LOS ANGELES -- The 2014 XBIZ Awards returned in triumph to the Century Plaza Hotel with a festive crowd of porn stars and web stars, movie directors and pleasure products execs, plus tons of media, who showed up to celebrate the adult entertainment industry. No other awards presentation bites off so much—movies, websites, pleasure products and retail—and honors it all so lovingly. (photo galleries)
This year the XBIZ show was sharper, fleeter (just under two hours), more crisply professional. The big winner was the audience, who seemed to love every minute. Every table in the enormous room seemed to be filled, and reactions to what was happening onstage were frequent and raucous.
It’s no exaggeration that much of the anticipation this year involved the show’s master of ceremonies, a true superstar who’s been gone from the limelight for some time. XBIZ publisher Alec Helmy got right down to it. “I give you the one and only Jenna.”
Jenna Jameson did not disappoint. She looked amazing, with her blonde hair cropped close on one side and cascading over her neck on the other. Her charisma was intact and her openness engaging. “I’m a little bit nervous being back on the stage after eight years”—supportive cheers from the audience—“but with this social media thing… I’m back in the industry.
“I love it when I get those screams. It brings back the old days.”
Every inch the star, she flirted coyly with the new girls (“I feel like I’m having a little connection with Christy Mack… It makes me nervous”), plugged her product lines (“My Fleshlight is coming out next week—I’m really proud to be with them”), changed dresses frequently. And said what the audience wanted to hear: “I’ve been out of the industry for a long time, but I’m slowly working my way back in.”
The award presentation got off to a roaring start with Parody Release of the Year – Comedy. It went to “Grease XXX: A Parody,” and the entire X-Play/Adam & Eve trooped jubilantly to the stage. X-Play co-owners Jeff Mullen and Scott David did the acceptances, with Mullen—aka Will Ryder—thanking cast, crew and A&E veep Bob Christian.
Best Scene – All Girl went to Ariel Rebel and Anissa Kate from Marc Dorcel’s “Pornochic 24: Ariel and Lola.” Rebel accepted, revealing that it was “my first-ever girl-girl scene and my first DVD.”
When Kendall Karson and Ryan Driller won Best Scene – Parody Release for “Man of Steel XXX: An Axel Braun Parody,” director Braun suddenly popped up behind them onstage. He also won Parody Release - Drama for “Superman vs. Spider-Man,” as well as Director of the Year – Body of Work, but those awards were not scheduled for stage presentation. (Along with quite a few others they were listed on a video-screen crawl at the end of the show.)
Christy Mack copping Starlet of the Year was greeted by noisy approval. “Thank you, everyone, for your whistles,” she smiled and vanished.
This kind of acceptance speech brevity is perhaps the biggest difference between adult and mainstream award shows. At XBIZ 2014 the longest Thank-Yous came not from an actor or director but from the team at Michigan-based MojoHost, winning—for the fourth time—Web Host of the Year.
On the pleasure products front, the award to California Exotic Novelties for their Scandal as Soft Bondage Line of the Year was accepted by a delegation led by industry pioneer Al Bloom. Fleshlight scored for its Flight Pilot, the Male Sex Toy of the Year. Luxury Toy Line of the Year went to Tara, from Lelo, whose spokeswoman graciously thanked “all our distributors and retailers.” LiveJasmin.com took the award for Live Cam Site of the Year, accepted by Douglas Richter, formerly of its operating company AWEmpire.com.
Best Scene – Feature Movie went to a six-person group bang in Digital Playground’s “Code of Honor” but was accepted by just one of them, Jesse Jane, whose main shout-out went to “Jenna—for a great show."
Presentation of Feature Movie of the Year was entrusted to the beyond legendary Ron Jeremy, joined by Kagney Linn Karter. The winner was Wicked Pictures’ “Underworld,” and once again cast and crew flocked to the stage, led by director Brad Armstrong and star Jessica Drake.
Armstrong, who directed Jameson’s biggest Wicked hits, said, “It’s more than an honor to be sharing the stage with Jenna,” then joked, “me and Axel Braun will be directing her first movie back.”
A sweet surprise for longtime porn fans was the appearance of bona fide legend Ginger Lynn on the arm of Steven St. Croix to present Male Performer of the Year. Winner James Deen used the delighted star as a ventriloquist’s doll, having her repeat what he whispered in her ear.
“James Deen thanks you and says he will always spread his legs in this industry”—a sly allusion to a comment made by Jenna some years back at an award show in Las Vegas. It just about brought down the house.
The prize for Female Performer of the Year went to girly-girl Riley Reid—the first time a Best New Starlet has gone on to win the Performer prize the very next year. She thanked “my mommy for giving me this”—then pulled up her dress and shook her bare, pretty booty.
The Free Speech Coalition’s Diane Duke was on hand to present the FSC Leadership Award to porn power couple Nina Hartley and Ernest Greene. Since Hartley wasn’t able to attend, they accepted on a pre-recorded video, with Greene saying, “We offer encouragement to a new generation of industry leaders.”
The fast-paced show was full of memorable moments.
Julia Ann, winning MILF Performer of the Year for not the first time, quipped, “Here I am again—us old bitches are not dying out any time soon.”
Pipedream’s Nick Orlandino, named Industry Pioneer – Pleasure Products, said he started off working for three bucks an hour in New York and “now I own one of the biggest companies in the world.”
Dani Daniels, presenting Traffic Company Services of the Year with Misty Stone, sassily corrected Jenna, who had earlier introduced presenter Lexi Belle as a newcomer. “Lexi Belle is not a newcomer, she’s an icon!” The prize went to JuicyAds, followed by one for Mobile Company of the Year to Affil4You.
Feminist porn performers Jiz Lee and April Flores presented Gay Movie of the Year to Lucas Entertainment’s “Original Sinners” and Transsexual Performer of the Year to exotic, tall Venus Lux, who was visibly moved.
Another blast from the past—blonde and delectably petite—was Y2K starlet Gauge, who joined Missy Martinez to present Web Star of the Year. “Her tits are so in my face right now,” she said of her taller co-presenter. The prize went to Evelyn Cates. Ever-popular busty MILF Vicky Vette, who won that award last year, this time took home Performer Site of the Year for VickyAtHome.com. “Thanks for saving the last award for me,” she beamed. “I’m gonna sleep with it tonight.”
But it was Jenna who got the last word, speaking from the heart: “Thank you for welcoming me back and for loving me the way I should be loved.” Then she invited everyone to “come and play” at the after-party in the hotel’s X-Bar.
The lovely and efficient Trophy Girls, by the way, were Jessa Rhodes and Angela White.
Click here for a complete list of winners.
Photo of Jenna Jameson by The Cobra Snake.