The porn world loves new superstars almost as much as it loves a comeback story.
That, at least in part, is why the industry's top stars change so frequently. Fans love to find new performers, but when their old favorites return in front of the camera, the loyalty they retain is something that would make any business envious.
With the industry's annual expo underway in Las Vegas this week, we've once again assembled a list of the most popular female porn stars. Like last year, though, the number of return appearances is minimal. Only three of the actors who appeared on 2013's list are back this year, though two who fell off after 2012 have returned.
Our list is based off of total nominations in the annual AVN and Xbiz awards, the industry's two highest-profile awards shows. The awards do more than acknowledge the on-screen performances of an actor, though. They also underline who has the strongest drawing power in the industry. Because porn is an industry where women are the overwhelmingly primary focus, we've limited our list to female stars.
That drawing power is crucial as studios work to convince fans that porn is still worth paying for.
—By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 13 Jan. 2014
This is Akira's third year on the Dirty Dozen list, and 2013 might be have been her biggest yet. Nominated for female performer of the year by both Xbiz and AVN, she also signed an exclusive contract with Wicked Pictures. Later this year, she plans to release a memoir of her time in the industry.
A three-year veteran of the industry, Albrite has seen her profile soar in 2013, even being listed by LA Weekly as one of 10 porn stars who could be the next Jenna Jameson. Albrite, who previously worked in health clinics and did promotional modeling, captured 12 nominations between the two awards shows this year.
This performer, still best known for her 2008 portrayal of Sarah Palin in a porn parody, began performing more than 20 years ago. She's not only active in front of the camera, earning a combined 11 nominations this year, she also directs, and from 2006–2010 she ran the only female talent agency in the industry, shutting it down to focus on her own film career. She's also one of the most in-demand feature dancers at strip clubs around the country.
A newcomer to the list, Daniels entered the industry two years ago. One year later, she was named a Penthouse Pet. She also has directed several films, and this year, she's nominated for more than a dozen awards.
Diamond is one of eight performers on this year's list who's nominated for female performer of the year by both Xbiz and AVN. Before entering the porn world in 2009, she was a professional model, appearing in ads for Louis Vuitton and American Apparel. With her pierced nostril and partially shaved-on-one-side head, she has one of the more distinctive looks in the industry.
Drake, a veteran of the industry, is another multi-hyphenate in the adult world. As a performer, she earned 8 nominations this year. She's also a director, a sex educator who hosts seminars and workshops around the world, a lecturer and until earlier this year host of a radio show on Sirius' Playboy Radio.
Jane, who earned eight nominations this year, is arguably one of the best-known stars in the adult world. She regularly pops up in mainstream films, such as "Middle Men," starring Luke Wilson. She's also co-owner of a boutique tequila company called Diosa, which she launched in 2011.
LaCroix is a comeback story that no one really had to wait for. In June 2012, she announced her retirement from the industry, saying she was "gracefully backing out of porn" and that "it just doesn't feel right anymore." She quickly changed her mind, though, and has continued to rack up award nominations, with 15 this year, including performer of the year from both AVN and Xbiz.
This slide has been updated with the correct photo of Remy LaCroix.
O'Reilly is a relative newcomer to porn, but captured attention in 2013 in her lead role in the porn parody of "The Wizard of Oz." That work—and other films—landed her nine nominations, including top honors from both industry trade magazines.
Preston has been on a steady ascent in the porn world for the past several years, becoming one of its most in-demand performers. She has 10 nominations plus hosting duties for this year's AVN Awards Show. Her fame backfired on her a bit last year, though, when a bank refused to let her open an account due to her profession.
Reid is a master at social media, where she has cultivated her fan base by regularly tweeting pictures and Vine videos of herself—usually nude. At 22, she's also one of the younger people on the list. But she has lots of fans within the industry too, racking up 13 nominations this year.
Rotten is one of the breakout stars of 2013. Covered in tattoos (she has spiderwebs inked onto both breasts and the words "Dead Girls Don't Cry" on her stomach) and riding the alt-porn wave for all it's worth, Rotten has one of the busiest schedules in porn, starring in a number of films this year and regularly dancing at clubs around the country. She recently added director to her resume.