Richard Abowitz: My Night at the NSFW Oscars

Remember when porn meant something? At the lackluster 2014 AVN Awards, an event long-billed as the Academy Awards for the adult industry, things got a little weird.
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Porn’s current “It” girl, twenty-year-old Bonnie Rotten, takes a single hit off a joint. She passes it on to a man who admires her lipstick traces on it. He then jokes about the legal risks of keeping the butt as a souvenir for back home.

It’s Saturday night in a suite at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, a few moments before the AVN Awards start downstairs. Rotten is expected to win Performer of the Year, the most coveted prize at the show.

“Tonight her life is going to change,” porn legend Joey Silvera says. “She doesn’t have the traditional look. Tattoos used to be a small audience thing. But when I shot her that personality is so strong. The moment you deal with her you don’t see the tattoos. Just her.” I keep staring at the tattoo of Frank Sinatra on her leg. That says something about her personality.

Silvera doesn’t even know how many awards he’s nominated for this year. “A few years ago before the business died we could kid ourselves that we were growing into something big like the Oscars. For me, this isn’t going to change anything. But there is still enough magic left that the awards can make a difference for Bonnie if she wins.”

Though long-billed as the Academy Awards for the adult industry, few take that label seriously anymore. The mighty corporate and cultural juggernaut that was the porn industry of the 2000s, back when every mall had suburbanites wearing “porn star” t-shirts, is gone. The massive decline in the porn industry’s fortunes thanks to regulatory challenges and piracy and the infinity of sex offerings on the Internet have left the remains of the mainstream porn industry closer to the cheesy and sleazy parody of the other Hollywood that defined porn’s golden era of the ‘80s.

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12 Responses to "Richard Abowitz: My Night at the NSFW Oscars"

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  9. SeaKo   January 22, 2014 8:33 pm at 8:33 PM

    Can someone put Richard out of his misery and stop paying him to hung out with such awful, deadbeats ppl that him finds in porn?? The movies are cheap, the girls too, Bonnie is great (but so young, it will pass), i don’t know anyone’s name so obviously everybody else doesn’t either, the show sucked, and the convention too….arrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Now i know why he clicked with Aurora!!

    I HATE YOU ALL, BUT I’LL TAKE YOUR MONEY!

     
    Reply
    • Richard Abowitz   January 23, 2014 2:25 pm at 2:25 PM

      I am not miserable covering the adult industry. I find the people fascinating and love the work. I have never called the performers “cheap.” I am not even sure what that means. I don’t hate the porn industry generally, and I don’t even hate any individual in adult. Finally, no publication that hires me accepts any porn advertising; so, I have never been paid a cent by any porn enterprise. But thanks for reading so many of my articles that you have taken the time to form views on me even if they are all wrong.

       
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      • TRPWL-Sean   January 23, 2014 2:28 pm at 2:28 PM

        Richards a cool dude….

         
        Reply
        • Richard Abowitz   January 23, 2014 2:49 pm at 2:49 PM

          It was good to meet you, Sean. I am really glad you are reporting on the industry.

           
          Reply

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