Technically Philly: Interview with adult film star Stoya on technology and Philadelphia

I profiled the feisty and strong-willed adult film star Stoya  for Technically Philly.

It could be her, standing in the low light of a trendy South Philadelphia coffee shop.

There are maybe 10 people — drinking tea and working on laptops — most of whom are cute, pale-faced women with dark hair and a look. One arrived promptly at 4 p.m. and happened to be the biggest young thing in the entirety of mainstream adult film.

She was introduced as South Philly’s Stoya by CityPaper last November, but with more than six years of this city behind her and the heart of a profitable and exhausting porn career ahead of her, Stoya is leaving Philadelphia. Read the rest here.

A friend kindly submitted it to Digg, where it has more than any other story I’ve been a part of has gotten. Someone else pushed it on ReddIT. Combining porn and tech, I suppose, were bound to get interest online, though I maintain that the story has real merit for TP.

Below see what got left on the cutting room floor.

Many thanks to photographer Neal Santos who took some shots of Stoya where we interviewed, including the photo we used. I also want to thank Stoya for her time and patience.

Stoya has something of a reputation for being a tech head, which became the focus of the story, which hopes to again show how deep, diverse and wide-ranging Philadelphia’s tech community is.

Some passages were cut, including the following, as I dropped the first-person inclusion (which seemed self-indulgent and to be biting off the really interesting CityPaper story that prompted this interview)


It’s raining outside this April afternoon and, after Stoya and I exchanged awkward glances — each making the assumption that this is what the other must look like — she returned to the pile a copy of CityPaper, the celebrated Philadelphia alternative weekly she later trashes for that coverage of her. She says the story’s author Matt Stroud “outright lied,” though her most direct example was that he fabricated her “liking” Jenna Jameson and the only time former porn legend was mentioned in the CP story came with little of that connotation:

Certain girls — the Jenna Jamesons, for example — they’re megastars and then they meet someone and they get publicly married and they publicly say: “This is the only person I’ll do.” But then their sales drop. And you see, inevitably, they come back and start fucking other dudes because of that. [Source]

Recently, Technically Philly was in the middle of another alt-weekly source criticism, and it’s nothing of which we want to make a habit. What’s more, in a moment, Stoya is apologizing, somewhat.

“Maybe I’m just crabby,” she says, accompanied with a light cough. “I think I caught swine flu on the plane,” she says, offering a sideways glance to a woman behind her who finds Stoya’s repeated use of the phrase “anally penetrated” shocking.

Some other lost phrases and quotations:

  • “I have a few more years in the adult industry because I didn’t get shot out as soon as I came in. So I can actually make a career of it.”
  • “I have had scary creepy lunatics in my life since I was 16.”
  • The porn industry is “like a meat grinder. “Hey little Miss 18 year old, let’s take some pictures of you before you get fat and ugly from doing too many drugs.”
  • “The subject matter of my job is fairly, well people are either cool with it or obsessively interested or violently opposed to it.”
  • “With my schedule I grew apart from the friends I have here and the friends I have in L.A. get it more,” she says decisively.
  • “The last thing you want a few years down the road is somebody trying to bring Auntie Stoya to Show & Tel.”
  • She started erotic dancing at 18 and worked as a law-office secretary before adult film slowly took hold.
  • She knew enough to correct me when I accidentally contacted her and referred to our Twitter account as @TechnicallyPhilly, instead of @TechnicallyPHL.
  • She was introduced to the wider porn world in December 2007.
  • Throughout our interview, I can’t quite tell if her sense of humor is dark and biting or if she just doesn’t want to be bothered by me. “I do hate having the hundreds of interviews,” she says, not excluding present company. But what she can’t seem to deny that likes “new things,” whatever they are.
  • She used Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing when she was younger.
  • Her only contact with other kids until 12 or 13 was dance class.
  • “During my formative years, I didn’t really have any idea what was normal.”
  • We meet for a handshake and she eases into a chair alongside photographer Neal Santos and I. See more of the photographs he took of Stoya that afternoon on his photoblog here.

Again, many thanks to Stoya for her time and the very talented Neal Santos for taking that photo.

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