XBIZ Premiere Magazine Names Top 100 Newsmakers of 2011
It's been a year of triumphs and tribulations, and many of them are quite notable. XBIZ Premiere names its annual list of the year's Top 100 newsmakers. Here they are:
ADAM & EVE
2011 marked adult giant Adam & Eve’s 40th anniversary. The company celebrated all year long with strong Internet sales and another year of charitable contributions that included helping fund the Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education at the University of Minnesota Medical School. It also released a number of films with prominent studios including Hustler and X-Play, in addition to working with director David Lord on the high-profile interactive movie “Killer Bodies” and accompanying website. Meanwhile, Lord and director Andre Madness collaborated on the throwback “Grindhouse XXX.” Also on the tech side, the company launched its Android and iPhone compatible mobile website.
VOD giant AEBN took home the XBIZ award for VOD Company of the Year in January. The juggernaut continued with a push into the gay market, announcing an exclusive deal with gay producer Helix Studios and a deal with Channel 1 Releasing (C1R) to bring its Rascal line of films to the VOD company’s network of PPV theaters. Director Nica Noelle, who created Sweetheart Video, Sweet Sinner and Sweet Sinema, also signed a production deal with the company for a new girl/girl studio, Candy Girl Films, and feature studio Hard Candy Films. The company also rolled out its RealTouch a software development kit and announced that it would cease sales of the devices through third-party distributors and sell directly.
AIM/PORN WIKI LEAKS
AIM Medical Associates, the long-time industry HIV testing facility, closed its doors in 2011 after a host of troubles, including controversy about hacked 2257 medical information perpetrated by PornWikileaks. In addition, public health officials called for its closure for improper licensing late in 2010, while it was also hampered by a steady campaign against it by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) including an investigation by California’s Attorney General. PornWikiLeaks, a site started by disgraced former performer Donny Long, eventually went offline in July. The rogue site was taken down after a concerted group effort led by veteran industry blogger Mike South, adult industry advocate Michael Whiteacre and mainstream webmaster Sean Tompkins, according to a report by Kayden Kross on AVN.com. The site contained defamatory wiki pages on performers and various adult professionals. The extreme amounts of personal information posted included thousands of porn performer’s legal names, driver license numbers and social security numbers. It remains under a federal investigation how Long, aka Donald Carlos Seoane, obtained the information.
Adult star Brittany Andrews made mainstream strides this year. Britco Pictures productions “Trick of the Witch” and “Crumble” won awards at the Los Angeles International Independent Film Festival. She also hosted a special, one-night only preview performance of a multimedia event inspired by her life and debuted her DJ prowess with Privé Event Planning at her birthday party in July at New York’s Skyroom.
High Island Health, LLC (Aneros) and Libertybelle Marketing Ltd (Nexus) reached an agreement to resolve their dispute over the Aneros patent that prohibits Nexus from continuing to sell several of its designs in the U.S. Aneros’ brand of prostate massagers was unaffected by the agreement, and the company forged ahead, releasing its first vibrating prostate massager, the Aneros Vice. Aneros also expanded its efforts in spreading prostate health awareness with the sponsorship of the Oh Megan “Study Sex College Tour” and a Movember fundraiser.
Lisa Ann picked up two MILF Performer of the Year honors, one from XBIZ and another from Urban X, in addition to being inducted into the latter’s Hall of Fame. Lisa also became the newest Fleshlight girl, as well as landed in issues of Star Magazine and GQ. She stayed busy in front of the camera, performing her first gangbang for Elegant Angel in a hot-selling title called “Gangbanged.” She also managed to find time to star in a music video for Mugz called “Lonely Girl,” and in January was named AEBN’s Performer of the Year for the second time.
The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection appointed digital forensics expert Tim Henning as its new executive director in 2011 after the resignation of Joan Irvine who served the group for nine years. Henning was part of the organization for 15 years. Some of the group’s efforts included a letter to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. and state Attorneys General offering a counterpoint to the organized anti-porn phone-in and letter-writing campaign. The group also won its battle against the operators of fraudulent domain ASACP.co.uk — an entity not affiliated with ASACP — that was emailing adult website operators and hosting companies, claiming that illegal child pornography was found on their services. ASACP also reported that it experienced an upsurge in reports of suspected child pornography through its CP Reporting Hotline and forwarded more than 900 reports to international law enforcement authorities for further investigation.
After kicking off 2011 as the XBIZ Award-winner for Lingerie Manufacturer of the Year, Baci Lingerie secured multiple international partners and opened numerous mono-brand stores worldwide. After a year of its exclusive distribution agreement with Avelli, Baci Lingerie announced its termination and launched Baci Lingerie U.S., tapping Alicia Sinclair as its national sales director.
BEDROOM KANDI By OhMiBod
OhMiBod partnered with Kandi Burruss, a Grammy award-winning artist and star of cable network Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” for Bedroom Kandi, a line of luxury personal pleasure products. The six-piece collection includes a dual stim contemporary splash-proof “rabbit” style massager that works with or without music called Happiness & Joy; a splash-proof external massager designed to resemble a powder puff and compact case called Make Me Over. According to OhMiBod founder Suki Dunham, the new line furthers OhMiBod’s mission to increase acceptance of personal pleasure and intimate toys.
Lizzy Borden followed her “ode to Hollywood” passion in 2011 with “Hollywood Icons Come to Life,” her third vignette feature for Tom Byron Pictures. She was also signed to be represented by LA Direct Models and released her all-girl title, “Attack of the Ass Munchers.” Borden became the spokeswoman for Crash Music and Evil Threads Clothing and was heavily involved in the world of professional wrestling.
One of the busiest shooters in all of porn continued to deliver top-notch work at a blistering pace, releasing a variety of work for both Hustler Video and Vivid Entertainment in 2011. He rolled out “This Ain’t Ghostbusters XXX 3D,” “This Ain’t Dracula 3D” and “This Ain’t Lady Gaga XXX” for Hustler Video, and “Elvis XXX,” “Superman XXX” and “Spider-Man XXX” for Vivid. He also wrapped “Star Wars XXX” that will be released in early 2012 through Vivid.
Adult performer Hunter Bryce passed away in April. Bryce made her adult entertainment debut in Florida in late 2007 and performed in more than 70 titles for several top production companies. She was a former exotic dancer and personal trainer whose stage name was a tribute to her favorite author, the late Hunter S. Thompson.
Performer Derrick Burts, aka Derek Chambers, Cameron Reid and Patient Zeta, sparked controversy in late 2010 by claiming he contracted HIV by performing without a condom. The fallout from his public statements spilled over into 2011, prompting fear and industry debate over condom use in adult productions. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) also picked up the Burts-inspired gauntlet, seeking public and Los Angeles City support for a mandatory condom-only initiative for adult productions that was vehemently opposed by the Free Speech Coalition.
Industry veteran Tom Byron and his namesake production company maintained a busy schedule in 2011, releasing new titles such as “Adventures in Babysitting,” “Headcases,” and new volumes of “Naughty Noobies” and “Solo Sweethearts.” In addition, Byron worked with director Ivan on the innovative all-sex project “This is Why I’m Hot,” while also rolling out two volumes of a new voyeur line called “Stalker.” Speaking of collaborations, Byron teamed again with Lee Roy Myers for a well-received parody called “A Wet Dream on Elm Street.” Meanwhile, the perennial top performer signed with L.A. Direct Models for representation and landed a role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Axel Braun’s upcoming “Star Wars XXX” parody for Vivid.
The 2011 XBIZ Award-winner for Toy Manufacturer of the Year continued at full-speed throughout the year with new product and brand introductions and the expansion of its marketing department to include industry vet Desiree Duffie as director of public relations and Nichole Grossmann as social media and marketing assistant. The expanded team displayed their know-how during the Power Sales webinar in September, where Duffie, Grossmann and Al Bloom, CalExotics’ director of marketing, discussed retailer tools and tricks.
Cal/OSHA was at the center of California’s adult performer safety requirements, holding several board meetings in an effort to possibly change and strengthen state health regulations to better protect adult performers during productions. The agency also was involved in the controversy over proposed mandatory condom use in adult productions including enforcement through the granting of film permits in Los Angeles. In August, the organization sent a memo to the L.A. City Attorney in an attempt to hand off enforcement of health and safety regulations to local agencies that met with stiff opposition by the Free Speech Coalition that runs the Adult Production Health & Safety Practices (APHSS) unit. Cal/OSHA’s alignment with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) was also questioned.
Cuban porn star and Spanish mainstream TV co-host Angelina Castro became a member of adult star Vicky Vette’s network of official porn star websites. Castro co-hosted the “La Cosa Nostra” TV show and has been featured on Univision, Telemundo and other mainstream stations.
Former World Wrestling Entertainment star Joanie Marie Laurer, best known as Chyna, returned to porn in a new Vivid film, “Backdoor to Chyna.” Chyna approached Vivid wanting to work with the biggest male porn star in the business. The B. Skow-directed film was released last summer with Dylan Ryder, Diana Prince, Dayna Vendetta, Evan Stone, Lee Stone, Jerry, Mick Blue and Billy Glide.
In its 28th year in adult cosmetic manufacturing, Classic Erotica announced plans to update its entire product line to be paraben free in 2011. In addition to updating its formulas, Classic Erotica unveiled new product ranges and revamped packaging on some of its brands. Among the new releases was the Max 4 Men line of pheromone-infused body/sexual care products designed and formulated just for men. The company’s staples, Coochy and Crazy Girl were updated with modern style.
Digital Playground bolstered its online presence in 2011 with the addition of JacksPlayground.com with content from 12 niche sites. The company also announced full support on AppleTV’s AirPlay Enhancement in iOS4.3, and adopted QR codes on its box covers and other media. The studio debuted a new line of premium erotic films from writer and director Kay Brandt called Jewelbox and released “Jailhouse Heat 3D,” the company’s first film to utilize advanced mainstream 3D camera technology. Continuing its strength in ensemble feature movies, DP’s portfolio included “Top Guns,” “Fighters,” the all-girl “Cherry” and a “Babysitters” sequel. The company signed starlet BiBi Jones at the end of 2010 and premiered her debut movie, “The Crib,” as well as re-signed franchise star Jesse Jane. New personnel included Jennifer Larsen who joined Digital Playground as public relations and marketing coordinator and former Jimmyjane exec Frederic Walme, who became director of novelty sales.
Adult industry veteran T.J. DiReda returned to adult in 2011 and produced his first feature film in more than a decade, an independent movie entitled “Pornstar.” Calling on his mainstream roots for inspiration, DiReda teamed with producer Joel Viertel (“The Adjustment Bureau”) to make the film, a fictional story about the X-rated industry that explores darker themes.
In September, Doc Johnson celebrated its 35th anniversary and dedicated 35 days to giveaways for its Facebook fans and Twitter followers. Doc Johnson also celebrated some of the company’s 500 employees with their quotes posted daily throughout the month on the company’s blog. At July’s ANME Show, Doc Johnson showed off its expansion into Spanish-speaking territories with the debut of its Latin Nights collection, which featured Spanish as the primary language on Doc Johnson bestsellers. This year, Doc Johnson also brought its marketing in-house after several years with the addition of Victoria Bowman-Steinour as director of marketing and public relations.
Dreamzone completed its trilogy of titles featuring the notorious Amy Fisher, releasing the third and final installment called “Amy Fisher With Love.” The company capitalized on the timing of Fisher’s national exposure on the fifth season of VH1’s hit reality show “Celebrity Rehab.” The third title showcased Fisher in all new boy/girl scenes with Danny Mountain and Tommy Gunn. Dreamzone also released a new Lee Roy Myers parody called “The Honeymoaners,” and at press time was set to ship a new parody from Lizzy Borden on the classic sitcom “Mork & Mindy.”
At the height of the QR code craze, E-tique.org was rolled out as a library of QR coded product demo videos that could be viewed by brick-and-mortar retail shoppers on their smart phones or E-tique’s in-store QR code reader kiosks. The setup was designed to possibly save sales on a store’s out-of-stock items by drop-shipping orders nationwide to homes or at local adult stores for shoppers to pick up. The company also created codes for several manufacturers and rolled out mobile versions of its offering.
The Evil Empire continued its prominence with the addition of new directors to its roster including perennial top performer Bobbi Starr. Industry veteran Joanie Lee was named the company’s new DVD sales manager and the final movie scenes directed by adult legend John Leslie who passed away in 2010 were released as a tribute to the renowned director. Meanwhile, Evil Angel directors Joey Silvera and Jay Sin launched websites through Gamma Entertainment’s FameDollars. Silvera debuted ILoveBlackShemales.com with multi-format options and iPad, smartphone and tablet compatible content. Sin introduced MilkEnema.com that features a collection of movies from the niche.
Continuing its super hero parody push, Exquisite Films’ Extreme Comixxx line released “Supergirl XXX,” “The Justice League of Porn Star Heroes” (winner of the 2011 Night Moves’ Best Feature Production),”Iron Man,” and “Captain America” along with a casting call for upcoming Xena and Lara Croft spoofs. The company also debuted a new big tit studio, The Dairy Farm, and landed the Hollywood “It” Girl Jasmine Waltz sex tape under its Exquisite Celebrity banner. Other films from the studio included “Rezervoir Doggs,” “Saturday Night Fever,” (with Paradox Pictures) “The Addams Family XXX,” “American Dad XXX” and “Charlie Shein’s Vegas Porn Star Party,” a recreation of one TV actor’s long, lost weekend. Director Sinister X (aka Rob Black) also partnered with the company to launch a website in anticipation of his porn parody, “Super Heroine 3D.”
FALCON / RAGING STALLION
AEBN’s Falcon Studios celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 and the party lasted all year with Falcon/Raging Stallion announcements that included a content deal with VOD network Maleflixxx, the acquisition of Studio 2000, a marketing deal with Gun Oil lubricants, and co-productions with Next Door Entertainment. The studio also signed a number of exclusive performers including Heath Jordan, Donny Wright, Andrew Jakk, Jason Michaels and Cameron Foster. Falcon also introduced FalconTV.com where viewers can download-to-own a variety of scenes.
Gonzo filmmaker and owner of Combat Zone, Dion Giarrusso, launched a sister company called Filly Films with a charter to produce both story-driven and all-sex lesbian-themed movies. The new studio’s first title was “P.S. I Love You.” British adult star Tanya Tate made her directorial debut in the Filly movie, “Tanya Tate The MILF Masseuse.” The company also inked a deal with Braincash for its official membership website and streamed its “Lesbian Stepsisters” title pre-release through the AEBN network.
In May, Fleshlight announced that it had officially surpassed the 4 million sales mark on its range of masturbators. Through the year, Fleshlight sealed multiple partnerships, including Digital Playground for a range of “Pirates” branded Fleshlight masturbators, and LiveGonzo.com for interactive content. Fleshlight also was involved in the production of “Fleshlightning,” a mainstream romantic comedy starring adult star Jenna Haze that will be released sometime in 2012. The company also expanded its range of Fleshlight Girls with new molds from Lisa Ann, Jesse Jane, Riley Steele and the European Fleshlight Girls range. Fleshlight also revealed its first product in 10 years, the Blade.
Hustler founder Larry Flynt’s talk kept attendees glued to their seats at the 2011 XBIZ Retail Expo. The industry icon also appeared on PBS’ Tavis Smiley show and interviewed on CNN about his lifelong First Amendment crusade. His book tour for “One Nation Under Sex” caused a stir when he blasted California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his extra-marital affair claiming he may have fathered three illegitimate children. But Flynt also had his share of legal woes with brother Jimmy Flynt over using the Hustler trademark that most recently resulted in a federal judge barring Jimmy from using the name. Flynt also kept politicos honest in 2011, offering scandalized former Congressman Anthony Weiner a job at Hustler and publicly offering $1 million for sex dirt on Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Perry.
FREE SPEECH COALITION
2011 marked the 20th anniversary of adult industry watchdog Free Speech Coalition and once again the organization was put to the test fighting for adult and protecting First Amendment rights. Key battles included its stand against the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s condom-only crusade, the continued challenges of the federal 18 U.S.C. § 2257 record-keeping requirements and its opposition and cautionary campaign concerning the newly adopted .XXX domains. FSC executive director Diane Duke squared off against ICM Registry’s Stuart Lawley in a lively debate over the controversial top level doman at the inaugural XBIZ EU digital conference in London. When not fighting the good fight, the FSC managed to launch its Adult Production Health and Safety Services (APHSS) program and database that was created to fill the gap left by the closure of the AIM clinic and to carry on health and safety protocols for adult productions. The FSC was proactive in calling a production moratorium after the “Patient Alpha” HIV scare. The group also announced its new board of directors and bolstered its adult anti-piracy service, Anti-Piracy Action Program (APAP).
Boca Raton Fla.-based FriendFinder Networks, parent company of Penthouse and social networking and dating websites, began trading stock publicly in May of 2011. Late in the year it reorganized its business operations by splintering the company into 14 divisions to make each more accountable to the bottom line. In November it said it was close to a settlement deal with Facebook over infringement claims arising from the operation of FacebookOfSex.com.
FUN FACTORY USA
The Bremen, Germany-based designer sex toy manufacturer selected new execs to fulfill the responsibilities of its U.S. arm, naming Joe Curtis as CEO and Emilie Rosanvallon to fulfill marketing and communications duties. Under its new direction, Fun Factory USA said it is now focused on improving customer satisfaction, as well as deepening relationships with sexual freedom advocates.
IPTV provider FyreTV announced two big tech moves in 2011 with the release of the FyreTV application on Boxee Boxes and the IPTV FyreTV private channel on Roku. It also said it is collaborating with cable network company Toya to deliver its IPTV service into Poland. Earlier in the year, director Josh Stone released his feature film, “Wealth and Deception” free to new FyreTV members.
One of the adult industry’s most beloved makeup artists, Lee Garland, passed away in 2011 from prostate cancer. A special tribute was paid to Garland in Simi Valley by friends, relatives and a host of adult entertainers and professionals including close friends Dyanna Lauren, September Dawn and Shay Sights, along with Brad Armstrong, Briana Banks, Jessica Drake, Erica McLean, Jonni Darkko, journalist Lisa Massaro, photographer Scott Preston and many more.
Girlfriends Films chalked up HotMovies.com’s most successful VOD release ever in 2011 with “Poor Little Shyla.” It also introduced new series including a “Prague” travelogue, “Lesbian Sex” true stories and “Please Make Me Lesbian.” The company also launched a new membership website in a unique collaboration with AbbyWinters.com, as well as signed photographer Tammy Sands to an exclusive distribution deal. The company’s annual philanthropic efforts got a makeover when it decided to include monthly donations rather than gifting only at the end of the year. Girlfriends also made news when Juicy Pink Box films’ partner/director Jincey Lumpkin got tapped to pen weekly column for the HuffingtonPost.com.
With the addition of a new 50,000 square foot warehouse in Riverside, Calif., Glow Industries bolstered its warehouse to offer 115,000 square feet of space and hold more than 29 brands of adult products, smoke accessories and a 300-plus-page catalog of related merchandise. The expansion enables Glow to ship to its nationwide customer base with ease, and broaden its brand recognition within the adult retail and smoke shop markets. This year, Glow also introduced a revamped Glass Indulgence with smaller, retailer-friendly packaging and a softer style.
Filmmaker Sam Hain was tapped to direct Wicked Pictures’ big-budget, sci-fi movie “Horizon,” which was produced by Lee Roy Myers. He continued his sci-fi streak by appearing on a broadcast of “Last Call with Carson Daly” to discuss the release of his newest movie, “Star Trek: The Next Generation: A XXX Parody,” that he made with Revolution X/Digital Sin. The 26-year-old has been one of the most talked-about, up-and-coming adult directors, thanks to two volumes of the award-winning “Sex Files: A Dark XXX Parody” along with the “Star Trek” film.
Allie Haze signed an exclusive contract with Vivid Entertainment earlier this year and shortly after landing a role as the new Emmanuelle in the popular softcore Cinemax series. The California native was selected to star in seven “Emmanuelle” feature films that were showcased at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Haze also landed the role of Princess Leia in Axel Braun’s highly anticipated “Star Wars XXX Parody” coming in early 2012.
HotMovies.com snagged a number of “hot” releases including fan favorite, Girlfriends Film’s “Poor Little Shyla,” an exclusive streaming deal with X-Play including its porn classic “Brady Bunch” series, “Not Mash XXX” and more. Early in the year, the company launched HotMoviesForCouples.com, a site focusing on the more romantic side of adult entertainment. It also scored the release of its eighth exclusive classic from the Command Cinema library, Cecil Howard’s “October Silk.”
Launched in the summer by design firm Urban Graphics and Evil Angel founder John Stagliano, Icon Brands is a multi-label adult pleasure products manufacturer offering more than 100 SKUs when it debuted. The company’s lines include: Fashionistas by Evil Angel, gay brands Falcon and Raging Stallion, Eat/Play/Love edibles, V Lubricants, Impressions, Je T’aime, Booksmart and Flirt Finger. In September, Icon tapped industry vet Rebecca Weinberg as director of product development.
CalExotics’ sister company JOPEN revealed Intensity for the first time at the ANME Show in July. Designed as the In Tone by two medical professionals as a treatment for urinary incontinence, Intensity is equipped with an inflatable shaft, five speeds of vibration and dual stimulating contacts on the shaft that transmit electro-stimulation, and a clit stimulator. East Coast News was the first to secure its distribution. In addition to its release, JOPEN launched the Intensity Insider program as a resource for sexual wellness information.
Fetish filmmaker Ira Isaacs was arraigned in May on five new felony obscenity counts. The new federal indictments, which join three older ones, allege that Isaacs, through his Stolen Car Films and LA Media companies, distributed by mail “Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 7,” “Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 10,” “Hollywood Scat Amateurs No. 38,” “Trailers” and “Japanese Doggie 3 Way” — all deemed “obscene matter” by federal prosecutors. Isaacs’ companies allegedly mailed the films to consumers between January and the first week of April.
The colorful director formed the Porn Star Empire label that signed an exclusive distribution deal with Exile Distribution. Content from the label is owned by Puba.com, a network of official websites for such top performers including Asa Akira, Jayden Jaymes, London Keyes and Natasha Nice. The deal called for Exile to release up to four titles each month from the Porn Star Empire label, kicking off with “Superstars of Porn.” Ivan also released the XBIZ Award-nominated “This is Why I’m Hot” through Tom Byron Pictures, in addition to directing two volumes of the “Stalker” series for Byron’s production company, among others.
Jesse Jane announced in September that she re-signed an exclusive contract with Digital Playground and will remain with the company until the end of her adult performing career. Jane has been with Digital Playground since the beginning of her career nine years ago. The new contract — her third — is for three more years after which she will retire from doing movies. The Oklahoma native said she was relieved to officially re-sign and end the speculation about her status. A month later Fleshlight released replica toys of Jane’s Butt and Mouth.
Digital Playground’s newest contact star arrived in a big way in 2011, performing in her first feature movie “Assassins,” her first signature film “The Crib,” and gracing the cover of Hustler for the first time in her career. She also made two talked-about appearances on the “Howard Stern Show,” and drew national attention in November when Twitter pictures of her and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski went viral. In the photos, Jones was wearing Gronkowski’s NFL game jersey.
Gonzo heavy-hitter Jules Jordan at press time rolled out a brand new flagship site JulesJordan.com that for the first time is being entirely managed in-house. Jordan also released new volumes of signature lines such as “Ass Worship,” “Lex the Impaler,” “Once You Go Black…” and “Slut Puppies.”
JOSIE LOVES J. VALENTINE
In the summer, Paramount, Calif.-based club-wear manufacturer announced a collaboration with Josie Stevens, the rock star wife of Billy Idol’s guitarist, Steve Stevens, who appeared on the E! reality TV show “Married to Rock.” J. Valentine in September debuted the 20-piece line in rock ‘n’ roll style with a performance by Stevens, who brought out special guests that included Billy Idol, The Cult’s Billy Duffy and Josh Strickland, who appeared on E!’s “Holly’s World.” The event took place at the Playhouse nightclub in Hollywood.
With the goal to keep “the retailer and end-user, well-informed and positioned within the ever-changing marketplace,” Kama Sutra shook up the market with a new distribution plan. According to the company, “the whole adult industry has fallen victim to price wars, undercutting and erosion of brand value,” and the restructuring of its distribution model was meant to better control those issues. Kama Sutra’s Preferred Distributors includes Honey’s Place, Eldorado, ECN and Nalpac.
Kink.com kept up its kinky ways with the daring live Internet feed of the deflowering of young virgin Nicki Blue in a ritualistic ceremony on The Upper Floor its San Francisco Armory headquarters. The company also made news when actor James Franco announced that he would be making a documentary about Kink.
Kayden Kross began another stellar year by picking up the Acting Performance of the Year award at the 2011 XBIZ Awards for her role in Digital Playground’s “Body Heat.” She also started a popular blog column on XBIZ.com called “The Dish” and began hosting a weekly comedy series on Triggla TV called “Kayden’s Review.” In October, she appeared opposite Seth Rogen in “The League” season premiere on FX. At press time Kross was shooting a movie in Bulgaria ahead of her co-hosting duties at the 2012 XBIZ Awards with Jessica Drake.
Stuart Lawley, the .XXX maven, got his wish in 2011 with ICANN’s landmark approval of the controversial domain. The CEO of ICM Registry, the group behind .XXX, then got the green light to open registration to the adult community that exceeded application expectations with 80,000 requests. It could prove to be a windfall for ICM despite months of opposition from some in the adult industry and the FSC. Lawley announced that .XXX will be regulated by IFFOR, an independent non-profit entity made up of a seven-person Policy Council. Lawley in November stepped down as chairman of IFFOR, citing the need to create a bright line between the two groups.
BMS Factory’s launch of the LEAF collection at the ANME Founders Show in the summer was hailed by trade show attendees for its nature-inspired design, silicone body and PowerBullet technology. Both green in color and technology, LEAF features a rechargeable body and ships in a beautiful box made with FSC paper, a natural canvas tote bag and travel ready wall charger.
Keiran Lee made news in August when his image first appeared on a Brazzers billboard on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. The Derby England-native is featured in a tank top and sunglasses with the headline “They Call Me Mr. Big.” The bottom reads “See Keiran Lee @Brazzers.com.” The giant sign, which is still on the wall four months later, is positioned near the entrance to the famed Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood. Lee also made his directorial debut for Brazzers last June when he shot a four-girl scene for the “Big Tits at Work” series with Francesca Le, Vanilla DeVille, Veronica Avluv and Ava Addams. “I jumped at the opportunity to direct and I really like it,” said Lee, who has been doing porn since he was 19 and has more than 2,000 scenes on his resume. He also hit the 500-scene milestone with Brazzers network of sites.
Howard Levine, who had a long career with Vivid Entertainment and then led the sales team at Pulse Distribution, set out on his own to create Exile Distribution in conjunction with Exquisite Multimedia. Levine quickly picked up major clients including Penthouse Video, director Paul Thomas, Pleasure Dynasty and ATKingdom. He also struck deals with performer Raylene’s production company as well as avant-garde director JackTheZipper. Levine said Exile is growing and is considering high-end lines for 2012. “Our numbers and relationships have a proven track record. If you have good product that needs personal attention, Exile is the company to call.”
Kelly Madison kicked off the year by winning XBIZ MILF Site of the Year for her flagship website KellyMadison.com. Then in August, Madison’s PornFidelity.com posted its 400th episode, celebrating the milestone with a special scene called “The Bangover.” The scene starred Madison and her husband Ryan along with Samantha Saint, Sophie Dee, Phoenix Marie, McKenzie Lee and Yurizan Beltran. It took the Madison’s eight years to achieve the 400 mark.
Late in 2010 Internet giant Manwin announced that it partnered with Wicked Pictures to manage the studio’s websites. It continued to grow in 2011 adding to its strong web presence with the acquisition of top-ranking tube site YouPorn.com, the Twistys’ websites and assets and engineering a major mainstream push by cutting a deal with Playboy to operate its online and Playboy TV properties. Brazzers also launched its $1 million producer search that netted three new producers shooting for the site, with Just Dave from Light Speed Lasers taking the top spot.
Mia Isabella began the year by taking home the trophy for Transsexual Performer of the Year at the 2011 XBIZ Awards. Just a couple weeks later, Pipedream Products began shipping the world’s first-ever complete transsexual toy line, Mia Isabella’s Big Secret Collection. The line was first unveiled at the ANME Founders show in January. The Big Secret Collection also won Best Alternative Product at the XBIZ Awards. Isabella’s signature toys include beginner, intermediate and high-end love dolls, cosmetics, lifelike masturbators and novelties.
MILE HIGH MEDIA
Mile High Media announced the amicable parting of ways with its contract director Nica Noelle and a change in leadership with two of the studios she managed. Vice President Jon Blitt assured consumers the studios under Noelle’s direction, Sweet Sinner, Sweetheart Video and Sweet Sinema would continue to evolve under the care of new directors, named James Avalon who was retained to take over couples-friendly studio Sweet Sinner, as well as the newly created Sweet Sinema. Mile High Media also announced plans to strengthen its brand awareness, in part by adding the logo “A Mile High Studio” on all future box art for the various studios under the company’s umbrella. They include Sweet Sinner, Reality Junkies, Sweetheart Video, Sweet Sinema, Hardcore Parody, Male Reality and Doghouse Digital.
LEE ROY MYERS
Continuing his hot streak from 2010, director Lee Roy Myers cut a deal with entertainment website POPPORN to create a series of films that began with “Man vs. Pussy” through Goodnight Media, the production company he formed with a distro deal through Adult Source Media. Goodnight’s first film was “PRON: The XXX Parody,” a spoof of the sci-fi classic “TRON” followed by a remake of “Sex World.” Myers also helmed a DreamZone “Honeymoaners” parody. Dubbed by one mainstream publication the “Godfather of Parody Porn,” Myers added another notch in his belt as one of adult’s top auteurs with a feature profile in the BlackBook mainstream entertainment guide.
Adult webcam community MyFreeCams.com won the prestigious award for Live Cam Site of the Year at the 2011 XBIZ Awards. Later in the year it signed on as the presenting sponsor of the 10th anniversary, 2012 XBIZ Awards, set for Jan. 10, in Los Angeles.
Naughty America announced several innovations to its slate of adult entertainment products that include incorporating new web hosting with Rackspace, Limelight for video delivery, adding a new Naughty Revenue affiliate program, and launching new, diversified products including AmateursRaw.com. The company also debuted TonightsGirlfriend.com, a site billed as the ultimate in high-end adult entertainment, as well as the “Greek Week” series featuring back-to-school activities at the Naughty America Fraternity, KOK.
With the opening of a new stock distribution facility in Miami, London-based Nexus Range acquired a fully-stocked facility housed within a modern distribution complex that’s located beside a UPS hub and Miami International Airport, and the ability to service the U.S. market more effectively. The company also recently unveiled the Revo, a prostate massager designed to rotate inside the body and give an intense p-spot massage, while the external vibrating perineum stimulator adds another level of sensation.
One of porn’s all-time great directors announced that his final film, “The Four,” would be released exclusively by Adam & Eve in January 2012. The big-budget production took more than four years to complete and stars former Ninn Worx contract girls Brea Bennett, Cassidey, Nikki Kane and Renee Perez. The four-disc set includes 14 scenes and more than eight hours of footage including never-released Ninn Worx contract girl material. “I am so pleased to finally see ‘The Four’ come to fruition,” Ninn said. In preparation for the release, Ninn launched a promo site at TheFourMovie.com.
The driving force behind Mile High Media’s Sweetheart Video line kept up her pace in 2011 with the creation of Sweet Sinema — a boy/girl line based on the successful story-driven, realistic elements of Sweetheart Video and Sweet Sinema, a line of hardcore homages to sexually-themed mainstream movies. Noelle then announced she was leaving Mile High, signing a deal with VOD giant AEBN for a new girl/girl studio Candy Girl Films, and feature studio Hard Candy Films, with titles scheduled to air on VOD and hit the streets in January.
Peter North introduced a new Android app called Peter North’s Decorator that allows a person to “ejaculate” over saved pictures in their “Gallery” or any pictures taken on the camera. It comes with clever one-liners from North as he “decorates” new victims. The perennial stud also made a cameo in the latest music video by rap rockers Hollywood Undead in a song called “Been to Hell,” which is billed as a cinematic narrative for the second single from the band’s forthcoming A&M/Octone sophomore release, American Tragedy.
Former Charlie Sheen “goddess” Bree Olson had her 15 minutes of mainstream fame and then some as the star made headlines during Sheen’s Hollywood meltdown. Her solid adult career came and went (she was selected as the “World’s Biggest Whore” on the Howard Stern radio show in 2010), but during the frenzy Olson managed to get a Playboy magazine cover and layout in August, and landed a role in the indie movie “Mancation.” She was also featured in Brazzers’ PSA “Get Rubber!” campaign. Her on-again, off-again porn career officially went bye bye in October with her retirement announcement and plans to take acting classes to develop her mainstream career.
As Pipedream’s CEO, Nick Orlandino accepted many awards in 2011, however, in April when Pipedream won the Vendor of the Year award at Spencer’s annual Vendor Summit, Orlandino called it the most humbling experience in his life. Having worked there in his youth, he said the award fulfilled a goal established long ago. As another throwback to his youth, Orlandino, who is also known as Nick E. Luv from 1980s hair metal band FLAHJ, performed in a charity concert.
PAMELA COUTURE STOCKING COLLECTION
Pamela Anderson signed a global licensing agreement with stocking designer Secrets in Lace to create, market and distribute her leg-wear line, the Pamela Couture Collection of authentic nylon stockings. Designed to be fashion-forward and nostalgic, Secrets and Lace President Daniel J. Whitsett said he thought Anderson’s iconic image embodied that. Anderson personally sketched the logo, which is featured on every design, and collaborated with the company on the styles.
Iconic brand Penthouse rolled out its Penthouse 3D Channel along with it first 3D DVD, “Real Porn Stars of Chatsworth” starring 2011 Penthouse Pet of the Year Nikki Benz. It also revamped its online store and announced Penthouse clubs in San Francisco, Reno and Baton Rouge. Rocco Reed made his directorial debut for Penthouse Video with a movie called “10 Things I Hate About Valentine’s Day,” and Penthouse Pet and adult performer Charlie Laine started her new role as production manager with the company. Penthouse also launched the Penthouse Channel in Latin America that includes branded VOD and PPV services.
As progressive as always, Pink Visual launched a “redesigned, revamped and reinvigorated” PinkVisual.com, the site’s first major facelift in several years. It also made its anti-piracy strategy for 2011 public, a move undertaken in part to encourage other adult studios to take steps of their own to deter online piracy. Another breakthrough was its PVLocker cloud-based content offering. On a more compelling note, the company’s announcement of its underground bunker in preparation for a global apocalypse grabbed mainstream attention. Pink Visual’s legal battle with tube site Slutload.com was settled, but it filed a counterclaim against Inter-Avid Productions after being hit with a copyright infringement suit. The company also filed its own copyright infringement suit over poached content found on Motherless.com along with a suit against a British Virgin Islands company that operates seven adult-content tube sites.
Starting off the year with a successful first quarter in 2011, Pipedream embraced technology with the addition of PDTV, a product demo video platform, and a revamped website that includes a store locator program. Pipedream’s mega masturbator line Extreme Toyz took off this year with a lot of publicity, including an attempted robbery of Pipedream’s Fuck Me Silly 3 in Ohio where a man drove a semi-tractor cab through the rear of an Adultmart store.
The bunny had a big year in 2011. On the plus side, the company successfully converted to a private enterprise, opened a new London club, and launched iPad apps for its website and back issues. In addition, Playboy settled a lawsuit with DirecTV, struck a big deal with Manwin for the management of Playboy TV and web properties, and inked a mobile deal with European company net mobile AG. It took a hit however when its Playboy Club network TV show was cancelled after only three episodes (some say due to conservative pressure). Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was also in the minus column after his bride-to-be took a powder that resulted in a media fiasco. More negative news came when former Playboy CEO Christie Hefner’s husband was nabbed by the SEC for insider trading.
Adult management company Pleasure Dynasty jumped into the high-end adult film fray with iconic Hollywood titles by inking a deal with Exile Distribution and releasing its first project, the Sensuous Diamond production “Taxi Driver.” It then signed on to manage Blue Ribbon’s studio and debuted cop thriller “Training Day the XXX Parody.” The company also announced a new adult reality movie platform helmed by D. Sanchez and shot on the streets and beaches of Miami’s South Beach. The first series included titles “Mall Rats,” “Limo Rides” and “Beach Fucks.” Its latest film, “Real Housewives of South Beach XXX: A Pleasure Dynasty Parody,” is due out this month.
Immoral Productions’ notorious producer Porno Dan continued to push the envelope in 2011 with a number of reality and fan-based films including “Cocksucking Challenge,” “Squirtmania,” and ass-licking favorite “Toss My Salad” along with partner Streammate. He also landed a reality TV series “The Right Hand” that premiered on Canada’s The Movie Network and Movie Central, presenting what producers call “a docu-realist perspective” into the porn industry. Parlaying his fame, the porn provocateur debuted “Porno Dan Presents,” a new line of Immoral Productions DVDs distributed by Pure Play Media, that launched with “Slumber Party 12: The More the Merrier.”
PRIVATE MEDIA GROUP
The Euro porn giant had its share of corporate intrigue in 2011. In late August, a Nevada judge appointed Eric Johnson, a Private director and CEO of Private division Sureflix, the receiver for the company. The receivership is the result of a Las Vegas suit that pit litigating shareholders — led by Consipio Holding BV, Tisbury Services Inc., shareholder Claudio Gianascio and shareholder and former CEO Ilan Bunimovitz — against current front-office management. The plaintiffs claimed the company has been rocked by embezzlement, among other charges, brought on by CEO Berth Milton and former shareholders. Private Media Group in mid-November was delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market after trading on the securities exchange was suspended. Despite its company troubles, the company cut partnership deals with SexGoesMobile, CamContacts, a distro deal with Magik View, a VOD deal with France’s AB Group and a series with Voddler. It also announced that its VOD library was available for Apple TV. A host of lawsuits against tube site copyright infringers were brought including XHamster, Slutload, SunPorno and TubeRip. Private’s board of directors appointed Stefan Gunnarsson as a director to fill the vacancy on the board created by the resignation of Peter Dixinger.
PURE PLAY MEDIA
Pure Play Media revved up its business with the announcement of more releases from powerhouse Private Media including all-new content that would include partner Magik View Entertainment, which said it is creating high-end content set in various surroundings featuring European and American performers. It also announced the Private’s newest line,” Project Sneak,” a voyeuristic sex documentary. The company debuted Immoral Productions’ new “Porno Dan Presents,” line and announced an exclusive, limited-run distribution of more than 400 titles from Sin City Entertainment. If that wasn’t enough, Pure Play said it’s seeking new studios to add to its distribution roster that’s now home to 18 adult production companies.
Porn star Alana Evans created a new fan-interactive video gaming website in 2011 that created a monster mainstream buzz grabbing more than 2.5 million visitors in its initial launch. Performer Joslyn James joined Evans on one of the early streaming events in which she and Evans played the Tiger Woods EA sports game. The site’s popularity prompted a deal for a redesign by Pink Visual and a “Make a Gaming Wish” themed-series of events.
Raylene released the debut title from her new production company Raylene Live in August through her distribution deal with Exile Distribution. The movie “The Raylene Diaries: Unfiltered” also marks the starlet’s directorial debut. Raylene’s partner in Raylene Live is veteran director Beth Ann Rafael, who did the videography and photography for the movie. Raylene returned to adult in 2009 after a multi-year hiatus. Now she only performs for her own studio, her official site Raylene.com and her web cam business through Streamate.com.
The founder of Cyberspace Adult Video Reviews (CAVR) and a veteran adult film critic, passed away at his home in Dayton, Ohio, after a bout with cancer at 67. The man known to the adult industry simply as Den in April had announced his retirement from reviewing movies online at CAVR.com. He had reviewed more than 27,000 DVDs, VHS tapes and internet sex scenes since starting the site in 1996. Den also produced and directed some 200 amateur titles in the mid-1980s.
The Digital Playground contract director is on a roll, helming three big ensemble productions that were released in 2011 — ”Top Guns,” “Fighters,” and “Babysitters 2.” D directed nearly two dozen other titles throughout the year and also unveiled a new website called FilthCumsFirst.com that features a variety of niche, fetish and hardcore content. “It has been my dream to show porn fans what I truly envision when I am shooting adult content,” D said when the site launched.
Reality Kings in August moved to acquire Slutload.com for an undisclosed amount. Slutload is one of the Internet’s top draws, according to Alexa, with a traffic rank of 452. Reality Kings also has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a woman who claimed the company featured her runaway, underage daughter in one of its porn films. The mother, Sherrita Smalley, filed suit in December of 2010 in Miami-Dade County, claiming Reality Kings “produced a sexually explicit video which portrayed the minor under a stage name of Sweet Bleyanka, nude and engaging in acts of intercourse with actors.”
One of adult’s top parody actors landed numerous starring roles in 2011, including the lead in X-Play/Adam & Eve’s “Rocky XXX.” Rosano also turned up in almost 20 other parodies including Tom Byron Pictures’ “A Wet Dream on Elm Street,” Zero Tolerance’s “Official Scarface Parody,” Smash Pictures’ “Bridesmaids XXX,” and Paul Thomas/Exile’s “The Graduate XXX.”
ANDY SAN DIMAS
Affectionately known as “porn’s parody go-to girl,” Andy San Dimas chalked up eight spoofs in just the first half of 2011 game for whatever the director would throw at her from being painted yellow to fucking in a cage. The 2011 XBIZ Female Performer of the Year turned in performances as Marge Simpson in LFP’s “Simpsons: A XXX Parody,” Lois Layne in Vivid’s “Superman XXX” and Ms. White in Exquisite Films’ “Rezervoir Doggs.” She was also tapped for the role of Adrian in X-Play and Adam & Eve’s “Rocky XXX.” And her “do whatever it takes” attitude helped land her a role in the critically acclaimed mainstream film “Drive” that starred Ryan Gosling and Ron Perlman.
Screaming O continued its year-round, cross-country marketing mission this year, hosting parties, contests, sporting events and promoting sexual wellness. The company also rolled out its fashion-forward Studio Collection of make-up inspired discrete pleasure products. The Studio Collection features a matching set of chic, sleek and discreet vibes and intimate sexcessories disguised as high-end cosmetics, and each item offers a unique extrasensory experience. Making its debut at the International Lingerie Show in Las Vegas in September, the Studio Collection has received industry praise.
Veteran director Jordan Septo enjoyed a banner year, launching Septo Studios on the heels high-profile releases that garnered both critical acclaim and mainstream buzz. His 2011 portfolio included “Saturday Night Fever XXX: An Exquisite Films Parody,” “Charlie Shein’s Vegas Pornstar Party” and “American Dad XXX: An Exquisite Films Parody.” Septo Studios will create only big-budget parodies based primarily on blockbuster mainstream films and TV shows with the mission statement “to do it big and to do it sexy.”
SHUNGA EROTIC ART
Shunga gained a celebrity fan this year when burlesque and fetish star Dita Von Teese accepted and thanked Shunga for an “amazing box of sensuality.” The company debuted Hold Me Tight vaginal tightening gel at the ANME Show in July; and followed it with a restructuring of its distribution model. Among Shunga distributors is Holiday Products, Williams Trading Co., and Komar Company.
Smash Pictures took home Best Studio and Best Overall Movie (“Bus Stop Girls”) honors in AEBN’s 6th annual VOD Awards in 2011. The studio also released a number of parodies including “Halloween XXX Porn Parody” and “Bridesmaids XXX Porn Parody” with plans to unveil “American Werewolf in London XXX” in January. The studio also released “Charlie’s Party Girls” after the Sheen debacle that featured the star’s porn star trysts Bree Olson, Kacey Jordan, Melanie Rios, Ginger Lynn and Gigi Rivera.
Sportsheets’ debut of the Sex & Mischief collection was received with enthusiasm for its use of technology and high-end imagery on its packaging, as well as its affordable retail pricing that allows the marketing of the same quality craftsmanship that the Sportsheets Premium collection offers but without the costly bells and whistles. Following S&M’s success, Sportsheets bolstered its sales and marketing staff.
Standard Innovation Corporation, the Ottawa, Canada-based manufacturer of the We-Vibe, took an extra step to protect its intellectual property in 2011 with a U.S. patent granted for the We-Vibe personal massager. Prior to releasing the highly anticipated We-Vibe 3, featuring remote-controlled functionality and a charging base that doubles as a storage/travel case, the company also updated its distribution model in the U.S., with the selection of four exclusive distributors: East Coast News, SLS Specialty, Holiday Products and Entrenue.
Adult performer Bobbi Starr made substantial strides in her career as an extreme porn star and versatile talent in 2011 with the introduction of her official Juliland-powered website (with a little help from still photographer Richard Avery) and joining Evil Angel’s roster of exclusive directors. Described by Evil Angel as porn’s “Renaissance Woman,” her first female-centric POV release for the company was “Bobbi’s World.” The star was also nominated for XBIZ, XRCO, Urban X and Feminist Porn Awards.
Not only did Elegant Angel win Gonzo Studio of the Year and Gonzo Series of the Year for “Big Wet Asses” at the 2011 XBIZ Awards under the leadership of general manager Graham Travis, but the studio also released a number of big movies. Those high-profile titles included its Superstar series starring Gracie Glam, Kagney Linn Karter, Asa Akira and Kelly Divine, “Prison Girls,” a Lisa Ann gangbang film, more “Big Wet Asses” and the company’s second feature film in a number of years, “Portrait Of A Call Girl,” written and directed by Travis himself. The executive also introduced his film’s dedicated website that features star Jessie Andrews along with trailers and reviews.
With years of trusted brand recognition and mainstream marketing to consumers, Trojan rolled out its first range of sex toys, Trojan Vibrations. Paradise Marketing’s partnership with Trojan for adult channel management and distribution of Trojan Vibrations, the company also rolled out a new adult-retail-only line, the Trojan Midnight Collection. The collection of intimate products features a wide range of styles, shapes and materials with a suggested retail price points of up to $139.
Vicky Vette in November became the first MILF in adult to surpass 200,000 followers on Twitter and also noted that there are now one million Vette Nation Network girl followers on the social network juggernaut. Vette also joined forces with Julia Ann and Puma Swede and teamed with Doc Johnson on the life-size Vicky Vette Love Doll.
Top performer Nacho Vidal returned to the U.S. for the first time in several years last May and quickly signed with LA Direct Models. The 37-year-old Spanish star shot dozens of new movies for his home company Evil Angel as well as performed for others. Evil Angel released his welcome-back vehicle called “Nacho Vidal: Back 2 USA” in November. Vidal’s career has included more than 1500 movies and a starring role in Spanish mainstream movies and TV shows. In his native Spain, Vidal owns a horse breeding ranch, an exotic restaurant and multiple homes.
Powerhouse studio Vivid Entertainment continued its celebrity push in 2011 with the release of Tila Tequila, the notorious reality-TV personality, and all-girl threesome sex tape, “Tila Tequila Uncorked.” Co-founder Steven Hirsch’s studio also released its second Lil John video produced by the hip-hop artist along with former Skid Row rocker Phil Varone’s sex tape. Vivid made headlines by offering actor Charlie Sheen a directing job after his meltdown. A number of parodies including “Superman,’ “Spider-Man” and “Star Wars” also were produced and directed by Axel Braun, the latter of which will be released in early 2012. The studio signed its first new Vivid Girls in several years — Capri Anderson and Allie Haze. Braun and Vivid announced the first volume of a new series featuring sexual acts shot in public places, “SOS: Sex on the Streets.” The company also announced what it claimed was the first adult platform for Google TV.
WEST COAST PRODUCTIONS
Ethnic studio heavyweight West Coast Productions earned nominations for 16 of its titles in 14 different categories at the 2011 Urban X Awards, copping a few prizes. Personnel changes included the addition of Mark Duncan as general manager who was tapped to work closely with WCP president James Alexander to spearhead strategic changes. Jorge Sandoval was promoted to the position of public relations and marketing director. The company also launched WCPTube.com, a new download-to-own HD video clip website and re-launched its flagship site, WCPClub.com along with mobile compatibility. WCP relocated its headquarters in Chatsworth, Calif. New releases includes Lisa Ann’s “Super Anal Cougars,” “Azz and Mo Ass,” “The Babysitter’s Gang,” “Mammoth Dick Brothers 2,” “Monster Wet Anal Asses” and more.
Expansion was the watchword for XBIZ in 2011 with the roll out of new events including the inaugural and highly successful XBIZ EU international digital media conference in London, the debut of the community-organized XBIZ.net Gathering in Miami and the first-ever XBIZ Retail Expo that ran in conjunction with the annual XBIZ LA conference. Both the expo and conference coincided with the biggest XBIZ Awards show to date. The summer brought the three-day XBIZ Summit conference to Chicago, offering digital media professionals a wide array of topical seminars and special networking events. London was also home to the sixth edition of the grassroots XBIZ.net London Gathering series of business networking events that took place almost exactly one year after its debut. The 2011 events received high marks from some of the industry’s most prominent figures and their success set the stage for their return in 2012.
Wet announced a collaboration with sexual enhancement brand ExtenZe, with the launch of ExtenZe Personal Lubricant. Available in both silicone and water-based formulas that feature an aphrodisiac herbal blend of ginger extract, Muira Puma and Damiana and deliver a tingling sensation, ExtenZe lube builds on two well-known brands. In the summer, Michael Trigg, Wet’s founder and CEO, hand-delivered a basket of Wet products to pop singer Rihanna.
After recovering from a freak “broken penis” accident in August 2010, producer/performer Prince Yahshua made a strong comeback in 2011 along with his production company Silverback Entertainment. The Black Assassin won the Urban X Male Performer of the Year award for the second straight year in July and also signed an exclusive distribution deal with Black Market. In addition, the Chicago native launched his first membership site PrinceYahshua.com and planned to begin work on a special project called “Undisputed” that will chronicle his comeback and what Yahshua believes will be the defining movie of his career.