‘Actual critique’

Award-winning pornstar calls for a wholesale rethinking of society’s approach to porn

Stoya. (Getty Images)

Eclectic pornstar Stoya, an award-winning performer, director, and podcast host, has authored a new collection of essays in which she shares stories from her own life alongside in-depth discussion on the intersectionality of sexuality, patriarchy, and identity. Speaking with The Guardian, Stoya said she was inspired to begin writing herself after growing tired of journalists who knew little about porn “getting it so incredibly wrong” in their articles about the topic. Feminists too, she added, should begin analyzing and commenting on the problematic aspects of porn in order to help shape the industry into something more positively impactful than it currently is — rather than expecting people to suddenly just stop watching it.

“We need the academics who spent decades studying patriarchy and its effects to come in and give us some actual critique,” she explained. “Sitting on the other side of the fence screaming about how we’re ruining all men is not functional.”

The stigmatization of pornstars themselves is another topic of interest to her. In one essay, she notes that being classified as a pornographer — as opposed to a nude model — means that one becomes significantly more likely to have a PayPal account refused, loan requests turned down, and housing applications denied by landlords.

“When I first considered performing in a hardcore pornographic video, I also thought about what sort of career doors would close once I’d had sex in front of a camera,” she recalled in a recent interview with The New York Times. “Being a schoolteacher came to mind, but that was fine, since I didn’t want the responsibility of shaping young minds. And yet thanks to this country’s non-functional sex education system and the ubiquitous access to porn by anyone with an internet connection, I have that responsibility anyway.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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