|Name Tristan Taormino|
|Born May 9, 1971 (age 44)Syosset, New York (1971-05-09) |
Occupation Author, columnist, editor, director, sex educator
Literary movement Sex-positive feminism
Tristan Taormino (born May 9, 1971) is an American feminist author, columnist, sex educator, activist, editor, speaker, radio host, and pornographic film director (she also appeared in three films, two of which she directed, 1999–2000).
- 6 9 questions with tristan taormino
- Early life
- Film and television
- Sexual identity
6 9 questions with tristan taormino
Tristan Taormino is the only child of Judith Bennett Pynchon and William J. Taormino. On her mother's side of the family, Taormino is a descendant of William Pynchon, an early English-American settler, and the niece of author Thomas Pynchon. Her parents divorced before Tristan turned two years old, when her father came out as gay. She was raised primarily by her mother on Long Island. She maintained a close relationship with her father Bill Taormino, who died of AIDS in 1995. Taormino attended Sayville High School on Long Island and was salutatorian of her graduating class. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Wesleyan University in 1993.
Taormino is the author of seven books, including the Firecracker Book Award-winning The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women.
She has edited anthologies including the Lambda Literary Award-winning annual anthology series she created and edited from 1996–2009, Best Lesbian Erotica, published by Cleis Press, for which she has collaborated with the writers Heather Lewis, Jewelle Gomez, Jenifer Levin, Chrystos, Joan Nestle, Patrick Califia, Amber Hollibaugh, Cheryl Clarke, Michelle Tea, Eileen Myles, Ali Liebegott, Emma Donoghue, Felice Newman and Joan Larkin.
She was a regular columnist for The Village Voice from 1999–2008, where she wrote the bi-weekly sex column "Pucker Up." In print, her column appeared opposite Dan Savage's column Savage Love. She popularized and re-defined the term "queer heterosexual," in her 1995 column "The Queer Heterosexual." She wrote: "In some cases, it's based on either one or both partners having non-traditional gender expressions...or they actively work against their assigned gender roles. Some queer heterosexuals are strongly aligned with queer community, culture, politics, and activism but happen to love and lust after people of a different gender. I also consider folks who embrace alternative models of sexuality and relationships (polyamory, non-monogamy, BDSM, cross-dressing) to be queer, since labeling them "straight," considering their lifestyle choices, seems inappropriate." She was laid off from The Village Voice in 2008. She has written "The Anal Advisor" column for Hustler's Taboo Magazine since 1999, and she is a former columnist for Velvetpark. She is the former editor of On Our Backs, the USA's oldest lesbian-produced lesbian sex magazine.
Taormino teaches sex and relationship workshops around the world and lectures at top colleges and universities including Princeton, Yale, Brown, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Columbia, Cornell, University of Toronto, Wesleyan, Vassar, University of Oregon, Swarthmore and New York University, where she speaks on gay and lesbian issues, sexuality and gender, and feminism. Some of her college appearances have stirred controversy, as at University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2004, Princeton, and, most famously, Oregon State University in 2011, where administrators un-invited her as keynote speaker at the Modern Sex Conference. There was a huge uproar on the internet, and many accused OSU of anti-sex bias. The incident received national media attention. Eventually, students raised the funds and re-invited her themselves.
Film and television
Taormino hosted the television show Sexology 101 on The Burly Bear Network in 2001, a college cable network owned by Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video. She was a regular expert and panelist on Ricki Lake for two seasons in 2002 and 2003. In 2003, she signed a development deal with MTV Networks. She served as host and executive producer on the pilot for The Naughty Show, but the series was never picked up. She has appeared as an expert on sex, relationships, feminism, pornography, non-monogamy, and GLBT issues on Melissa Harris-Perry, Joy Behar: Say Anything, HBO's Real Sex, The Howard Stern Show, Ricki Lake, MTV, and other television shows.
Taormino worked with Spike Lee as a script consultant and with the cast on the set of his 2004 movie She Hate Me. In 2006, she appeared as a so-called "sextra" in John Cameron Mitchell's film, Shortbus, participating in an unsimulated orgy that was filmed for the movie. (Her presence is confirmed by the director on the DVD commentary.) She also appeared in Becky Goldberg's 2003 documentary Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography and in Mr. Angel, the documentary about Buck Angel (2013).
In addition to writing, speaking and sex education, she considers herself a feminist pornographer. She made two videos based on her book The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. The first (1999) was co-directed by Buttman (John Stagliano) and Ernest Greene. The second (2001) was directed by Tristan herself. In both videos, she takes part in the on-screen sexual activities. Subsequently, she directed Tristan Taormino's House of Ass for Adam & Eve, which shows a number of "porn stars" (from famous to unknown) interacting without a script. In 2006, she directed Tristan Taormino's Chemistry, which is the first in a series of full-length "behind the scenes" movies for Vivid Entertainment where the performers choose who they have sex with, what they do, where and when. She directed four volumes of the Chemistry series as well as sex education films for Vivid Ed, Vivid Entertainment's sex education line that she was instrumental in creating.
Taormino says about her sexuality, "I don't really identify with the label 'bisexual', nor does it feel like it accurately describes me...I see myself as queer, since queer to me is not just about who I love or lust, but it's about my culture, my community, and my politics. The truth is, even if I were with a heterosexual guy, I'd be a queer dyke." In addition, "she describes herself as 'equal opportunity'. She doesn't like the word 'bisexual' – it's too polarizing."
In addition to being a vocal advocate of non-monogamy, Taormino supports gay marriage: "I support gay marriage being legalised in every state. I do however think it’s unfortunate that in some cases gay marriage opponents have used the issue against polyamory."