Window

The New York Soho House, whatever it was initially built for, feels like a playground for those with too much money and too little sense. This is how I justified sneaking through its corridors with a very attractive man, searching for a dark corner to touch each other in. Not to imply that either of us possess too much money, or that he possesses too little sense.

New York City is full of people, piled on top of each other and squished into multi-story buildings. You have to love people, or love grumbling about them, to exist happily here. There’s an in-public quality to daily life, more so than in a city built on people transporting themselves in private vehicles.

So many things around sex are grey, including the general boundaries of what intensity of interaction is appropriate in which settings. Because I’m conscious of the discomfort which can be inspired in others by overt displays of sexuality in public, I try to be conscious of the effects of those displays. Try in no way means that I succeed—I’m comparatively oblivious and also very myopic when aroused by a wonderful person.

Because of my career I’m also wary. I’m not egotistical enough to believe that every move I make is of interest to someone likely to record it in searchable parts of the internet. But I also know that once a thing is recorded on public record it can be used to discredit people who have become associated with me, and that price is a thing I prefer to avoid casually inflicting on others. 

Buy the ticket, ride the ride, yes. But I feel a responsibility to explain the details and potential ramifications of the ride before that ticket is indelibly obtained.

All of that said, Soho house is a place that feels secretive and permissive. As though anything, up to the point that they throw you out, is acceptable. A place where premium is paid in exchange for permissiveness of impulse.

I live on the south end of Brooklyn and he lives somewhere in Queens. This seems convenient, both places being in New York City, until you bring bus schedules and traffic into it. Because it is two trains and at least one, probably more buses. The ends of our evenings out in Manhattan are all me writhing around, pouting that he won’t come home with me, and trying to decipher why, specifically, he keeps saying I’m trouble.

So we snuck and explored, through the winding halls and up and down staircases. There were no dark corners. Not in the movie theater, not in the library we couldn’t actually find, and certainly not in the brightly lit sitting area next to a storage room. And the storage room turned out to include a staircase which looked highly trafficked. 

The brightly lit sitting area did have a large window though. Sheer curtains against the glass blocked the view across rooftops, towards the Hudson River. The sill was just wide enough for me to kneel on, and thick curtains hung on the outside of it.

I sat on that sill and tugged at the curtains. He asked how we were going to make this work, and I said I didn’t know but we would. He climbed in after me, and then we did make it work in a desperate and cramped way until he pushed his cock as far into my mouth as it could possibly go and came down my throat.

I swallowed and giggled as I pulled those sheer curtains aside and looked out across my city, because everything in that moment was good.

x

Stoya

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Bruise

Bruise

Very few things in life are as simple as they look through the constraints of headlines, tweets, and text messages. There are always multiple perspectives from which a given situation can be seen. A certain level of opacity seems right when discussing events which involve parts of other people’s lives that they typically prefer to keep private, and the things people typically keep private are what I live in.

That said, I was in a romantic and sexual relationship with another person for approximately two and half years. That relationship ended. I believe it needed to end and that I needed it to end. This belief has no effect on the fact that I hurt in ways I can’t currently understand.

Fifty-four days after I left that relationship, my body reminded me that I was in pain. I was constantly cold, my urine was nearly as dark as the scotch I’d been ingesting, and my heart felt both shredded and compressed. Please understand that none of this information is a request for any attempt at medical diagnosis. I am merely relaying the contextual whys behind getting in the shower and taking internal stock of my body.

Once I was out and mostly dry I looked at my skin:

There’s a brown bruise on the side of my neck, thumb-sized but left by a mouth. A series of green spots trickling down my left arm and a mauve one under my right breast. Dark red marks from teeth and finger nails streak the left edge of my torso. Most of my left thigh is pink and lavender. 

I’ve worn the marks of broken capillaries as symbols of deep games of physical ownership and power dynamic. I’ve displayed them to indicate sexual tastes, and sometimes to flaunt those tastes in the face of that straw creature who is named normative, vanilla, basic. Because sometimes I am a gleefully indecent muckraker.

I’ve wanted them for the physical sensations that occur during the process of being bruised. I’ve loved the look of them. The bones and the whipcord muscles and the marks.

The prior night I had asked for these bruises, said yes and please. My hands pulled the person giving them to me closer. I said thank you because I wanted them. None of the pleasure/pain spectrum activities we engaged in were unexplored for me, but my thoughts around them were.

These particular marks, they’re a reminder that things do heal. I can randomly guess but not accurately forecast how long it will take. Physical and visible manifestations will shift through various stages before they are actually better. The sensations and presentations of pain will change a number of times before they disappear.

So I poked one of the bruises and thought about how typical my grasp for pseudo-control really was.

x

Stoya

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Sigh

When I spoke at Barnard last week someone asked me how I approach being recognized in public. I said that I don’t approach it, it approaches me.

Usually people who strike up a conversation in public because they know my work are incredibly nice and very respectful. More likely than a friendly hello is a tweet or email from someone saying they think they saw me but didn’t want to interrupt my book, phone conversation, or coffee.

A couple of months ago I was sitting in the window of a coffee shop near Washington Square Park, reading Houellebecq’s ‘Platform’. I’d taken a dislike to it on page 16 but was determined to read through to the end before making a final judgment. From close behind my right shoulder I heard a sharp, tense “Hi!”

I turned to see a man standing over me. He was talking fast, saying “It’s me, you know me, I say hi to you all the time, you know me.” His right hand extended, waiting to be shaken.

I didn’t think I knew him, but I do meet an extraordinary amount of people every year and am sometimes slow to recognize them. 

I stared blankly as his recitation of “you know me, I say hi to you all the time” continued. When he added “It’s me, the writer” I did know him and also knew I wanted him to go away. 

See, in early 2011 he’d approached me at a train station. He’d excitedly informed me that he’d just seen a video of me the night before and had written this script he’d like me to read. He had at least one copy printed out in his bag, which he pressed into my hands. 

I can’t remember if I gave him my email address to make him go away or if he must’ve dug it up on the internet. Either way, I received an email later saying he’d meant to ask me for my real name. I replied that I didn’t appreciate questions from strangers about my legal name.

Undeterred by lack of further response from me, his emails continued: asking what city I was in, expressing sadness we hadn’t become pen pals, saying Happy Memorial Day. Easily archived like other unwanted communications and harmless compared to many other things people say on the internet.

Back at the coffee shop, his hand still hung expectantly in midair.

I was full of no. No, I don’t want to talk to you, I want you to leave me alone. No, I will not shake your hand, I want you to leave me alone. No, I will not look at anything other than my book because you aren’t taking a verbal no for an answer and so I will not engage in any more discussion.

Eventually he retracted his hand and left.

I relaxed and actually read the page I’d been staring at. I refused to be pushed out of the comfortable chair I’d chosen in that coffee shop until I was ready to leave. If we’re going to have an entitlement-off, some presumably male person’s perceived right to my attention vs. my right to exist outside of my apartment unharassed in a city I think of as my home, my entitlement will win.

Twenty minutes later he came back, threw himself down in the seat next to mine, and exclaimed that he needed me to understand because he needed me to be his friend, needed me to like him. The stakes felt higher now and I felt scared. I gathered my belongings, abandoned my coffee, and backed towards the counter where employees were preparing to close up for the night. 

When I reached the back of the shop I asked if I could just hang out with them for a few moments. They looked towards the entrance and said they’d seen that guy before, that they thought he was kind of creepy. I filled them in briefly on the backstory.

He was gone, but one employee told me to stay back there for a moment and poked their head out the front door. They came back and reported that he was lurking a few doors down, asked if they should call the police.

I was shaking by then, fight or flight response in high gear. I did some fear-based weighing of options: The police as a general category are not my friends. Between my time spent in Philadelphia and New York City I’ve personally witnessed enough abuse of power by those in uniform to be wary by default. I’ve seen plenty of documentation of far worse abuse in the forms of institutionalized racism and excessive force.

But how was I going to get from this now closed coffee shop to my next destination without risking being followed by this man? And more concerning in the long term, what if I eventually ran into him a third time? What if that interaction wasn’t harmless? What if I then needed to file a report and was asked why I hadn’t done so this time?

So we called the cops. As soon as the vehicle pulled up with its red and blue flashing lights the man ran off. I recounted the whole thing to the two officers, they filled out their paperwork, and then they walked outside with me to wait while I hailed a cab. 

As I opened the car door, one of the officers said he was having drinks with friends the next night and was wondering if I’d want to come along. I told him I didn’t think that would be appropriate, climbed in, and shut the door.

A friend expressed sympathy via text, reminded me of the ways in which we can protect ourselves, and tweeted frustration about the incident while maintaining my privacy. My tangled ball of feelings sat inside me for a couple of weeks, until I called the precinct to get the report number.

Once I was on the phone I felt like I had to say something about that officer. When they asked which officer it had been and I gave their name, they responded with a resigned sigh. A sigh that sounded like this wasn’t surprising.

I thought my god, these cops… they really do all seem like bastards.

x

Stoya

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Fire Escape

He was tall. He had a lighter, features striking enough to distract me from his beard. First eye contact was the little zap of a violet wand turned down low, the dynamic pinch of a rubber band snapping on skin. Interest piqued for a second or four. 

Brief superficial pleasantries were exchanged. Conversation deepened into commiseration over relationships recently ended. “You’re so tall,” I observed, with an unlit cigarette held close to my mouth. His hand reached out with a lighter. “And you have a lighter.” 

I’m fantastically un-witty when I’m drunk. I was never great at flirting. Aside from a few people who had been scheduled and compensated, I hadn’t had sex with anyone other than my former significant other for two years. I hadn’t even been very interested in sex for a few months. 

But that night I wanted to explore the possibility of being fucked by that man. I turned to the host of the party, asked if there was any reason not to have sex with this handsome person whose name I hadn’t quite retained the pronunciation of. She turned to the friend who’d brought him, repeated the question. A game of promiscuity telephone. 

No reason not to, aside from the slowly dawning realization that I’d be having sex at him that night, in his general direction, certainly not with. He seemed too nice, too emotionally honest to be treated that way. I disappeared back into the center of the party and grasped for some small stupid excuse to be turned off.

I gave him my email address anyway. I blew off his first attempt at meeting up but agreed the second time to coffee near a bookstore I needed to go to the next afternoon. I was standing on the sidewalk, leaning against the exterior wall of a coffee shop I’d remembered as less loud than it actually was. Over the top of the book I’d acquired I saw him walk up. 

In broad daylight, sober, he was still dashing. His British-accented apology for his slightly late arrival was charming. I was grateful I’d scheduled more coffee with a friend later, had a hard out in an hour and 45 minutes. He deserved my full attention, still something more than I felt confident in my ability to give. I wished I’d worn something a little less grubby than leggings and a hoodie. 

We sat in a park, then meandered around blocks. He was interesting. He’d canceled a meeting to see me. I was flattered enough for my cheeks to flush slightly. There was a brief hug at the end, the shoulders and collarbones only kind. An attempt to fight attraction with distance.

Another flurry of emails, a date for dinner. The choice of place was left up to me and I managed to pick somewhere with little more than a bare bones bar menu. But it had framed illustrations on the walls and some kind of historical significance that I couldn’t remember and we didn’t google. 

Later we got lost, which he also apologized for, trying to find a bar in the west village. I didn’t tell him but I didn’t care. We could’ve sat on the curb to talk and I would’ve been perfectly content. We did eventually find that bar, and you could (as he’d promised) still smoke in it. Our gaze met across the table for a moment too long and I forgot how to breathe. My eyes cut to the side, towards the floor. 

“You’re so tall. And you have a lighter. And… and I find you very handsome.” Another protracted stare with small upturns of the corners of both mouths, after which I was told I’m beautiful and intimidating. I made a fumbling attempt to explain how being physically penetrated by parts of another person’s body carries a certain intimacy more invasive than the act of penetrating another person, to express that I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that even though I wanted it with him. 

The time for theory had passed though, making space for the most awkward cross-table kiss imaginable. 

Then I invited him back to my hotel room, because kissing him for however many hours were left until his flight home seemed like the most enjoyable way to spend that span between night and morning. In the back of a cab, with our legs tangled and my shoulders resting against his chest, I felt his heart beat and knew that he smelled good. 

Outside the hotel we smoked one last cigarette before heading upstairs. I’d twined my arm around his. He squeezed my hand and said something about missing being touched so much. I replied that what I missed was that open and fully present touching before all the hurt, walls, distance. That the real, intimate touching sometimes disappears as a warning of the end of a relationship, months before the final parting. His soft “yes” sounded surprised. 

Instead of the wiry black hair I expected, I found a blond down on his arms and legs. His skin was softer than a man’s should fairly be. Soft enough that I didn’t miss my own decadent bed which I hadn’t seen for months. He smelled like warm skin, clean but definitely not sterilized. No overbearingly perfumed soap in the way of his pheromones, which were so very right. 

Clothing was peeled off as the small writhing movements of heated kissing turned into a mutual rhythm. His mouth found all the best parts of my body to have a mouth on. Both of my legs wrapped around the thick muscles of his right thigh. An orgasm surprised me, and I thanked him for it.

His response of disbelief made me sad. I very much wanted that small scrap of his trust to be mine. A silly thing to desire, but wanted nonetheless. 

I was thinking then that maybe we’d have sex. He was tugging the strap of my thong towards my knees. I asked what his plans were once he got those off. He’d also been thinking maybe we’d have sex. 

By then I had rolled mostly on top of him. The scale of our bodies with the position I was in made me feel small and also powerful—a small tyrant in full control. Out loud, I pondered how I felt in that moment about an isolated act of promiscuity. This tall, dark, and handsome war correspondent leaving the next day for the middle east sounded like exactly the reason one night stands were invented. The pinnacle of romantic glamour, in fact. 

There was a third apology, this time for struggling with the currently foreign sensation of a condom. He didn’t ask to take it off, he didn’t whine about responsible use of them, he just apologized with that sweet British sorry. Sorry for a failure to meet whatever level of sexual prowess he’d decided I must deserve or demand. 

My chin rested on his ribcage as I said “We’re going to have to discuss this one.” And then, “What is sex?” Sex was when two people got together and satisfied each other. “So what is satisfaction?” as I moved lower, cheek between his ribs and hip bone. He chuckled. I sucked all the latex taste off of his cock.

Later, in the wee hours of the morning, he was asleep. His arms unconsciously alternated between gentle enclosure like a cage built to protect some precious delicate object, and squeezing me as tightly as possible without crushing. The aftertaste of his semen lingered in the back of my throat, somehow familiar. As I lay there listening to his pleasant snore and trying not to stroke his arm too much, I recognized the taste.

It was my favorite scotch. The peaty one I describe as tasting like good testicles in the summer, masculine and complex. The difficult to find one with the exotic backstory. The one I’ll walk just about any number of blocks in impractical shoes to find. The analogy was too much to process, aside from fleeting thoughts of “so fucked” and “why now, here.” So I went to sleep, too. And then he was gone.

x

Stoya

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ADULT Magazine II

AdultMag

Supervert was two minutes late and stayed for two extra hours. Towards the end of our meeting they were offered a normal-flavored cupcake. Shortly afterwards we were politely thrown out of the Times Square Marriott.

You might want to know what Supervert is: Supervert is a brand name, a label like Comme des Garcons or Vivienne Westwood, only their main stock in trade is not clothing but the tearing-off of it, to wit: perversion-centered literature. Supervert is not Kleenex (another metonymic brand name), although a certain sort of reader may find simultaneous uses for both. Supervert is not quite a person, although they may look like one. Supervert is a writer and typer, but not a typewriter.

Sigmund Freud broke down the human psyche into the id, ego, and super-ego. I would break down Supervert into the vert, person, and supervert. The vert is the sticky pit of all human perversion and impulse. The person strides into that pit to tongue and masticate the rarely explored, opening themself to every practiced and theoretical twist of human sexual behavior, thought, and action. The supervert takes these concepts and gives them order, moves their bowels to excrete an organized book. The supervert brings the far reaches of depravity to the world in a more easily digestible form.

You might want to know who the person is: You do not get to know…

For more: http://adult-mag.com/ ADULT Magazine Issue Two: Rigor of Beauty

x

Stoya

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On Hysterical Literature

hysterical literature

There’s a video involved. I leave it up to you whether you read or watch first.

I’ve never understood vibrators. I’ve gone on record numerous times saying various versions of “I dislike them all except for Lelo’s Nea which I really only appreciate aesthetically.” I think it’s the buzzing that bothers me. I’ve posed for plenty of photospreads with toys, but I’ve always seen them as a poor substitute for a person and I’ve never had an orgasm from one. Less than a month ago I was on a panel at Exxxotica with some of the adult industry’s most successful female performers. Someone in the audience asked what our favorite vibrator was, and every single one of the other women shouted “Hitachi” in unison. That night I received an email from Clayton asking if I’d be interested in his new project.

He’s filming women sitting at a table reading literature. The twist is the things going on below the table. I like these sorts of things…This Empty Love was the first video work I enjoyed doing, making hardcore work with Digital Playground an interesting option later. I think the interesting parts of sex are in the hints of what can’t be seen. Penetrative sex, after all, is an exploration of something dark, moist, and cavelike.

I’ve chosen a section of Supervert’s “Necrophilia Variations.” I’m fascinated by Supervert and their (his?) body of work. I went with the Necrophilia themed volume because I’m currently in an oddly non-morbid obsession with something triangulated by the way an orgasm affects brain chemistry, the reasons behind the french nickname of la petite mort, and why my mind goes completely blank when I’m at the height of a sexual experience. There’s something in there, death and sex, maybe change or growth. Sometimes I can brush this concept with my fingertips, but I can’t grab hold and inspect it yet. The only way to understand is to wallow in anything that might hold a clue until it all clicks together (or am distracted by something shiny… but it would have to be *really* shiny.) Tl;dr: That’s the book that felt right.

I’ve been told to dress as I would for a date with a man, not a boy. I’m wearing a dress from Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania collection last year. The cut limits the range of motion of my arms, but ideally I wouldn’t need to open my own doors or feel the desire to talk on my phone while on a date with a man. My makeup is simple, my heels very high but relatively practical, and my panties are both sophisticated and expensive. Also, damp in the gusset. Sexually speaking I really enjoy things that I can’t predict and things that are new to me. This attempting-to-read-aloud-and-maintain-composure while being sexually stimulated game is new. The video camera adds a dash of exhibitionism which I always appreciate. Most interesting, though, is the Hitachi that my vagina is about to be making very good friends with for the first time.

When I tell Clayton’s lovely assistant for the evening that I’ve never experienced the Hitachi, her eyes light up. I’ve obviously gotten myself into the most fun kind of trouble. Lights get set and everyone assumes their positions. My underwear lays on the floor out of frame. As I start reading, my disbelief is suspended. I forget what is about to happen. The first touch on my thigh sends all available blood to my vulva. I continue to enunciate properly, focusing on the text. I’ve broken a sweat. If this goes on for much longer my hair will be plastered to my head with perspiration as though I’ve been working out or engaging in acrobatic man/woman penetrative fucking. I stumble over a word, my concentration breaks as I go back to pronounce it correctly. Neither the Hitachi or the woman wielding it will be denied, but in the interests of art (and because this feels so beautifully filthy I don’t want it to stop yet) I hold out as long as I can. This section of the world that I’m inhabiting slows down, zooms in. Like a stretched rubber band it suddenly contracts, and I am lovingly punched with an orgasm.

I giggle-pant, hands on the table. Once enough pieces of my mind have come back I deliver the closing line.

 

x

Stoya

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Dear Supervert (30 Dec 2012)

I have no recollection of how I found pervscan.com. I do remember being impressed by how legitimately perverted the content was. It was at times highly disturbing. It was always fascinating. When you stopped publishing on February 14th, I assumed the selection of that date was purposeful, but was it ironic? Hopeful? Done without any further meaning than the desire to make people wonder about the significance? Quite possibly it was actually random or coincidental.

There are plenty of deeper, intellectually challenging layers in your work, but man is the gross-out factor high at first glance. It’s unsettling in a way that forces the provocation of thought. The intricacy of it is mesmerizing. Alien sex hobbyists kidnapping young girls to act out their fantasies on, people having sex with corpses or preying on the emotional turmoil of others at funerals. I’ve read Perversity Think Tank a number of times and I’m positive I still don’t truly understand that one. The cover reminds me of Soulages. When I first touched it, I pictured slightly hairy hands, protruding from the sleeves of a blue button down shirt and brown tweed blazer, artfully glopping the paint on each jacket. Then I pictured a woman in a men’s undershirt, her bare just-got-back-from-vacation-tan ass seated in a leather chair, doing the glopping under your direction. Then I wondered whether you were a man or a woman, even though the text of Perversity Think Tank indicated you are male.

See, at some point I developed something that could be defined as a fanaticism for the true bizarreness of your writing. When I ran out of books and website content, I read other people’s thoughts on your work. I found a handful of interviews. The absence of personal information was astonishing. At a time when it seems like nearly everyone puts the details of their life on the internet and there are people who actually do post pictures of every single meal they consume, you were nearly impossible to find any background on. About two pages away from the end of Google’s search results on “Supervert” I started to feel a bit obsessed. It’s one thing to consume all of a person’s work and do a bit of research. It’s another thing to go to the ends of the internet and build imaginary caricatures of them in your head. I went ahead and finished reading the last few search results.

What I perceived as your meticulous control of your brand’s image became beautiful to me. I began to value your personal anonymity for both its rarity and for the stark frame it provided your work. I developed an additional zeal, solely for this absence of information. Earlier this year I gave a professional acquaintance the cold shoulder for weeks because he emailed me a link to an article which confirmed you are male and mentioned your name.

A few weeks ago, I was setting up my aerial rigging at an event. A woman whose photography was being exhibited at the same event introduced herself (or maybe I introduced myself) and said that she’d seen the Hysterical Literature video. She knew you, and told me that you might be attending. I loudly blurted out that I didn’t want to know ANYTHING. I then attempted to explain why and eventually gave up because every sentence felt crazier than the last.

It’s chilly where I am sitting right now. 49 degrees to be precise. I’m wearing a silk robe with panties and mens athletic socks. There are rivulets of sweat sliding down my ribcage from my armpits, just from remembering that moment. I do think I might be able to explain now:

Supervert is a thing… a brand… an entity that stands completely independent of the person who has created it. You’re like the Wizard of Depravity, and what lies behind the curtain could shake my blind devotion or add another exquisite note. I want to revel in my awe of the giant talking head a little bit longer before I look.

x

Stoya

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