Exotic dancers, brothel owners, erotic artists, international porn stars, adult product manufacturers, sex workers, burlesque entertainers and adult film producers from around the world will done the black tie and gather in Melbourne tonight for the inaugural Eros Shine Awards.

Award categories for the night will include best new adult business concept, best Australian sex educator, best adult toy, best escort, best BDSM mistress or master, best erotic fashion designer and an impromptu Hall of Shame Award for a prominent morals campaigner. There are 29 categories in all.

Eros Association CEO Fiona Patten said that the awards were about exposing the fallacy that the adult industry was narrowly focussed on genitals and devoid of creative energy.

“There are more professional women working in this industry and far less ‘raincoats’ than most people think, and these awards are about shining a light on the adult industry to show how far it’s come over the past decade,” she said.

International erotic film star Jessica Drake and the infamous mistress Bombshell McGee will lead the foreign affairs delegation while performances from Miss Burlesque World, Cassandra Jane; Australia’s Got Talent entrants Susie Q & Toby and Hunkmania; and Miss Burlesque Australia Sina King, will all perform during the evening.

Patten said Australia’s adult industry was a multi-million dollar enterprise which paid taxes, employed over 25,000 people and was in the vanguard of the free speech movement in Australia.

“We contribute to Australia’s GDP like any other industry but excellence and innovation often go unrecognised. This awards night will go someway to rectifying this situation,” she said.

Voting for award nominees will come from an expert industry panel as well as from the general public. All votes have been put before an independent auditor to ensure objectivity.

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