The 16th AVN Awards ceremony, organized by Adult Video News (AVN) honored the best of 1998 in pornographic movies and took place on January 9, 1999, at Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada. During the ceremony, AVN presented AVN Awards in 68 categories. The ceremony, televised by Playboy TV, was produced by Gary Miller and directed by Mark Stone. Comedian Robert Schimmel returned as host and actresses Alisha Klass, Midori and Serenity co-hosted the award show. Five weeks earlier in a ceremony held at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, California, on December 4, 1998, the awards for gay pornographic movies were presented in a new separate ceremony known as the GayVN Awards.
Looker won six awards including Best Film. Other winners included Café Flesh 2 with four awards, Tushy Heaven with three and Euro Angels 10, Forever Night, Masseuse 3, Models, Pornogothic, The Pornographer, Strange Life: The Breech, Tatiana each with two.
When the nominees for the 16th AVN Awards were announced, Café Flesh 2 earned the most nominations with 14; Models came in second place with 13. A new committee of 51 industry professionals voted to select the best in each category. There were 30 AVN voters.
The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on January 9, 1999. Besides winning Best Film, Looker's awards haul also included wins for Best Actress to Shanna McCullough, who won her first acting award 12 years earlier, and Best Director—Film to Nic Cramer, his second in consecutive years. Co-host Klass won Best New Starlet with Tom Byron and Chloe winning Male and Female Performer of the Year awards respectively. Erotic X-FIlm Guide suggested that with gonzo porn making a mark for itself in hardcore, the Best Gonzo Video and Best Gonzo Series awards, won by Whack Attack 2 and Seymore Butts respectively, were "perhaps the most important this past year."
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
The following individuals presented awards or performed musical numbers.
For 1999, "a decision was made to reinstate the mainstream portion of the technical awards et al. in one evening's presentation" because for the first time, awards for gay movie categories were split off into a new event, the GayVN Awards, which were held a month earlier. Previously, technical and some other categories were presented separately from the awards show; with them included, the 1999 show ran four hours.
Gary Miller was producer of the show and comedian Robert Schimmel was selected for a second consecutive stint as host. Several other people participated in the production of the ceremony and its related events. Mark Stone served as musical director for the festivities. John Leslie, who won his fourth Best Director statuette at the event, and who led a blues band in his spare time, performed a self-composed song as one of the musical performers.
The award show kicked off with presentation of the Best Couples Sex Scene—Film award, with the winners announced as Stephanie Swift and Jon Dough. Erotic X-Film Guide magazine reported this was a faux pas: "Stephanie went to the podium to get her award and swore that she did not have sex with Jon Dough in the video. In fact, it was true and was a misprint in the program."
The Pam & Tommy Lee • Hardcore & Uncensored celebrity sex tape won the awards for Best Selling Tape and Best Renting Tape, presented to Steven Hirsch on behalf of S&D Video and IEG.
The show received a mixed reception from sex publications. Hustler magazine reported, "Accused of rigging its voting process to favor its advertisers in the past, Adult Video News's judges restored luster to the proceedings this year by bestowing awards to deserving nominees." However, the magazine noted co-host Klass managed "to shock the ceremony’s seen-it-all, heard-it-all organizers by repeatedly expressing her fondness for" anal sex.
Erotic X-FIlm Guide was critical of the show's length: "We realized this was indeed the longest and most drawn out show AVN had ever produced. As much as the industry likes to pat itself on the back and as much as we love AVN for giving us the porn equivalent of the Oscars, the show must go on. But only if it's edited with a merciless sword. Something must be done to make one of the most anticipated nights in porn not be one of the most dreaded."