Stoya, Pop Star of Porn

The Internet explodes for Brooklyn's own Stoya, America's sweetheart of smut

After one particularly bad interview, "I realized I didn't need to rely on press people not to fuck it up. I can actually talk," Stoya says. When she went straight to the Internet, "It made it harder for people to stay in that mindset of porn stars as people who don't have other options because they're too emotionally damaged or stupid to do something else."

For Stoya, every new sex scene, column, and Twitter debate is an opportunity to obliterate the lines between femininity and strength, sex worker and thinker, porn and art. After years of dedicated training on the lyra—that hoop—stateside, she headed to Russia last year to study with a circus master who spoke no English. "There's a hole in my hand and my muscles are screaming," she tweeted after one session. "It's beautiful." Last year, she donned a Vivienne Westwood dress and read aloud from Supervert's Necrophilia Variations while an unseen hand stimulated her under the table with a Hitachi Magic Wand; Clayton Cubitt filmed her above the waist the whole time for a video art project he called Hysterical Literature (shown on page one). "It's Stoya the porn star being stimulated by the vibrator, but it's safe for work so it can go everywhere!" she says—then makes the sound of the Internet exploding.

On Tumblr, she posted photographic evidence of an ingrown hair her physician extracted from her upper thigh with a large-gauge needle. In a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), she dished about the realities of bedding a fan: "They were so nervous they ejaculated twice before we even got to any of my holes and I gave up," she typed. "He was super cute though." On Twitter, she discussed edible panties with Neil Gaiman and Wil Wheaton. The fashion photographer Steven Klein shot her with untamed black hair sprouting from her armpits and vagina, her musculature gleaming under a sheen of oil. The Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne directed her spooning Amanda Palmer naked in bed for Palmer's music video "Do It with a Rockstar." GQ called her the porn-star-next-door who "regularly drops by Brooklyn house parties."

Stoya: “I had no idea how judgy-wudgy the real world is.”
Clayton Cubitt; Fashion styling: René Garza; Makeup and Hair: Katie Wedlund
Stoya: “I had no idea how judgy-wudgy the real world is.”
Stoya playing Marie Antoinette at Molly Crabapple’s art opening
Jennifer Loeber
Stoya playing Marie Antoinette at Molly Crabapple’s art opening

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See More Stoya:
Burlesque With Stoya and Friends (NSFW) by Nate "Igor" Smith

At home in Bushwick, she debates Oxford commas with her roommate, the photographer Steve Prue. Her apartment superintendent, Jorge, styles her hair. She raids medical supply stores for clean syringes, then fills them with glue to carefully appliqué rhinestones to everything—panties, pasties, her bedroom walls. She picked out her apartment colors by the paint-chip names—"Stealth" and "Anonymous"—and enlisted artist friends to paint the black and gray shades in stripes. Then she hung from an exposed pipe to glue rhinestones in the shape of ivy leaves. When Jorge heard she was bedazzling the walls, he rushed downstairs with his own stash of fake gems. And when he found a black-and-white kitten in a shoebox on the stoop, she adopted it.

For the past year, Stoya has carried on an increasingly public romance with another Internet porn phenomenon, carefully editing her vocabulary to fit the venue. Online, she calls him "Daddy," and he calls her "The Prom Queen." With journalists, he's "my boyfriend," the guy who makes her coffee every morning in California when he wakes up at 6 a.m. and she's sound asleep in his bed upstairs. With friends, he's "Brian." On set, he's James Deen, one of 10 performers on her list of approved male talent she's willing to have sex with. At the annual AVN Awards in 2011, Deen chickened out of interviewing Stoya on camera, saying "that girl makes me so fucking shy!" At this year's event, the couple stepped out together on the red carpet, Stoya carrying an Alexander McQueen clutch given to her by Deen. Fleshbot later posted a video of the couple ramming Deen's silicone molded dildo into Stoya's rubber molded Fleshlight, which their fans liked very much. If the Digital Playground contract goes south, Stoya says, "the Internet has led me to believe that I could just work with him for the rest of my career, and that would be fine."

James Deen and Stoya are the Jay-Z and Beyoncé of porn: They don't quite acknowledge their relationship outright, but they drop glittering clues everywhere they go. Through his publicist—he's now repped by Adella—Deen says that "like just about any other celebrity couple in America, very few things are personal and private and James and Stoya prefer to keep the intimate details of their relationship off the radar." But when she gets online, Stoya can't help but explore them. "Over the course of our relationship, I've had multiple conversations with the man I'm dating now about boundaries and feelings," she wrote for Vice. "I call him 'Daddy,' and as you might suspect, there are aspects of power exchange in our relationship. I am his. My body is his, my mouth, vagina, and asshole are his—and my heart is his." In contrast to Stoya's delicate, grammatically precise missives, Deen's Internet presence is all lowercase id. He blogs about butt sex and tweets about burritos. He put his relationship this way on his blog: "i am the only one who truly can have exclusive access to her vagina and butthole."

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