General News

What Going To The Porn Awards Is Really Like

Porn's 'It' Girl Invited Us To The UK Porn Awards. We Could Hardly Say No

Published Sat 22nd Oct 2016
By itsAdult / General News

UKAP Awards 2016 from UK Adult Producers on Vimeo.

What Going To The Porn Awards Is Really Like

My date is nervous. She hasn’t touched the champagne and although she’s dressed confidently in a plastic opaque raincoat with a black corset underneath, she’s fidgeting. The venue for our date is a non-descript club on London’s Leicester Square. More specifically, it’s the UK Adult Producers Awards and the reason for my company’s nerves is that she’s up for a gong – the Best Niche/Fetish Webs

Ah, where are my manners? Readers, let me introduce my date for the evening, Miss Harriet Sugarcookie.

 

 

Online porn’s current “it” girl, the 22-year-old started out blogging and camming three years ago. Since her start, she's developed her website into one of the UK's most popular and her YouTube channel PornstarsPlayGames gets over 100k views a month. Her site bio reads: “Porn for geeks. The only place where you get amateur porn, movie reviews, games reviews, porn stars, sex & dating advice and recipes in one place.”

While a quick (NSFW) Google would reveal she’s a fan of girl-on-girl, her site is not of your RedTube bread and butter variety. She’s got well-written articles on everything from ‘How To Tell Your Friend Her Boyfriend Is A Dick’ and ‘The Wifi Kettle And 5 Other Kitchen Gadgets You Probably Don’t Need’, plus numerous video game reviews. You’ll be reading about No Man’s Sky and suddenly, on the right hand rail… ‘Zoe Doll Sleepover: Two Girl Handjob’ will pop up. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Two girl handjobs aside, Harriet is not your average porn star, so when she invited me to be her date for the awards, I was intrigued. Like everybody else, I’ve seen internet porn, but I don't often feel good about watching these people, mostly young women, do things they probably wouldn’t tell their families about. I have a hard time with the idea of women choosingto do this. On the other hand, Harriet seems to be doing it on her own terms. Maybe my assumptions are unjustified.

That's why I'm here: are the porn awards are a seedy, old-Soho festival of misogyny, or are the rumours true? Can enterprising, sex-positive women like Harriet make money and earn respect in an industry that – from the outside at least – looks built to exploit people like her? I don't know if I'll find out, but I'm willing to try.

Now, I’ve not been to a porn awards before. For some reason I’d imagined walking down a red carpet to my seat, in front of a large stage, like the theatre. Or, y’know, the Oscars. I was expecting Jenna Jameson and Jessica Drake posing on the red carpet in bust-boosting, figure hugging ball gowns, porno-queens in glittering dresses draped in gaudy fake diamond jewellery.

n reality, the Leicester Square club looks like any other Soho bar, with a doorman who checks our names against a guest list before letting us enter. I want to leave my preconceptions at the door, too, but it's not easy.

Inside, the club is set up with a handful of red faux velvet-covered banquets scattered around a central, circular raised stage – we hastily make our way over to a simple low cocktail table surrounded by some chairs. Normally there’d be a pole there with exotic dancers.

 

Harriet sees herself standing slightly apart from the crowd that’s starting to slowly build in the room; she doesn’t get work from producers like Nerd Pervert and Ben Dover (the UK’s most famous porn actor, director and producer, who is also hosting the awards show tonight). Instead, she makes her own videos (behind the camera is her business partner Tommie) and hires her own actors.

“I probably won’t win because they don’t really like me,” she whispers to me. The “they” she’s referring to are the UKAP board members, most of them producers themselves, who are also tonight’s judges. In some ways, she’s an outsider, too – and just as curious about the people we’re sharing a room with. She takes my arm and asks me to point out anyone I’m interested in meeting. “Anyone!” she tells me “Just pick anyone and we’ll go up to them!”

She introduces me to a large, older man called The Dirty Doctor whose hand I don't want to shake, and Sneaky Pete, whose specialty, I’m told, is videos where girls are tricked into having sex with him on a tour bus (very popular, apparently). They both ask Harriet to come work for them and she, giggling, says she’ll think about it. She later tells me she won’t.

 

 

We meet Pixie Little, nominated for Best Female Newcomer, a tiny, young brunette who’s only been working since January and has 40 scenes under her belt. “Is that a lot?” she asks us. She gets a blank stare from me. “I’m just here to wear a posh dress and get work!” Before adding, earnestly, that she didn’t vote for herself because she only wants to win if people genuinely think she’s the best. Later on, I find out that her first scene was a gang bang with 27 men.

 

 

I take some pictures with starlet Carmel Anderson, one of the hosts. She wasn’t wearing any underwear – something we only found out after she flashed another photographer. Besides a handful of stereotypical, very made-up blondes with fake boobs, the guests in attendance also include a large number of women in their 50s and 60s nominated for both ‘Best GILF’ and ‘Best MILF’ awards. The men are a mixed bunch, with varying degrees of flamboyant attire. One notable man surrounded by an entourage of 20 something guys introduces himself to me as a male porn star stylist, and is dressed in a top hat and tails.

 

 

Harriet strikes me as utterly down to earth compared to the people we’ve met in the room. She’s aware her work is different, she’s clear about her goals and proud of the fact that she owns her own business and doesn’t answer to anyone. 

I ask Harriet how she got into porn and she says she used to be overweight and unattractive (her words, though it’s hard to image this petite Asian beauty as anything other than naturally pretty). Someone once posted a photo of her on Reddit and she started getting compliments, which made her feel good. She then tried camming and went from there. And she's definitely maintained a level of independence others in the industry haven't while developing quite a following: her site is most popular UK-owned adult site in the world with 220,000 million monthly viewers.

Not everyone appreciates her success. A friend of Harriet’s comes over to say hi and Harriet tells me they don’t really get along anymore. Her friend does mostly cam work and has made comments to Harriet suggesting she shouldn’t have to stoop to porn (a microcosm of the porn world that makes me wonder what other backstabbing and competition is going on just below the surface).

I'm also getting a sense that UK porn is much more rough around the edges than the porn scene in the US, and a lot of that has to do with regulation, Tommie tells me. With the recent UK bans on spanking and squirting (“why should seeing a woman experience pleasure be banned?!” Harriet says incredulously), things have to stay a bit more behind-closed-doors. Ben Dover, tonight's host, has even gone to prison in the UK for producing porn, and Harriet’s website is run out of Budapest where UK censorship laws don’t apply. 

Harriet still hasn’t had a drink. She’s too nervous, she says, shaking. As Harriet’s category is called she grabs my hand. Her name is called and she shrieks, quietly, and makes her way to the stage. She profusely thanks everyone there and all her fans and poses for some photos with the hosts while receiving her glass engraved statue.

 

 

 

From where I'm standing, Harriet’s victory definitely feels like a step in the right direction – two fingers to the traditional porn establishment. But, looking around the room, I wonder how many of the young women here enjoy the same independence and perspective that Harriet has built. Lots of them seem like excited teenagers, kissing each other for the cameras and seeking attention from the older (male) producers in the room.   

I hug Harriet as she makes her way back to our table and ask if she thinks it’s time for a drink.

“Not tonight,” she says. “I’m having so much fun I don’t need one!”

Source: AskMen.com

 

 

 

 

 

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