Tristan Taormino to Speak at Princeton Thursday

LOS ANGELES—Tristan Taormino will give her talk "My Life As a Feminist Pornographer" and show clips from her award-winning Vivid Entertainment movies at Princeton University at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday at the McCosh 10 Lecture Hall.

This marks Taormino's second visit to Princeton in this academic year; in November, she gave a presentation about non-monogamy, and her talk was so popular that the students decided to invite her back. The undergraduate organization Let's Talk Sex (LeTS) is sponsoring the talk. LeTS is a student group devoted to promoting sex-positive dialogue on campus. Through its discussion groups and various events, it attempts to provide a forum for free conversation regarding sexuality.

Taormino directs two series for Vivid, a reality series called Chemistry and the popular sex education series under the Vivid-Ed imprint. A best-selling author, columnist, editor and sex educator, Taormino recently won two awards at the 5th Annual Feminist Porn Awards (FPA) in Toronto.  Her Vivid-Ed movie The Expert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men won for Hottest Sex Education Film. In addition, she was honored for her decade in the adult film industry with the prestigious Trailblazer Award for Lifetime Achievement in Feminist Porn.  

In one of her most requested topics on the college circuit, Taormino's talk will address questions such as: is feminist pornography a paradox? Or can there be such a thing as sex-positive, meaningful porn? She'll discuss why she chose to do porn, the challenges and breakthroughs she has seen within the adult industry with regard to women's pleasure, and her personal goals for working within the industry.

Taormino's invitation to speak has already created controversy and resulted in numerous op-ed articles and letters to the Editor in the Daily Princetonian, the campus newspaper. In order to bring in an opposing viewpoint, Princeton hosted anti-porn activist Pamela Paul, who gave a lecture entitled "Why Porn is Anti-Sex," on April 8. According to the Daily Princetonian, The Anscombe Society is protesting Tristan's lecture and has circulated a petition among students who object to it. The petition "acknowledged the importance of the discussion but objected to "gratuitous" film clips that its authors said would "damage the conversation by turning away those who would have come if not for the inclusion of actual pornography footage."

"Pornography is definitely a hot button topic in our society. I look forward to sharing my personal philosophy and experience with the audience about making ethical, feminist porn," Tristan said. "I'm glad the organizers of LeTS have not backed down or been bullied by the protesters. This is a valid subject to discuss on a college campus. The clips I show are not about gratuitous shock value, they are to illustrate some of my work. The students can make up their own minds about what they see.  Plus, people are free to attend the lecture and leave before I show the film clip.  Everyone should do what they feel comfortable doing."