At the end of each calendar year, the adult industry typically reflects on the past year’s releases in the form of award nominations. At HotMoviesForHer, we consider ourselves the experts of all things XXX, and with our unique and differing perspectives on the content we see each day, the staff writers decided to nominate our own personal choices for some already-established award categories, and some categories that we came up with ourselves. Take a look below to see what we’ve hand-selected as the best of XXX in 2016.
It’s a toss up between Abella Danger and Sara Luvv. They’re both great performers who are tons of fun to watch, and they consistently pick great projects to work on.
Male Performer of the Year: Manuel Ferrara
I know he’s already won like 1000 times, but I’ve gotta stick with Manuel Ferrara. The man could generate sexual chemistry with a chia pet. Her scene with Abella Danger in her Hard X showcase, Abella, was truly phenomenal.
Best New Starlet: Kira Noir
Kira Noir really stood out for me this year. She has a look that’s really hard to find in this industry, and she carries herself with a ton of maturity. I consistently have to remind myself that she really is a newbie and that she’s not an industry veteran.
Trans Performer of the Year: River Stark
I have to go with River Stark for her performance in Transition. It was a powerful, semi-autobiographic performance that I think is really helping to change the landscape of trans-porn.
Best Feature Movie: Cindy Queen of Hell
Best Gonzo Movie: Girl/Boy 2
Siouxsie Q and Julia Ann did stellar work on the No On Prop 60 campaign, and they really deserve more gratitude than we could ever give them!
Stoya and Kayden Kross’s Trenchcoat X is all the gloriously arty smut that I’ve ever dreamed of, resulting in the candy colored Brett Rossi is Delicious!
These two really go hand in hand, so I’m going to pick 2 and go with Glitter and Gold.
Female Performer of the Year: Samantha Bentley
Samantha has performed in several films this year, but I am most fond of her crazy character in Hard in Love I & II. She’s been writing a lot about the industry for mainstream publications, which has helped to give a non-porn audience an honest and intelligent look at the work she does.
Male Performer of the Year: Jean Val Jean
Best New Starlet: Christiana Cinn
Christiana Cinn started in late 2015, and she already has over 30 scenes to her credit with some of the biggest studios in the game. She has a ton of creative vision and talent, and I hope to see much more of her next year. Although, I think many people will say Melissa Moore may get the nod this year due to her scary similarity to last year’s Female Performer of the Year, Riley Reid.
Trans Performer of the Year: Michelle Austin
Michelle Austin has worked her butt off this year as a performer, director, and studio owner. She has also been forthcoming with her own work on her body, mind, and soul through social media and advocacy.
Best Feature Movie: Sugar Babies
Sugar Babies from Pretty Dirty studio. I am not writing any spoilers, but this was messed up and super hot. Best movie of the year, if you’re into dark and inappropriate relationships, which is what makes this studio really great.
Best Gonzo Movie: Anal Encores
Anal Encores from Mike Adriano Media. Newcomer Zelda Morrison’s scene with Mike is not to be missed.
Best Activist/Advocate: Chanel Preston
It was great to see the industry come together to fight Prop 60, and there are a lot of people that were very vocal, reached out to fans and mainstream media, and really educated the masses on the issues. Chanel Preston held APAC together when it could have fallen apart. She pushed through with her team, and continued to expand membership and outreach.
Dee Severe and Jimmy Broadway for Severe Sex films. This husband and wife team work with extremely talented performers, they were instrumental in the fight against Prop 60, they genuinely want the industry and everyone in it to be informed, safe, and have a good time, and their scenes always make me feel like they are having the most fun out of anyone in the biz.
Best Indie Movie: Femdom Fatale 5
Julie Simone‘s Femdom Fatale 5 because I need more unicorn anal play in my life!
Female Performer of the Year: Sara Luvv
For me, 2016 was the year of Sara Luvv. Everywhere I seemed to look, Sara dominated the major releases from virtually every studio out there. One of the biggest releases of the year, Babysitting the Baumgartners, showcased Sara’s ability to deliver incredible performances for both lesbian and straight scenes. She’s a truly dynamic star that continues to rise through the ranks of the industry into fan-favorite status.
Male Performer of the Year: Mick Blue
He’s won the title in years past, but Mick Blue continues to lead the male performer pack in my opinion. With his studio BAM Visions as a standout new brand for Evil Angel and his work with every other major studio under the sun, watching a Mick Blue scene was almost unavoidable this year, not that anyone would want to avoid the raunchy Austrian sweetheart!
Best New Starlet: Lyra Law
We were introduced to the stunning Lyra Law in 2016, and I couldn’t have been more mesmerized by her performances. Whether performing as a Domme or as your more typical porn video-vixen, Lyra put her own sexy spin on being a California beachy blonde. Her scenes alongside real-life beau Michael Vegas were especially titillating for me because I could tell their chemistry was 100% authentic.
Trans Performer of the Year: Nina Lawless
I saw a whole lot of Nina Lawless this year, and I liked it! The super-fit Mexican hottie made waves working with almost every trans-friendly studio in the industry this year. Not only is her work ethic impressive, but so too is her range. Nina can be a sultry scene partner when she tops or bottoms, but she can also be a merciless Dominatrix during her kinkier shoots.
Best Feature Movie: Little Red – A Lesbian Fairytale
Girlsway is constantly killing it with their feature releases, but Little Red really took the cake for me this year. Inspired by the classic fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red somehow turned a children’s classic into a raunchy lesbian romp that kept pretty true to the plot of the original story… as much as was possible without involving an actual wolf.
Best Gonzo Movie: Dirty Talk 3
Manuel Ferrara‘s series Dirty Talk is a pretty sensual take on the POV genre, and for that reason alone I love it. With each starlet beginning their scene by giving the camera “bedroom eyes” while telling Manuel exactly what they want to do to him, it’s a pretty intimate and sexy moment. This series is unique and doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion, but the third installment is especially my favorite just because some of my favorite stars are in it: August Ames, Abella Danger, Karlee Grey, and Briana Banks! Doesn’t get hotter than that.
Best Activist/Advocate: Andre Shakti
It’s one thing to work in the adult industry and face all of society’s unwanted morality and criticism for your career choice, but it’s quite another to face all of that unwanted backlash and use your voice to fight for your rights as a sex worker. This year, Andre Shakti stood up for her and her fellow sex workers’ rights writing for multiple mainstream publications like Cosmopolitan and VICE, and also had the courage to pose for the cover of The New York Times Magazine for a piece debating whether or not sex work should remain criminalized. Through her myriad of thoughtful pieces, Andre Shakti exposes the reality of working as a queer sex worker in a climate that still views her lifestyle as overwhelmingly taboo.
I love a good power couple, and Anikka and Mick are probably the closest thing to Beyonce and Jay Z that the adult industry is going to get. Between managing their new Evil Angel studio, BAM Visions, and continuing to churn out scorching scene-after-scene for every other popular studio in existence, Anikka and Mick keep themselves busy in the best way possible: doing what they love!
Best Indie Movie: FUCK THEM ALL
From indie porn studio Bleu Productions, FUCK THEM ALL really struck me as a fun and unique take on queer porn. Starring FTM trans performer Kay Garnellen, Kay travels through dark, erotic fantasies that ultimately lead him to an explosive gender-fluid orgy that is not to be missed!