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Stoya (born June 15, 1986 [10]) is an American pornographic actress, model and writer.

Early life

Stoya was born on June 15, 1986 in Wilmington, North Carolina [11] to a Scottish father and a Serbian mother. [12] [15]

As a child, she wanted to become a dancer, starting dance lessons at the age of three. She was home-schooled and got her high-school diploma before the age of sixteen. [17] Because her father worked in IT, Stoya had access to a lot of electronics and gaming equipment, which she says developed her love for technology. [19]

"I was three when I was using DOS. My mom taught me how to read, and my dad taught me how to navigate DOS", she has said. [19] At a later age, Stoya moved to Delaware, where she spent a semester at Delaware College of Art & Design, but she later dropped out. [17] After relocating to Philadelphia, she attended a summer program at UArts. Some of her jobs in Philadelphia included being a secretary, flier distributor, and a go-go dancer. Stoya appeared in several music videos for bands that, according to her, "no one will ever hear of." [20] In May 2009, Stoya said that she would be moving from Philadelphia and relocating to Los Angeles in the fall of that year. [19]

Professional life


According to Stoya, she began posing for adult pictures for a friend. [15] That eventually led her to modelling and working for alt-erotic websites. [17] One of the websites she had worked for asked if she was willing to do a softcore scene for a DVD they were putting out. [20]

Stoya claims that she discovered pornography through an interest in BDSM and via fetish newsgroups on the Internet. She has stated that few adult films interested her and that she prefers those with artistic and fetish themes. [21]

Stoya was featured in two DVD productions for Razordolls, and she made a non-sex, cameo appearance in two Vivid Alt titles [23] [24] before being contacted by Digital Playground with a proposition to perform in a hardcore lesbian scene with Sophia Santi. The scene in question never happened, but, in August 2007, she met with several Digital Playground representatives and was asked if she would star in a pornographic movie with male talent. After careful consideration, Stoya agreed. [20]

In October 2007, Digital Playground signed her to an exclusive, three-year contract. [26] Stoya is regarded as the company's first alt porn contract girl. [28] The first scene that she shot for them was for Stoya Video Nasty (promoted on the DVD box as the first film featuring her engaging in heterosexual intercourse), but her first movie released by the company was Jack's POV 9. [20] [23]

Stoya as Kamikazi Shegun 5000

In 2009, Stoya appeared in her first mainstream crossover project as Kamikazi Shegun 5000 in the award-winning 48 Hour Film Project "The Kingpin of Pain". [29]

Even though Stoya was under exclusive contract with Digital Playground, Evil Angel director John Stagliano received "special permission" in 2013 to cast her in the sequel for the adult film series Voracious. [30] As of 2014, she left Digital Playground and is now focusing her career on directing. She is financed and directed her first film in February 2014. [31] On March 4, 2014, Stoya and Kayden Kross created the pay-per-scene pornographic website TRENCHCOATx. In addition to running the site, Stoya performs in and also directs some of the films. [32]

Stoya appears as a main cast member in the 2016 mainstream lesbian fantasy series Dagger Kiss. [33]

In February 2018, Serbian sci-fi film Ederlezi Rising, Stoya stars as the android, Nimani, on a space mission with a Slav cosmonaut played by Slovenian actor Sebastian Cavazza. The two become romantically entwined when the cosmonaut starts to believe there might be something human inside his android companion.


In 2012, Stoya was a central figure in Amanda Palmer's music video for "Do It With a Rockstar". [34] [35]

In April 2013, Stoya was featured in a Village Voice cover story issue profiling her career as well as her life in New York City. [36]

In March 2015, Vice interviews Stoya about the launch of her pornography site TRENCHCOATx. [32]

In April 2018, Stoya appeared in Dean Haspiel's Off-Broadway play, "The Last Bar at the End of the World."


Stoya has written for several publications including Vice, [37] The New York Times, [15] New Statesman, [38] Esquire, [39] The Guardian [41] , Nylon, Playboy and blogged for XCritic. [42] In 2014, Stoya ran a sex-advice column for Refinery29. [43] In 2015, Stoya wrote for The Verge as their resident sex columnist. [44]


Stoya (January 2014).. Porn Studies. Taylor and Francis. 1 (1–2): 201–202. doi:.


On June 25, 2018 Stoya published her first book. [45] [46] Philosophy, Pussycats, & Porn. not a cult, LLC. 2018. ISBN 1945649216.

Personal life

The stage name Stoya was her child nickname, before she started appearing in adult films and it is the shortened version of her grandmother's last name. [20] In 2009, she trademarked Stoya. [36]

Stoya enjoys art, and one of her hobbies is creating clothes which she wears in her scenes and during erotic conventions. She likes reading, with science fiction and fantasy being among her favorite genres. [17] Her favorite writers include William Gibson and Anne McCaffrey. [19]

Stoya has acknowledged the importance of social networking in her career; [20] she is active on MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr, and various Internet forums.

In June 2009, she was reported to be dating Marilyn Manson, [47] but they later broke up due to Manson's touring schedule. [49] Afterwards, she dated pornographic actor James Deen for several years. [50] [52]

On November 29, 2015, Stoya said on Twitter that James Deen had sexually penetrated her through the use of coercion and without her consent: [53] [54] [55]

These allegations of rape were denied by Deen, who labelled them "false", "egregious", and "defamatory". [12] In the days following, eight other women went public saying Deen had assaulted them, San Francisco-based Internet pornography studio Kink dropped Deen, [12] and website The Frisky killed his column. [12]

She has twice refused Digital Playground's offer of free breast implants. [60]

Stoya has stated that exploring her sexuality on camera has been a fun adventure. [28]

In a blog post, Stoya said that she has mild latex allergies and difficulties with hormonal birth control. In the past, she said that she has had three medication induced abortions, and states, "I've been pretty successful at avoiding pregnancy." [12]

In a June 2013 interview with The Huffington Post, Stoya revealed that her popularity as a porn star has made it difficult for her father to enjoy pornography. [63]


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