Fleshbot Awards 2011: Brief, Filthy, And Intoxicating

There was a point at last Friday’s Fleshbot Awards in New York where a naked (not nude) Belladonna pushed her ass toward the audience and everyone just gasped. Three people at my table (including me, and you can hear it in the video) blurted, “I love her.” If you do nothing else with your pornographic tendencies, you must watch Belladonna dance.

The second annual Fleshbot Awards were presented in front of 200 people at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom. While the open bar (seven Jagermeisters/me) was sponsored by Fleshlight and the beautiful marital aid trophies were supplied by nJoy, the eye candy was really a group effort: Justine Joli, Ryan Keely, Aiden Starr, Adrianna Nicole, Stoya, and Belladonna were there, as were fragrance mogul Alan Cumming, Brazilian gay heartthrob Rafael Alencar!, and the earnest videotaped regrets of Lifetime Achievement honoree Dan Savage.

Having been to several dozen adult award shows, I can say the Fleshbot Awards were both different and better for me as an audience member because everyone sat still and paid attention from start to finish.

Was this a result of the quality of the presentations or by virtue of the high-class audience? I think it was a little of both.

A sit-down affair (and don’t forget the open bar—I didn’t), the awards started on time. The presenters were comfortable both reading their goddamn lines and straying from the script when necessary. The awards were few but creative and relevant: Best Sexy Mainstream Movie: “Shame.” Mainstream to Porn Crossover: Chyna. Best Book: “The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex” (My “Porn Valley Odyssey: Making the Facts of Life XXX” would have been a conflict of interest).

I talked with Greg Delong, the bon vivant president of nJoy Toys, and he estimated that each Fleshbot Award, shaped just like one of his elegant and suggestive stainless steel dildos, cost $65.

“Yet (last year’s Mainstream-to-Porn crossover winner) Levi Johnson didn’t take his home,” Delong said.

“You mean someone is fucking herself with Levi Johnson’s Fleshbot Award?” I asked.

“Or himself,” Delong said. “We don’t know what happens to them once we sell them.”

There was a brief intermission, in which people drank more. Then they politely returned to their seats when prompted.

Manhattan in the Middle

Here is an account of my trip. You can choose to skip it, as coverage of the awards continues afterward.

I hadn’t been to New York in several years, and my 24-hour whistle stop was fraught with peril, pussy, and pizza.

Despite ordering several nips of Glenfiddich on the plane, somehow the magstripe on the one card I took was demagnetized en route. I arrived in Newark at 11 p.m. Thursday to find that my bank card would not work in any machine, including ATMs and the train ticket dispenser. Western Union was not open to wire myself cash, and my bank was closed for Veteran’s Day. I spent the night in Newark Airport by the light of a Dunkin Donuts, at which I happily spent the $14 cash I had on coffee.

I knew some pre-party festivities were happening just across the Hudson, and I debated hitting up my friends to come get me. Had I been traveling with my usual companions rather than alone, I may have reached out. Instead I recalled far more harrowing scrapes in my not-too-distant past, and decided that I had it pretty good. I had Dunkin Donuts (the farthest west the chain goes is Arizona), the Internet, a notebook and a pen, and “American Gangbang,” which I finished as the sun came up.

I got cash wired to me at 8:31 a.m., just as a battalion of panhandlers spread out through the airport (“They come in shifts,” the Western Union lady told me). I jumped on the New Jersey Transit train to Penn Station, got off in the shadow of the Empire State Building (some of the taller landmarks have disappeared since the last time I was in the village), and booked it to Union Square to have breakfast with a high school friend.

Then I headed to Gawker Media, from which I have been drawing a paycheck since 2005 but have never seen the people who sign them. After that I went to the Village apartment of a friend to nap and shower, emerging refreshed after 90 minutes.

Despite having lived in New York for two summers and visited dozens of other times, I had never eaten New York pizza. “Pizza is pizza,” I said, quoting Depeche Mode.

But in need of a quick snack, I traveled with vocal coach Jamye Waxman to a place called Rosario’s, a family-run hole in the wall, and proceeded to stick something glorious in my face.

“I thought people bitching about how you can’t get New York pizza in Los Angeles were a bunch of Yankees-loving fags,” I said.

“Your hate speech is hurtful,” Waxman said, and I apologized.

I, erotic vulture Abby Ehmann, and Waxman then cabbed to the Awards, which were huge fun, but it’s not like my several drinks had croutons in them, so I needed more food. I traveled to yet another pizza place, Artichoke’s, with the Lee Roy Myerses, Mr. B of the CEA Agency (producer of “Here Cum the Presidents”), and lusty redhead comedienne Crystal Clements for more aorta-dissecting fare.

Artichoke’s not only has a full bar but also serves pizza bigger than Vatican City with skillets of sauce and cheese on the side.

“Are you fucking kidding me,” I said quietly, tears in my eyes, my hatred of the 1986 Mets fading away.

I alighted at an afterparty in which my own leather pants mingled suggestively with the latex bodysuit of Dylan Ryan.

“It is not to be,” I whispered. “I have eaten too much cheese.”

I cabbed back to the Village, slept for an hour, and then took the subway and the AirTrain to JFK. I watched the sun rise over Queens, the way Archie Bunker once did.

“Stifle, Meathead,” I said to the TSA agent.

“Shut up You,” he responded.

Friends, why I didn’t have a hangover has everything to do with the superabsorbency of cheese. Still, when I arrived in Burbank several hours later, having slept a total of five hours in the past 50, I felt very much like I do every January at the AVN convention, except I had traveled 6,000 miles for the same feeling.

I used to be frustrated by disorganization, cluster-fuckedness, and white trash pageantry of adult award shows until I gave up and started thinking of them fondly. The Fleshbot Awards spoiled me, though, because they proved that giving a fuck goes a long way.

I asked Assistant Editor Ottimo Massimo, who had been transformed into Stoya onstage, what temptations he employed willpower to avoid from his power position.

“Someone left me alone with 200 Fleshlights so I could put them in the VIP bags,” he said. “Think of all the things I could’ve done with those.”

Fleshbot editor Lux Alptraum, whose baby these awards were, answered the same question with the saltiness and ennui that are her trademarks.

“Bitch, please,” she said. “I just used my willpower to keep it from getting on camera.”


Everyone who went to the Fleshbot Awards had a grand time, which is why it was bittersweet to learn a few days later that Gawker Media has put the site up for sale. The staff are assured jobs through the end of 2011, after which it’s anyone’s guess. We could be kept on by our new corporate overlords, fired, or no one will step forward at all, and Fleshbot, still the world’s biggest sex culture site, will simply lie fallow on a server somewhere.

Or maybe someone cool will buy it…

In any case, if last week turns out to have been the last hurrah for the Fleshbot Awards, I am pleased that they went so well and were lubricated with an open bar.


[hdplay id=33 ]

See also: The Fleshbot Awards in Photos (by Jeff Koga)

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

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.