EXCLUSIVE: Studly Rikk York on the Adult Industry’s Highs and Lows

Credit: Ron Mejia @Recklessbyron

Rikk York has no doubt has made a huge splash in the adult industry over the past couple of years thanks to his sizzling good looks and amazing way he’s performed in front of the camera.

The handsome 33-year-old, who now calls South Florida home, has been able to establish quite a name for himself in an arena that can be tough to thrive in given all the free content that is available on the internet (not to mention how hard it is to break from the pack of all the other models out there). 

Part of the reason for Rikk’s success is that he’s been able to excel in mediums that go outside of the director saying “action” to him. He’s worked with a number of well-known gay companies and danced at some of the biggest gay bars in the world, all while being humble as his star power continues to rise.

Rikk chatted with us days ahead of his big appearance at Boxers in Washington Heights, New York (taking place Saturday, February 15) about how he’s been able to survive in the world of porn, his thoughts on the problems surrounding how everyone’s getting paid and what’s next for him. 

You’ve been in the porn industry for many years. The shelf life for being this type of star is not that long, but you’ve been able to elongate it and still be very relevant. How have you been able to do that in an world that chews and spits out people very quickly? 

I think part of that has to do with knowing when to take a break. The reason for that is because I feel like it’s kind of an industry where you can’t be on at all times. You can’t be the number one at all times. You can’t just be on the top five at all times. You have to let people miss you. You have to get out of people’s faces. And it’s all in good relativity when it comes to yourself. Because, you have to give yourself also, I believe, a mental break, of all things.

I have been very fortunate with traveling, doing porn, dancing at circuit parties and trying to keep a professional and personal life while balancing myself out. Ultimately you can’t please everybody. So I find that giving yourself time is always a good way for you to recharge your batteries and discover another creative outlet.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about, like Armand Rizzo claiming that bottoms are not paid as much as tops, and then there’s another star named Joey Mills who ranted about how every guy in the industry should be demanding at least $1000 per scene. What are your thoughts on that?

I love to hear that. I’m not going to lie. If more people will get behind this kind of attitude, it would really fix a lot of the standard issues that we have going on. Because for example, you have companies that are still paying $1,200 to be exact. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a top or bottom, they pay you the same.

Now I have heard that other exclusives have been able to manipulate the conversation and ask for more. But you know, in my personal experience they have nothing to do with… how can I say this. I’ve only seen Caucasian males or Caucasian models get that kind of treatment. I haven’t really seen black models, ethnic models get treated that way. In my personal experience, I’ve been treated, thankfully, closer to a Caucasian experience. So I don’t have to say that I have lived that entire mess, I guess.

But the problem with the industry, I feel like there’s so many other companies out there that are always trying to low-ball every single person. And the issue with that is that if you’re trying to make a living just off of porn, that’s when you’re getting all these models just doing things at whatever low-ball pricing they’re performing at. 

They want to low-ball these models for $300 and then you have all these guys that are desperate for attention. And even me saying it now, I cringe a little bit, because I know it’s a tough competition to have. But it’s the f***ing truth. You have people who are desperate for money and will do anything for just a couple of hundred dollars, and they just want to be on social media, and they want to be tweeted,  shared, liked, and be present in the scene.

But the truth of the matter is, black models and models that are very desperate are always being low-balled and will always be in the back. And it’s unfortunate that, for example, for me looking at a situation like Armand Rizzo. He was in the top of the top of the top of the crop. And then he decided to do his own thing. Next thing you know, he’s just low-balling himself, going to different studios that aren’t even at the standard of what he was shooting at. And then when I hear the conversation specifically that Armand is having, he’s performing with only black models, or mainly black models as well. So it’s a double entendre, in my opinion, because you’re screwing the conversation with the black performers and then you’re lowering yourself, because now we’re finding out that this is how you’re being treated.

So why is it that this is happening? You’re rebelling against the industry and you’re trying to do your own thing. I get that. I commend him for that, but the reality of the situation is, him phoning his own title and his own name and going around and shooting with a bunch of people, they’re always low-balling him.  That’s how I feel about it. I hope that all that made sense, because this conversation has many different angles to look at.

Credit: Timoteo  @Cellblock13

On a brighter note, has there been a really big high point for you in the industry? Do you have a favorite moment over the past couple of years that you really look back on with pride?

I mean my overall experience with Raging Stallion, just because I was an exclusive with them and worked with them for a year. And this was after doing porn for almost three years. And I was doing it and managing myself. I was able to manage an exclusive deal with a major company which is pretty much the impossible. When people hire you being exclusive, they want to have no confidence of you out there. They want to build you the way they want to build you. And they want somebody who has never been touched before. So that accomplishment in and of itself is very memorable. I’m very proud of it.

So there’s been some positive feedback and positive reactions when it comes to having positive experiences. But most importantly, I’ve been able to come back very easily. So that speaks to the type of connections you can have every time you get an opportunity.

What aspirations do you have outside the industry? Do you have a long-term career goal outside of it?

Well, right now I’m doing a lot of maturing and taking care of a lot of personal responsibilities. The one thing that I want to get done this year is to get my barber placement for when I become a barber, and I want to have my own business. Hopefully one day I can own my own barber shop. I believe I have enough confidence in a barber chair that’s going to help me at some point.

Be sure to follow Rikk over on Instagram.