainly from camming. Every time I see her in public at the conventions, her delighted interactions with her cam colleagues also translated into her partnerships in scenes. She is very easy on the eyes and incredibly nice to boot. Anna de Ville and Erik Everhard, both veterans of American porn, continue to put out great scenes in Europe. I would be hanging out at my buddy’s house all the time as a kid if Sarah Vandella was his mom. Last, I am a big fan of Kenna James’s scenes. They do not involve much theatrics, but there is something about how her squinty eyes, the curl of her lips, and crooked smile contribute to her girl next door charm and accessibility. Her costars, men or women, all seem to be really into her. I may be clumsy compared to say Don Juan DeMarko in describing her appeal, but there was a reason why she was Penthouse Pet of the Year and why we feel she should be Female Performer of the Year.

Good luck to all of the nominees we supported.