The 15th AVN Awards ceremony, organized by Adult Video News (AVN), took place January 10, 1998 at Caesars Palace, in Paradise, Nevada, U.S.A. During the show, AVN presented AVN Awards (the industry's equivalent of the Academy Awards) in 54 categories honoring the best pornographic films released released between Oct. 1, 1996 and Sept. 30, 1997. The ceremony was produced by Gary Miller and directed by Mark Stone. Comedian Robert Schimmel hosted, with adult film actresses Racquel Darrian and Misty Rain as co-hosts. At a pre-awards cocktail reception held the previous evening, 50 more AVN Awards, mostly for behind-the-scenes achievements, were given out by hosts Nici Sterling and Dave Tyree, however, this event was neither televised nor distributed on VHS tapes as was the main evening's ceremony. Both events included awards categories for gay movies; the final year the show included both gay and heterosexual awards. The gay awards were subsequently spun off into a separate show, the GayVN Awards.
Zazel won the most awards with seven, however, Bad Wives, which received six statuettes, won for best film. Buda won for best shot-on-video feature. Nic Cramer won Best Director—Film for Operation Sex Siege.
The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on January 10, 1998. Besides winning best film, Bad Wives also won Best Actress for Dyanna Lauren, Best Actor for Steven St. Croix and Best Screenplay for Dean Nash. Zazel was named best all-sex film and Naked Highway was the best gay video. Johnni Black won Best New Starlet, while Performers of the Year were: Stephanie Swift, female; Tom Byron, male; and Jim Buck, gay.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger ().
These awards were announced, but not presented, in a winners-only segments read by Robert Schimmel and Misty Rain during the event. Recipients' awards were distributed off-stage:
The previous night, January 9, 1998, during AVN's pre-awards cocktail reception, hosts adult film actress Nici Sterling and comedian Dave Tyree handed out these awards, mostly for behind-the-scenes excellence:Al Goldstein, "for his lifelong defense of the First Amendment"
Christy Canyon, "for her lifetime achievement in the adult video industry"
Dave Friedman, "one of the founding fathers of the adult film and video industries"
Presented to Steve Orenstein of Wicked Pictures; the other nominees were Robert Black and Tom Byron
AVN Hall of Fame inductees for 1998, announced during AVN's pre-awards cocktail reception, were: Lois Ayres, Rene Bond, Jerry Butler, Careena Collins, Jon Dough, Jerry Douglas, Roy Karch, Keisha, Dorothy LeMay, Chelsea Manchester, Constance Money, Paul Norman, Jace Rocker, Derek Stanton, Jane Waters, Bambi Woods
The 1998 Adult Internet Awards winners were announced at another time later in the year and were not part of the show:
Zazel won the most awards with seven; Bad Wives was next with six statuettes.New Wave Hookers 5 scored five.
The following individuals presented awards or performed musical numbers or comedy. Presenters of the gay awards were not recorded. The show's trophy girls were Candy Roxxx and Katie Gold.
While accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award, Christy Canyon announced her official retirement.
Among the people participating in production of the ceremony, Mark Stone also served as musical director; an opening video entitled "History" was produced by Steve Austin and Serenity was responsible for choreography.
The ceremonies were published on VHS tapes by both VCA Pictures and Playboy Entertainment Group. The Playboy tape includes softcore scenes from the winning movies, while the VCA tape features hardcore scenes of the winners. The awards show was also rebroadcast over the Internet by High Society magazine via cun-tv.com on May 16, 1998.
Some attendees were critical of the show's length. In a posting to the Rec.Arts.Movies.Erotica Usenet newsgroup, Tim Evanson noted, "The length of the show was again a concern (the number of heterosexual categories is quiet large), and the number of gay industry insiders attending the awards dipped slightly this year."
AVN publisher Paul Fishbein paid tribute to the passing of adult industry businessman Reuben Sturman during the show.