11.12.09

Levi Johnston Gets a Porn Award

Sarah Palin’s ex-son-in-law stole the show at last night’s Fleshbot awards, given for sexy achievements in pop culture. Jacob Bernstein on how Alaska’s favorite boy toy took to smut city.

Sarah Palin’s ex-son-in-law stole the show at last night’s Fleshbot awards, given for sexy achievements in pop culture. Jacob Bernstein on how Alaska’s favorite boy took to smut city.

At the first annual Fleshbot Awards Wednesday night, performers included a woman dressed as a giant, open vagina; a dominatrix named Mistress Lee whipping her slave-boy Rudy; and a porn star named Belladonna—who is 28-years-old and has already been nominated for 42 Adult Video News Awards and won ten. Her onstage partner? A dildo.

But none of them could really hold a candle to Levi Johnston, who was there at the Box on the Lower East Side to accept the website's award for “best crossover performer,” despite the fact that his sole foray into porn—a shoot with Playgirl scheduled for today—had not even occurred at the time of the party.

He showed up in a suit and tie, flanked by Playgirl spokesman Daniel Nardicio (a former gay sex-party promoter), his manager Tank Jones, and a massive security guard wearing an ear piece.

Click Image to View Our Gallery of Stars Who Appeared in Playgirl

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Steve Granitz, WireImage / Getty Images

Good thing the boy from Alaska came armed with some muscle, because everyone wanted a piece of him. About an hour into the awards—given out by one of the Gawker empire’s most popular sites in recognition of “sexy achievements in pop culture,” according to its editor—he and his posse stepped outside for some air, only to find themselves in the midst of an impromptu press conference.

First up was a reporter from the New Yorker, who asked Johnston what he’d turned down before accepting the offer to pose for Playgirl. “I’m not sure I’m supposed to say,” he responded.

Jones chimed in: “Movies, a couple magazines, some reality shows. We’re not just jumping at everything.”

Jacob Bernstein: Inside Playgirl's Levi Johnston StuntNext came a camera crew from TMZ, who wanted to know the current state of Johnston’s custody battle with Bristol Palin, the mother of his child. “We ain’t talking about legal stuff,” Jones said, as his client looked on uncomfortably. “This is a happy occasion.”

Would Johnston be doing “movies” we asked? “Depends,” said the boy wonder. “If you’re asking about porn, then the answer is no. It’s not the image I want. I’d like to do [real] movies, be a fashion model, maybe do underwear modeling. That’s as much as I want to do.”

(This did not seem to bode well for folks who were hoping to see him go full frontal in Playgirl. “We’re still working that out,” Nardicio later admitted.)

Did Johnston think he has more gay fans or straight fans at this point? “I have no idea,” he said. “I’ve got my fair share of both.”

A guy came over from Hollywood Life, the new website from Bonnie Fuller. He wanted to know Johnston’s Thanksgiving plans. Johnston said he wasn't sure, maybe he'd be working, maybe he'd be spending time with his kid.

And a fresh faced reporter from another website, the name of which we couldn’t hear, asked Johnston what he was looking for in his next girlfriend. “She’s gotta be smart enough and outgoing. She’s gotta be able to handle the cold—I live in Alaska. I don’t want no shopaholic.”

"For the bravery to be himself despite the pictures other people want to paint of him," said the award’s emcee, "and for taking control of his image and letting us all enjoy in it, the mainstream to porn crossover award goes to...Levi Johnston."

More reporters descended. "No Palin questions, no cussing," Jones instructed them.

A few minutes later, Johnston went back inside and watched intently as he was introduced to the crowd with a video montage that showed his journey from the Republican National Convention to a Bravo Skype chat with Andy Cohen in which Johnston suggested that he'd be fine posing naked if the price was right.

After the video finished, the evening's emcee, Justin Bond, gave him a nice little intro. "For the bravery to be himself despite the pictures other people want to paint of him," he said, "and for taking control of his image and letting us all enjoy in it, the mainstream to porn crossover award goes to...Levi Johnston."

A huge roar came from the crowd and Johnston took to the stage.

"Thanks very much," he said, looking a little nervous. "Thank you Fleshbot,for giving me this opportunity, and make sure you all go and get the next issue of Playgirl."

And like that, it was over. It wasn't much of a climax.

Jacob Bernstein is a senior reporter at The Daily Beast. Previously, he was a features writer at WWD and W Magazine. He has also written for New York magazine, Paper, and The Huffington Post.