This is something I’ve gotten a lot of questions about and which I feel is under-discussed in both porn and more mainstream entertainment. In case you missed it over at popporn.com:
‘A Vagina By Any Other Name Would Still Smell Like a Vagina’
Some people seem to think that knowledge of a public persona’s real name is some kind of power to wield, like an old pulp fantasy novel in which a demon can be summoned by the proper pronunciation of its twelve syllable long name.
When someone says “Hey, I know your real name!” they aren’t getting my attention in a good way. What they’re telling me is they have no respect for boundaries and are probably stalker material. It makes me less likely to reply, and reminds me of the fact that for every few thousand wonderful (and usually quite interesting) people that follow my work, read my babble (on twitter, tumblr, xcritic, popporn, and other places), and watch my dirty movies there’s one who kind of wants to skin me and stuff me with dryer lint to make their own personal Stoya doll. (<- creepy)
So here’s a small Q & A on this matter:
Q: Why do you use a pseudonym?
A: I use a pseudonym for a couple of reasons.
1) Google real estate. See, if I put the name on my birth certificate into Google, almost two million pages come up. Even if I put my middle name in as well, it’s still one and a half million. Almost all of these are other people. Not very good for marketing and branding in a digital world.
2) I have young cousins. I will probably have nieces or nephews soon. On the very off chance one might be doing a family tree or something, I don’t want them to stumble into a world of thick hard cocks, gaping assholes, and fetish/BDSM before they or their parents are ready to discuss the birds, bees, and mating habits of humans with them.
Q: How did you come up with the name ‘Stoya’?
A: My grandmother’s last name is Serbian and very long. The shortened version would be ‘Stoja’ but people from English speaking countries tend to pronounce that with a hard ‘j’ sound as opposed to the proper ‘y’ sound so I americanized the spelling. It was briefly discussed as a possibility for a name (along with Jimmy) when I was about to be born, but someone who wasn’t full of pregnancy hormones convinced my mother to go with something a bit more standard.
Q: So what *is* the name on your birth certificate?
A: That’s really cute. If by ‘cute’ you mean ‘nice try but not happening.’
Q: Aww, c’mon, pleeeeeease?
A: Nope. Now you’re being invasive AND pushy. Usually I block people at this point.
Q: Do you only go by Stoya?
A: Of course not… my parents, close friends, co-workers at the restaurant I work at in my down time and others all call me by the first name on my birth certificate, a diminutive of it, or use a combination of those two and Stoya.
Q: Why would your close friends ever call you by your stage name?
A: Remember that more standard name I was talking about a couple of questions ago? Yeah, I know about a hundred other girls with the same name. My best friend for years and years had the same first name. It got really confusing, especially since we both had long dark hair (and frequently wore it in pigtails) when we met and then started dying it crazy colors at the same time, made a lot of our clothing ourselves, had very similar interests, and lived together. Nicknames had to happen to make everyone’s life easier, so I was already being called Stoya before I started getting naked on the internet and needed a nom de keyboard.
Meanwhile, addressing an adult performer with respect and courtesy does have power. The power to make us pay attention and read what you’re saying. The power to elicit an occasional response. The power to make you into one of those people that make the job of an adult performer so much fun.
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- pulptastic said: Stoya is nice and personally it doesn’t matter what your real name is, if you have a pseudonym obviously means you want your name to stay private, i totally understand and respect your choice!
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