28 April 2014

STOYA ON PEEKING BEHIND THE PORN CURTAIN

I have this acquaintance in NYC. Her main career is in technology, but she occasionally works as a burlesque performer. Our paths intersect at shows and parties, where she's either in full costume or a version of it that is tamed down enough to wear comfortably on the street. A couple of weeks ago I ran into her for the first time without all the intricate hair and stylized makeup. It took me a full minute to realize that the charming and very pretty girl wearing slacks was the same woman I've had delightful conversations with about the engineering involved in costume construction. Usually when I fail to recognize someone I've met before it's because I was overloaded with new people at the time or because I'm just bad with faces… and names. In her case, I think it's more of a testament to how talented she is at changing her appearance with a combination of costuming and the way she carries herself in a given situation. Basically, the girl's got killer stage presence and when she turns it on and off, it's like flipping a light switch.

There is something interesting about watching the process of physical transformation or seeing the differences between what a person looks like fresh out of the shower and what they look like in costume or uniform. As a culture, we are also fascinated by what entertainers and public personalities do when they aren't at work and how they became who they are. This is why demand for biographies, interviews, and backstage/on-set photographs exists. This is also why there has been what feels like 1 million documentaries and photo series attempting to show the People Behind the Sex Work. There aren't actually 1 million of these projects, but there have been enough that my initial reaction to the news of another one was to roll my eyes. Jonathan Harris's documentary I Love Your Work actually does look interesting, more for the process and presentation than for any deep-digging journalism promising to show a previously unknown side of adult entertainment.

For the full story click HERE

Originally Published by Vice.com May 23, 2013.


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