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LIVE : Our first issue focuses on themes of blooming, transformation, and electricity.

LIVE

This is Stoya's Letter, which kicks off every issue and is free to view for all visitors. All other content within this issue requires a purchase to experience fully.

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Stoya's Letter

Our first issue focuses on themes of blooming, transformation, and electricity.

Credits

Writer Chelsea G. Summers

Illustrator Tara Jacoby

Shortly after Trump’s inauguration, I went into my lawyer’s office to have a meeting about drafting the paperwork needed to begin production under (this) new company. He looked at me across the table and said “You’re not going to be doing anything political, are you?” I looked back at him and replied “I’m a sex worker in 2017. Everything I do in public seems to be inherently political.”

In mid-2018, this still feels true.

Between the time Mitcz and I began this project and now, sex workers’ rights have become a topic of mainstream discussion. Major news outlets acknowledge the devastating, counterproductive effects of FOSTA, a United States law that claims to fight trafficking but has caused the restriction of online avenues where sex workers communicated, vetted clients, and shared harm reduction techniques—putting already vulnerable workers of all gender presentations in more dangerous positions.

So, while our first issue does focus on themes of blooming, transformation, and electricity, the question of who gets to live without censorship is at the forefront of my mind.

(We're experimenting with themed packages of multi-media content, and referring to them as issues—like magazines. Our first release, which you're reading the editor's letter for, is called LIVE.)

I told writer and comedian Luna Malbroux that I wanted a profile from a world where women like Ana Foxxx are treated as seriously by media as the Zuckerbergs and Kimmels of the world. She turned in a wonderful piece that begins with the bias within the self and swiftly focuses on the work of activist and cook Ceyenne Doroshow.

Wolf Hudson has returned to editing my Around the World in 80 Ways series. I’m happy to present an episode from Budapest in two versions—one edited in a more traditional pornographic video style, and the second with entirely uncut sex footage.

Chelsea G. Summers applied her enormous, academic brain to the ways our sexual tastes are informed by our life experiences in a short fiction story about electricity and lust. She captures the sharp blue snap of a mild shock and uses it to discuss something more abstract, something important about the way a life progresses.

My platonic domestic partner, Steve Prue, documented two sides of burlesque superstar Sydni Devereaux, shot the portraits of Ceyenne to accompany her profile, and allowed me to use a photograph from some of our personal work for the issue cover.

Tanya Lam christens the Icon column, representing pornography legend and ecosexual Annie Sprinkle in an illustration and a few hundred words. 

We’re also exploring the ways people maintain intimate and sexual connections through modern technology in the first of a series called Connection, with special guest voiceover by Aiden Starr.

Apneatic, a brilliant alternative model who I first posed with in the mid 2000s, allowed me to photograph her as an experiment and graciously gave permission to use the images for another recurring feature called Stoya's Gaze. The resulting gallery plays with movement, anonymity, and blurring.

In my personal life I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what a life is, what a full life is, and how an individual might manage to have one when they’re also a public persona and a New York State S Corporation with a part-time employee.

You may have heard me describe my experiences in the west, especially America, as being put on a pedestal in a garbage can. This also remains true, and is simultaneously just part of the gig and a symptom of how much consternation the christian and post-christian world displays towards openly sexual women and sexuality as a whole.

ZeroSpaces is, in a way, my response to this situation. My attempt to chip away at the problem of society othering brazenly sexual people and especially those of us who perform sexual or erotic acts as part of our work.

Responses to our first release will inform the creative directions we take and what sorts of content we choose to spend our resources on in the future. Your patronage and feedback have power here.

xo

Stoya

Credits

Writer Chelsea G. Summers

Illustrator Tara Jacoby

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