AVN & XBiz divide January, profits

For all the attrition, piracy, falling sales, fatigue, conflict, invasions of privacy, underemployment, financial despair, and “Not the Flintstones XXX” plaguing the porn industry, the recent boatload of overlapping nominations for January’s XBiz and AVN Awards prove that a couple of thousand people earned their rent money doing porn in 2011, and that’s something. But in January those porn practitioners will have an extra expense.

Work with me for a second and think of the AVN and XBiz Awards—now in their 29th and 10th years, respectively—not as “The Oscars of Porn,” as the AVNs are commonly called, but as the annual music or theatre awards for a mid-size city.

Because 2,000 people is the local talent pool of places like Philadelphia, Boston, or San Francisco, where, despite hierarchies, everyone rubs elbows, or something, eventually.

For example, the cummiest, most bedraggled gangbang girl can still get her photo taken with Jesse Jane at whatever STD clinic hasn’t been forced out of business. Can a castmember of “The Real World” ever belly up to the same bar as George Clooney?

Though these two publications’ awards share characteristics of honors in other businesses, they are also uniquely porny.

You may say that XBiz, by picking up AVN’s traditional early-January spot when AVN moved its show back two weeks (XBiz rented the 35,000 square-foot Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica Airport for Tuesday, January 10, while the AVN Awards moves to the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 21) are playing the Golden Globes to AVN’s Oscars, but it’s actually different—and a lot more interesting—than that.

The Golden Globes are hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a collection of critics from different publications, which means that the Globes’ nearest porn analogue would be the X-Rated Critics’ Organization (XRCO) Awards. The Oscars are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, in which fellow actors, directors, and production personnel vote on the awards. There is no porn equivalent to that. Can you imagine Lisa Ann, Julia Ann, Raylene, and Anjanette Astoria nominating and voting on a MILF of the Year?

No, the XBiz and AVN Awards are run by two more-identical-than-not media companies drawing from the same shallow pool of advertisers, most of whom hedge their bets by buying ads from both. It would be like Variety and the Hollywood Reporter sponsoring an awards show; two competing businesses that routinely swap personnel, vying for money from, and then rewarding, the same advertisers.

I’m not saying that’s bad. I’m saying that is what it is. Neither publication can claim objectivity, but when’s the last time you objectively jerked off?

But if you note the overlap between AVN’s 15 and XBiz’s 10 Best Feature nominees, for example, you might be forgiven for wondering whose interests in the porn community are being served by two competing publications:

Best Feature—XBiz

A Little Part of Me (New Sensations)
Babysitters 2 (Digital Playground)
Booty Shop (West Coast Productions)
Dear Abby (New Sensations)
Killer Bodies (Adam & Eve)
Portrait of a Call Girl (Elegant Angel)
Horizon (Wicked)
Fighters (Digital Playground)
Savanna Samson is The Masseuse (Vivid)
My Girlfriend’s Mother (Sweet Sinner/Mile High)

Best Feature—AVN

Assassins (Digital Playground)
Booty Shop (Afterdark/West Coast)
Dear Abby (New Sensations)
Eternal (Wicked)
Fighters (Digital Playground)
Horizon (Wicked)
Killer Bodies (Adam & Eve)
A Little Part of Me (New Sensations)
Lost and Found (New Sensations)
My Little Black Book (Vivid)
Pervert (Paul Thomas/LFP)
Portrait of a Call Girl (Elegant Angel)
Runaway (Vivid)
Savanna Samson Is the Masseuse (Vivid)
Teacher’s Pet (Wicked)

(I’ll mention that XBiz nominated my “Facts of Life XXX” directorial debut for Best Parody, but I was roundly snubbed by AVN.)

One major change in 2012’s porn awards landscape is how January’s battle between AVN and XBiz has forced cash-strapped exhibitors and guests to choose between them or die trying to go to both.

For decades, AVN’s awards show and Adult Entertainment Expo have coincided with the Consumer Electronics Show. Porn girls teetering on heels would walk alongside Korean USB dongle manufacturers on their way to adjacent convention halls in the Sands Expo Center.

But in 2012, even as AVN consolidates its Expo and its awards at the Hard Rock (a logical move to a smaller venue and a one-stop convenience unavailable to attendees for several years, when the AVN Awards were at the Mandalay Bay Casino and, later, the Palms while the Expo stayed at the Sands), it is no longer anchored to the January 10-13 CES, a fact that will likely siphon off attendees.

I was one of dozens of people I know who would don their CES badges in the morning and their Adult Expo badges in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, XBiz will host its Retail Exhibition on January 9 and 10 at the Burbank Marriott, then attendees will need to hoof it to Santa Monica for the awards show.

Luckily both events are at airports, so I’ll just hop in my goddamn helicopter to beat 25 miles of westbound, sun-in-my-eyes Tuesday rush hour traffic.

Then me and XBiz Awards co-host Kayden Kross will hop Larry Flynt’s Santa Monica-berthed jet to Vegas for the rest of the CES. Returning home, I’ll go back the next week for AVN.

In previous years XBiz had staged its own expo/awards combo in February, but now the gloves are off. I don’t think the consumer wins.

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Porn Dad to AVN, XBiz: You’re both pretty
See also: AVN Awards, XBiz Awards

About Gram the Man 4399 Articles
Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist


  1. I personally am happy that AVN moved the dates as I didn’t attend CES but had to deal with the higher cost of travel and crowds due to CES and AEE/AVN being held at the same time in Vegas.

    Another issue with all these shows is it the novelty side. On January 7th & 8th the Founders host their novelty trade show at the Burbank Marriott and then Xbiz hosting their novelty show at the same hotel on January 9th & 10th. Businesses are forced to pay two booth fees (which start at $2800) to complete for buyers. That totally baffles me as to why two shows are being held in the same venue back to back. The only one who makes out in that are the organizers of the trade shows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.