AVN 2020

Two weeks along with a bout of the AVN flu have passed and I still feel fatigue from thinking about the show. Must be because of all the “lived experiences” that happened in the frenzy of that week.

Adult Entertainment Expo

Photos on Flickr

In reviewing my photos, I can see the mortality of continuing to cover the show. I took much less photos this year, not because the show was smaller (it was only slightly smaller than last year). I had broken my foot in September, and it started swelling again during the show. I was content to have longer conversations with my friends and then allowed random people to stop me from doing what I did best which is take more photos. I even had an assistant for the first time which unintentionally slowed things since everyone tried to flirt with him. This, in turn, led me to see less of my industry friends overall.

The most popular people signing were Angela White, Riley Reid, Abella Danger, and Adriana Chechik. I don’t like cutting in line, but I did for the first three because they agreed to it beforehand while the logistics of doing so with Adriana due to the placement of the Evil Angel booth was impossible. If I were to line up to see all of them in a day, it would take a combined 2-4 hours of waiting to see them. They are popular not just for what they do on the screen, but how they interact with the fans. Riley absolutely crushed it by signing for her own booth from opening to closing every day despite a bout of food poisoning on the second day.

Jules Jordan had the best booth overall in terms of talent and access. Angela had her lines there. The Evil Angel – Manyvids corridor was the most frustrating since it wasn’t navigable whenever Adriana was signing. Having the Manyvids women elevated inside their booths made them inaccessible in general.

AVN Awards

I attended the AVN Awards for the first time in four years. It felt weird going this time as a guest without my camera, but it was fun to catch up with friends that I didn’t talk as much to on the convention floor. There weren’t too many surprises with the winners since I knew many of the voters. Even though we didn’t practice groupthink, there seemed to be a consensus around specific winners in polling the voters.

Congratulations to Angela for winning Female Performer of the Year for the third straight time and to Charlotte Stokely for repeating as G/G Performer of the Year. Congrats also go to Gianna Dior for winning Best New Starlet.

About Ginger Banks

I used to spend a lot of time on camsites. So when I first met Ginger Banks nearly five years ago in Dallas, I knew her as the girl who cammed from her university library. I’m not sure exactly how we hit it off, but I found her to be more mature and adept at engaging people than the typical camgirl I meet at cons. The years go by, and Ginger became more prominent advocating on issues pertaining to the adult industry. If you have read an article about performer rights or mental health in the past three years, Ginger is likely to be quoted. Why do I bring this up?

Because I photographed her before the con! She was a riot. If you would like to see more of the photoset including the naughty, it’s probably on her onlyfans.

Acknowledgements

I would like to give a shoutout to my boys at IAFD, ADT, and XCritic. I’d also like to thank Mark Spiegler, Miles Long, and Evil Angel for their hospitality that week.

Thank you to Ginger, Paige Owens, Kira Noir, and Jocelyn Sweets for making magic with me.

Our Picks for the 2020 AVN Awards

AVN voting is a horrible process to go through which may be surprising to the casual fan. You can’t just pick your favourites to watch and vote from there, you basically have to watch everything to be at least fair to the nominees since AVN and most other awards I know of use a ranking system to voting.

Watching this much porn makes me want to claw my eyes out. 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. When I mean feel, I don’t mean touch myself because porn reviewing is like wine tasting. Not only are there not enough hours in the day, can you properly assess the next item if you already blew your load? This is the reverse There’s Something About Mary dilemma!

With that said, for the sake of transparency, here are some of our picks for the 2020 AVN Awards:

Movies

Best Action/ Thriller: Derelict, Kink/Digital Sin
Best Comedy: Babysitter Auditions 2, BurningAngel/Exile
Best Drama: Adelaide, MissaX
Best Parody: The Gang Makes a Porno: A DP XXX Parody, Digital Playground/Pulse
Best Romance: Holding Out & Giving In, Bellesa/Mile High
Best Star Showcase: Angela White: Dark Side, Jules Jordan Video

Joanna Angel and company (Burning Angel) make underrated comedy. Angel has been called the Sarah Silverman of porn, but the problem was I didn’t like Sarah’s neurotic comedy. I didn’t get Angel’s deprecating goofy hipster (ALT!) comedy when she first arrived on the scene, but 15 years go by, and the irreverent satire now seems smart and relevant.

Directing

Best Director – Comedic Production: The Gang Makes a Porno: A DP XXX Parody, Digital Playground/Pulse; Vic Lagina
Best Director – Dramatic Production: Drive, Deeper/Pulse; Kayden Kross
Best Director – Foreign Production: Rebecca, An Indecent Story, Marc Dorcel/Wicked; Alis Locanta
Best Director – Gonzo/Anthology Production: Angela Loves Women 5, AGW Entertainment; Angela White
Best Director – Web Channel/Site: Miles Long, BangBros.com
Director of the Year: Manuel Ferrara

Director of the Year was a toss-up between husband/wife, Manuel and Kayden, the latter picked for Dramatic Production. I just preferred Manu’s RAWer body of work.

If it wasn’t for these award nominations, you would never know many of the directors behind some of the most popular web channels since they don’t go out of the way to promote the directors of their particular scenes. I appreciate Miles Long’s technical proficiency at Bangbros, and he understands the heat of the action without being glossy or abstract.

[Miles also goes out of his way to keep us in the loop of what he’s produced and released. We would love to see more producer/directors credited for their web content. We are curious to the reasoning behind leaving these credits out. – Jeff]

Acting

Best Actor – Featurette: Nathan Bronson, Dibs on Mom, Pure Taboo/AdultTime.com
Best Actress – Featurette: Joanna Angel, Maid of Honor (Dysfunctional Marriage | DVD), Pure Taboo/Pulse
Best Leading Actor: Danny D., Uninvited, Digital Playground/Pulse
Best Leading Actress: 4 way tie between Lacy Lennon, Kristen Scott, Angela White, and Whitney Wright
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Pistol, The Gang Makes a Porno: A DP XXX Parody, Digital Playground/Pulse
Best Supporting Actress: Nina Hartley, Confessions of a Sinful Nun 2: The Rise of Sister Mona, Sweetheart/Mile High

I think there is some irony that the two best actors in porn, Tommy & Nina, were our picks for best supporting actor and actress. We couldn’t find consensus for Best Leading Actress.

Performing

All-Girl Performer of the Year: Charlotte Stokely
Best Male Newcomer: Alex Jett
Best New Foreign Starlet: Jia Lissa
Best New Starlet: Gianna Dior
Female Foreign Performer of the Year: Anna de Ville
Female Performer of the Year: Angela White
Male Foreign Performer of the Year: Danny D.
Male Performer of the Year: Manuel Ferrara
MILF Performer of the Year: Tie between Cherie DeVille & India Summer
Niche Performer of the Year: Lance Hart
Transgender Performer of the Year: Natalie Mars

Speaking of irony, we chose an American in Anna de Ville as the best “foreign” female performer because she is indeed the best performer outside the United States. We also chose Lance Hart as niche performer of the year, because he does everything and then goes home to (service) a loving wife in Charlotte Sartre.

We picked Gianna Dior out of a competitive field for Best New Starlet just like she would always pick Auburn over Alabama in the Iron Bowl. I believe she would represent the industry well in years to come.

You would think we were Warren Buffet, with tried and true picks like Stokely, Ferrara, and White to repeat as performers of the year. I just like their experience and professionality in putting forth a great scene in such a volatile industry and world today.

AVN 2017

Another year; another AVN. The show expanded this year with the host Hard Rock Hotel building a new hallway for the Adult Novelties Expo. This increase in layout helped with thinning the crowds as there was more surface area to breathe. The main themes this year are webcam and VR companies which are signs of where the industry thinks consumers are going, trends that are hard to pirate.

MyFreeCams booth

With webcams, the user gets to interact with a person in ways that cannot be done on video. Not only was this year’s expo sponsored by MyFreeCams (MFC) and Chaturbate; you saw hundreds of camgirls running about causing mini accidents as they try to navigate the crowd with a laptop in hand. Just the MFC booth that lines the first hallway you see is intimidating where you see girls more interested in talking to their computers than with the attendees. Same with the Chaturbate booth which took up a good chunk of a ballroom.

Bobbi Dylan presenting Reality Lovers

Various virtual reality companies demonstrated their wares from Hologirls VR, Reality Lovers, and Cam4VR. Ela Darling led me through a rather innocent Cam4VR demonstration where the VR girl twerked for me in a bedroom. I was more curious exploring the environment than in engaging the virtual girl to her liking.

As for the photos:

Click the champagning and campaigning for photos from the Expo

Click for the AVN Awards red carpet photos

Notes:

  • The best booth this year was Greg Lansky‘s Blacked/Tushy/Vixen booth which featured its own bar. They had the best group of girls, and Riley Reid had the longest lines again for the 6th year in the row. Greg was very accommodating to the press and gave us a lounge area to rest our feet. Even though there was plenty of alcohol available, I just helped myself to bottled water and the couches.
  • Second favourite booth was Jules Jordan Video which also had awesome girls and featured the second longest lines with Abella Danger. Abella worked so hard she didn’t have much of a voice every night I saw her out and about.
  • As for the awards, I was put on red carpet duty instead of behind the scenes this year. Actually the first red carpet that I’ve done since 2009 and my last. Rather than taking a photo at a measured pace of people that are happy to see you with a drink or two in hand, doing red carpet means you have to try to catch everyone; calling them out to you, and blinding the fuck out of them while competing with other photographers. I had the issue of the two other photographers in my section overdirecting and monopolozing the shots. Not my finest moment.
  • Since I didn’t enter the Awards to watch the show, I can’t comment on it. I did notice many performers that had walked the carpet skip the show; some because they weren’t nominated to others who weren’t allowed to smoke inside the venue.
  • Thank you, Samantha Bentley & Val Dodds. We created magic.

Musings from AVN week

I dread doing a write-up  after every convention; sometimes procrastinating until the next year comes up and realising that I forgot to from the gaps in our archive. This was my 14th AVN and I have been to at least  30 conventions overall. Anyone who actually attends these things can vouch the amount of fatigue that sets in after coming home. It’s not just physical but mental because your brain had been bombarded with stimuli. My colleagues and other porn people have noted in the past that I am not much of a talker after semi-patiently waiting in line, and our conversations are reduced to my nodding at them and some clicks. I do this because I have to catch up with a lot of people, and I don’t want to hold up the fan lines.

So getting that out of the way, here are the photos:

Gia Paige, Melissa Moore, Marsha May, Cassidy Banks
Convention photos

Carter Cruise and Aiden Ashley; all coy
Awards photos

(Click on the photos to be brought to the Flickr Galleries)

Some observations:

  • The first person I saw and greeted upon arriving at the convention hotel was James Deen. I shook his hand and did not see him again until near the end of the AVN Awards when he flitted through with Chanel Preston. I did not observe whether he was treated as a pariah during the festivities but did overhear conversations of talent defending him and fans excited to meet him.
  • After years of improvement, the expo and awards show regressed this year with security and logistics.  Perhaps the show hired a new security firm because they were more heavy handed this year and clueless about controlling the crowds. What was even funnier was watching security block the awards production staff from setting up the awards.
  • Webcam companies dominated the show in terms of square footage and sponsorship. Myfreecams girls were everywhere and the Chaturbate booth was huge. I didn’t meet many webcam models because they seemed more interested in their laptops and webcams than the crowds.
  • The best booth to hang out at was Colette/X-Art, especially in meeting Leah Gotti and Alex Grey. Second best was Jules Jordan’s booth featuring Riley Reid who for the fifth year in a row was the most popular girl at the convention. Bella Danger may have been the second most popular girl at the convention.
  • Mick Blue and Anikka Albrite were easily the most accessible couple, greeting fans far outside of the hospices of the convention.
  • The most inaccessible booth again was Wicked Pictures. Their directors and contract girls have always been great when you actually get to meet them, but their security and support staff are less than genial to deal with.
  • Aria Alexander, winner of the second season of DP Star, apologised for squinting due to cum in her eye while we were taking a selfie. Even though I heard her then, I did not process that in my head until reviewing the photo.
  • Jillian Janson was a tornado at night and sunshine during the day. I was my less than optimal self following her, Kimmy Granger,  and Trillium around.
  • A lot of people surmised that the award winners knew ahead of time of their wins. You wouldn’t believe that after seeing Penny Pax react to her winning Best Actress with tears. I also saw the juxtaposition of reactions of Riley Reid and the other nominees for Female Performer of the Year to know that their emotions are authentic.

Until next year…

P.S. Thank you, Anna de Ville and Melissa Moore.
Anna de Ville Melissa Moore