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Leather and Lace: The 6th Pornhub Awards Rock the Sunset Strip

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — One year after a glitzy celebration in an architectural landmark mansion up in the Hollywood Hills, the Pornhub Awards descended from those modernist heights to revel in the nostalgia and sleaze-tastic fashions of the Guns n Roses and Poison era.

With a theme of “leather and lace,” it was rock’n’roll all night (and party every minute into the wee hours) as the leading tube site took over the historic Whisky a Go Go in the heart of Los Angeles’ mythical Sunset Strip for the 6th edition of its Pornhub Awards.

Honoring the very top stars in fan popularity as determined by Pornhub’s dedicated data crunchers, the awards gathered the cream of the adult industry in a redecorated Whisky where the unmistakable fonts and graphics of the Metal Years had been tweaked to honor Pornhub Brand Ambassadors Aria Nathaniel, Asa Akira, Kira Noir, Natassia Dreams, Queenie Sateen, and Brazzers models Cherie Deville, Ryan Reid, Kayley Gunner, Kazumi and Dan Dangler.

The Ambassadors were also unmistakable, with custom looks conceptualized by celebrity stylist Briana Andalore and fashion brand SEKS.

The closely-guarded guest list included Los Angeles nightlife royalty such as Diplo, Ty Dolla $ign, Brooke Candy and ‘Drag Race’ alums Gia Gunn and Kerri Colby, who danced and partied like it was 1987 to the beats of electro-dance duo TRASHWORLD.

Aylo’s Head of Community and Brand Alexzandra Kekesi — in 1980s Sunset Strip-ready skin tight leopard print — kicked things off by welcoming the crowd to the storied rock n roll venue.

“This event is a reminder of how far we’ve truly come,” Kekesi said. “I am so proud to be a part of this amazing community.”

Emphasizing Aylo’s renewed emphasis on industry and sex work advocacy, Kekesi reminded the audience that the adult sector often finds itself under scrutiny, targeted by various interest groups seeking to stifle freedom of expression.

“Despite these challenges,” she continued, “we persist, driven by our commitment to providing a safe and fulfilling experience to our community.”

The introduction preceded an appeal to support sex work advocacy group The Cupcake Girls, which Kekesi explained “recently faced a targeted campaign that severely impacted their access to crucial government funding.

“Myself, and the rest of my team at Pornhub, believe we need to protect freedom of speech, freedom of sexual expression — fiercely,” Kekesi concluded. “We value the love and creativity of everyone at the awards for making the community what it is — and I can’t emphasize enough how grateful we are to have you all here to celebrate with us tonight.”

The first announced accolade also reflected the community commitment theme of the introductory speech: the Pornhub Lifetime Achievement Award celebration of the work and legacy of trans and sex work activist Cecilia Gentili, who passed away in February.

Kekesi announced that Pornhub will be making a donating to Gentili’s namesake program, Cecilia’s Occupational Inclusion Network (COIN), housed at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York, which provides stigma-free and affirming healthcare to sex workers at no cost. Pornhub also made a donation to grassroots social justice organization Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Behind Bars.

Pornhub Ambassador Natassia Dreams, a friend of Gentili’s, took the stage to receive the award on the late activist’s behalf.

Dreams exalted Gentili’s crucial contributions, describing the Argentine-American activist as “a very special person” and reminding the audience that “sex work is work.”

“Trans people are people and we deserve to be included,” she concluded to rapturous applause.

Kekesi then announced the latest member of Pornhub’s Ambassador Team, who joins Dreams, Aria Nathaniel, Asa Akira, Kira Noir and Queenie Sateen: Ricky Johnson, the brand’s first male Ambassador.

“He is one of the kindest, hardest working and incredibly charming people I have ever met, who I am also lucky enough to call a friend,” Kekesi added.

The evening’s MC was 100% venue-appropriate — iconic Sunset Strip mainstay and 1980s MTV Headbangers Ball VJ Riki Rachtman, repping both punk and metal with an exuberant mohawk and one of the totally rad Pornhub-customized vintage leather jackets that could be seen on some of the company’s figures at the event and framed like art pieces on the wall.

Rachtman good-naturedly bantered about his age and the fact that the average starlet would be clueless about his hair-metal-era fame or TV show, before introducing on-screen announcements of most of the evening’s awards, including signature cheeky awards like Nicest Tits (perennial fan fave Angela White), Best Dick (perennial fan fave Dredd) and Favorite Collab (you guessed it — Angela White and Dredd).

Rachtman — who as an L.A. nightlife fixture has been intimately familiar with generations of adult performers — enthused about the “kind and accepting” porn crowd.

“If the world was like everyone in here, it would be so much better,” he told the appreciative community.

Later in the evening, as the crowd mingled around several open bars and both floors of the Whisky, and the top talent and industry figures enjoy the perks of the exclusive VIP Brazzers’ lounge, Special Guest Presenter Julia Fox joined Rachtman and stunned the huge number of fans among adult performers with her unique take on the evening’s themes of leather and the apex of 1980s and 1990s Los Angeles metal.

Fox — eye-grabbing in PVC and ultradramatic boots — was tasked with presenting on stage the Most Popular Female Performer award, quipping that ”no man has given me the satisfaction that my fingers and these girls have given me.”

The award went, once again, to the unbeatable Angela White.

The other top performer awards — their popularity calculated based on Pornhub’s data — went to Alex Adams (Most Popular Male Performer), Elly Clutch (Most Popular Female Newcomer), Rhyheim Shabazz (Most Popular Male Newcomer), Emma Rose (Most Popular Trans Fem Performer), Stevie Trixx (Most Popular Trans Masc Performer), Dana DeArmond (Top MILF), Leila Lewis (Top BBW), Emma Magnolia (Top Lesbian Performer), Cade Maddox (Most Popular Gay Male Performer).

Winners in the categories voted by the fans included: Violet Myers (Favorite Social Media Personality), Cherie DeVille (Favorite MILF) and Dan Dangler (Favorite Newcomer).

Top BBW Performer nominee Estella Bathory, coming especially from the U.K. for the event, marveled at the history of the chosen venue. “I’m really excited about being here because it’s the first year that I’m nominated at the Pornhub awards, and it’s at the Whisky, which is totally my jam!” she said, adding that as a fan of the harder sounds of the 1980s she was truly looking forward to meeting Riki Rachtman.

“It’s fucking packed — it’s insane,” Leo Vice doing some serious people-watching from high up at the Brazzers Lounge. “There’s people everywhere — such a star-studded event tonight. I’m seeing the beautiful people, and they’re doing lots of drinking and having lots of fun — they’re even giving out free cigarettes!”

Asa Akira, resplendent in her custom SEKS outfit, explained that all of her fellow Pornhub Brand Ambassadors and the Brazzers contract stars were styled by Andalore, and that the combination of porn glamour and mainstream celebrity fashion made everyone feel very special. “I’m just expecting to have a great time,” she beamed at the Brazzers Lounge, as Kira Noir and Mick Blue chatted right next to her in one of the many mingling pods that kept mutating through the evening.

“Everyone is trying to pet Mick’s very soft jacket,” said Noir. “It’s a beautiful German velvet jacket!” Blue clarified.

“I have three big nominations,” Noir, who had changed into a more casual look, noted. “But I also got dressed by SEKS — and that was fucking amazing! I was wearing this giant trench coat and this crop top and shorts and these really fucking cool heels. All the girls that are dressed by them just look so gorgeous. I had to change just so I could walk around though, because that jacket was gonna stab some people! It has these awesome spikes and I didn’t want to hurt anyone on the dance floor.”

Valerica Steele was thrilled at taking home the Favorite Inked Model and Top Squirting Performer awards. “Pornhub definitely knows how to put on a good show and it’s a huge honor to win these two awards,” she said. “That really means the most to me — I’m very grateful to be here and couldn’t do any of this without my amazing fans.”

Alexis Tae — showing some serious dance moves with pals Anna Claire Clouds and Jane Wilde —  was similarly elated about nabbing Top Blowjob Performer Female.

“I’m really excited because this is my third time being nominated, and Best Blowjob is the ones that I’m most proud of,” Tae shared, always sporting her million bucks smile. “You know, when I was younger, my ex boyfriend said I’m really bad at sucking dick, so the fact that I’m literally getting a dick-sucking award is beautiful. So, if you’re reading this — take it, Matt! I can suck a dick now!”

Tae said she was also aroused by the vibes and fashions at the Whisky. “There’s so many hot people dressed in so many hot outfits. I love a theme, where everybody has to dress up — everyone really went all out and got their lace and rocker on. It’s so hot.”

Clouds declared herself very impressed by Pornhub’s selection of the theme and the venue. “I’ve been to the Whisky a few times and I really like it,” she revealed. “We’re all in theme and it kind of suits everybody here to do so it’s really nice. This is a classic venue that was built during a time I’ve celebrated sexuality and artistic ventures in a way that it’s not the same as it is now. Everything is more online now so it’s nice that they have all of us in person and in a historic place like this.”

Demi Sutra said although she is generally not a big fan of crowd situations, she made an exception to come to the Pornhub Awards because she loves being celebrated and watching other people be celebrated.

“I like that it’s unique and it’s both like a party and also an award show,” she explained.

Sharing set stories over at a nearby lounge area, Cherie DeVille — still wearing her SEKS creation — and Holly Randall were playfully bantering about what they expected of the evening. “I have no idea who’s performing,” said Randall. “Is Julia Fox performing?”

“No,” DeVille deadpanned. “She’s existing. She’s existing in a sexy manner at the party.”

“It’s so funny that like more than 75% of the people here have no idea what the Headbangers Ball is,” Randall — an L.A. native, born and raised — joked. “I don’t remember the first time I came to the Whisky. I think I was in my drinking stage, so probably very foggy memories. But I remember seeing Incubus here! They went to my high school.”

“No, way!” said DeVille.

“No, yes — they all went to my high school randomly. Brandon Boyd was like the school heartthrob. He won Best Hair and Best Looking. We used to go to all their shows, they also would play house parties.”

Liam Riley was mingling around the area of the VIP reserved for Mark Spiegler and his celebrated roster of talent.  “I’m having the best time of my life tonight,” he said. “We’re at the legendary Whisky a Go Go and so many amazing performers and rock stars have been here and now we have the best adult stars in the business here tonight, and I’m just so excited to see so many winners in the building.”

The always stunning Kayley Gunner told Riley that she was so excited with Briana Andalore’s custom outfit choice for her.

“I look sexy,” she shared. “I look like Pamela Anderson but a porn star. She also gave me a lot of spikes. The spikes are poking everyone’s eyes out, but they’re loving it!”

Creator-turned-performer Abigaiil Morris marveled at the many different performers she had never met before that she got to chat with in the outdoors mingling area. “The entire thing is just very enthralling — like my heart has been beating so fast, you know? In other careers and other aspects of life, everybody gets acknowledged for what they do, so events like the Pornhub Awards are a great opportunity for people that put their whole life into performing to have well-deserved recognition for all they do.”

Veteran Brazzers male talent Keiran Lee said what makes the Pornhub Awards special is that they are “very inclusive of every genre in the industry, and it’s fair, because it’s done by data, so everybody gets a fair crack at winning.”

Alexis Fawx reveled in the vibe of the whole scene. “It’s my thing: the rock star/porn star intersection. I’m so in my element, you have no idea! I keep looking around and I just want to fuck every fucking beautiful soul in this building right now.”

With that statement, Fawx magically manifested Ryan Reid — wearing perhaps the most head-turning fashion creation of the whole evening, a bejeweled, barely-there, impossibly held together deconstructed gown that showed her flawless tanned skin with just enough left to the imagination.

Reid embraced Fawx for a little raunchy impromptu photo shoot, and spoke about her unique, eye-grabbing outfit.

“I was a little nervous because some of the other girls also wanted it, and I’m the kind of person who wants to make everyone else happy,” she admitted. “But Briana was like, ‘No, this one was made for you. It’s really you.’ I got to have a really incredible experience tonight. I’ve never been styled by stylists like this before for an event. And I got to meet Julia Fox, which was pretty fucking hot — and I cannot wait to see what’s next for me.”

The event culminated in a performance by hip-hop legend Rick Ross, who brought his patented Boss energy and swagger, and led the dancefloor into a non-stop party fueled by his hustlin’ anthems.

And after the party, naturally as befits the storied Sunset Strip, the afterparties. But to hear about that, you’re going to have to convince someone to break some pretty daunting NDAs…

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