LOS ANGELES — Adult star Stoya has penned an article for the NewStatesman on the lack of open discussion about porn star compensation.
The star said that talent is often not forthcoming with each other about their rates, often resulting in “wildly inaccurate figures” that adversely affects the industry as a whole.
One example cited a well-known performer who said she was paid $12,000 for a double penetration scene when it was in fact about $1,200-$1,400. These exaggerated fees and lack of transparency makes it difficult for performers to gauge their worth and often upsets the whole pay scale, according to Stoya.
The article also went on to explain why most companies try to get as much out of a worker as they can for as little pay as possible pointing to the cost of doing business that includes transportation to the set (sometimes from a different city, or even state or country), personal grooming, and STI testing fees.
Stoya said when shooting her self-funded film, “Graphic Depictions,” total male talent was paid only $4,500, or about $750 per male performer per scene; while $4,200 went to females, three of whom identify as female and one who is gender-neutral, which is $1,050 each.
The associated stigma of being a public sex performer, coupled with the risk of disease and physical injury makes it even more crucial for talent to be able to know what they’re worth across the board in order to demand fair pay, Stoya maintained.
”Every job has its own scale of standard rates and its own complex system of extra bits of cost, risk and value which must be navigated. To me, the most glaringly obvious way of arming workers to attain appropriate pay is to drag all of these numbers and factors out into the sunshine and discuss them openly," Stoya wrote.