[The answer for those curious, doing their own thing as a journalist, online personality, on radio or as a journeyman TV type, is always be yourself and keep up with the approach that brought you to the dance. We are all people. Howard Stern said that in one of his books years ago. His advice has served me well in so many ways.]
I had to answer those questions for myself when I interviewed the adult film director, entrepreneur, and actress Nica Noelle several weeks ago. The podcast series for We Are Respectable Negroes has been blessed with some pretty cool guests. We have quite a few more good and kind people lined up for the near future too.
I will confess. As a ghetto nerd who has no fear of talking to "important" or "famous" people when I have met them, and has also had a varied set of careers, I was sure that I could get some good names to (eventually) sit down for a convo here on WARN.
Still, I was very surprised when Nica Noelle's folks reached out to me across the Internet ether. I thank them for the productive gesture.
I knew of Nica's work. And I was so very pleased that she considered herself a fan of We Are Respectable Negroes. Here is a life lesson for all of us: sometimes, fate throws a curve ball and something good comes of it.
In our conversation, Nica Noelle and me touch on a range of subjects, including such matters as race, representation, and sex work; the challenge of filming the erotic; meeting Ron Jeremy; the idea of being a "porn intellectual"; if adult film stars are "broken toys"; and the mass culture business that is the relationship between film, sex, art, and profit.
There is something wonderfully disarming and humble about Nica Noelle. She is a remarkably open person given her professional accomplishments. Nica is also, as I like to say, a "porn intellectual" and Renaissance Woman.
I like talking to interesting, smart, and accomplished people form a range of backgrounds. Nica Noelle most certainly fits that criteria.
I do hope you enjoy our conversation.
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2:20 Introductions and Chauncey DeVega's fun with meeting Ron Jeremy in a wonderfully homoerotic encounter
4:03 How did you end up in the adult film business?
5:48 Are people, women in particular, who work in the adult sex/film business, "broken toys?"
10:14 The real person versus the porn personality
13:15 What is more difficult? Being on the director side of the camera or being on film?
19:50 How do you create sexual chemistry on film with strangers?
22:53 As a director, what makes a scene "hot?"
27:15 Porn people tend to be funny
33:20 Is porn helping "us" with our sexual happiness?
37:30 Does your porn give the viewer permission to explore the erotic self? What did you think of 50 Shades of Grey
41:47 Why we are not "naked apes"
42:37 What would a sex positive society look like? Can porn liberate people?
45:57 How does race factor into the business of adult film? Why do white porn actresses not work with black men?
47:57 The adult film world's resistance to not portraying people of color in stereotypical ways
50:07 The white gaze: it is not elite white men producing pron, it is the working and lower class men's gaze
52:41 Racial cartoonish stereotypes and making fun of everybody
56:13 Of Vi Johnson and black kink
58:50 What do you think about "race play?"
63:23 Boogie Nights?
67:54 Making "artistic" adult films, the problem of self-loathing, and elevating the genre
70:02 Nica Noelle's future projects and where to find her online and elsewhere