“Come on, Kids,” he says.
In front of him is a smattering of photographers, one trailing an oxygen machine, and behind them a bank of empty tables. The remainder of the 200-odd attendees of this annual adult awards show is mingling elsewhere.
“What the fuck is that?” says a 19-year-old Orgasmic Oralist nominee sitting next to me. She has never seen adult industry icon Bill Margold before.
“Just think about what it will be like when you’re 26,” I say.
This year’s XRCO Awards were a great fun time; a perfect encapsulation of the misplaced resentment, earnest good will, limited attention span, dark humor, poor planning, and uncalibrated sense of history that Porn Valley’s 4-decades-old adult industry is known for.
If you went, you had a blast. You saw old friends who can no longer get a job in the adult industry. You saw dutiful and ripe girls clustered around agent Mark Spiegler at (as Dana DeArmond called it) Spiegler Island, texting. You saw both Tommy Gunn and Tommy Pistol standing side by side (but your camera didn’t flash, because you’re in this industry, too). You saw longtime production manager Shylar Cobi mooning the audience. You saw the nubile mingling with the decrepit, and you prided yourself that, perhaps, you were in the rapidly-diminishing middle class.
Long the adult world’s most blame-free awards, the XRCOs are, as 3-time Best POV Series winner Tim Von Swine told me, “a party masquerading as an award show.”
I was honored to buy an Amaretto Sour for Take Down Piracy founder Nate Glass, who was embarrassed about his preferred drink.
“YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF,” I said, suddenly a Lifetime movie.
Presenters—much-beloved people like Julia Ann, who exhorted newcomers to “try everything with a sense of humor”-fought to be heard over the noise, but catered their remarks for the few people they knew were listening.
But I was able to hear a few choice quotes.
“You are not even listening to me right now, as I am talking,” Kayden Kross said. “But that’s all right.”
Accepting multiple awards for his parody work, director Axel Braun thanked Eli Cross, whom he said “directed a lot of it.” Wicked’s Brad Armstrong, taking a plaque for “Rocki Whore Picture Show,” scolded James Bartholet for “never getting off the stage.”
Behind the presenters for most of the night screened a trailer for the documentary “Porn,” another in a series of films suggesting that porn performers have real lives. So it was that the Orgasmic Analist award was presented as an image of some porn star’s children flashed by.
I’ve said it before (but I keep forgetting this is a website, and not a book): the XRCO Awards are the perfect place to see the uneasy relationship porn has with itself; when pornographers become elderly, they become for many starlets just like fans: people to be wary of. It is the rare actress who can graciously listen to some dude’s antique tales of the glory days of 2003, or 1993, or 1983, or 1973…
I talked with “Dirty Bob” Krotts, who flew from Ohio for this year’s event, which is uncharacteristic but, considering recent intrigue, smart.
“This will always be a place where everyone’s welcome, no matter how crazy they make you,” he said.
And that is why the XRCOs are porn’s version of Thanksgiving dinner; a dysfunctional family gathering featuring perennial attendees and their temporary spouses. There’s always a Hot Young Thing to wonder about and some blustering fool to wander away from.
Birth order being what it is, if you’re like me, you drink.
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Intrigue at the XRCO; Beyond stripperdom with Brooklyn Lee; Jessie Andrews—her own skin; Tommy Pistol—life after his “Gruesome Death”; Submit to be tied—”The Truth About O”; Nate Glass, the last man working in porn; Bartholet on porn acting
See also: X-Rated Critics’ Organization