Icon Male delivers on its promise of high-class gay erotica

Just because you want to inject some porn into your day doesn’t mean you don’t have standards. If the constraints of Tumblr and the grab bag of Pornhub aren’t meeting your desires, Icon Male might just be what you’re looking for. As a more carefully assembled collection of erotic videos, Icon Male offers what one might think of as high-class smut. But is it worth the monthly cost of membership? We broke it down.

Icon Male cost:

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A monthly membership starts at $29.99 per month. You can also pay $59.99 for three months of membership. Or you can subscribe for a full year for $99.99 if you pay all at once. That averages out to $8.33 per month.

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Icon Male membership benefits

What sets Icon Male apart is quality rather than quantity. It may not be as vast as the decade-spanning library offered by Falcon, but Icon’s nearly 400 scenes are distinguished by polish and class.

For its focus on emotional connection and storytelling, Icon Male’s style has been described as “porn for women,” but that’s too reductive. People of all genders can appreciate the more sensual approach that the scenes take.

The site is attractive and easy to use, though its features are minimal. You can browse by model or keyword, and the muted gray visual design makes it easy to focus on the content. Unfortunately, the keyword search is a reminder of how much smaller Icon Male’s library is than other sites. The “bisexual” tag has only two videos, “soldier” has three, and “ebony” (yikes) has only one. Other categories, like “safe sex,” “athlete,” and “jerking off,” go on for many pages.

There’s the occasional up-sell to join other sites like Cockyboys or Club Inferno Dungeon, and tempting ads to join Icon Male Live, where you can buy tips to watch cam shows. Of course, all of these things cost more money. Like any porn site, Icon Male is always looking for a way to squeeze more money out of you. But aside from the auto-checked site at signup, it’s generally less tacky about it than competitors.

Membership also comes with free access to two additional sites: NoirMale.com, which features Black performers; and MaleReality.com, which seems a bit less cohesive but has a general theming around men having sex in unexpected situations. Logging in to those sites is a bit of a process, and might require a password reset.

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The Icon Male style

Icon Male claims to be overseen—in some vague, undefined capacity—by award-winning director Nica Noelle. The site description seems intentionally cagey about just how involved she is; did she direct all 300-and-something scenes on the site? Did she select them from other sources? Hard to say. Directors are not identified on the videos, which is a shame.

What’s clear is that Icon’s offerings have a more thoughtful, story-driven approach to porn. The chemistry between actors tends to be more intimate than you might find on, say, ExtraBigDicks.com. The cinematography is a bit prettier, the settings look more expensive. You’re more likely to find men in suits kissing than skater punks fisting.

For example, “In the Closet 3” features a surprisingly tender interaction between college athletes who seem genuinely invested in each other’s lives. “Releasing the Tension” features a meditative massage. And “Eye Candy” starts with some gorgeous passionate kissing.

Disappointingly, the site falls short when it comes to diverse representation. Though there’s a wide range of ages, most of the models are white cis men with big muscles and not a lot of fur. They look very nice, but it would be more appealing to see a variety of people. 

Is an Icon Male membership worth it?

Though the selection is smaller than other mega-sites, Icon Male still has hundreds of scenes to choose from, more than enough to keep you going for weeks. The careful attention to quality distinguishes the site, and the ability to download your favorite videos is a major plus. Beware the sneaky add-ons, but if you’re craving a classier approach to erotica, Icon Male delivers on its promise.