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Stoya at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in 2014
Years active2007–present

Stoya is an American pornographic actress, actress, model, and writer.

Early life[edit]

Stoya was born to a Scottish father and a Serbian mother.[2] As a child, she wanted to become a dancer, and started dance lessons at the age of three. She was home-schooled and received her high-school diploma before the age of sixteen.[3] Because her father worked in IT, Stoya had access to electronics and gaming equipment, through which she developed her love of technology.[4] "I was three when I was using DOS. My mom taught me how to read, and my dad taught me how to navigate DOS."[4]

After moving 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."[1] In May 2009, Stoya said that she would be moving from Philadelphia and relocating to Los Angeles in the fall of that year.[4]


Stoya began posing for adult pictures for a friend,[5] which eventually led her to modelling and working for alt-erotic websites. She chose her stage name based on a shortened version of her grandmother's Serbian maiden name[3][5] and trademarked the name in 2009.[3]

Stoya was featured in two DVD productions for Razordolls, and she made a non-sex, cameo appearance in two Vivid Alt titles[6] 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.[1]

In October 2007, Digital Playground signed her to an exclusive, three-year contract.[7] Stoya is regarded as the company's first alt porn contract girl.[8] 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.[1][6]

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".[9]

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.[10] As of 2014, she left Digital Playground and is now focusing her career on directing. She financed and directed her first film in February 2014.[11] On March 4, 2014, Stoya and Kayden Kross created the pay-per-scene pornographic website TRENCHCOATx. In addition to running the site, Stoya performed in and also directed some of the films.[12]

Stoya appears as a main cast member in the 2016 mainstream lesbian fantasy series Dagger Kiss.[13]

In February 2018, Stoya starred in the Serbian sci-fi film A.I. Rising (also known as Ederlezi Rising) in the role of the android, Nimani, on a space mission with a 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.[14]

In 2018, Stoya launched the website with her business partner, comedian Mitcz Marzoni.[15] Zerospaces describes itself as a "sexually explicit media project" with videos, photosets and articles pertaining to sex and sexuality.[16] The website was closed in 2023.


In 2012, Stoya appeared in Amanda Palmer's music video for "Do It with a Rockstar".[17][18] She has acted in two of Dean Haspiel's Off Broadway plays: Harakiri Kane (Die! Die, Again!)[19] and The Last Bar at the End of the World.[20]


Stoya writes regular columns for Slate,[21] Vice[3][22] and The Verge,[23] along with a sex-advice column for Refinery29.[24] She has published pieces in The New York Times,[5][25][26] New Statesman,[27] Esquire,[28] The Guardian,[29] Nylon, Playboy, and XCritic,[30] as well as an article in Porn Studies, a peer-reviewed academic journal.[31] She published her first book in 2018, entitled Philosophy, Pussycats, and Porn, a collection of personal and critical essays.[32][33]

Beginning with her June 29, 2021 Slate "How to Do It" column — which she had previously written as Stoya — she began using "Jessica Stoya" as her byline.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Stoya has acknowledged the importance of social networking in her career;[1] she is active on MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr,[35] and various Internet forums.

In June 2009, she was reported to be dating Marilyn Manson,[36] but they later broke up due to Manson's touring schedule.[37] Afterwards, she dated pornographic actor James Deen for several years.[38][39] On November 29, 2015, Stoya wrote on Twitter that Deen had raped her:[40]

James Deen held me down and fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safeword. I just can't nod and smile when people bring him up anymore.[41]

Deen denied the allegations, calling them "false," "egregious," and "defamatory."[42] Following Stoya's statement, eight other women went public with assault allegations against Deen. San Francisco-based Internet pornography studio Kink dropped Deen,[43] and the website The Frisky terminated his column.[44]


  • "Noooooooodie Girl". (2015). In Lee, Jiz (ed.). Coming Out Like a Porn Star: Essays on Pornography, Protection, and Privacy. Berkeley, Calif.: ThreeL Media. pp. 284–286. ISBN 978-0-9905571-6-6.
  • Philosophy, Pussycats, & Porn. Los Angeles: Not A Cult. 2018. ISBN 978-1-9456-4943-1.


  • 2008 Eroticline Award – Best U.S. Newcomer[45][46]
  • 2009 AVN Award – Best New Starlet[47]
  • 2009 AVN Award – Best All-Girl Group Sex Scene – Cheerleaders[47]
  • 2009 XBIZ Award – New Starlet of the Year[48]
  • 2009 XRCO Award – New Starlet[49]
  • 2012 AVN Award – Hottest Sex Scene (Fan Award) – Babysitters 2[50]
  • 2014 XBIZ Award – Best Scene - Feature Movie – Code of Honor[51]
  • 2018 FEST Beograd[52] – Best Actress – Ederlezi Rising[53]
  • 2019 XBIZ Award – Best Actress - All-Girl Release – Talk Derby to Me[54]


  1. ^ a b c d e Stosuy, Brandon (January 18, 2008). "An Interview with Stoya". The Fanzine.
  2. ^ "The Charlatan's conversation with adult film star Stoya". The Charlatan. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Hess, Amanda (April 24, 2013). "Stoya, Pop Star of Porn". The Village Voice.
  4. ^ a b c Christopher Wink (2009). "South Philly's Stoya: adult film it girl on DOS, social media and leaving Philadelphia". Technically Philly. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Stoya (March 8, 2014). "Can We Learn About Privacy From Porn Stars?". The New York Times. p. SR5. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522.
  6. ^ a b David Sullivan (December 6, 2007). "DP's Stoya Makes Her Boy/Girl Debut in Jack's POV 9". Adult Video News. Archived from the original on December 4, 2009. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  7. ^ "Digital Playground Announces the exclusive signing of Stoya(tm)" (Press release). Digital Playground. October 18, 2007. Archived from the original on December 15, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  8. ^ Stroud, Matt (November 12, 2008). "Meet South Philly's Stoya". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008.
  9. ^ Krumm, Allison (May 15, 2009). "48 Hours of Philmmaking". Phillyist. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  10. ^ Dan Miller (June 11, 2013). "John Stagliano Discusses 'Voracious' Sequel". XBIZ. Retrieved June 23, 2013.
  11. ^ Chris Morris (January 17, 2014). "The economics of being an independent porn star". CNBC. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Allouche, Lucie (March 6, 2015). "Stoya Takes a Bath and Talks About Her New Pay-Per-Scene Porn Site". Vice. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "A lesbian 'Lord of the Rings' makes its debut on Valentine's Day". Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  14. ^ ""A.I. Rising" Android in Love". ACED Magazine. March 11, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  15. ^ Garcia, Laia (November 13, 2018). "How Stoya's progressive new online space is revolutionising porn". Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  16. ^ "About ZeroSpaces : ZeroSpaces". Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  17. ^ Amanda Palmer Interview. YouTube. May 21, 2014. Archived from the original on December 20, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  18. ^ ""Do It With a Rockstar" (Full Uncensored – NSFW)". The official website of Amanda Palmer. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  19. ^ Staff (September 12, 2017). "Fall Season Announced at The Brick!". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  20. ^ Staff (April 15, 2018). "The Last Bar at the End of the World at Urban Stages". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  21. ^ "How to Do It". Slate Magazine. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  22. ^ "Articles by Stoya". Vice.
  23. ^ Stoya (July 18, 2015). "Please meet our new sex columnist, Stoya". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  24. ^ Stoya (January 31, 2014). "The BEST Sex Advice, Courtesy Of Stoya".
  25. ^ Stoya (March 4, 2018). "Can There Be Good Porn?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  26. ^ Stoya (March 16, 2018). "What Is Porn?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  27. ^ Stoya (June 1, 2015). "What porn actors don't talk about". New Statesman.
  28. ^ Stoya (November 4, 2013). "10 Things Stoya Learned from Masters of Sex". Esquire.
  29. ^ "Making porn actors wear condoms is not the best way to protect us". The Guardian. November 16, 2012. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  30. ^ Peter Warren (April 21, 2008). " Hosts Stoya Contest". Adult Video News. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  31. ^ Stoya (January 2014). "Feminism and the mainstream". Porn Studies. 1 (1–2): 201–202. doi:10.1080/23268743.2014.888256.
  32. ^ Reith, James (June 28, 2018). "Stoya: 'I thought female sexuality was an OK thing?'". The Guardian. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
  33. ^ Clark-Flory, Tracy. "Stoya Is 'Over' Talking About Feminist Porn". Jezebel. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  34. ^ "Jessica Stoya". Slate. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  35. ^ Stoya. "Stoya on Tumblr". Retrieved February 27, 2012.
  36. ^ Rifkind, Hugo (June 5, 2009). "A most bizarre encounter with Marilyn Manson". The Times. London. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  37. ^ Loftus, Cindi (April 2011). "Xcitement Interviews: STOYA". Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  38. ^ Deitz, Bibi (December 4, 2015). "When Did James Deen And Stoya Date?". Bustle. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  39. ^ Stoya. "December 17". Archived from the original on January 22, 2016. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  40. ^ Michael Stewart (November 30, 2015). "Porn Star Stoya's Rape Allegations Against James Deen Prompt Powerful Hashtag". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  41. ^ "Stoya". Twitter. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  42. ^ "Porn Actor James Deen Blasts "False And Defamatory" Rape Claims". BuzzFeed. November 30, 2015. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
  43. ^ Finger, Bobby (November 30, 2015). "James Deen Dropped From Major Porn Studio Amid Allegations of Sexual Assault". Jezebel. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  44. ^ Grant, Melissa Gira (December 4, 2015). "How Stoya took on James Deen and broke the porn industry's silence". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  45. ^ "Digital Playground Wins Four Awards at Venus Berlin". Adult Video News. October 21, 2008. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  46. ^ "AVN – Exclusive: Complete 2008 eLINE Award Winners from Venus Berlin". Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  47. ^ a b David Sullivan (January 11, 2009). "2009 AVN Award-Winners Announced". AVN. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  48. ^ Edward Duncan (February 13, 2009). "XBIZ Announces 2009 Award-Winners". Adult Video News. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
  49. ^ "2009 XRCO Award Winners Announced". Adult Video News. April 16, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2009.
  50. ^ "AVN Announces the 2012 AVN Award Winners". AVN. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  51. ^ Dan Miller (January 24, 2014). "2014 XBIZ Award Winners Announced". XBIZ. Retrieved January 25, 2014.
  52. ^ "48. Međunarodni filmski festival - FEST 2020". 48. FEST Međunarodni filmski festival - CEBEF (in Serbian). Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  53. ^ "Ederlezi Rising sweeps the Serbian awards at Belgrade FEST". Cineuropa - the best of european cinema. March 5, 2018. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  54. ^ XBIZ Award Winners, XBIZ, January, 2019

External links[edit]