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My night at the British porn awards

24th December 2013

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I have a bit of a weird relationship with porn. My liberal, equality-loving brain says ‘down with that sort of thing’, nobody should be objectified in that way for my titillation.

Tanya TateBut I gotta admit, I like looking at nuddy ladies and given my stature as a “man” ‘porn’ is often my only route to getting an eye full of lady parts. It’s a horrible moral dilemma – but enough of that. I got an email inviting me to attend the SHAFTAS (like the BAFTAS but for people who do it on camera for money - see what they did there?).

Having nothing to do on a dark December Thursday night I opted to be the guest of Television X (one of those naughty TV channels, yes people still order porn off the telly – who knew!) for a celebration of who can put where and for how long, and from how many people – most convincingly.

Celebrating 18 years of spreading smut across the airwaves this was a big bash in a Leicester Square ‘superclub’ with a fairground theme – lots of puns about rides and screaming if you “wanna go faster.”

So I went for a night out also attended by some people I don’t know off TOWIE, Big Brother and BBC Three to celebrate the best of British wank-fodder.

With categories to hand awards to shows containing the word ‘sluts’, ‘whores’, ‘gang bang’ and ‘spunk’ I was expecting a night of pure filth. What I witnessed was not that at all.

Standing in the ‘press pen’ (basically me and a few photographers) it wasn’t exactly the full-on debauchery I expected with some nicely dressed ladies stepping in front of the sponsors board for some snaps and a few words.

It struck me that far from the image it purveys, the porn industry is a pretty normal industry at its core. Porn stars milled about talking about ‘working together’ and how they ‘hadn’t seen each other in ages’.

It was very civil, and there were no bare breasts in sight (shame!) – at this point, not being part of the adult inner circle, I gotta admit I was a bit bored. Where was the scandal? I expected to either be appalled or aroused, but just felt sleepy.

Chatting to popular MILF Tanya Tate (she’s won the award for the ‘mother’ people would most like to cop off with for three years running) I could have been talking to any woman, doing any job – well until the casually dropped references to some of her ‘work’. She was nervous and really proud of what she has achieved.

It became clear that at this level these women are not exactly “exploited”, neither are they ‘sluts’ or ‘whores’ they are simply women doing a job. Tanya explained they get a script and agree everything pre-shoot, if they don’t like it, they don’t do it. Not exactly the world of sexual coercion bemoaned by detractors, nor the fantasy world of sex starlets that pervs like to dream about and touch themselves.

The awards were badly organised, haphazard and a bit hard to follow but all the winners grasped their golden cocks (what amounts to a trophy in porn) with pride.

Anna Span, the "feminist" porn maker and politician gained a plaudit for her work improving the reputation of the adult industry and making it better for the performers involved.

Speaking to me afterwards she explained, “We have nothing to be ashamed of as an industry.” Which after the night’s proceedings I am inclined to agree with.

Various performers trotted on-stage while everyone carried on talking, but much to my dismay no one bared any flesh. Male performer Danny D even stipulated he wouldn’t ‘get his cock out’ this year! Shame.

It all alluded to some sort of seedy world of sex, but could have been a ceremony for any other industry, like accountants or something.

The worst behaviour on show came from some leering ‘fans’ who had got in somehow, one who chanted ‘HOT, HOT, HOT’ in a porn stars face. Admittedly she responded by hitching up her skirt and bending over! She clearly knows her audience, and how to get them to part with their cash.

After the awards the party did turn to be a bit more porny, with a few naughty poses from stars – some bare breasts, bums and as one photographer asked for ‘vadge’. In fact, far from willingly dropping their garments at any opportunity the ‘stars’ only did so under the direction of glamour snappers looking for  a shot. It’s an industry, they are working – the posing seemed to simply interrupt their otherwise enjoyable evening.

Someone has to take the photos, but the hovering gentlemen trying to snatch a of glimpse snatch showed the more voyeuristic, seedy side of the industry – the leering seekers of the sex shots.

One looked like a version of Ron Jeremy who has been dragged through a vat of lard and left in a darkened room with only a TV showing porn for both light and entertainment. A man whose exposure to female genitalia has clearly only come through a lens.

The party raged, the clique of the industry convened for their get-together – I was an outsider looking in, at a fairly normal work do. The free booze ran out and a bit bored I decided to walk out on to Leicester Square to find more adventures through a throng of people trying to glimpse into the club.

Through a filter the world of porn looks like one of sex-crazed debauchery, promiscuity and people doing things with their genitals that seem unnatural. In reality, with the screen shattered, it is an industry of fairly normal people doing a job, working together and making a product.

The porn world is more boring than I had hoped and I’ll never watch it in the same way again!

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