2020 XBIZ Awards: A Perfect Vision of the Adult Industry

2020 XBIZ Awards: A Perfect Vision of the Adult Industry

LOS ANGELES — The crowning event of XBIZ 2020 took place Thursday, January 16 at the stunning JW Marriott L.A. Live hotel in downtown Los Angeles, as the industry put on their gala best for adult entertainment’s biggest night of the year: the 2020 XBIZ Awards, hosted by Stormy Daniels.

Virtually every performer in the industry walked the red carpet for a throng of mainstream and industry photographers, a deliberately inclusive ritual where people in all stages of their career are always welcome. From multi-award-winning superstars to rising starlets and performers in every diverse sector of the business, everyone got their glitzy snapshot of their progress in the industry at the start of the new decade.

Next to the official red carpet, CalExotics sponsored a photo booth for a more relaxed photo op in playful combinations. Prints and digital copies were immediately available to everyone. Meanwhile, inside the ballroom, attendees enjoyed a wall-to-wall soundtrack of rock hits, an XBIZ tradition and which provided a blood-pumping appetizer for the main event.

As the lights went down, the rock-and-roll attitude that has become an XBIZ trademark gave way to a pulsating drone, elevating the sense of anticipation.

It was the calm before the Stormy.

A rousing ovation accompanied the introductory video especially commissioned for the event, featuring aerial CGI shots of American landmarks transitioning into the Los Angeles cityscape leading to the JW Marriott, interspersed with tributes to free speech and a photo of Larry Flynt, the current XBIZ World magazine cover model and special feature subject, wearing his iconic “Fuck This Court” T-shirt.

The crowd cheered as they were bombarded with imagery paying tribute to freedom of expression heroes and a sweeping bird's-eye view of Los Angeles vistas as the hall was drowned with a note-perfect homage to Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer boomed over the speakers, "Welcome to the 2020 XBIZ Awards, adult industry’s biggest night!”

Cue the host’s entrance: the incomparable Stormy Daniels.

“I’m so thrilled to be back, cause I like multiples, who doesn’t?” was the opening salvo of the classic comedy material that was the backbone of Daniels’ hosting banter. But you came for Stormy’s jokes and stayed for her heartfelt words for the industry that made her a household name. Pointing out that the XBIZ Awards honored the “stars and creative minds” who were birthing “a new standard of excellence in adult entertainment,” Daniels stressed that “tonight, we honor you.”

The host’s opening monologue, Oscars-style, marveled over the diversity of choices for 2020 feature movie of the year. “Captain Marvel XXX: An Axel Braun Parody,” “Teenage Lesbian,” “Lost Love,” “Drive” and “Perspective” offered erotic takes on superheroes, a moving coming of age narrative, a supernatural exploration of grief, and two bona fide psychological thrillers (Stormy’s favorite genre, she confessed).

The closing of Daniels’ opening monologue emphasized the industry as a community.

“This is a big, wildly artistic and passionate industry,” Daniels said, inviting attendees to look around the room and greet the people surrounding them. “They’re your friends, colleagues and your family,” she added.

“So swap stories, swap spit — but always with proper 2257 documentation! — and when you get back home, remember you’re part of a truly wonderful community.”

The first presenters were Romi Rain, bountiful in red, peek-through red lace, and a luminous Ana Foxxx, a vision in Lynchian blue velvet. The twosome waited for the reading of the nominees for Performer Showcase of the Year by beatboxing to their own rhythm.

This first award of the evening went to Evil Angel’s “I Am Riley.” Its star, Riley Reid, went up to receive it wearing a simple white lace doily tank-top dress that emphasized her status as the top “girl-next-door” performer (even though few girls next door have billboards in Times Square). “I might actually cry,” Reid told the crowd, “because this movie really meant a lot to me. It’s a movie that is so much more than just porn and it’s actually my real life.”

“I just put so much of myself out there and I’m really grateful for it getting noticed and recognized. Even the nomination alone meant so much to me, so the award, I’m so honored,” a visibly moved Reid told XBIZ backstage.

Rain and Foxxx also presented the Comedy Movie of the Year award, alongside the evening’s trophy girls: Motley Models' Kiara Cole and Zoe Bloom.

The award went to Adam & Eve’s medical farce “Love Emergency.” Noted industry director Will Ryder, the Dean of the X-Rated Parody, invited his topliners Riley Steele and Tommy Pistol and others in the cast and crew including Non-Sex Acting staple James Bartholet, Edyn Blair, Brad Newman, and this year’s Count of Cameos, Brad Armstrong, onstage.

“You can laugh and jerk-off at the same time,” Ryder exulted, and acknowledged that even though the industry “is changing” there’s still room for veteran creators to keep going. “I walked into my first set in 1983!” Ryder boasted. “Most of you weren’t even born.”

Emphasizing the inclusiveness that allows for diverse vibes to coexist in the industry, the next two presenters, MILF Goddesses Nina Elle, wearing a dress printed with hundred-dollar-bills, and Brandi Love turned the stage into an OG vintage porn raunch-o-rama. Elle started making out with Love, who restrained her presenting partner long enough to bestow the award for Innovative Sex Toy of the Year to Siren by Svakom.

The 2019 XBIZ Best New Starlet of the Year, Karma Rx, and Alina Lopez followed Love and Elle to announce the Gonzo Release of the Year winner: "Angela Loves Anal 2," one of several high-profile Angela White projects that filled up her 2019 release calendar.

White came up onstage wearing all black — long black hair, black turtleneck, motorcycle leather jacket. “Thank you to everyone who fucked me in the ass for this movie,” White said, grinning.

“I just wanted you to know I get to have sex with Karma and Angela tomorrow,” Lopez revealed to the room before introducing the next award, Vignette Release of the Year, to “Sordid Stories.” The Deeper.com release was an omnibus film telling two stories, one of which a collaboration between studio head Kayden Kross and alt-porn legend Joanna Angel.

Kross invited Angel onstage, who referred to the Deeper filmmaker as "this amazing, brilliant woman" and thanked her for "letting me collaborate with you and letting me dress you up in a bunch of latex!"

Backstage, Kross still had not recovered from her triumph. “I’m a little shaky right now,” she told XBIZ. “I’m so glad it was the one that Joanna and I did together. It’s really special.”

Camming sensations Catjira and Ginger Banks next presented the award for Female Clip Artist of the Year, which went to AstroDomina, wearing a majestic, white pleated dress with a metallic belt and cross earrings. She thanked her fans and followers, and then offered the crowd a lesson on three things she lives by: “invest in your financial future, smile hard — and fuck a little harder!”

Although, Banks praised her onstage for "a dope-ass speech,” AstroDomina confided to XBIZ backstage that she actually stumped it. “It was so unexpected,” she said. “I didn’t prepare a speech or whatever, I just said whatever I had to say, and it feels great to be here!”

Catjira and Banks next introduced the Male Clip Artist of the Year, the versatile, dapper Lance Hart, who took the stage wearing a plaid blazer. He thanked his wife Charlotte Sartre, and his cats “for staying out of the way.”

“I’m super-lucky,” Hart told the crowd, “that I have a lot of really, really talented performer friends, and we eat food and I pay ’em and I get my clips and it’s awesome.”

“I’m a lucky guy, I got a lucky life,” he stressed.

Emily Willis and Naomi Swann presented the Girl/Girl Performer of the Year, Charlotte Stokely, her second consecutive win in the category.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” an extra sassy Stokely asked on the mic, and praised the redesign of the XBIZ Awards trophy as "super-sexy."

“If I haven’t had sex with you yet, I will soon, let’s do it,” she offered the female performers in the crowd before taking her bow.

Backstage, a triumphant Stokely was in an expansive mood and offered XBIZ an epic post-win statement.

“This is my seventh consecutive major award win, and I’m kinda mind-blown right now,” she said. “I’m XBIZ Girl/Girl Performer of the Year two times in a row, which means so much to me. Like Lance Hart said, I have to thank my cat, first of all, because she’s a needy bitch and she’s a princess and I spend like 18 hours a day on set, and she eats fresh chicken. Let me tell you, she don’t eat no bowl of kibble, I have to come home and cook this bitch chicken and give it to her. Being a top performer of the year means going to bed early, you miss out on so many parties, you get FOMO real bad. You want to go to that party, but you have a 30-page script you have to memorize, you have to go out and buy the specific wardrobe because you can be like ‘well, I have to play a business person so you need like a legit secretary business skirt or a CFO — I wouldn’t mind being a CFO — you need a legit blazer, you need to commit. You need to fucking commit! Your nails always have to be done, they can’t be chipped. You need to take care of your body, you need to eat healthy food, you need to have good skin.”

"It also means committing and dedicating your life, you know, because I’ve been doing this for so long," Stokely continued. "This is my life, I dedicate my life to this. Every move I make is strategic."

"When I win an award, I think, 'There’s no way I’m gonna win again unless I’m better.’ So every time I win an award I think ‘what can I do better? How can I be better? How can I be stronger? How can I be more focused?’ And I just fucking do it. And I just want to let everyone know that there were years in a row where I was nominated and I never won anything, like seven nominations a year, four or five years in a row, I just want people to know never give up. Just keep fucking trying, because one day, it will fucking happen. Consistency, persistence, dedication — if you really love what you do it’ll never be work.”

“But it’s also a lot of fucking work,” the Golden Girl of G/G concluded.

The MILF Performer of the Year, Bridgette B, also held onto her crown for the second straight year. She picked up her award in a blue velvet two-piece creation and announced a career move to the rapt crowd.

“My next journey in life, I’m starting a management agency,” she revealed, “and I want to give back because everyone in this business is absolutely worthy of advice and love and respect. I wanna offer it to whoever I can.”

“It feels fantastic, an honor, I’m just so happy to be here, 11-years-deep in the industry, I feel like I could cry,” she told XBIZ backstage. “I really love to fuck everyone I work with, I wouldn’t work with them if I didn’t, and I respect them so much and I’m just so happy to be here.”

Stormy Daniels returned to the stage for a quick comedy routine, during which the host marveled over the ever-increasing sophistication — and erotic possibilities — of sex toys and pleasure products, and then introduced Joanna Angel and Small Hands, whom she described as "some of my favorite people ever!"

Small Hands carried his wife onstage in his arms and spun her. They announced the winner in a hypercompetitive category — Best Actress in a Feature Movie, which went to Maitland Ward for Deeper’s “Drive.”

"I am so shocked and I am so moved by this," said Ward, wearing a sparkling blue mermaid dress, that highlighted her resplendent red hair. She praised her costar, Angela White, and her director, Kayden Kross as an "amazing filmmaker and genius and visionary."

“I’m shocked and I’m honored and humbled by this award,” Ward told XBIZ backstage. “And the people at XBIZ have been so good to me all along and have always believed in me. I’m new in this game here, everybody behind me is helping me do this, and I just feel that being a part of this with Kayden and Deeper, I just feel I have a platform I never expected and I just want to kill it next year.”

The next XBIZ winner was Seth Gamble, who received the trophy for Best Actor in a Feature Movie for Adult Time’s erotic psychological thriller, “Perspective.”

“This was definitely a movie that took a lot out of me, but I got to put so much into it,” Gamble said as he accepted the award.

"The whole cast and crew on this movie was just unbelievable," Gamble told XBIZ backstage, admitting he was "a little shaky" from the adulation.

Lacy Lennon, sporting a velvety green gown, and last year’s Best Actress winner, Avi Love, willowy in an ornate gold-and-black number, presented the Sexual Health and Wellness Product of the Year award to CalExotics’ She-ology.

Company exec Nichole Grossman led the team behind She-ology — a device that revitalizes and strengthens vaginal muscles — onstage and thanked company founder, Susan Colvin, for "paving the way for women like us to be here."

“Winning this award for a female-centric sexual wellness product is a testament to CalExotics’ mission as the first female-founded company,” Grossman told XBIZ backstage. “We’re just so excited because sexual health and wellness is such an important part of this industry, and to be recognized at the XBIZ Awards for it is amazing!”

To present the next set of awards, Penny Pax was joined by forever sui generis Whitney Wright, sporting an eye-catching "blood shower hat,"  a red-fringed bikini and cyberpunk boots.

The twosome announced Best Sex Scene in a feature movie, which went to Ivy Lebelle, Maitland Ward, Manuel Ferrara for Deeper's “Drive.” 

“When your wife books you with Maitland Ward and Ivy Lebelle [she's] the best wife ever, obviously,” Ferrara joked.

"'Drive' is just so special," Ward, told XBIZ backstage, admitting she was still reeling from her earlier win for Best Actress. "It’s simply a great script."

Her scene partner wanted to focus the honor on his costars. "That was what’s the best about it — awesome girls," said the famed French stud and popular Twitch broadcaster.

The trophy for Best Sex Scene in a gonzo movie was awarded to Bridgette B, Jax Slayher and Rob Piper for Evil Angel’s “Bridgette B Spanish Fuck Doll.” The buxom beauty picked it up and dedicated her win to all the men in the industry. Backstage, she called the accolade “unexpected.”

“Are they sure they [announced] the right one?” she asked XBIZ. “I can’t believe it! I’m gonna go party my ass off!”

"Love Emergency" leading lady Riley Steele, and the 2019 XBIZ winner for Female Performer of the Year, Abigail Mac, presented Director of the Year to Kayden Kross. Both presenters had personal connections to the winner — Kross directed Mac on last year's multiple-award winning showcase "Abigail" and Steele was Kross' longtime Digital Playground "contract sister."

“I’m not gonna cry onstage today,” Kross told the room, before thanking her producers from the Vixen Media Group, which includes Deeper. “This place,” Kross added referring to the adult industry, “is just going up!”

“This feels really fucking good,” was all the newly minted Director of the Year could say backstage. “I wish I had better words but I’m [still] kind of lightheaded.”

The award for Paysite of the Year went to Gamma Entertainment’s Adult Time, the innovative, Netflix-style subscription platform launched by Bree Mills, who picked up the award by praising the “50 people dedicated full-time, behind the scenes, to bring Adult Time to life.”

“This is for them and all their hard work,” she said, in helping to achieve the company’s vision to “do porn differently.”

Clipmakers extraordinaire Bailey Rain and Sofia Rose presented the awards for Clip Site of the Year to ManyVids, which was accepted by exuberant brand spokespersons, including Ginger Banks, Natalie Mars and Steve Rickz.

Banks praised the Bella French-fronted platform as “one of the first websites out there that really empowered us,” and Mars noted they allowed her to produce her own content and “make weird shit and make good money doing it” while “encouraging diversity and equality.”

The Cam Site of the Year award went to MyFreeCams. Emily Bloom, ethereal in a white gown, led a stable of MFC camgirls onstage and expressed heartfelt thanks for the opportunity to “live in this day-and-age when you can be your own boss — and even get awards for it!”

The next presenter, Leigh Raven — striking as usual in a simple black cap and black dress with a plunging neckline revealing her signature chest tattoo — presented Trans Movie of the Year to Adult Time’s “Trans Fixed: Natalie Mars” performer showcase. Bree Mills, Natalie Mars and co-star Cadence Lux accepted the award, before Mars returned onstage alone to accept the accolade for Trans Performer of the Year.

“I’ve achieved a lot of milestones and things I really wanted to achieve in my life,” she told the cheering crowd. “I shot a bukkake in Japan. I was the first trans girl to shoot for Legal Porno, and hopefully that will open the door to some other girls. So, go get gang-banged, bitch!” she finished with a laugh. “I’m grateful to everyone. I’ve fucked so many beautiful people, I don’t know what else to say. I’m flabbergasted.”

Backstage, Mars reflected on her win.

“I’ve been in this industry for a few years now, and I try to do things that other people don’t do,” she told XBIZ. “I try to push boundaries, especially for trans porn — there’s so little opportunity: you usually just shoot for the same few companies over-and-over again and I’ve tried to reach out to companies that don’t shoot trans women too often and tried to get them to broaden their horizons a little.”

She is especially proud that she went to Europe to shoot for Legal Porno. "That scene is one of their top-sellers ever. Ever. They saw the numbers, and now they’re bringing out more trans girls. And I think a lot of companies can learn from that. Bring in more trans girls! You don’t have to make a special section on your site. Just put a trans girl in a scene, see what happens. Maybe you’ll make some money.”

“Just include us — it’s not that hard!"

At intermission, a moving “In Memoriam” segment paid tribute to adult performers and industry colleagues who passed in the last year, followed by a star-studded PSA from mental health advocates Pineapple Support.

A dance number featuring aerialists led into an uproarious segment that found Stormy Daniels walking into the crowd with her crystal-adorned mic to interview audience members on the spot.

She asked alt-diva Jessie Lee about "the worst thing" that happened to her in bed; following Lee's anecdote about a former partner falling asleep while having sex, Daniels quipped, with precision timing, "I still win."

She then headed for the "Spiegler Girls" section. "Who else can I torture while I do this?" Daniels teased, before zeroing in on Riley Reid.

“Who’s your favorite director?” she asked, point-blank. "All the directors in the room right now are looking at you."

“Am I allowed to boost my own ego and say ‘myself’?” Reid retorted.

“Abso-fucking-lutely,” confirmed Stormy. “Perfect answer! Will you be my agent?”

Before the laughs subsided, Daniels then asked famed agent Mark Spiegler about his favorite director. “Riley Reid,” Spiegler deadpanned.

The only way to top that routine? A Stormy Daniels/Riley Reid makeout session, which went down like gangbusters with the industry crowd.

Casey Calvert and Wolf Hudson next took the stage; the performer-director in a tailored suit and Hudson in his best biker-bar chic. They introduced the Gay Movie of the Year award, which went to CockyBoys' "All Saints, Chapter 1," a time-twisting romantic saga infused with the local mythology and lore of New Orleans.

CockyBoys' "Flea Pit," helmed by indie provocateur Bruce LaBruce, won the same category last year. Company founder Jake Jaxson, who later claimed Best Gay Director honors, went onstage with his husband and creative collaborator RJ Sebastian and revealed to the crowd that Hudson was "a former CockyBoy."

Gay Performer of the Year went to Pierce Paris, a master of social media engagement and an industry favorite. He took to the stage as the crowd whooped their approval.

“The award is beautiful,” Paris told XBIZ backstage. “It’s a lot heavier than I expected.”

A multi-braided Kira Noir and Lena Paul, a Victorian seance in a shoulder-baring red gown, crowned Mary Moody Female Cam Model of the Year for her playful charisma and skills in livestream seduction. Wearing a gold gown, the fresh-faced Moody thanked her fans for the recognition.

“I didn’t think I’d win,” Moody revealed backstage. “I prepared zero at all. First of all, zero clue I was gonna win. Totally blacked out a minute after getting on stage. I’m extremely excited and blessed and happy!”

As the Male Cam Model Nomination video played, Noir and Paul could be heard swooning over the “super cute cam boys” in the running. “They are all so hot!” Paul said, breaking in giggles with her co-presenter. Jayden Storm received the honor, which he picked up ultradapper in a flawless outfit.

“I feel like my heart’s about to jump out of my chest,” a breathless Storm told XBIZ backstage. “I’m very happy. Tomorrow is my 12th year anniversary of being in the industry, so this is the cherry on top, I couldn’t ask for anything more than this.”

Two top WILFs (not a typo), Mona Wales and Aidra Fox, presented one of the biggies of the evening: Feature Movie of the Year. And the winner was – Adult Time’s “Teenage Lesbian.” Fox, one of the supporting stars, stayed on stage to receive director and writer Bree Mills and her protagonist, Kristen Scott. A big part of the “Teenage Lesbian” team — Wolf Hudson, Kendra Spade, Alina Lopez, Emily Willis, Tommy Pistol, Brad Armstrong and Adult Time’s Craven Moorehead and Manny — joined them.

Scott said she “was so grateful to be a part of this and it was such an amazing project to be part of.”

Mills told XBIZ the win was unexpected. “This was a very personal project,” she said. “It’s based on my own coming out story and coming of age story. Kristen Scott deserves every possible recognition she can get for this, and it’s just an amazing cast.”

The Best New Starlet award went to Autumn Falls, in a stunning one-shouldered black dress. The busty brunette thanked Kayden Kross for introducing her to “the love of her life, Markus Dupree” and told XBIZ she was glad the award recognized her hard work. “I feel really blessed and honored,” she said.

The highly anticipated Female Performer of the Year and Male Performer of the Year categories were presented by the legendary Jessica Drake, wearing a white blazer dress and thigh-high glittering boots that emphasized her status as one of the last true Porn Stars in the classic model.

The chosen female performer was not a surprise, as everyone rose for Angela White, to return to the stage and be, in the words of the announcer, “catapulted to the heights of stardom.”

She spoke of her “incredible projects” of 2019 and thanked “Jules Jordan for directing me on the biggest showcase of my career, Kayden Kross for inviting me to be part of 'Drive' and Maitland, Bree and Seth for 'Perspective,' and the team behind 'Angela Loves Women 5.'”

“I’m in shock,” White told XBIZ backstage. “Honestly in shock. I’m very grateful for this honor, and so thankful that I get to be a part of such a wonderful industry. Thank you XBIZ and thank you for my agent and all the performers I’ve worked with this year and all my PR people. I’m just so grateful.”

Newly-minted Best Actor Seth Gamble returned to the stage to be crowned Male Performer of the Year. He said that this was his 13th year in this industry, and, after composing himself, thanked “every director who ever gave me an opportunity to come on their set.”

He dedicated his award to the other male performers, to whom he acknowledged “I know what this job entails, and I appreciate every single one of you, and you’re all my brothers.” To every female performer who has worked with him, Gamble said “I love every single one of you and I appreciate every single one of you for allowing me to connect with you.”

“I’ve been wanting this award my entire career,” a completely disarmed Gamble told XBIZ after stepping offstage.

The last awards of the evening were handed out by Alexis Fawx in a flawless tux and Kenzie Taylor in a stylish blue party dress. Venerable Los Angeles institution Doc Johnson received the award for Pleasure Products Company of the Year. The Doc Johnson team, led by company exec Scott Watkins, were on hand to be acknowledged as a driving force in pleasure products.

After Fawx and Taylor announced sex positive educator Ashley Manta as Sexpert of the Year, the JW Marriot screens scrolled the entire list of 2020 XBIZ Award winners as another landmark event came to a close.

The last words from Stormy: “Who’s gonna buy me a drink?”


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