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Nicholas Anthony Iacona Jr.
(January 1, 1968 - November 21, 1994) U.S.A.

Joey Stefano

Dancer, prostitute, and gay pornstar

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Nicholas, known as Joey Stefano, of Italian descent, he started is career as a hustler in Philadelphia. Making money to buy downer drugs by renting his body was his established way of life before he appeared in any hardcore videos.

Initially Iacona was thrilled to have sex with hunks he had lusted after while watching hardcore videos, but he was incresingly unhappy that his sexual partners were expecting Joey Stefano, the premier sex object who was supposed to be as tough and invulnerable as his arse was hungry to be penetrated.

Joey StefanoJoey StefanoAt the time when actors in hardcore male sex films purported to be straight, Joey Stefano, both onscreen and off, was an eager - indeed voracious and pushy - bottom. Explicit representation of his "if you're man enough, come and fuck me" sexuality were consumed by large audiences on videos made in 1989-90 and in personal appearances around the US.

Although his type was older, hypermasculine males, it was Chi Chi LaRue, a drag queen, who launched Joey Stefano, loved Nick Iacona and was still attempting to keep both afloat the day Nick overdosed instead of showing up for film work. His image and success caught the attention of Madonna, who used him as a model in her 1992 book Sex.

As pornography's most marketable gay face and body, he was filmed having sex in more than 35 hard-core videos, danced an unforgettable striptease in clubs across America and Europe, and hustled his way through thousands of dollars paid to him by clients around the globe.

Stefano was probably infected with HIV before he understood the dangers of infection. Once he learned he was infected, he publicly acknowledged it and undertook help others avoid becoming infect.

Joey Stefano Joey Stefano

As careless as he had been with his own life, sharing needles as well as being fucked without condoms, and as uneducated and unintrospective as he was as Joey Stefano, he bravely took a very clear public stand for protected sex in film scenes against a reluctant industry, and was also among the first porn stars to volunteer regularly for AIDS fund-raisers.

"...he ate nothing but peanut butter and jelly on Wonderbread; he did ecstasy and smoked cigarettes constantly. The more he abused his body, the better he seemed to look. It just didn't seem fair... I didn't realize just how bad things were for him until one night when I found him crying on the front porch. He wouldn't talk about what was wrong, he never would, and I couldn't help him. I just sat and held him as he cried and cried. He had such demons inside and I just couldn't help."

In the last few months of his life his drug habit and lack of work threw him into despair and depression, and he died from an overdose of a combination of drugs. Nick was the subject of the play Homme Fatale: The Joey Stefano Story by Barry Lowe, and the 1996 book Wonder Bread and Ecstasy: The Life and Death of Joey Stefano by Charles Isherwood.

After his death the Joey Stefano Fund was founded by Aid for AIDS to assist HIV+ gay adult video industry workers with grants for rent, mortgage, health insurance, and utilities.

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Source: Dior, G.K. Sleeping Under the Stars. Bedside Press, 2001. pp. 39-40
and excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001 - et alii

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