Bright Lights, Fake Titties

Searching for the Porn Awards' Real Winners in Silicone Valley

When the Voice offered to pay my bus fare to Las Vegas so I could report on the 20th annual Adult Video News Awards, held two weekends ago, I had visions of hobnobbing with knob-slobbin' porn stars, maybe even going "undercover"—bed covers, that is. (With porn stars!) My divorced dad must've had the same idea: "So yeah," I told him, "the Voice is sending me to Vegas for the porn awards." "Oh? Let me see if I'm free that weekend." Papa Maldoro (real name: Angelo) booked us at Luxor, a 32-story pyramid apparently inspired by some ancient Egyptian pyramid-building culture—I had my heart set on New York-New York's trendy "Williamsburg" suite, but whatever—and packed a jumbo box of jimmy hats in various colors and flavors. The heavily guarded Larry Flynt was probably the only one there with more unnecessary protection.

But what is Vegas about, if not fantasy and overcompensation? AVN, the industry's leading trade sheet and likely house organ for advertisers, won't gamble with holding the awards night and four-day trade-show expo anywhere but in the City of Sin. The west-central part of Clark County, Nevada, known as Las Vegas Valley, shares more than topographical features with California's San Fernando Valley, the world capital of porn. Glittering scrim upon glittering scrim made substance, both hollows blur the difference between mirage and oasis. Not to mention the wonderful weather! Of course, porn's wonders of nature and surgery were found inside the Venetian's Sands Expo and Convention Center, where, with a $35 pass, anyone could spend an afternoon ogling starlets they'd otherwise be Googling, and getting autographs more likely to be hidden than hung up. And if they were like Angelo and me, another $225 bought them a seat at the wrong end of the 3500-capacity ballroom on awards night. (Get your tickets early, folks!)

Was I aware of the irony inherent in viewing the awards on a Jumbotron, the bonfire of vanities onstage reduced by distance to a mere glowing ember? Dear reader, I was. No matter. The star that burns brightest of all—Aurora Snow, Queen of Dirty Pornos and AVN's new Female Performer of the Year—granted yours truly a few well-chosen words. Seemingly pure as the driven you-know-what, petite Aurora performs stunts Papa Maldoro thought impossible with truly rare enthusiasm. She is as sincerely charming clothed—as when I met her at the Expo, in Mary Janes, a schoolgirl skirt, and ribbed muscle tee with tie. Although she may someday wear a suit: Aurora is pursuing a degree in business, going to class from 6:30 to 10 a.m. and driving to the set from there. "They'll be staring at me from across the classroom," she says of presumably every boy who's shared a classroom with her. "Some wait until the end of the semester and come up to me. 'Uh, are you Aurora Snow? You can say no if you want to.' But I don't mind. Of course, then it's the same old question: 'Would you go to my party?' "

Aurora's areolas: Ms. Snow, female performer of the year
photo: Courtesy Blue Horizon Media
Aurora's areolas: Ms. Snow, female performer of the year

Speaking of parties, how long does it take to recover from getting gang-banged by a dozen guys (cf. The Gangbang Girl #33)? "To me that's so much fun. If you're that relaxed and having that much fun your body isn't really tense, and you don't have that much to recover from. I'm usually good the day afterwards." She's more worried that the sex "might be a little boring for the guys." I almost told Aurora I'd let her bore me to death, but instead decided to quit boring her and get a picture which—ARGH!—didn't come out because somebody, I'm not naming any names, forgot to turn on the flash.

Aurora then resumed signing her name and flashing her smile for a large group of the frosted-tipped, ponytailed, wispy-mulleted, plain-balding, man-boy meatheads and mid-lifers who stared, blinked, winked at, and paused to pose, fondle, and flirt with the costumed women scattered throughout the cavernous Expo eye-candy store. After a long wait at the entrance, layfolks clogged the wide halls between displays, gripping cups of beer and cameras. Clumps of these men (and some women) formed, hooting and hollering, where free videos were tossed, brief lesbian performances put on, or, on Sunday, televisions showed football goals. Besides semi-celebrity skin, the trade show offered color-swirled glass dildos; "TongueJoy," a battery-run nub one can strap to a tongue or finger "for her pleasure"; "the world's finest love doll," a $6000-and-up (don't forget S&H) made-to-order silicone mannequin that is "very sturdy, but not meant to sustain extremely violent abuse"; and literature from the "#1 Christian" anti-"porn site," XXXChurch.com (says crusading Pastor Brian Dunn, "If Jesus were alive today we think he'd appear on MTV before some religious channel." He'd have to kill that guy from Creed first, of course).

God knows the invite-only parties are what really matter, though. An open-bar event given by classy hardcore outfit Adam & Eve at the Hard Rock Cafe featured bespectacled vet—some would say legend!—Nina Hartley reminiscing over "fucking on a wine barrel" in Falcon Breast, a 31-year-old fan's confessed first flick. Keri Windsor, long-tongued, well-spoken co-star in the acclaimed Naked Hollywood serial (it won Best Continuing Video Series), told me she had "copies in her room" when I admitted to not having seen it. Later that night rambunctious Papa (in re some slim female: "You need a lean horse for a long ride") cabbed it back to Luxor, and a couple new friends and I hit the trendy Palms. In the bar, waiting to be brought up to a private "sky box" in dance club Rain, I resisted tossing my drink in the faces of countless L.A. douchebags. As for the "sky box," were I crass and thankless, I might've complained that it was missing the "box." Instead, I availed myself of the Grey Goose provided by my gracious hosts from Leisure Time till blurry and combative. Two call girls drove a buddy and me home, but I slept only with Papa's thunderous snoring.

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