Having just returned from Las Vegas, all I keep hearing ringing in my ears are people shouting, "Hit me, hit me!" Funny thing is, these people weren't playing blackjack, they were attending the 2001 Adult Video News Awards, aka "The Porno Awards."
Of course, not everyone there was into S&M and bondage. There were, after all, more than 80 categories of winners. (I would like to point out that Humiliation of Heidi was the winner for Best S&M Video. I wasn't in it, but I'm quite proud of my namesake.)
These awards, much like the Golden Globes, honor work in film and on video. (OK, the Globes honor TV and film, but the comparison works here, especially since there were more Golden Globes at the Pornos then there are at the Golden Globe Awards … if you catch my drift.)
Honoring Bodies of Work
I'd like to say there were a lot of, excuse the expression, big winners, but there wasn't exactly a runaway hit … a Titanic, if you will.
However, there was a movie called The Sopornos that got quite a few nominations. It only garnered one win, and that was for actor Rob Spallone, in the Best Non-Sex Performance category.
You see, the Adult Video News Awards, known affectionately as AVNs, aren't really all about dirty movies. You may not believe it, but the people in the industry take what they do very seriously.
These nominees are proud of their body of work. And it is a BODY of work because there are Best Actor and Actress categories, but also Best Male and Female Performer categories. They may seem the same to you and me, but the Performer category means you are recognized for ALL your work throughout the year instead of just one film in particular.
This makes a lot of sense to me. Helen Hunt may not have a shot at an Oscar this year, but she should be recognized for doing four films … making her a good choice for Best Performer, though I'm not sure she'd like the comparison.
Ensembles From Frederick's of Hollywood?
Anyway, porn stars think what they do is real acting, that it takes real talent and that it should be recognized.
And so it is, with a three-hour ceremony every year in Las Vegas, this year at the Venetian Hotel. There were more than 250 tables with more than 2,000 attendees. Most people are in the business, others just come to gawk. And there's plenty to gawk at.
The women are usually dressed rather scantily, in the types of outfits you'd find on the Frederick's of Hollywood 50 percent-off rack.
The men, and there are plenty of them too, dress fairly simply. Some sport animal print, leather pants, etc. And while I say the men are there, they are not a necessity in an adult movie, as demonstrated by the winners of Best All-Girl Sex Scene in a Video — Syndee Steele and Jewel De'Nyle in Dark Angels.
As a matter of fact, the adult film and video industry is virtually the only one where the women not only outnumber the men, but make more than they do and are treated far better.
Most of the more popular starlets are courted and contracted by the big video companies (Wicked Pictures, Vivid, VGA). As contract players, they are paid to work exclusively for that company (kind of like a "don't show your booty to anyone else" retainer). They are also paid per scene.
I know this seems hard to believe. You don't think of scenes in porno flicks — it looks like just one long whoopie fest. But these celluloid skin flicks are actually broken down into scenes, and the women get paid for every one they perform in.