NEW YORK — Paper — the New York City-based independent magazine that focuses on fashion, pop culture, music, art and film — offered up an interview with Stoya this week.
The multitalented porn icon, director and writer was peppered with nearly three dozen questions by Paper, which portrayed her as the unique figure in the adult entertainment industry that she is.
“It's understandable — Stoya's appeal is undeniable,” said the author of the piece, Beatrice Hazlehurst. “The American-born Scottish-Serbian's natural quirkiness and lithe figure (without a trace of silicone) has clearly set her apart in the industry, reading as the girl-next-door-who-came-home-from-art-school-with-combat-boots-and-a-pet-snake.
“As far as the porn industry goes, Stoya dipped a toe through alt-erotic modeling, before wading into soft-core and cameo roles, and eventually diving right into the hardcore deep end to become pornography's breakout female star.”
And that she did. These days, Stoya’s moving forward with other creative projects in New York, where she resides.
Hazlehurst said she decided to catch up with Stoya, a past XBIZ Award winner, after the launch of her new exhibition at the Museum of Sex in Manhattan.
Called “Sex Work, Art Work,” the exhibit celebrates human rights, women's rights, sexual empowerment and it benefits BeautyForFreedom.org in the organization’s efforts to abolish sex trafficking.
Stoya in the Paper Q&A answered to queries that ran the gamut — questions from the destigmatization of sex work to the recent spate to porn performer deaths to whether society is moving into a sex-positive world to the intimacy of porn and its fans.
As for intimacy and fans who seek out attention, Stoya said: “They feel comfortable sharing things that they don't feel comfortable sharing with other people or in other places. I hear cam girls talk about this a lot."
"There ends up being a therapist component to the job, which can really be nerve-wracking," Stoya said. "On the one end, these are people who clearly haven't been able to feel open about that particular [thing]. And so there's a need there that calls you, but I don't have the training for this. Usually this is some heavy shit.”
When asked whether people recognize her and approach her on the street in New York, Stoya said, “It varies. One time I was having lunch with my friends in downtown Brooklyn, and this girl was running down the sidewalk. She was like, ‘Oh my god, Stoya! I'm going to miss my train,’ and she was like a deer in headlights, and I was like, ‘Run for your train.’”
On the topic of destigmatization, Stoya mentioned that there are a number of things to consider.
“One is I believe there's this pendulum effect about sexuality and sexual professions where we become open-minded to it and then we get more freaked out by it again,” she said.
“It happened in the '70s with deep throat and porno chic, and it happened with Jenna Jameson in early '90s, and then there's Sasha Grey and Joanna Angel and me. Now there's so many of us that people are interested in. That's where I think we're seeing actual progress.
“This trans performer named Bailey J was talking about the trans community and said, ‘I wish we could get to the point where there was room for more than one of us, so I could be the slutty one without people freaking out and thinking what I say applies to every trans women,’ she said.
“She said that on Twitter and I saw that, and just wanted to heart it like 600 times and hug my laptop and be like, ‘Yes, this!’ Because I feel like with pornography, we're getting to the time where it's not like the ‘Highlander’ anymore and that's really great — that allows more freedom to pass up gigs that aren't really the best fit for me or are going to be a challenge.”
On the topic of the five recent passings of adult stars, Stoya said that some might think that working in adult entertainment is a team effort — but it really isn’t. And that might be the problem.
“[W]e do not make nearly the kind of money that people tend to think we do. There's also very little team,” she said. “When some actors or actresses do a public signing, they have a security team, a handler, an assistant and maybe their best friend with them. When I do a convention, it's me by myself.
“One time threatened to beat a man with my bag of superskin assholes. He grabbed my arm and it had been a long day and I just was not having it. I was like, ‘I will beat you with my bag of superskin rectums,’ and he was so confused."
Read the Paper article here.