stoya’s guide to lingerie

what not to do

If you ask Stoya what she does for a living, her stock response is: “Google it...but not at work.” In a short, 10-words-or-less description, Stoya has sex, on film, for money. Yes, she is a “porn star,” but that is only one of her many descriptors—which also include director, activist, sex educator, columnist, feminist, New York Times contributor, artist, and lover of cats. All of these—except maybe the cat part—are also done, generally, for money. (Cats, sadly, don’t pay.)

Stoya is interested in all aspects of sexuality. For her, the porn we consume is the visual embodiment of the various kinks that turn us on. She explains, “Sometimes a thing needs to be said in a thousand-word essay, and sometimes it needs to be said in an 80-minute explicit film.” A homeschooled child of a second-wave feminist, she went straight for the jugular of female objectification: the sex industry. And though the Gloria Steinems of the world might have a problem with calling what she does “enlightened,” she points out that this is precisely what feminism teaches: Women should be able to do what they want, even if that means doing porn.

As a person who speaks very frankly about pulling back the curtain on porn and exposing the realities of sex (i.e., it is messy), she told us about the three “super-sexy” lingerie options that, in reality, are big fails. Take it from the pro and save yourself the trouble this Valentine’s Day.

The Ouvert

“Ouvert in French means open, and in the context of lingerie, it’s a fancy word for crotchless. In theory, these knickers are all the decadence of decorative undergarments with all the access of nudity. In practice, the opening in the gusset almost never lines up with the parts you might want to put your appendages on.”

Stockings with a garter belt

“While standing, the lines of the belt, garter straps, and stocking tops frame one of the curviest parts of a body in an aesthetically gorgeous way. When horizontal, they become a nylon-and-lace, full-body Chinese finger trap. Which actually sounds pretty awesome if you or your partner(s) are into light bondage....”

Edible anything

“Even if you knitted them yourself, edible panties are a bland, waxy-textured, highly efficient yeast infection delivery system. Nobody wins, aside from the manufacturer and the doctor who dishes out the Diflucan.”