Stoya Does Her First Interview Since Accusing James Deen Of Rape

“I couldn’t bear the thought any more that there might be something terrible happening to yet another woman at his hands, or more likely, at his cock, that she didn’t want, because I kept quiet. I just … I couldn’t, I couldn’t. …

If you hold someone down and fuck them while they say ‘no’ and ‘stop’ and use their fucking safeword, that is rape. But when it first happened, I felt numb. And I went to work the next day. And I went to work the day after that. And I did a scene with him two days after, maybe three days after, I’m not sure. Then I felt like I’d been violated by someone I trusted. It took me months and months and months, over a year of months to be able to be able to call it what it was – which was rape.”

Six days after logging on to Twitter and tweeting 55 words that ended up inspiring seven others, so far, to come forward as well, Stoya has given her first interview since accusing her porn star ex, James Deen, of rape. Speaking with the always excellent Melissa Gira Grant for The Guardianthe adult film actress and one-time Deen costar explained that she after years of keeping silent about the assault, getting into character for an upcoming mainstream role as a rape survivor pushed her to finally speak out. She chose Twitter as the venue “because that’s where the record needed to be updated” – after all, it was on Twitter and Tumblr where her fans were holding out hope for a reunion between the one-time couple. “James and Stoya #relationshipgoals!” she said. “That frightens me.”

As for why she didn’t come forward earlier, Stoya says that the stigma against the sex industry and those who work in it, including porn as legal as it may be, kept her silent. “I didn’t feel like I could say anything,” she said. “But from what I hear – because I am not looking at my Twitter mentions – the way the public conversation is going is shockingly good in some ways. But also there is ‘Well, you know you can’t rape a sex worker,’ or ‘She still defends porn when she was raped by a pornographer’ – everybody has got their own fucking agenda, and that’s why I was scared to say something.”

The article goes on to quote a number of other performers who echo Stoya’s concern that this stigma — as Grant put it, “that no one would do porn willingly, so the line between porn and rape doesn’t matter, but also that porn performers who are raped are at fault” –puts them as risk and stops them from coming forward. Any victim who comes forward about being sexually assaulted can expect their entire sexual history to suddenly be under the microscope, but if you work in porn, your sexual history is literally something everyone can watch and use against you to either deny your truth and/or to further their own anti-porn/anti-sex work agenda.

As performer Sydney Leathers (who has contributed to The Frisky) put it, “The industry is so marginalized that people get fearful of talking about its problems, because we already feel so attacked in so many different ways.”

I highly recommend reading the full piece over at The Guardian.