Short Bio description of yourself and The Rub PR:
Born in NYC and with an East Coast attitude to match, Erika Icon is one of the feistiest women in the Adult Industry. With almost nine years in the industry under her belt working in many facets of the industry including retail buyer, writer, sex advice columnist, DVD, website and toy reviewer, and publicist, Icon has forged many relationships with performers, studio owners, sales personnel, distributors and magazines that have helped her promote her clients and their brands effectively and bring them into the mainstream market. In 2008, Icon started her own PR firm, The Rub, THE full-service adult PR agency that works with the top studios and performers. Since then, she has worked with new and established talent, along with some of the best adult studios and companies in the industry. In 2011, she was XBIZ’s WIA (Woman in Adult) for the month of November and has garnered three nominations from the Fame Registry for Publicist of the Year, along with a 2014 XBIZ Awards nomination for Marketing Campaign of the Year for her work on Sparks Entertainment’s “The Vampire Mistress”.
SimplySxy: As the porn industry is very competitive, what are some traits or personality types that suit and are able to survive in it?
Erika Icon: Every week hundreds of girls enter the porn industry. Even though the average life span of a porn starlet is six months, girls can persevere with drive, talent and the right agents and publicists behind them. Being hot isn’t enough, you also need to be professional, meaning arriving on time and treating everyone on set with respect.
SimplySxy: For an aspiring or current porn star, what is the attraction of The Rub PR which will get them to hire your company?
Erika: Many companies make promises they can’t and/or don’t intend to keep. We don’t overpromise, but we definitely over deliver. We offer the usual interviews and press releases, but we also offer our clients way more services that other PR firms at a very affordable price, whether they’re a performer or company. For example, for the girls, we find them a place to sign at tradeshows, book feature dancing, and get them mainstream work. Most of our clients are attained from referrals from current and past clients.
Also, I’m a Nichiren Buddhist and I try to live my life treating others well. I care about all my clients and do my best to help them succeed and be happy.
SimplySxy: There are many adult agencies and production companies, using the promise of good money as a way to entice people into the industry. How is one able to tell the difference between a legitimate and a scam?
Erika: When you say adult agencies, I think you mean talent agents. Yes, some are better than others. Production companies, studios and directors who aren’t legitimate can definitely scam the performers. I’ve known many girls who book their own work only to be scammed by a creep with a camera who’s looking to get laid and capture the event on film. This is where a good agent comes in. An agent knows the legitimate businesses, and makes sure you’re safe and paid. Agents make my life easier because the girls have money coming in and more things to promote.
SimplySxy: The Rub PR has gotten some of their clients into mainstream projects such as a reality show. How is the approach different as compared to adult entertainment?
Erika: At some point, the girls are done with being in front of the camera. If a girl has a good look and can act, mainstream is definitely a possibility. Those who don’t want to direct adult films or work for studios need other options.
Many of my clients want to do mainstream. I got one of my clients on a reality show premiering on a major network and a few of my girls in horror movies. I’m currently working with a mainstream writer/director on a major mainstream movie that will be made next year and stars four of my current clients.
The main difference between working in adult and mainstream seems to be how the directors and other people on set treat the porn girls. They don’t always know how to treat them, so it’s our job to educate them.
SimplySxy: You have lectured at the AEVC 2014 earlier this year. Is there a growing demand for virtual entertainment and do you see technology possibly entering television and homes in future?
Erika: The AEVC was for industry professionals, not so much the public. As for how entertainment is delivered, it seems people like streaming and downloading porn because they like the immediacy and also the anonymity of not getting porn or their doorstep or going to a store where people can see them.
SimplySxy: The use of condoms, or lack of, in pornography is being heavily scrutinized. What are your thoughts on it and the possible bearing on the industry if the law is passed on mandatory use?
Erika: The law has been passed in the city and county of Los Angeles, but not statewide…yet. We’re a private industry and I think government needs to stay out of our business on all levels. The AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation) started this whole witch-hunt of our industry, even though they should be focused on people with HIV or AIDS. The porn industry has always governed ourselves just fine, as far as testing and protocols go.
With fines for not having permits and/or using condoms, our industry has been hit pretty hard, and some studios have even shut down or moved out of state. The bottom line is fans don’t want to see condoms in movies and they’re uncomfortable for performers to wear them having such hardcore sex. We’re going to be feeling the impact on many levels for some time and if this passes statewide, it will get worse. Porn will have to go underground like it did in the 70s.
SimplySxy: With your experience in the industry, porn caters to every person and imaginable fetish available. What are the most popular genres currently?
Erika: Interracial seems to be one of the most popular. I do see the BBW and tranny genres gaining a lot of traction.
SimplySxy: Piracy has hit the porn industry hard, even more so with the internet as compared to pre 90s. How do you see the industry adapting and even surviving this?
Erika: The ironic thing is it’s just like Napster, and we all thought Napster was a great thing, but in reality it wasn’t. When people download free porn, they are not only stealing content, but they’re halting new production. Less movies are being made because of this, and that means less content and the performers are working less.
A movie can go up on tube sites before it even hits the Internet or store shelves. The studios send cease and desist letters, but the content just pops up on another site. Many of these tube sites are off shore so it’s hard to prosecute them. I’m not sure how we can really go after this problem, but there are companies like Takedown Piracy going after people. It seems that webcamming and novelties are the only ones not dealing with this problem and they’re the big moneymakers right now.
SimplySxy: There is a certain stigma that comes along with Pornography. Please help us clear up one misconception people might have about it.
Erika: Oh there are so many. I guess if I were only discuss one it would be people’s perceptions of people who work in porn. We call these outsiders “civilians”. Civilians have an idea about how porn people are—they usually think the women are slutty, stupid and/or crazy, and even worse things about the men. Are some of the women like this? Sure. It’s like any industry. But, in my nine years working in adult, I’ve met some of the most amazing people. Those who are on the outside looking in can unfairly judge the industry, which is not just wrong but also sad.
SimplySxy: Here at SimplySxy, we are all about promoting “sex positivity”. Can you give your take on sex positivity?
Erika: To me, sex positivity is accepting people as they are no matter what they are (trans men, t-girls, or bio men and women) or whom they choose have sex with. My dad always says that Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors for a reason, and he’s right—everybody’s got something they like and that makes them tick.
A message from you to all your fans and the SimplySxy readers:
I’m not sure if I have that many fans, although I have a few on Twitter. So, I’ll address this to your readers. If you watch porn, please pay for it. My job and many other people’s livelihoods depend on it. It wouldn’t be cool if you went to work and didn’t get paid—piracy is the same thing. Be nice to each other and don’t judge people on the sex they have or who they’re with.
If you want to know more about me and/or learn about the industry, I have blogs on my site http://therubpr.com/, and http://www.xcritic.com/ and http://rockconfidential.com/. My Twitter is @therubpr and my Facebook Company Page is https://www.facebook.com/TheRubPRBizPage.
Images courtesy of Erika Icon
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