Leather and Lace: The 6th Pornhub Awards Rock the Sunset Strip

Leather and Lace: The 6th Pornhub Awards Rock the Sunset Strip

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — One year after a glitzy celebration in an architectural landmark mansion up in the Hollywood Hills, the Pornhub Awards descended from those modernist heights to revel in the nostalgia and sleaze-tastic fashions of the Guns n’ Roses and Poison era.

With a theme of “leather and lace,” it was rock’n’roll all night (and party every minute into the wee hours) as the leading tube site took over the historic Whisky a Go Go in the heart of Los Angeles’ mythical Sunset Strip for the 6th edition of its Pornhub Awards.

Honoring the very top stars in fan popularity as determined by Pornhub’s dedicated data crunchers, the awards gathered the cream of the adult industry in the redecorated Whisky, where the signature fonts and graphics of the Metal Years adorned banners honoring Pornhub brand ambassadors Aria Nathaniel, Asa Akira, Kira Noir, Natassia Dreams and Queenie Sateen, as well as Brazzers models Cherie Deville, Ryan Reid, Kayley Gunner, Kazumi and Dan Dangler.

The Ambassadors were also unmistakable, with custom looks conceptualized by celebrity stylist Briana Andalore and fashion brand SEKS.

The closely-guarded guest list included Los Angeles nightlife royalty such as Diplo, Ty Dolla $ign, Brooke Candy and ‘Drag Race’ alums Gia Gunn and Kerri Colby, who danced and partied like it was 1987 to the beats of electro-dance duo Trashworld.

Aylo Head of Community and Brand Alexzandra Kekesi — in 1980s Sunset Strip-ready skintight leopard print — kicked things off by welcoming the crowd to the storied rock ’n’ roll venue.

“This event is a reminder of how far we’ve truly come,” Kekesi said. “I am so proud to be a part of this amazing community.”

Emphasizing Aylo’s focus on industry and sex work advocacy, Kekesi reminded the audience that the adult sector often finds itself under scrutiny, targeted by various interest groups seeking to stifle freedom of expression.

“Despite these challenges,” she continued, “we persist, driven by our commitment to providing a safe and fulfilling experience to our community.”

Kekesi then urged the assembled community members to support sex workers advocacy group The Cupcake Girls, which Kekesi explained “recently faced a targeted campaign that severely impacted their access to crucial government funding.”

“Myself, and the rest of my team at Pornhub, believe we need to protect freedom of speech, freedom of sexual expression — fiercely,” Kekesi concluded. “We value the love and creativity of everyone at the awards for making the community what it is — and I can’t emphasize enough how grateful we are to have you all here to celebrate with us tonight.”

The first announced accolade also reflected the community commitment theme: a Pornhub Lifetime Achievement Award celebrating the work and legacy of trans and sex work activist Cecilia Gentili, who passed away in February.

Kekesi announced that Pornhub will be making a donation in Gentili’s honor to her namesake program, Cecilia’s Occupational Inclusion Network (COIN) housed at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York, which provides stigma-free and affirming health care to sex workers at no cost, as well as a donation to grassroots social justice organization Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Behind Bars.

Pornhub ambassador Natassia Dreams, a friend of Gentili’s, received the award on the late activist’s behalf. She extolled the crucial contributions of the Argentine-American trans activist, whom she described as “a very special person,” and reminded the audience that “sex work is work.”

“Trans people are people and we deserve to be included,” she concluded to rapturous applause.

Kekesi then welcomed the newest member of Pornhub’s ambassador team: Ricky Johnson, the brand’s first male ambassador.

“He is one of the kindest, hardest-working and most incredibly charming people I have ever met, who I am also lucky enough to call a friend,” Kekesi said.

The evening’s master of ceremonies was the 100% venue-appropriate 1980s MTV Headbangers Ball VJ Riki Rachtman. The iconic Sunset Strip mainstay repped both punk and metal with an exuberant mohawk, plus a totally rad Pornhub-customized vintage leather jacket like those sported by some of the company’s figures at the event or framed like art pieces on the wall.

Rachtman good-naturedly bantered about his age and the fact that the average adult starlet would be clueless about his hair-metal-era fame or TV show, then introduced on-screen announcements of most of the evening’s awards, including signature cheeky awards like Nicest Tits (perennial fan fave Angela White), Best Dick (perennial fan fave Dredd) and Favorite Collab (you guessed it — Angela White and Dredd).

Rachtman, who as an LA nightlife fixture has been intimately familiar with generations of adult performers, enthused about the “kind and accepting” porn crowd.

“If the world was like everyone in here, it would be so much better,” he told the appreciative community.

Actress, model, photographer and writer Julia Fox joined Rachtman onstage as a special guest presenter. Eye-grabbing in PVC and ultradramatic boots, Fox quipped, “No man has given me the satisfaction that my fingers and these girls have given me.” She then presented the Most Popular Female Performer award, which went, once again, to the unbeatable Angela White. 

The other top performer awards — calculated based on Pornhub’s popularity data — went to Alex Adams (Most Popular Male Performer), Elly Clutch (Most Popular Female Newcomer), Rhyheim Shabazz (Most Popular Male Newcomer), Emma Rose (Most Popular Trans Fem Performer), Stevie Trixx (Most Popular Trans Masc Performer), Dana DeArmond (Top MILF), Leila Lewis (Top BBW), Emma Magnolia (Top Lesbian Performer) and Cade Maddox (Most Popular Gay Male Performer).

Winners in the categories voted on by fans included: Violet Myers (Favorite Social Media Personality), Cherie DeVille (Favorite MILF) and Dan Dangler (Favorite Newcomer).

Later on, as the crowd mingled around several open bars and on both floors of the Whisky, while top talent and industry figures enjoyed the perks of the exclusive VIP Brazzers lounge, Fox captivated fellow revelers with her unique take on the evening’s themes of leather and the apex of the 1980s and 1990s Los Angeles metal scene.

Meanwhile, Top BBW Performer nominee Estella Bathory, who flew in from the U.K. especially for the event, shared that as a fan of the harder sounds of the 1980s, she was truly looking forward to meeting Riki Rachtman.

“I’m really excited about being here because it’s the first year that I’m nominated at the Pornhub awards,” she enthused. “And it’s at the Whisky, which is totally my jam!” 

Engaging in some serious people-watching from on high at the Brazzers Lounge, performer Leo Vice declared, “It’s insane! There’s people everywhere — such a star-studded event.”

Resplendent in a custom outfit by fashion brand SEKS, Asa Akira explained that she and her fellow Pornhub brand ambassadors, as well as the Brazzers contract stars, were styled by Andalore in a combination of porn glamour and mainstream celebrity fashion that made everyone feel very special. 

“I’m just having a great time,” she beamed as, right next to her, Kira Noir and Mick Blue chatted in one of the many mingling pods that kept mutating through the evening.

“Everyone is trying to pet Mick’s very soft jacket,” confided Noir. 

“It’s a beautiful German velvet jacket!” Blue clarified.

Noir, who was nominated in three categories, had by this time changed into a more casual look, but still raved about being dressed by SEKS. 

“I was wearing this giant trench coat and this crop top and shorts and these really fucking cool heels,” she said. “All the girls dressed by them just look so gorgeous. I had to change just so I could walk around, though, because that jacket was going to stab some people! It has these awesome spikes and I didn’t want to hurt anyone on the dance floor.”

The always-stunning Kayley Gunner was equally thrilled by her own SEKS/Andalore look.

“I look like Pamela Anderson but a porn star,” she shared. “She also gave me a lot of spikes. The spikes are poking everyone’s eyes out, but they’re loving it!”

Valerica Steele said she was thrilled at taking home the awards for Favorite Inked Model and Top Squirting Performer. 

“Pornhub definitely knows how to put on a good show and it’s a huge honor to win these two awards,” she said. “That really means the most to me — I’m very grateful to be here and couldn’t do any of this without my amazing fans.”

Alexis Tae — in between showing off some serious dance moves with pals Anna Claire Clouds and Jane Wilde — was similarly elated about nabbing the title of Top Blowjob Performer Female.

“I’m really excited because this is my third time being nominated, and ‘best blowjob’ awards are the ones that I’m most proud of.” Tae shared, flashing her million-dollar smile. “An ex-boyfriend once told me I was really bad at sucking dick, so the fact that I’m literally getting a dick-sucking award is beautiful. So, if you’re reading this — take it, Matt! I can suck a dick now!”

Tae also admired the vibes and fashions on display. 

“There’s so many hot people dressed in so many hot outfits,” she marveled. “I love a theme, where everybody has to dress up. Everyone really went all out and got their lace and rocker on! It’s so hot.”

Clouds also declared herself very impressed by Pornhub’s selection of both theme and venue. 

“It kind of suits everybody here,” she said. “This is a classic venue that was built during a time that celebrated sexuality and artistic ventures in a way that was not the same as it is now. Everything is more online now, so it’s nice that they have all of us in person and in a historic place like this.”

Demi Sutra revealed that while she is generally not a big fan of crowd situations, she made an exception for the Pornhub Awards because she loves watching her peers being celebrated.

“I like that it’s unique,” she explained. “It’s both a party and an award show.” 

In a nearby lounge area, Cherie DeVille — still wearing her SEKS creation — and Holly Randall shared set stories and bantered playfully.

“Is Julia Fox performing?” wondered Randall.

“No,” DeVille deadpanned. “She’s existing. She’s existing in a sexy manner at the party.”

“It’s so funny that 75% of the people here have no idea what the Headbangers Ball is,” joked L.A. native Randall. “I don’t even remember the first time I came to the Whisky. I think I was in my drinking stage, so probably very foggy memories. But I remember seeing Incubus here! They went to my high school.”

“No, way!” said DeVille.

“Yes!” insisted Randall. “Brandon Boyd was like the school heartthrob. He won Best Hair and Best Looking. We used to go to all their shows. They also would play house parties.”

In the VIP area reserved for Mark Spiegler and his celebrated roster of talent, performer-creator-influencer Liam Riley declared that he was having the best time of his life. 

“We’re at the legendary Whisky a Go Go!” he said. “So many amazing performers and rock stars have been here, and now we have the best adult stars in the business here tonight. I’m just so excited to see so many winners in the building.”

Creator/performer Abigaiil Morris said she appreciated getting to chat with so many different performers she had never met before. 

“The entire thing is just very enthralling,” she said. “My heart has been beating so fast! In other careers and other aspects of life, everybody gets acknowledged for what they do, so events like the Pornhub Awards are a great opportunity for people that put their whole life into performing to have well-deserved recognition.”

Veteran Brazzers star Keiran Lee praised the Pornhub Awards as “very inclusive of every genre in the industry” as well as very fair.

“It’s done by data, so everybody gets a fair crack at winning,” he noted.

Alexis Fawx said the evening’s vibe could have been designed with her in mind. 

“It’s my thing: the rock star/porn star intersection,” she said. “I’m so in my element, you have no idea! I keep looking around and I just want to fuck every fucking beautiful soul in this building right now.”

That statement seemed to magically manifest Ryan Reid, who embraced Fawx for an impromptu raunchy photo shoot. Reid’s unique, eye-grabbing outfit was perhaps the most head-turning fashion creation of the whole evening: a bejeweled, barely-there, impossibly held-together gown that left just enough to the imagination.

“I was a little nervous because some of the other girls also wanted it, and I’m the kind of person who wants to make everyone else happy,” Reid admitted. “But Briana was like, ‘No, this one was made for you. It’s really you.’ I got to have a really incredible experience tonight. I’ve never been styled by stylists like this before for an event. And I got to meet Julia Fox, which was pretty fucking hot. I cannot wait to see what’s next for me!”

The event culminated in a performance by hip-hop legend Rick Ross, who brought his patented Boss energy and swagger, and led the dance floor into a nonstop party fueled by his hustlin’ anthems.

After the party, as naturally befits the storied Sunset Strip, came the afterparties. But to hear about those, you’re going to have to convince someone to break some pretty daunting NDAs…

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