Guest Interview with Stoya: Sex Starlet Talks Back
Meet Stoya, a rising icon in the adult entertainment industry.
Contrary to stereotype, she MySpaced since the beginning, maintains an 18-month-old XCritic-hosted blog, and tweets as @Stoya. She understands technology and prowls with a BlackBerry, G1, and laptop.
In January 2009, AVN named her Starlet of the Year.
A follow-up to my January blog post on Twitter porn, […]
In January 2009, AVN named her Starlet of the Year.
A follow-up to my January blog post on Twitter porn, I recently emailed Stoya a series of questions. Aside from formatting edits to maintain the flow of this best practices in social media series, these are her words…
How shall I introduce you?
Hi, I’m Stoya. I do dirty dirty things on video for Digital Playground. It’s pretty sweet in a base desires of humanity kind of way. I like to go to new places and see new things. I really appreciate people who can read, and my official bio uses phrases like ”original and outrageous” and “chipping away at the common misconceptions regarding the adult industry and sexual perceptions as a whole.”
How do you define social media?
I would define it as any platform for content (be it blogging, news websites, video, photographs) where the consumer watching or reading can comment back, creating a dialogue with the author or discussion with other consumers.
Some describe you as a geek. How are you using the web to explore sexuality?
Really, this whole geek label is starting to bug me as much as the goth label people were trying to pin on me last year did. I just try to keep up with technology when it’s applicable in a practical manner. I think it’s kind of nifty, and way more interesting than say, watching tv or playing sports is.
It’s not like I’m a computer science major or anything; I just grew up with computers around. I do enjoy exploring my sexuality in a professional environment (mostly referring to the fact that I’m a lot safer being tied up by a trusted bondage photographer than some drunk guy I picked up at a bar and other things along those lines) and my career in hardcore adult entertainment did grow out of that.
Exploring sexuality on MySpace is about as safe as walking through the worst neighborhood in town at 2 a.m. holding a map. I’ve had it since a few months after the site launched, same with Twitter, and since ‘fans’ find me on these social networking sites and talk to me, I talk back. It would be rude not to.
Do social networking sites and blogs help you get ahead?
Apparently, social networking sites and blogs have helped me get ahead in the adult industry, since they’ve been brought up by numerous powers that be as a large factor in my popularity.
I think blogging and such allows people to see much more of my personality than they would be able to in a scripted adult video set up, sex scene, and two minutes of bits; and I can see how that possibly boosted sales and media opportunities but its extremely difficult to judge those kinds of things when you’re in the middle of it.
I’ve tried to keep up with marketing-lite type books like [Malcolm] Gladwell’s work and The Long Tail in an effort to understand why it works the way it does, but it’s honestly more of an analysis in retrospect of something that happened naturally.
How do you measure the ROI for the time and effort spent being online: replying to twitterers, blogging, etc? Is it worth it?
I don’t measure the return on investment. I don’t have access to my sales figures, and even if I could track whether sales went up depending on an amount of interviews and time spent corresponding with people on social networking sites, it isn’t something I’m directly compensated for.
As far as whether its worth it or not, of course it’s worth it. It’s worth it in the same way that if you put yourself out there in public by going to the local coffee shop, it’s worth responding when the person at the next table says hello.
Would you continue to do it X-rated or explore toning your scenes down to be more creative for more exposure, e.g. James Gunn’s PG Porn?
I am absolutely going to continue to do X-rated scenes and have no interest in doing ”toned down” scenes for the adult DVDs I star in. However, I am more than willing to do additional work outside of hardcore and am quite capable of keeping my clothes on or keeping it PG-13 if necessary and the project is interesting enough.
With porn DVD sales down due to free streaming websites, e.g. YouPorn, is the industry in trouble? Is the internet more attractive as a result to get the word out?
Parts of the industry are definitely changing. However, adult novelty sales are reportedly up, and Digital Playground is hiring new staff and expanding.
Responding to stories on the Today Show about teenage girls “sexting” nude pictures of themselves to their boyfriends, would you be interested in a PG-13 reality show called “Talk with Stoya” to educate girls on sex ed, etc?
Minors and adult hardcore entertainment don’t really go well together, although a college aged target demographic could work. And no, I haven’t seen stories on the Today Show, because I don’t watch television.
You were making clothing and seeking an internship?
I was. Internships require a significant time commitment and a certain schedule, which I couldn’t commit to during the filming and promotion during and after the release of Pirates: Stagnetti’s Revenge.
Since I had already signed up for the whole contract girl bit without realizing DP was serious about “making me a star” (I mean seriously, people say they’re going to do that every day in LA) and agreed to fulfill certain expectations, work comes first.
Besides which, since adult entertainment turned into a bit bigger of a deal than I initially expected, it makes sense to continue working on the career I can only do at a certain age and save the stuff that doesn’t depend on physical appearance for later.
Photo credit: Mutter Erde at Wikipedia.
If you’d like to see a trailer from last fall for the Pirates movie mentioned above, have a look. Toddlers and grandparents may want to shield their eyes, but this is otherwise clean fun for anyone else to watch:
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