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TristanTaormino ( is an award-winning author, columnist, editor, sex educator, radio host, and feminist pornographer . She is the author of seven books including The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion . She runs the adult film production company Smart Ass Productions . She has directed and produced twenty-four adult films, including the groundbreaking series based on real female kink fantasies , Rough Sex and the Expert Guide sex education series, which she created for Vivid Entertainment. The winner of multiple Adult Video News (AVN) and Feminist Porn Awards, she was the first female director to win an AVN award for Best Gonzo Movie for the first film in her reality series Chemistry. She received the Trailblazer Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Feminist Porn Awards in 2010. She is the host of Sex Out Loud, a weekly radio show on The VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. She was a columnist for The Village Voice for nearly ten years and writes a column for Hustler’s Taboo. She was the founding editor of the Lambda Literary Award-winning series Best Lesbian Erotica and is editor of twenty-five anthologies. She’s written for a multitude of publications from Yale Journal of Law and Feminism to Penthouse, and served as editor of On Our Backs. She has appeared on CNN, HBO’s Real Sex, The Howard Stern Show, Loveline, Ricki Lake, MTV, Oxygen, MSNBC, Fox News, The Discovery Channel, and on over fifty radio shows. She lectures at top colleges and universities and teaches sex and relationship workshops around the world. M y passion for sex education made me a pornographer. In 1998, I published my first how-to book, The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, and began touring the country teaching anal sex workshops, mostly at sex-positive sex toy stores. Many people asked me, “When are you going to do a video version of your workshop?” I’d watched sex-ed videos, and while they were clearly informative, I didn’t Calling the Shots: Feminist Porn in Theory and Practice Tristan Taormino find them very sexy. If I was going to make an educational movie, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to make a film that not only taught people how to have safe and pleasurable anal sex, but was so hot that after watching it, they were inspired to run out and do it. I knew there would be plenty of explicit sex in the movie I envisioned and I would be in triple-X territory. I considered trying to self-fund and selfdistribute an independent production, but then I’d only be preaching to the already converted. I wanted to reach the masses with my message. So I sent a proposal to several big adult companies asking them to fund an educational anal sex movie geared toward women that was also a hot porno. The people I made this pitch to responded as if I were speaking a foreign language, and they all ignored me or turned me down. Months later, one of the people I sent a proposal to called me: John Stagliano, head of Evil Angel Productions, a well-respected industry mogul credited as the father of the gonzo genre (the cinema vérité of porn). Several conversations later, he agreed to produce my movie. That led to a crash course in porn production, where I was mentored by both John (who co-directed and shot the film himself) and well-known fetish film director Ernest Greene (who co-directed and co-produced). I came to the process with no filmmaking knowledge or experience and only a little familiarity with the industry, but plenty of confidence, enthusiasm, and idealism. I didn’t bring any sex-war baggage from second-wave feminism with me; I never believed that all porn was degrading to women and awful, although some of it certainly was. I’d seen lesbian feminist smut films like Suburban Dykes and How to Female Ejaculate, so I knew that sex-positive, non-exploitative, revolutionary porn was possible. I was determined to show authentic performances by women who truly enjoyed butt sex, real female orgasms, and condom use in addition to more realistic portrayals of anal sex than I’d seen in conventional porn—with communication between partners, plenty of lube, clitoral stimulation, and lots of warm up before intercourse. But I also had to meet the expectations that came with the Evil...


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