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Picture by Fleshblack

The biggest award show in the gay fetish world will be back again at Darklands in 2020. And we are happy to report that it truly is bigger and better than ever. The X-Awards acknowledge excellence and fan popularity in all aspects of the gay fetish world. And they recognise individuals, associations, and businesses active in the fetish community. An X-Award is much sought after and highly respected.

The Awards are now in their eighth year. Until now, they have been the mainstay of the Sunday afternoon program at Darklands. But due to their popularity, they have been promoted to the important Friday mid-evening slot. In 2020, the two-hour show will be grander than ever with tables for the nominees and full entertainment right the way through.

Presenters will include two celebrities (we are sworn to secrecy!) and 26 superstars from the gay fetish world. A team of international porn stars will be on hand including Silver Steele, Pitbull, Blue Bailey, Jay Red, HungYoungBrit, Magnus, Ale Tedesco, Maxence Angel, Rob Wilde, Santi Noguera, Pete Jackman, Johnny Barewood, and Drew Dixon amongst others. They’ll act as stage trophy boys and look after the seven tables of nominees and the crowd. For security, the winner envelopes will be kept in the porn stars asses and delivered that way to the presenters on the stage. You don’t see that at the Oscars or Grammys. There will be a live sex show, ‘celebrity’ singers, and professional ‘fetish acts’ during the intervals.

There are 11 awards up for grabs and it’s YOU that decides who goes home with them. Two special awards are also presented which do not have a public vote. They are the ‘Mister B’ Special Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.

X-Hall of Fame

For the first time, three men, women, clubs, or associations from the gay fetish community will be offered a place in the X-Hall of Fame. “The Hall of fame is a great way to celebrate and commemorate the many people and groups that have paved the way,” notes Jeroen van Lievenoogen, founder and organiser of Darklands. “Their efforts have enabled us to enjoy the freedoms and fetish lifestyle we have today.”

Long selection process

The process of organising the X-Awards starts in December of each year as Paul Stag, Chairman of the X-Awards Committee explains: “An international panel of over 50 fetish experts, from every aspect of the scene and from every territory, submit nominees for consideration in each category. Those names are whittled down to a shortlist of four in each category by the panel. That gives us 44 nominees in the 11 categories.”

The shortlists are published on the Darklands site and social media in February. The general public then have a month to vote for their favourites. The panel have no further say in the selection of the winners. The winners remain secret until their name is announced from the main stage on Friday 6 March 2020. 

There is only one rule with the X-Awards: any winners cannot be nominated again for five years. This rule was established to give new names a chance to be successful. “Smaller, new, different, and niche tribes have a chance to be recognised this way,” says Paul Stag. “Interestingly, some of the early winners are now eligible once again. So it will be very exciting to see how some of the big names from the past will do against the new nominees. I truly do not know how this will pan out on the night.”

Previous Men of the Year have included Eric Guttierez and Daniel Dumont – and they could win again in 2020 if they make the shortlist. So could local favourites such as The Boots Bar and Mister B. 

As always, we will publish the full results and best pictures from the event in the next edition of Alphatribe. See you in your very best smart fetish gear on the black carpet! •

In 2020 the awards show will be a star-studded evening gala on the massive main stage at Darklands. And it will include live performances!
Categories for 2020 include:

Man of the Year

Association of the Year

Event of the Year

Party Concept of the Year

Bar of the Year

DJ of the Year

Fetish Porn Star of the Year

Fetish Film of the Year

Retailer of the Year

Product of the Year

Media of the Year

The key is to vote, vote, vote! You can do it now at Just remember to get your vote in before the February closing date.


Written by Paul Stag

Paul is an international porn star and a long time editor for Alphatribe magazine.


What do you think?

Alan Selby, “Mayor” of Folsom Street and founder of Mr S