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Stoya’s Biographical Footnote to the Philadelphia City paper Interview

The following is a biographical footnote to the Stoya interview which appears here:

Stoya: “When I first moved here I lived with an industrial DJ and a drum and bass DJ next to Subzero (off South Street), volunteered at the Wooden Shoe for a while, and would help Schane out in the shop sometimes. … After getting enough ‘work experience’ to land a real job, I ended up working in the Commerce Square building as a secretary, living in Rittenhouse and handing out fliers for various parties at clubs at night.

Eventually, waking up at 7 a.m. wasn’t really working out for me anymore, so I convinced Tommy Up that he really wanted to take me on as a sort of apprentice at PaperStreet. Of course this involved thousands more fliers, but it also involved lots of lessons in guerrilla and viral marketing, branding and lots of required reading.

At some point I started go-go dancing for Shock Therapy/Fusion over at Emerald City. Around the time my lease in Rittenhouse was up, my friend Jonny Sorber (eventually half of the men behind Hands and Knees up at the M Room) was moving into the city and had a room open in his apartment. He had photographed me a few times, I was living with him and one of his friends in Society Hill, and a couple of alt-nude Web sites had contacted him about shooting for them.

Trusted photographer roommate plus girl who is comfortable with her body and dances practically naked in nightclubs equals some pretty awesome naked photosets.

Jonny’s place was starting to turn into more of a bachelor pad, and my best friend (Jess) had some space open in her house in Graduate Hospital, so I moved down there. I went up to NYC to dance for a fetish weekend up there and then out to L.A. to shoot a really softcore girl/girl scene for a porno movie. Because the trip was so long I had pretty much everything I owned with me in a big suitcase. L.A. had the potential for a lot of awesome work, so I decided to give living there a try. Tommy let me do office stuff from home on the West Coast until I was sure I had enough work as a nude model to make ends meet.

I love the East Coast and after a few months missed Philly so much that I moved home just in time for the winter. Back to Graduate Hospital, new house this time, and started dancing at the Mansion over on 19th for a weekly that Robbie Tronco threw with Reno from Shock. Robbie got me in at Glam as a dancer as well, and I spent most of my time either dancing, answering e-mails and booking shoots, or running Jess’ notebooks up to her at the Art Institute when she forgot them at home and looking for our final house to rent down in South Philly. Really, final.

Unless I find something to buy or this house burns down we are never moving again. Last year, I was on a trip to the West Coast to shoot with a bunch of photographers and meet with Digital Playground about a possible girl/girl scene with one of their contract stars at the time. Robbie asked about boy/girl, I said I’d have to think about it. I went home, thought about for it for a week, and couldn’t find any truly important reason that it could be a bad idea. So we shot a movie, they liked me, and next thing I knew I was under contract and looking for apartments in L.A.

I love doing porn, but as a contract girl I shoot very few movies a year and have a lot of downtime. I prefer to spend that downtime with my close friends in a city that I love. … The adult industry is something that I’ve been on the edges of since I was 18, and although it wasn’t necessarily a goal, porn has definitely been interesting to me for quite some time. Exploring my sexuality on camera is a really fun adventure, and a little over a year ago I was just at a point where I was ready to go further. Further for me involved touching penises on camera and a contract with the best company in hardcore high-class adult entertainment. I think that’s pretty ultraplus.”

photo by Michael T. Regan


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