Photo by John-Michael Bond

The Pornhub Awards smashes the stigma of porn with humor and Kanye

The inaugural fete was like a cooler VMAs, with more nudity.

Sep 7, 2018, 10:54 am*



John-Michael Bond

Nothing has driven home just how far the VMAs have fallen from grace quite like the first annual Pornhub Awards. Who would have imagined a show with categories like “Top Blowjob Performer” and “Hottest Female Ass” would have been a multimedia spectacle featuring the biggest, and maybe the most controversial, rapper in the world. Co-directed and designed by an unannounced-until-after-showtime Kanye West, who also performed, the Pornhub Awards was like the site itself: You visit with expectations and walk away shocked at how much they were surpassed. Singer Teyana Taylor's barn-burning kickoff performance was a joyful surprise in its own right, but when West walked out to join her, the building exploded. His time onstage was brief, but his influence was felt throughout the night. The presenters were also reportedly styled by West, which explains the mix of out-front sexuality and high fashion found onstage. The show was also a technical achievement; the Pornhub Awards was broadcast in 3D 360-degree VR, a first for any awards show. But if the artistry of a porn accolades show was a surprise, the onstage nudity throughout the night was not. Host and fan favorite Asa Akira led the evening with humor and no top.  first_pornhub_awards_asa_akira Unlike the industry's current biggest award show, the AVNs, the Pornhub Awards were focused less on celebrating scenes and films than the stars themselves. Not a single film won at the show. Instead, awards went to individual superstars, based on streaming data and voting, for how fans appreciated their body of work in the past year. For performers like Lena the Plug, a social media celeb turned amateur porn star who won “Celebrity of the Year,” Pornhub has proved an unlikely source of success. “I think Pornhub is the No. 1 thing associated with nudity on the internet. So I feel like in many ways my porn is synonymous with Pornhub,” she told the Daily Dot. Lena says her Snapchats got leaked on Pornhub so many times, that people kept coming to the site to look for them, which in turn, opened doors for her career. “It's definitely helped me in that way," she says. "And the fact that they're calling me a celebrity is just super insane.” first_pornhub_awards_lena_the_plugs No doubt, as much as Pornhub is synonymous with free online porn, it is also known for users uploading pirated content—even if that content has helped expose performers like Lena to millions of people. However, according to Natalie Mars, winner of “Most Popular Trans Performer,” Pornhub has helped her reclaim lost money from stolen work. “I claimed all the videos that people had pirated onto the site, and Pornhub gave me all the revenue,” Mars explained to Daily Dot. “I think it’s awesome they gave me all the back pay that had accumulated over however long.” first_pornhub_awards_natalie_mars Pornhub’s commitment to becoming a more performer-friendly company might explain the general sense of joy the permeated the night. Silly jokes were met with generous laughter, and performers like Blackbear found a rapturous audience before them. It often felt like any other awards show, just with far more naked people. Then a performer would be presented with one of the West-designed awards, which look like a sex toy out of a David Cronenberg film, and you’d be reminded the Hub was aiming for more. first-pornhub-awards-kanye-awards In that way, you could say the awards were a showpiece for what the site is trying to accomplish not just for the industry, but for the culture at large. “I hear in a lot of DMs and emails that Pornhub really helps with people's sexuality in general," industry superstar Bonnie Rotten, back from a short-lived retirement, told the Daily Dot. "I'm from Ohio. So I know what it's like to be kind of sexually depraved and put in like a corner about what you're interested in. [Pornhub] gives people the opportunity to go out and do whatever they want, whenever they want, and I respect that.” first_pornhub_awards_riley With 97 million hits a day, Pornhub was already mainstream before the awards happened. It was just mainstream in the way that pot is mainstream—a thing everyone does or at least tries but lies about in front of their parents. Having West direct the evening might have been a stunt, but it was a stunt that gave the Pornhub brand a social cache that it never had before. Seriously, MTV, don’t air the VMAs next year. Just figure out how to air a safe-for-work version of the Pornhub Awards. We hear James Gunn is looking for work. Let him help, he has experience with such things. first-pornhub-awards-dana-dentata

Here is a complete list of the winners for the 2018 Pornhub Awards:

Realer Than Reality — Top VR Performer Megan Rain Up Close and Personal — Top POV Performer Mark Rockwell Top Channel Brazzers Most Popular Network Team Skeet Blowjob Queen — Top Blowjob Performer Miss Banana Splash Zone — Top Squirting Performer Abella Danger Back Door Beauty — Top Anal Performer Danika Mori Most Popular Parody Channel Wood Rocket Most Popular Cinematic Channel Blacked Most Popular MILF Channel Moms Teach Sex Most Popular VR Channel BaDoink Most Popular European Channel Fake Taxi Most Popular Gay Channel Family Dick Most Popular Trans Channel She-Male Idol Tantalizing Twinkie — Top Twink Performer Joey Mills Glorious Grizzly — Top Bear Performer Colby Jansen The Whole Squad — Top Gay Group Performer Johnny Rapid Blowjob King — Top Gay Blowjob Performer Darius Ferdynand Most Popular Male Performer by Women Johnny Sins Top Comment on Pornhub PhatCockRocket Get Your Freak On — Top Fetish Performer Prettykittymiaos Mrs. Dressup — Top Cosplay Performer Mattie Doll Visionary Director Young M.A Best Chest — Top Big Tits Performer Lena Paul Big and Beautiful — Top BBW Performer Jade Jordan Full Mast — Top Big Dick Performer Manuel Ferrara Highly Experienced — Top MILF Performer Brandi Love Girl Who Likes Girls — Top Lesbian Performer Vanessa Veracruz Solo Siren — Top Female Solo Performer lilcanadiangirl Best Dick (Fan Favorite Winner) Johnny Sins Nicest Pussy (Fan Favorite Winner) Dillion Harper Nicest Tits (Fan Favorite Winner) Kendra Sunderland Hottest Female Ass (Fan Favorite Winner) Mia Malkova Hottest Male Ass (Fan Favorite Winner) Johnny Sins Best Cumshot (Fan Favorite Winner) Danny D Hottest Inked Model (Fan Favorite Winner) Karmen Karma Favorite MILF (Fan Favorite Winner) Brandi Love Favorite Trans Model (Fan Favorite Winner) Natalie Mars Favorite Gay Model (Fan Favorite Winner) William Seed Favorite BBW Model (Fan Favorite Winner) Marilyn Mayson Favorite Fetish Model (Fan Favorite Winner) Mandy Flores Cam Performer of the Year (Fan Favorite Winner) Jenny Blighe Favorite Channel (Fan Favorite Winner) Brazzers Funniest Performer (Fan Favorite Winner) Jordi El Niño Polla Best Premium Snapchat (Fan Favorite Winner) Dani Daniels Best Porn Twitter (Fan Favorite Winner) Riley Reid Instagrammer of the Year (Fan Favorite Winner) Nicolette Shea Most Popular Female Performer by Women Mia Malkova Celebrity of the Year Lena The Plug All at the Same Damn Time — Top DP Performer Adriana Chechik Three's Company — Top Threesome Performer Lady Fyre More the Merrier — Top Gangbang Performer Riley Reid Most Popular Verified Amateur Lindsey Love Most Popular Verified Professional Model Bryci Most Popular Verified Couple LeoLulu Most Popular Trans Performer Natalie Mars M4M — Most Popular Gay Performer William Seed Most Popular Male Performer Jordi El Niño Polla Most Popular Female Performer Riley Reid

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*First Published: Sep 7, 2018, 9:56 am