Feminist Pornographer Tristan Taormino On Being In The Male-Dominated Porn Industry

tristan taormino photo
Women & Porn
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“There’s this experience I have repeatedly which is so symbolic. I work for this big company, Vivid Entertainment, and you walk in the second floor, the editing suite, and there are anywhere between five and eight men, sitting in front of computer screens, watching naked women have sex. I am the only woman in the room, and I am the only woman with clothes on. And that sort of says it all, right? I’m interrupting this hetero-normative male-dominated space. All of a sudden I show up, and all the women they’ve been interacting with for the past eight hours have been naked and moaning and I am not doing either of those things! So I feel like it’s symbolic of the industry, because, in fact, I am a total minority as a woman, and even more so as an out queer woman and as an out feminist. Ultimately, the people who are in my bubble, my production crew, the performers that I work with, everyone at Vivid, is 100 percent awesome; they really support my work, they believe in it, they get it, if they don’t get it, they trust me enough to go do what I want to do.”

Feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino (also the author of The Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Women, amongst other books!) on what it’s like to be a woman who makes pornography in a male-dominated industry. Vivid Entertainment is the same company that offered big bucks to royal embarrassments Pippa and James Middleton and the woman with two vaginas — so it may not the classiest company out there, but at least they’re evolved enough to have hired a sex-positive feminist with a decent idea what other people —women, who’ve have thunk? — want from their porn.

I really like elsewhere in this interview where Tristan talks about the mainstream media’s narrative about sex workers, namely that they’re all drug addicts who were sexually abused as little girls, had no choice but to go into porn or sex work, and have no agency in their life. “You don’t hear about Nina Hartly who loves her job, and will tell you, incredibly articulately, why she loves her job, what she gets out of it,” Taormino said. “She has been in this industry for 20 years and she will not tell you it chewed her up and spit her back out.” Absolutely worth a read. 

[Thought Catalog]

[Tristan's Site, Pucker Up (NSFW)]

Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.

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