Content Might Be King, But Platform Is Emperor at the 2nd Pornhub Awards

LOS ANGELES — Last Friday, the second annual Pornhub Awards were held at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles to honor the best in adult entertainment.

Hosted by Pornhub brand ambassador Asa Akira, the show featured musical performances by top pop performers like Bad Bunny, Ty Dolla $ign, Tommy Genesis, Rico Nasty, Ian Isiah and Kali Uchis. Several of the musical acts presented elaborate stage shows to rival televised music award extravaganzas like the Grammys.

Unlike other industry shows, the Pornhub Awards replaced movie-centric categories with what they called “the biggest and best in each of Pornhub’s unconventional categories, as well as the top channels and most popular networks.”

Several noted non-industry influencers, like pink-tressed Belle Delphine (aka, “the camgirl who sold her bathwater”) and popular Chatsworth-based YouTube prankster Logan Paul, commanded the attention of the VIP lounge, with adult talent asking for clout-expanding selfies with them.

Emphasizing the power of influencer culture, the awards’ climax was the non-competitive Vision Award bestowed on, in the words of the announcer, “actress, author and musician Bella Thorne,” a former Disney Channel child star who had turned 22 a few days before receiving the honor.

Pornhub produced a short film that the Cuban-American Thorne directed, “Her & Him,” starring Abella Danger and Small Hands, and scored by Mod Sun. The film, the second in the tubesite’s Visionaries Director’s Series, is currently available exclusively on Pornhub Premium.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” said Thorne. “I’m excited for visions of beauty like this to be showed in a new light. Breaking the taboo of what’s classified as beautiful has always been a vision of mine and it brings me such joy to see this being recognized for what it truly is — beautiful visionary art.”

The Pornhub Awards trophy itself was redesigned by world-class British designer Peter Saville, known for his game-changing 1980s work with Factory Records, Joy Division and New Order. The striking orange statuette, distinctive from any heretofore seen trophy, was meant to evoke the chemical molecules “associated with sexual arousal,” said Saville. Last year, the trophy and the aesthetic of the ceremony were conceived by Kanye West.

The traditional red carpet also underwent a redesign: this time, it was a pink carpet with a backdrop of flesh-color paintings of swirling nudes. Some invited talent was able to pose against this unusual backdrop for industry photographers and other selected media, before the tightly enforced schedule compelled everyone to find their seats.

The historic Orpheum Theatre was filled at capacity, with VIPs and their entourages close to the stage, and many longtime industry getting an all-encompassing view of the no-expenses-spared show from the luxurious balcony.

The show opened with a performance by self-proclaimed “King of Trap,” Bad Bunny, who injected the proceedings with his particular brand of sensual bilingual jams.

After a full performance of three or four songs, Asa Akira took the stage delivering scripted jokes in the manner of the Academy Awards, except bawdy in a vintage “party record” sense. The double-entendres about ASMR and other sex-oriented punchlines were interspersed with not-so-humblebrags about Pornhub’s market domination.

“The ‘Game of Thrones’ finale had 20 million viewers,” proclaimed Akira. “Pornhub gets 120 million visits a day!”

“So, suck my tits, Mother of Dragons!” Akira challenged the late Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

Referring to Pornhub as “a progressive platform,” brand ambassador Akira continued the tubesite’s self-celebration of its own unstoppable rise, segueing into the awards itself.

Girls Who Like Girls — Top Lesbian Performer winner Abigail Mac was the first recipient of the new, Saville-designed award. “Content is king,” said Mac, repeating a mantra that would resonate through the evening, although the event clearly demonstrated that the “platform is emperor.”

The effervescent Riley Reid, who would end up being the evening’s biggest winner, received several awards, including All At the same Damn Time — Top DP Performer (a category the pressroom was informed was “mostly searched by women”). Reid simulated fellatio with all her trophies, which conveniently rendered the pleasure chemical molecule as a lengthy orange protuberance made of covalent links.

Get Your Freak On — Top Fetish Performer went to Lady Olivia Fyre. The winner of Best Chest — Top Big Tits Performer was Angela White, who thanked everyone for “watching my big tits bounce.” Akira confessed that “feeling Angela’s boobs underwater” was one of her “top 5 sensations,” and encouraged anyone given the chance by White to feel for themselves.

After a Rico Nasty performance, Jade Jordan received the Top BBW Performer award and Danika Mori was crowned Splash Zone — Top Squirting Performer. “Someone who knows not to eat asparagus before squirting,” commented Akira, dispensing free advice to aspiring gushers all over the globe.

It was time then for what the announcer called “the prestigious Vision Award,” conceived as a celebration of “films by unexpected directors in an effort to diversify porn.”

Thorne thanked Pornhub for honoring her for “doing what I love — creating beautiful visions of art.”

The Top Celebrity award went to influencer Belle Delphine.

Following a comedy bit where Ana Foxxx and Adriana Chechik answered sexual health questions submitted by viewers, Kali Uchis performed a sultry number.

Full Mast — Top Big Dick Performer went to Rocco Siffredi, and Abella Danger was crowned Most Popular Female Pornstar by Women. Johnny Sins was Most Popular Male Pornstar by Women.

Most Popular Verified Professional Model was XevBellringer69. After the mysteriously dressed

Most Popular Network was Team Skeet and Top Channel was Brazzers, owned, like Pornhub, by MindGeek. Most Popular Trans Channel was Trans500.

Best Cosplay went to Indigo White. Most Popular Gay Channel was CzechHunter. Elles was named best Solo Performer, Joey Mills Top Twink and Zilv Gudel was Top Daddy. Awards magnet Natalie Mars picked up Most Popular Trans Performer.

Most Popular Male Performer, as anyone familiar with Pornhub rankings can attest, was youthful Spanish cockboy Jordi “El Niño” Polla. Most Popular Gay Performer was Austin Wolf, also noted as a successful clips self-producer, who repeated that “content is king today.” He very much got in his feelings talking about his husband, “my love,” in the audience, giving the clockwork-run event an emotional highlight.

Most Popular Female Performer, another shoo-in for Pornhub rankings watchers, was Lana Rhoades, wearing a transparent dress over white lingerie, her hair pulled in a tight ponytail that revealed her signature facial beauty in all its glory.

For a full list of the 2nd Pornhub Awards winners, including the fan awards, click here.

View XBIZ’s Pornhub Awards photo galleries here.

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