2011 wasn't an amazing year for the adult industry. Piracy continued to eat its way at the companies trying to put out legitimate adult entertainment and The Great Recession made it tough to do big budget features or big stables of contract performers. Some studios stumbled and fell while others got lean and focused. But everything wasn't all gloom and doom, like a pheonix the adult industry began this year to emerge from the ashes of the great recession and find new ways to engage and entertain performers.
There were som real bright spots in 2011 and we're excited to have been a part of covering it:
Vivid spent 2011 being incredibly focused. After clearing out their stable of performers, Vivid brought on 3 key women to represent them (Chyna, Allie Haze and Capri Anderson). From there Vivid focused on quality over quantity, and at the center of this was their stand out Vivid SuperXXXHeroes line including Spider-Man XXX: A Porn Parody,Batman XXX, Spread Eagle, The Incredible Hulk XXX: A Porn Parody and Superman XXX: A Porn Parody. The strategy paid off and showed that companies can thrive in a tough market as long as they are willing to adapt.
New Sensations Romance Series:
New Sensations along with Director Eddie Powel gave the "couples porn" genre a complete reboot and in the process completely changing our staff's and the industry's perception of the genre. With some of the best adult releases of the year including: Dear Abby, Lost and Found and Almost Heaven, New Sensations showed that great sex, shot well with a strong story can be universal and the Romance Series was one of the most significant adult productions in 2011.
Early 2011 we were introduced to Allie Haze at the Adult Entertainment Expo, she impressed us right on the spot. We knew then she was going to be big in 2011 and she proved us right. With standout performances in Sinderella & Me, The Adventures In Babysitting and Lost and Found, Allie showed she has true star power. Vivid Entertainment agreed and the picked up Allie as one of there VERY FEW contract girls. Allie showed yet again how good Vivid's instincts are with Allie Haze: True Sex.
Jesse Jane has an amazing carrer under her belt, but in 2011 she pushed herself even more with her role in Fighters. Jesse has always been explosive in her sex scenes, but in fighters she showed that she's got the chops to really carry a movie beyond the sex. 2011 saw Jesse step up and claim her title as the "World's Top Porn Star" covering almost every corner of the globe, spending almost every moment she wasn't shooting meeting her fans or feature dancing. Jesse was inducted into Dr. Jay's Must See Girls Hall of Fame and showed that experience and longevity in porn mean something.
If you love seeing women have sex with each other then 2011 was the golden year of porn for you. 2011 saw the best girl/girl work yet with a number of new lines from notable companies dedicated to these lovely ladies. Sweetheart Video, a long standing queen of girl/girl porn snagged high ratings for their releases including XCritic Picks for Lesbian Truth Or Dare 6, Lesbian Truth Or Dare 6. Elegant Angel stepped into the gir/girl space with their new Club 59 label with Teach Me, Celeste and Lush 2. New Sensation got accolades for The Interns 2 as did Digital Playground with their gir/girl series Cherry Episode 1 and Cherry Episode 2.
The Final Hurrah for Porn Parodies:
2010 was a monster year for Porn Parodies and we think 2011 was the final hurrah. Porn Parodies were released buy the dozens and flooded the market with many of the major franchises getting their porn comeuppance. There were some true standouts this year in the parody space (in addition to the previously mentioned Vivid Superheroes) including A Wet Dream On Elm Street, Sister Wives XXX: A Porn Parody, Katwoman XXX, Beverly Hillbillies XXX: A XXX Parody, Bridesmaids XXX Porn Parody, Rocky XXX, Halloween XXX Porn Parody and This Ain't Ghostbusters XXX 3D. Porn Parodies won't go away in 2012 but we feel that they've had their moment in the sun and that 2012 will see the numbers of them dwindle.
We usually don't toot our own horn, but put simply 2011 was a kick ass year for XCritic. With AVN getting sold off and XBiz shifting solidly into the B2B space and Fleshbot declarling they were for sale, XCritic found the spotlight shining clearly on us as one of the last man standing in the adult consumer press space. In 2011 Dr Jay's Must See Girls Awards acheived an even higher status as one of the most sought after consumer accolades, Bill The Hobbyist's Newcomers & Fresh Faces became one of THE places to discover fresh talent and perhpas one of the highest accolade possible for a movie became the legendary XCritic Pick, given out to only 2% of the releases this year (for some who snaged them from senior reviewer Don Houston it was considered a "carer high"). XCritic also saw a huge growth for our Porn Newswire which grew to 17K followers on twitter. But perhaps the biggest element of XCritic's blockbuster year was our porn star interviews. It became a badge of honor for many porn stars to make our front page with an interview. For the first time our hard work here was recognized and we received a Xbiz Nomination for Adult Site of the Year.