As you are doubtless aware, the Sioux word for friend is dakota (and the Sioux word for sandwich is talo aguyapi cogikiyapi). To her dismay, the performer formerly known as Dakota Skye has found that “Dakota” is one of the unfriendliest names in porn, so she has gone the way of the Peaceful Warrior and changed her nom de porn to Kota Sky.
“I’ve been pronouncing my last name without the E all this time anyway,” the 20-year-old didn’t say. “Now it feels more honest.”
According to the venerable Internet Adult Film Database (IAFD) there are more than 50 performers who have performed under the name Dakota. While these have mostly been gay men (one of whom called himself Dakota Sky, one who was known as Dakota Rider, another as Dakota Ryder, one who went by the name Dakota Rivers, and yet another by Dakota Waters), even our beloved Janine Lindemulder, cousin to Kelly Madison, had a brief run with the name Dakota.
Then there’s Dakoda Brookes, several women and men with the single name Dakota, someone named Takota, and a woman named Dakota Ling, whom I suppose meant to evoke the pornographic spirit of the people who built the railroads across Indian territory.
Come to think of it, I would change my name, too. It is whispered that “the name change was accelerated by pressure put on by another person using that name,” but Who Knows? The world is crazy.
Porn stars abandon their names all the time for myriad reasons. There are the performers who, for contract purposes, need to differentiate one part of their career from another, such as Natalia Cruze becoming Sophia Santi for Digital Playground or Sarah Vandella adopting the moniker Sara Sloane for Zero Tolerance (she later went back), and (Digital Playground again) Jesse Jane becoming simply “Jesse” (sadly, with no exclamation point). Performer Ryan Driller was once Jeremy Bilding when he did gay porn, and hundreds of pornsters simply regretted their first choice of porn name and changed it. The number of performers whose names were misspelled in production credits and who had thriving careers as both, say, Bree Olsen and Bree Olson are countless.
As her press representatives point out, the newly-minted Kota Sky will “no doubt … be billed for some time as Dakota.” At VOD site Gamelink, Kota’s 66 movies under her old name will sit alongside those created with the trimmed-down version, in much the same way that you can buy movies featuring the triplets Dakoda Brookes, Dakoda Brooks, and Dakota Brookes.
“I think it will be an easy transition for me and for fans,” said Sky in a statement, having secured the Twitter handle @JustKotaSky. But I wonder if she has gone far enough. I just know I’m going to be invited to a baby shower some day for a kid who’ll be called Kota by his/her awful parents, and “Sky” isn’t exactly a less popular name than “Skye.” Will she begin dropping letters like a literary bulimic? Might she some day be reduced to just a little T and A?
But Talo Aguyapi Cogikiyapi? That’s a porn name I could get behind.
See also: Prufrocking with Dakota Skye