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Bobbi Blogs: It’s an honor just to be nominated

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Bobbi Starr (left) takes the stage at the 2011 AVN Awards show.
Bobbi Starr of bobbistarr.com

There's something special about the day of the AVN Awards. It starts out like any other on the AEE floor—do some business, meet some fans and try to wedge in a halfway-decent lunch to fend off those oh-so-sexy stomach growls.

The tension in the air is thick and it envelops every booth and everyone in the industry. The every conversation turns to who's going to win what later in the evening. And everyone gets in on it, which is funny because there's a sizable contingency in the Porno-American community that dismisses the awards altogether.

Some company owners say it really doesn't matter to them and that the Lucite monoliths don't do anything when it comes to sales. Some jaded, cynical performers that started out in teen-themed movies and who are now only seen in titles with the word MILF in them, get giddy with the prospect that maybe this year will be their year.

The AVN Awards season starts with submissions for pre-noms in late September. Throughout the year, AVN reviews more porn than you'll see in your entire lifetime or your next (if you're Buddhist). Ever see A Clockwork Orange and that scene where Malcolm McDowell's eyelids are forced open to watch movies? The review process at AVN is not unlike that, due to the sheer amount of porn that's generated every year. From that X-rated Ludovico Technique, scenes, performers and releases of potential note are marked off as "pre-noms" by the magazine's staff.

The end result is a stack of potential winners that my publicist (the former AVN editor) swears is as large as a telephone directory, and that was back in the early 2000s. But that's not the end of the exercise. Companies and talent are given the opportunity to submit their own pre-noms. I imagine the end product is as voluminous as the complete LA phone book.

In an effort that can only be compared to Hercules cleaning the Augean stables, the staff goes through the whole list to determine the nominees. Myths abound about who throws temper tantrums and of the threats hurled at the magazine and its staff for perceived slights and the non-inclusion of movies, scenes and contract girls and the inclusion of the same when it comes to their competitors.

The thing that impresses me the most? AVN does it every fucking year. It's a thankless job, not unlike that of a parent or an adult video arcade janitor.

The dismissal of the awards show by its detractors tends to go down a few notches around this time, and is on a steady decline with the release of the final list of nominees and on the night of the awards shows.

As a performer, my concern this day is to look drop dead gorgeous. Evil Angel's good about cutting its girls loose early to take care of girly stuff like showering, shaving and getting prettified for the night. While the men reading this are probably rolling their eyes dismissively, any woman knows how much time, effort and sweat has to be put into this, only to be repeated again and again.

I also like to unwind and have a little me time before the onslaught of walking the award show red carpet. There's a whole list of things I'm allergic to—in fact, the list is so long that I forget what's on it sometimes. I joke that I should get a tattoo down my arm of everything I need to avoid, like Guy Pierce in Memento.

One of those things is gluten, which is in everything, including beer. Making a quick stop at a Whole Foods, I talk to the resident beer guy and find out there's gluten-free beer. I am shocked, amazed and elated. I'm sure there's an unwieldy German word to describe the emotion, which I will explore in due time—after my beer drinking is done. I can finally partake in, as Homer Simpson says, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems without breaking out in hives. The beer takes the edge off walking the red carpet. Since Showtime's taken over broadcasting the awards show, more media shows up to cover the event. Between the fans, the well-wishers and the people wondering what the hell is going on, the crowd around the carpet gets pretty thick.

Once inside the show, emotions run high. People gladhand each other and there's an undeniable energy that crackles, even among the awards’ naysayers. When the show starts, there's the tension when your name's called that's more than just palatable—it's a knot in your gut from hoping so hard that you are the one.

If you win, and it's a substantial award, there's a speech to be made. It was before my time, but Nicole Sheridan's speech for Best Anal Sex Scene is the stuff of legend. She thanked her mom and in some retellings of the story, God for the win. Also up there is the late Savannah's "fuck all you bitches" speech, which has been often imitated in the years since, but never replicated.

And if your name isn't called? There's a roving camera on the girls who don't win, so it's best to maintain your composure and smile at the camera. This really is the Oscars of porn, in that respect.

I've been nominated for Female Performer of the Year on numerous occasions, but I've never won. Some are convinced that I am the Susan Lucci of porn, and I was nominated again this year.

The night ends with afterparties, of course. The ones I know of are the official AVN after party at the Palms at Rain, and the two events Evil Angel is sponsoring. One is at the Playboy nightclub (also at the Palms) and another at LAX in the Luxor with Xcritic.com.

The winners cradle their trophies and show them off to fans and photographers for the rest of the night and the small hours of the morning. The rest of us are just out for a good time. The haters will be back to say how little an award does, and they'll have another nine months to tow the line of their rationalization.

It's a long night, but really, there isn't any other way to end the show.

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