Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 | 2 a.m.
2014 AVN Awards at the Joint WARNING: Adult content
2014 AVN Awards at the Joint WARNING: Adult content
It was the annual festival of flesh with dangerous, waist-high-slit gowns, even more dangerously plunging gowns, bared backs, lacy lingerie and sky-high stilettos.
Longtime sex-industry veteran Nina Hartley won fan ooh’s and aaah’s when she loosened her jacket on the 2014 AVN Awards red carpet at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday night to bare her black peek-a-boo bra.
For the third consecutive year at the Hard Rock Hotel, the all-star AVN Awards adult lineup included co-hosts Chanel Preston and Samantha Saint, plus, Jessica Drake, Stormy Daniels, Jesse Jane, Asa Akira, Alexis Texas, Teagan Presley, Tasha Reign, Joanna Angel, Sunny Lane and Jayden Lee, who chatted with contributing videographer Richard Corey.
Also there, tattooed rocker Dave Navarro. Our thanks to contributing photographer Scott Harrison for his photo gallery of the red carpet at the Joint.
In my absence, I asked former Las Vegas Weekly journalist Richard Abowitz, who covers the adult industry for The Daily Beast, to report from the Adult Entertainment Expo and awards. Now entertainment leader for the Patriot News in Harrisburg, Penn., Richard said:
“The big talk at the convention this year was less about the state of the industry than the state of the convention itself. Many industry insiders are wondering if they will even come back next year. And, after the show, one former high-ranking AVN executive said that he thought the awards itself could not keep going in its current set-up for more than a couple years.
“There were many empty seats, and the production values were so embarrassing that the show started with somber music and slides of dead people as the grand opening. Everyone loathed the rap entertainment (Machine Gun Kelly), and at one point the rapper jumped on a table, spilling a drink over a porn star and a director. The comedienne (Rebekah Kochan) was so awful that she made the rapper look good. This is not a review but a consensus opinion of all talking after the show. It was beyond bad.”
Richard C.’s video also covered the ribbon-cutting ceremony, an interview with Jesse Jane and the debut of the “Porn Goes to College” seminar with Jessica Drake and Tasha Reign.
Richard A. continued his commentary: “Fans also were shocked after paying to enter pornland for a day by how many of the booths there had only the most tangential relationship to the industry; for example, e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
“Only about five or six of the few remaining studios were in the main room to make it look more porn-y, but many of the big-name companies seemed to have no presence at all anymore, like Vivid (perhaps the most famous and successful of them all) had no booth that I saw.
“Reasons for this include all the piracy and other things long discussed, but the biggest reason is cam girls taking a lot of the audience and fans from porn. These are live cams where the girls can interact by voice and video with fans in real time and/or sell custom DVDS.
“Many of the fans I spoke to are no longer fans of porn stars but have moved to cam girls, whose very accessibility means you do not have to go to Las Vegas once a year. Some of the performers I spoke to said they would now do an adult film not for a porn career but as an advertisement to build a cam audience and fans following. It’s having a major impact.
“The one exception to the general sense of a shrinking industry and a fading convention was Bonnie Rotten, a heavily tattooed 20-year-old. She has surprised everyone by becoming porn’s new It Girl without having the traditional Jenna Jameson look. But even Bonnie’s success points to the fact that the industry no longer has use for that large-breasted blond general appeal but can hold up with less-traditional images.
“However, one director told me that while Bonnie may have a lot of tattoos, her body is a perfect porn body, and nobody should get too carried away on the thought of porn being more open to nontraditional beauty.
“The convention has always been an odd mix of fan show and business-to-business convention, and many of the producers felt that the money they were spending would bring better value elsewhere. Two owners of different companies told me that unless something changes, they won’t return to the next convention.
“Finally, as a Las Vegas person who has covered the convention for years and years, I was surprised by a small telling detail: Lots and lots of empty space in the parking garage, even for a weekend night.”
One visitor to the convention was Penthouse Magazine Editor Eric Danville promoting his new book “The Complete Linda Lovelace.” He talked with Richard C.
Eric was a close friend with porn legend Linda for the last five years of her life. His book is basically an encyclopedia of Linda and everything you ever wanted to know about the woman behind “Deep Throat.” He was a consultant for “Lovelace” released last summer starring Amanda Seyfried and James Franco.
For four nights, there were nonstop nightclub parties.
Former XXX-rated actress and legendary sex queen Tera Patrick, in a 1920s black flapper dress, hosted at 1OAK in the Mirage after dinner with friends, including Dave Navarro, at chef Brian Massie’s Stack. Tera performed burlesque at 1OAK.
Adult-film star Joanna Angel hosted her party at nearby The Beatles Revolution Lounge. Wanye Morris of Boyz II Men, former welterweight champion boxer “Sugar” Shane Mosley and former New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper attended the Wicked Pictures party at Haze in Aria hosted by Jessica Drake, Stormy Daniels, Kaylani Lei, Samantha Saint and Asa Akira.
Pure at Caesars Palace welcomed the Penthouse party with 2014 Pet of the Year Lexi Belle, who was presented with her official Penthouse Key by 2013 Pet of the Year Nicole Aniston. The Pets also partied at Chateau in the Paris while in town.
And Tori Black, director Brad Armstrong and Canada’s top adult star Amy Anderssen dined at Andiamo’s Italian Steakhouse at the downtown D Las Vegas and posed for photographs with owner Derek Stevens.
An edited version of the AVN Awards will be broadcast on Showtime. Axel Braun, Riley Steele and Teri Weigel presented Bonnie Rotten with the Female Performer of the Year Award. Wicked’s big-budget “Underworld” starring Jessica Drake won Best Art Direction, Best Director, Best Drama, Best Screenplay and Movie of the Year.
It’s expected that the Hard Rock Hotel will host a fourth-consecutive AVN Awards and AEE next January.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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Arguably one the coolest joints in town, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino houses some of Vegas' best entertainment, restaurants and nightlife.
At Hard Rock, it's all about the music. From the light fixtures made out of drum cymbals and guitar shaped door handles to stage costumes and tools of the trade of legendary musicians displayed on the walls, the hotel screams rock and roll. The Hard Rock's Joint has hosted some the biggest names in music — from The Who to Bob Dylan to hometown heroes, The Killers.Aside from the music venues, the pool at the Hard Rock is one of its biggest attractions. Spread out over 4.7 acres, the pool area features swim-up blackjack, a bar and grill, private cabanas, a bevy of secluded nooks, a waterfall and an extensive live music venue with a dance floor. During the summer, the pool transforms into the Rehab club on Sunday afternoons.
The resident nightclub Body English fuses European elegance with a rock star bachelor pad and it often a hot spot for visiting celebs and popular DJs. Vintage rock memorabilia lines the walls at Wasted Space, Hard Rock's anti-club.
Restaurants at Hard Rock are just as hip as the rest of the casino. Pink Taco serves up Mexican dishes, as well as a Central American and Caribbean menu. Nobu, one of five worldwide Japanese-specialty restaurants from famed Nobu Matsuhisa, satisfies a different taste. For round-the-clock cuisine, Mr. Lucky's 24/7, is sure to ease your appetite even after a Vegas-all-nighter.