Friday, March 11, 2016

Exclusive Interview With Icon Male's Nica Noelle!


TGIF and happy March my marvelous fans of fornication. Before we get into the meats and potatoes let me apologize for being so absent and silent especially with so much juicy stuff going on in the industry; which I have tried to share via Twitter. It has been crazy on my end with writing, working tech for a play, doing some extreme haunts and transitioning from on camera acting into voice acting. There's just not enough time to do anything. But I am going to try my best to dedicate at least two hours a day, fingers crossed I make that, to update the blog like I used to; especially since I've surpassed one hundred thousand readers! Thank you thank you thank you. Never thought that would happen so quick.
Okay enough of that. Let's get into the fun stuff. I'm really excited about this interview with Icon Male's Nica Noelle. Aside from mr. Pam Nica is the only female gay porn director and she is one interested woman so I was super excited when she agreed to be interviewed on the blog and talk about everything from how she started in the industry to her infamous feud with another certain blogger in the industry. And let me just add, any of you that follow other blogs or have read any bad things written about Nica let me just say that in all of my conversations and dealings with her she has been the most gracious. lovely, polite and nicest person I've talked to in a long time. We've even talked about me possibly doing a non-sex role in one of her films; I'll keep you guys updated on when and if that happens; that would be my first non-sex role in a gay porn film!
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, ladies and gentlemen please welcome Ms. Nica Noelle!
 
JOE: You started your career as a director of lesbian porn - why did you choose that genre? And after achieving so much success in lesbian and straight porn, why did you leave those genres to produce gay porn?
 
NICA: I started out making lesbian porn because it was what I watched, and I had a lot of ideas about what I wanted to do artistically. I was always more interested in same-sex stories because I find them more compelling than traditional, straight romance. I’m not interested in love stories if there’s not some kind of forbidden element. But it took me a while to move into gay porn because once my career took off I was obligated to write and direct 4 straight titles a month. It left me no time left for anything else, including a persona life! But eventually I made some moves so it could happen, and gay porn has been my most successful genre yet.
 
JOE: There aren't too many women who are directors or even involved in gay porn, I believe Mr. Pam is the only other well known female director. Why do you think more women aren't involved in the industry? Have you faced any backlash, discrimination or sexism because you are a women in this industry?
 
NICA: Most of the backlash I get is related the success of Icon Male, not because of my gender, though sometimes they’ll throw that in for good measure. As for why more female directors aren’t in gay porn, I was asked that same question when I started shooting straight movies. There were so few female directors at the time you could count us on one hand, and we were all doing very different things. But these days at least half of the biggest directors in straight porn are women, and I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually the same will be true in gay. 
 
JOE:  I've heard that the biggest watchers and fans of gay porn are older, straight, sometimes married women. Is this true? Why do you think this is?

NICA:  I know some fans who fit that description. Obviously sexuality is very complicated and we have to be careful not to draw too many conclusions about why someone prefers one type of porn and not another. But for some women it might be less threatening to watch two men together. For instance, a woman watching gay porn doesn’t have to worry if the guy in the scene would reject her for not being young enough, or cute enough, since he essentially “rejects” all women. Or some women might fantasize about being that special girl who turns a gay man straight. But some women might just prefer the aesthetic, the visual, of two men together. Not everyone wants to see vaginas in their porn, just as there are guys who only watch lesbian porn because they don’t want to see penises.

JOE: Do you watch and enjoy porn or have you become desensitized to it? What's your favorite kind of porn to watch and to direct/write?

NICA: I’m desensitized to most types of porn, even the kind I used to watch before I became a director. The fourth wall has been smashed into a million little pieces, let’s put it that way. Porn for me is purely an artistic endeavor and separate from what turns me on.

JOE: Do you have one aspect of your job that you like more: directing, performing or writing?

NICA: The only time I enjoy directing or being on set is when I’m working with performers who bring a level of artistry to the table and care about the movie and their performance. Writing is what comes most naturally to me, and if I could write full time I think I would be very happy. 
As for performing, I never considered myself a true performer. I did it so I could share in the stigma, and also because I wanted to understand how it felt. I wanted to know if it was possible to stay connected to your partner with cameras hovering over you and all the other distracting things going on. There were also political statements I wanted to make. Most of the boy/girl scenes I performed were with male “crossover” talent, as they’re called, because there was a stigma to working with those performers. I also did a scene with Mr. Marcus but refused to promote it as my “first interracial,” which is a term that makes me cringe. I was lucky enough to be in a power position with my studios and I wanted to use it to defy industry norms, some of which were - and continue to be - homophobia and racism.

 
JOE: What advice do you have for people just getting started in the industry and what advice do you have for women who want to get into the industry?

NICA: The experience here is so different for everyone that it’s hard to give advice. When it comes to porn, as a coworker of mine once said, “there’s a lot of ways in.” 
One piece of advice I might give is don’t do things you don’t want to do just for the money. The money will be gone in a flash, but a bad experience will stay with you. Too many of them over time can change you in ways you can’t quite predict. 

JOE: I know you are a parent - does your child know what you do? Any advice on how to tell your friends, family, partner that you work in the adult industry?

NICA: My son and I are best friends and he’s very supportive of what I do, but that wasn’t always the case. He was just a kid when I first started directing, and even though he wasn’t given any specific details he was aware that I worked in the adult industry and it bothered him. He was afraid that I’d be killed by a stalker, or that his friends would find out and tease him about it. But at the same time, he grew up with performers as our extended family. Wolf Hudson was a constant presence in our home, and Satine Phoenix, who’s now a graphic novelist, has been one of our closest friends for years and was his babysitter. Michelle Lay would bake him cupcakes, and she and her husband were always hanging out at our house. So he’s grown up with some wonderful people who also happened to work in adult films, and these days he views it all as pretty normal. 
When it comes to telling other people what I do, I take it on a case by case basis. I’m still guarded around strangers for my own protection, but also for theirs so I don't make them uncomfortable. I mean it’s a little heavy-handed to announce “I’m a pornographer!” any time someone asks me what I do for a living. Once you decide to tell someone you’re in porn you can’t un-tell them, and 9 times out of 10 it will change how they view you.
As for what to tell the people I’m dating, that’s still a tough one. I make it a rule not to date anyone I work with, but they’re the only people I interact with on a regular basis. I think one of the main reasons I’m not attracted to my coworkers is because I’ve seen them naked so many times, I’ve seen them having sex with so many different people. I know their bodies so intimately -- if they have a scar on their leg, or a toenail missing, if they shave their public hair or don’t shave it. Right from the start I know things about them that in real life you have to make an effort to learn about someone - you have to earn that intimacy. The casual nonchalance porn stars develop toward sex, compounded by my having to coldly assess their bodies and sexual skills, kills any trace of romantic mystique. But then when I date people outside of porn, I'm instantly reminded that most of them have very strange ideas about my job. They’re either overly enthusiastic about it, which is gross, or they’re intimidated by me. Lisa Ann said something very poignant once when an interviewer asked her about her love life. She said, “Everyone wants to be with me, and no one wants to be with me.”  I think that perfectly sums up the romantic plight of your friendly neighborhood porn star.

JOE: Favorite performers you've worked with? Or favorite film you've directed?

NICA: There’s no way I can list everyone, but let me name a few. Brendan Patrick is a wonderful, soulful actor and performer, and a beautiful person. Rodney Steele is extraordinary and brings such complexity and depth to every role. Alexander Gustavo blows me away, he’s so great at everything: a natural actor, a passionate performer, and a terrific guy to have around. Sam Truitt and Trent Ferris, whom I refer to as “Twone” because they’re essentially one person, are beautiful young performers who always bring something real and touching to their scenes. Ty Roderick has that “tortured hero” quality and you just never get tired of looking at him. And of course Nick Capra is my go-to guy for just about everything. He’s beautiful, he’s an artist, he’s one of the best performers I’ve worked with in any genre, and he’s also my favorite human.

JOE: You joked that you want to be “The JD Saligner of Porn” and that you don't like big crowds which is why you don't attend award shows. Why do large crowds bother you? Are you just a shy, quiet person who would rather stay home? That's something you don't often find in the gay porn world.

NICA: In real life I’m very reclusive, yes. I spend a lot of time alone. I wish I was more of a people person and enjoyed social interaction more. It looks like so much fun when other people are doing it but I can only handle it in small doses. I think it’s true that extroverts recharge themselves by being around other people while introverts do it by being alone. 

JOE:  You have a pretty well known feud with Zachary Sire how did that happen?

NICA: Zach used to work as a blogger for AEBN at the same time I was partnered with them, but he was fired for some reason, and there was talk about him being very disgruntled. Like “this guy wants revenge, so watch out” type concerns. The next thing I heard, he’d started a new blog and was going after performers with a vengeance. I remember blocking him after reading some vicious things he wrote about a performer I knew to be a really nice person. It was just cruel, nasty stuff, humiliating insults about the guy's looks and performance. To me Zach always seemed like one of those inadequate personality types who uses the internet to express his rage. He’s obviously a huge fan of gay porn, yet he loves to humiliate gay porn stars and kick them when they’re down. I’m sure it’s something of a power trip that this weasly-looking, middle-aged guy has all these hot porn stars not only aware of who he is but essentially terrified of him. He's like Hedda Hopper in the 1950s - a homely girl who was obsessed with Hollywood but couldn’t break into the movies, so she started a column to target movie stars and ruin their careers. Zach is like the Hedda Hopper of Gay Porn, but without the power to influence anything. He spent an entire year attacking me and my studio and we finished as the top selling gay line of 2015. I'm not saying that to brag, but to make the point that if anyone's afraid of this guy, don't be.  

JOE: Any advice for people in the industry who get harassed, embarrassed or exposed by the blogs? How do you handle that? Or deal with it in an effective way to not fuel the fire?

NICA: I’ve always taken the approach of transparency. I like to respond to anything that’s said about me when it’s brought to my attention, and be accountable for any concerns people might have. But I’ve learned that can be a naive approach, because people who attack you on the internet aren’t looking for answers; they’re looking to destroy your reputation. Once you start engaging internet trolls - many of which are fake profiles created specifically to attack you - - it’s a black hole you can never get out of. You have to ignore it, which can be tough if you’re an honest person with nothing to hide. But if you know you’ve done nothing wrong just block out the noise and have faith that the truth will prevail. Because weirdly enough it usually does.

JOE: Do you think the internet and tube sites have helped or hurt the industry?

NICA: Obviously the internet has affected the adult industry, just as it has shaken up and changed every industry. I remember a newspaper writer friend of mine was in a panic several years ago because nobody was buying print newspapers anymore, and he was worried he might have to take a salary cut or lose his job completely. But most industries find a way to adapt if they’re selling products that people still need. As for porn, we can keep whining about pirating or about how much producers made “back in the day,” but what good does that do us now? People will always want porn, so at least our product hasn’t been rendered obsolete. We just need to adapt to the changing times and deal with the present.

JOE: What are your thoughts on studios who do bareback content? Do you think we should have strict condom laws in porn?

NICA: Listen, I think Truvada is amazing. It’s fantastic that we have this pill that offers so much protection from HIV. But HIV is not the only STD out there. Many STDs we haven’t seen in years are coming back with a vengeance, and there could be new ones on the horizon. The bottom line is I don’t want a performer to come to my set and leave with a life-changing or life-threatening illness. I don’t want him forced out of work for any period of time because he got sick working for Icon Male. Condoms are a health and safety issue for me, not a political statement. Meaning, if I could digitally remove condoms in post-production I would, because I know it interferes with the fantasy for some people. But performers are people too, and I can’t put them at risk just because some viewers don’t want to see condoms. When I shoot a bareback scene, which is very rare, I either use real-life couples or put extra safety measures in place. I’m not saying we should have to eliminate all risks - you can’t do that with anything in life - but you can take reasonable steps to reduce those risks. 

JOE: A big topic and debate is the whole gay for pay porn and gay for pay porn stars, what are your thoughts on that genre?

NICA: One thing I’ve learned by working in porn for the last decade is that sexuality is not cut-and-dried. In my opinion nobody has the right to tell a performer they aren’t “allowed” in gay/lesbian porn unless they 100% identify that way off-camera. More than ever we’re discovering sexuality can be quite fluid. Some of us may enjoy having sex with our own gender on camera and off, yet prefer serious relationships with the opposite sex. Or, we might not have sex with our own gender at home, but still truly enjoy doing so on camera. I used to judge performers based on their personal lives and scoff at anyone who wasn’t “really” gay or lesbian, but I don’t anymore because I’ve been proven wrong too many times. That said, I won’t tolerate gay4payers who come to set and announce they don’t give oral or won’t kiss another man because they’re straight. If you're limited in what you can do because you’re straight, then you don’t belong in gay porn. Trust me, no one wants to work with those people, including me! I’ve eaten the cost of airline tickets, paid kill fees, rescheduled entire shoots, just to get guys like that off my set. 

JOE: How does it feel to win The Cybersocket Award this year? 

NICA: I generally don’t pay attention to awards because particularly in porn they’re so unfair, so not a reflection of who the innovators are, where the creativity is coming from, or who the truly great performers are. They’re designed to keep certain studio’s product on retailer's shelves. So at first when I found out we won I was like “Okay cool, thanks.” You know, more porn awards, whatever. But then people told me it was fan-voted and that changed my whole attitude. Any award where the fans voted for us is extremely important to me. So I had a delayed reaction, I guess you could say. And I’d like to reiterate my thanks to all the fans and Cybersocket too. It was a very challenging year for me, both personally and professionally, and the fans kept me going. I hope we can keep them all just as happy in 2016.


I would like to thank Nica for taking the time out of her busy schedule to give us an amazing insight into her world. Thanks again Nica and you're welcome on my site anytime. Can't wait to collaborate with you!

XOXO
-JOE-
 
 
 
 

8 comments:

  1. As much as I'd love to love Nica, she continues to produce the same tired tropes in gay porn but attempts to dress them up as "cutting edge" or "taboo." She claims to be pro-sex AND pro-gay but nearly every single one of her films presents gay sexuality juxtaposed with heterosexuality, rarely ever simply presenting gay sexuality as an entity in and of itself. It's always about some perceived heterosexual figure wandering into the world of homosexuality -- usually with some kind of "family" twist thrown in for good measure.

    This isn't "gay positive" nor does it combat homophobia. Rather, it plays right into negative stereotypes and heterosexism. There is nothing subversive about men that identify as "straight" deciding to dabble in gay sex. Their "straight" identity is merely a desperate attempt to retain their perceptions of manhood and masculinity. Nica does gay men a great disservice by continually juxtaposing gay sexuality with heterosexuality.

    This has been brought up to her on multiple occasions and she brushes off the criticism as "hating" or unwarranted. However, when the lack of racial diversity is pointed out to her, she freely admits to her need for improvement. It's amusing (and sad) that she's so willing to admit her shortcomings when it comes to racial aspects but remains almost arrogant in her treatment of gay men and gay sexuality.

    I won't go as far as saying that the content Nica produces is detrimental to gay men or gay sexuality, but her content is completely status quo and is the same repetitious, antiquated depiction of gay sexuality that gay men have had to deal with since god-knows-when. Nothing about her male/male content is groundbreaking and barely any of it is what could be considered gay positive.

    Her single defense is that she doesn't make a "parody" out of gay sex -- as if that were the one and only measuring stick for the quality of her scenes. I'd argue that her scripts are more insidious than parody in that she presents it as something intellectual, taboo, or erotic when in reality it merely plays into all the negative stereotypes of gay men and gay sexuality.

    I can say this about Nica: whatever she believes her male/male content to be, it's actually the exact opposite.

    Quite a shame considering her abilities and the quality of material she's able to produce. If the day comes that she actually looks beyond her own warped (and quite limited) view of gay sexuality, she could quite possibly produce some of the best material. Until then, it's just more sugar daddies, straight tries gay, and his daughter's boyfriend or his new wife's son or whatever strange but repetitious familial or "straight" twist she puts on gay porn.

    How subversive of her. Yawn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slow clap....thank you! This says everything so many people have been saying but says it better than I ever could. It's surprising she's trying to be marketed as some pioneer when every single one of her movies is the same exact story but written with different characters and dialogue. She has MAYBE five themes she works with and even those themes many times blur the lines between each other so it often feels like she really has only one or two themes. (For example, many of the movies in the 'Family' theme are heavy handed in their 'straight guys' or 'older/younger' aspect).

      For example, on Icon Male right now are:

      Family:
      His Daughter's Boyfriend/The Stepfather/His Sister's Lover/Fathers and Sons/Brothers/His Son's Best Friend

      Older/Younger:
      Sugar Daddies/Hot Daddies/Baby Boy/Daddy's Big Boy

      Relationships (one of which is toxic representation):
      Cheaters/Real Couples Bareback

      'Straight'/supposedly taboo:
      Straight Boy Seductions/Forbidden Encounters

      Religious/Authority Figure:
      Forgive Me Father/Schoolboy Fantasies

      Titles that go out of their way to label the sex as gay or male/male even though they are on a GAY site (aka redundant):
      Guys Kissing Guys/Men Seeking Men/Gay Massage House


      All this demonstrates is Nica Noelle's very limited and skewed vision of gay men and our sexual lives. It also illuminates her own psychosexual issues (revolving around family, religion, authority, straight men). While many might unfairly suggest women have no place producing gay porn, in the case of Nica Noelle, she embodies what women should NOT do when producing gay porn, namely depicting only the most toxic, demeaning, stereotypical, dehumanizing perspectives on gay men and our sexual lives. Perhaps if she didn't try so hard to market herself as cutting edge or artistic then her end product wouldn't feel so ironic and hypocritical.

      This is perfection: "I can say this about Nica: whatever she believes her male/male content to be, it's actually the exact opposite. "

      Yes. She's a mediocre mind that writes sub-par stories. She's no better than producers who film black or interracial stuff and use themes/words like 'thug' or 'urban' or 'gangster.' Her movies aren't sexy, they're insulting. She's only allowed to get away with it/be in denial about it because as a society we've become more hypersensitive to racial issues.

      Delete
  2. Agreed with both comments above.
    It will never change, though.
    Nica places everyone who's not in agreement with her in the same category as Zach from STR8UP. She acts as though if you don't love her then you must irrationally hate her so your opinion doesn't matter.
    Meanwhile she and Icon Male churn out the same overused storylines again and again and again...
    She displays a lot of acute borderline personality disorder traits and as such will never learn from criticism. To a BPD person all criticism is perceived as a personal attack.
    If a man continuously made lesbian films with the kind of storylines Nica uses for her gay films, he would be dragged over the coals. No amount of sensuality in Nica's films can mask the fact that her plots are degrading more often than not. She doesn't respect gay men, she fetishizes us.
    She's able to use the fact that she's a woman filming gay porn in order to detract from the kind of gay porn she films. Thankfully people are catching on and it's become a running joke how repetitious her films are.

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