Jul 252012

Welcome to our newest feature: Ask The Intern, where each week, our intern answers your questions about sex, dating, and relationships (and sometimes Tristan chimes in as well). Our interns are smart people interested in working in the field of sexuality in some capacity, and you can find out more about the current intern in the byline below. Got a burning question, problem, dilemma, or issue for our intern? Email intern at puckerup.com.

I met this guy, really liked him, and we spent three days together—no sex, but did things that would lead to it. The first day, he told me he was talking to a girl. I assumed he meant dating a girl and it wasn’t serious. The next day, he said he was dating her for a year. But, that didn’t stop me from pursuing what I wanted—him on the third day. On Monday, he went back to New York, in love and intact.

And I’m in Chicago—confused. I really liked him and vice versa. Perhaps I’m mislabeling my confusion for nostalgia or anger? I let my guard down, and I never do that with guys. I told him private things and vice versa. A part of me despises myself for portraying myself as a sex object. How could I do that—to me and his girlfriend? I feel cheap, used and empty handed. I fell too fast. I want to believe he’s a nice guy but…I feel robbed of my own words and experiences. But there’s this quote: “Sharing doesn’t make you charitable, it makes you free.” Perhaps I don’t feel that way because I felt obliged into opening up. Or, perhaps I’m just thinking too much into this? Bottom line is will I ever be someone’s girlfriend and not some girl for the moment? How can I be a girlfriend? 

First things first—take the idea of being someone’s girlfriend off a pedestal. It’s not worth it. Despite what fairy tales tell us, there is no simple formula to being a significant other. Relationships are amorphous, confusing, DIY activities. So, instead of striving to be “a girlfriend,” ask yourself what you actually want from a romantic relationship. Stability? Monogamy? Consistent sex with a familiar body? Consistent sex with a handful of familiar bodies? The best part of real life is that you get to make your own relationship formula.

But there is one thing that most people want from a relationship, the glue that holds this DIY project together—trust. Unfortunately, it was this crucial puzzle piece that was missing from your weekend tryst. He wasn’t being honest with his long-term partner, which, in turn, made you question his motives. Moreover, he wasn’t being honest with you! Saying that you are “talking to a girl” sends a very different message from dating someone for a year.

At the same time, sneaking around can be exhilarating and sexy, so this “other woman” feeling might be part of what drew you to him in the first place. And that’s okay. It is natural to lust over what is off-limits. Red tape—both literal and metaphorical—is an incredible aphrodisiac.

But don’t feel cheap. Don’t feel like a sex object (unless you enjoy objectification, but it doesn’t sound like that’s your thing). Don’t judge yourself for letting your guard down. You opened up to someone you enjoy spending time with. That’s a skill you should value. It’s natural for you to feel bad for his girlfriend, but that is his problem. He should (and probably does) feel guilty and confused.

However, keep your letter to me. Use it to remind yourself how these situations make you feel in the long run. Next time you find yourself in a weekend love affair ask yourself: is it worth it? I think the answer will be pretty clear.

Abby Spector is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she majored in Feminist/Gender/Sexuality Studies. She is currently interning for Tristan, a job that allows her to write about sex, research feminist porn, and play with dogs (among other, equally awesome things). When she isn’t working, Abby enjoys comfortable nudity and salty foods. Her dream? A world where she could sit around naked and eat overly-salted french fries. Her blog is Sexy Awkward Times.

Jul 012012

Performer and activist Ignacio Rivera joins me this Friday, July 6th at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET for a nuanced discussion about some highly charged subjects. Ignacio, who prefers the pronoun they, will talk about their gender identity and how it impacts their sexuality. We will discuss polyamory in people of color communities, race politics and racially-charged fantasies in the kink world, and how to create a truly inclusive, multi-racial community event. Then Ignacio will look at the challenges of their starring role in the feature film Mommy is Coming and reveal what it was like to work with acclaimed indie director Cheryl Dunye. This episode was recorded live during the OpenSF Conference in San Francisco and includes an audio excerpt of Ignacio’s co-keynote presentation with Yosenio Lewis.

Ignacio Rivera aka Papí Coxxx identifies as a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit, polyamorous, kinky, Black-Boricua. Ignacio, who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” is a lecturer, activist, filmmaker, sex educator, sex worker, and performance artist, sharing spoken word, one-person shows, and storytelling internationally. Their work has appeared in ColorLines, Ebony, Yellow Medicine Review, The Ultimate Guide to Kink and in their chapbooks, Las Alas, co-authored by Maceo Cabrera Estévez; Ingridients; and Thoughts, Rants and What Some Might Call Poetry. Ignacio is the recipient of a Marsha A. Gómez Cultural Heritage Award from LLEGÓ: The National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization. Ignacio is one of the founding board members of Queers for Economic Justice; they are also the founder of Poly Patao Productions. Ignacio has been facilitating workshops, doing lectures and creating events for kinky, kinky-curious Queer/Trans POCs and their white queer and trans allies for over a decade.

May 252012

June 5, doors 7:00 pm, pre-show 7:30 pm, show 8:00 pm
She Bop Presents The Feminist Porn Show with Tristan Taormino
“The Feminist Porn Show” is a special evening curated and hosted by Tristan Taormino to showcase feminist porn, a genre of adult film and a growing movement. Tristan will introduce the audience to the concept of feminist porn and discuss its history, then she’ll screen a curated selection of short clips from filmmakers around the world. The clip show features the work of both pioneers and newcomers, including Fatale Video, Candida Royalle, Annie Sprinkle, Nina Hartley, Jackie Strano and Shar Rednour, Petra Joy, Erika Lust, Shine Louise Houston, Anna Brownfield, Carlos Batts, N. Maxwell Lander, Emilie Jouvet, Louise Lush, Jaiya, Maria Beatty, Buck Angel, Madison Young, Nenna, Courtney Trouble, Morty Diamond, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Kelly Shibari, Loree Erickson and more. The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion, where we’ll explore some of the current issues surrounding feminist porn. The pre-show will include a sexy performance from Felice Shays. Afterward, She Bop will be selling DVDs from the featured filmmakers, including Tristan’s films, and she will stick around to sign books and videos. And the party can continue at the adjoining Bar Bar! This event is general admission, so get there early for a good seat. Tickets are available in person at She Bop and Mississippi Studios, where there will be a $1 box office fee. If you buy tickets online, there is a $4.40 service charge.
Location: This special event is presented by She Bop, but will not be held at the store, it will be held at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi, Portland OR 97227
Admission: $25, buy tickets at She Bop (909 N. Beech Street, Portland, OR 97227), at Mississippi Studios (3939 N. Mississippi, Portland OR 97227, $1 box office fee), or online via Ticket Biscuit ($4.40 service charge)
Info: info at sheboptheshop.com and 503-473-8018, Twitter: @SheBopTheShop


June 3, 7:30 pm
She Bop Presents: Making Open Relationships Work
Do open relationships really work? How do people create nontraditional partnerships that are loving and lasting? Tristan Taormino, relationship expert and author of Opening Up, shares some of the key principles that can help your open relationship(s) succeed. She’ll discuss common issues and problems-from “new relationship energy” and time management to jealousy and agreement violations -and ways to address and resolve them. Tristan will offer tips on communication, negotiation, and boundary setting, as well as how to cope with change. Learn how to get to the root of jealous feelings and transform them by embracing the concept of compersion. Whether you’re a newcomer or veteran to the world beyond monogamy, come discover strategies to help you nurture and grow your open relationship(s).
Location: This workshop is presented by She Bop, but will not be held at the store, it will be held at the Q Center, which is 3 blocks up the street from She Bop at the corner of Mississippi and Mason (4115 N. Mississippi).
Admission: $25, buy tickets at the store (909 N. Beech Street, Portland, OR 97227), by phone 503-473-8018 or online
Info: info at sheboptheshop.com and 503-473-8018, Twitter: @SheBopTheShop

May 182012

Author, Sex Educator, Filmmaker Tristan Taormino to Host Show on VoiceAmerica Radio Network

Tristan Taormino, internationally acclaimed author, sex educator, college lecturer, and feminist pornographer “Sex Out Loud” on VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. The show debuts June 1 at 5 pm Pacific Time, 8 pm Eastern Time.

PHOENIX, AZ, May 21, 2012 – VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network, Internet broadcasting pioneer, producing and syndicating online audio and video, today announced the debut of Sex Out Loud, hosted by internationally acclaimed author, sex educator, college lecturer, and feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel on Friday, June 1, at 5 pm Pacific Time, 8 pm Eastern Time.

Sex Out Loud explores the world of sexuality from every angle. Tristan Taormino will interview leading authors, educators, artists and icons and give listeners an uncensored, inside look at alternative sexual practices and communities. She’ll delve into topics from the popular to the taboo, including sex education and sexual health, erotic fantasies, BDSM, non-monogamy, the adult industry, and more. Tristan and her guests will also answer listeners’ questions live. Her first guest will be Dan Savage, sex advice columnist, author, co-creator of the “It Gets Better” campaign, and star of MTV’s “Savage U.” Upcoming guests include Kate Bornstein, Buck Angel, Jaclyn Friedman, Jessica Valenti, Bobbi Starr, Susie Bright, and her daughter, Aretha Bright.

Tristan has been educating and entertaining people for over fifteen years. A former columnist for “The Village Voice,” Tristan’s sex-positive attitude and sharp wit have made her a sought after guest on radio and television shows across the United States and abroad including “Howard Stern,” “Loveline,” “Ricki Lake,” and HBO’s “Real Sex.” Most notably, she was a recurring guest on “Ricki Lake” for two seasons, gave sex advice to Danny Bonaduce and the late Dick Clark on the NBC talk show “The Other Half,” and debated Dr. Drew Pinsky and Joe Scarborough on MSNBC. She is a widely recognized expert on sex education, GLBT issues, alternative relationships, and feminist pornography. She frequently lectures at top colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, UCLA, and NYU.

“Tristan Taormino is known around the world for her honest, down to earth, sex-positive advice, books, and films,” says Karen Dana, Executive Producer of Sex Out Loud. “We are so thrilled that she’s joining the VoiceAmerica Network, and her show is sure to inform and inspire our listeners.” Sex Out Loud follows Sex with Jaiya, the Variety Channel’s most popular show, giving listeners two hours of exciting, informative sex education.

Sex Out Loud is sponsored by The Smitten Kitten, an award-winning progressive sex toy retailer; Astroglide, one of the leading personal lubricant brands; and We-Vibe, the most popular rechargeable vibrator for couples in the world.

Sex Out Loud airs live on Fridays at 5 pm Pacific / 7 pm Central / 8 pm Eastern on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel. To read more about the show, go to sexoutloudradio.com. To access the show, log on at http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2096/sex-out-loud. All shows will be available in Tristan Taormino’s Content Library on The VoiceAmerica Variety Channel for on-demand and podcast download.

May 042012

My radio show Sex Out Loud debuts on Friday, June 1 at 5:00 pm Pacific time/8:00 pm Eastern time on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. I am honored, thrilled, and a little bit giddy that my very first guest is none other than Dan Savage. Author, columnist, activist, and media pundit Dan Savage isn’t holding anything back in this revealing interview. He’ll tackle the danger and ineffectiveness of abstinence-only sex education and the troubling news that the Obama administration recently backed another conservative organization called The Heritage Keepers. We’ll discuss the recent scandal over Savage’s comments at a high school journalism convention about the Bible (see video below) that lead to intense criticism from both the left and the right, with people calling him a bully, a bigot, and the gay Santorum. He’ll talk about what he regrets and what he doesn’t. Plus, he’ll share some behind-the-scenes dirt on his new MTV show Savage U, and we’ll talk about gay marriage and the state of the LGBT movement.

Dan Savage is an author, media pundit, journalist and newspaper editor who pens the internationally syndicated sex advice column “Savage Love.” He is the author of Skipping Towards Gomorrah, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, and The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided To Go Get Pregnant, a memoir about becoming a father. In 2010, Savage and his husband Terry Miller began the It Gets Better Project to help prevent suicide among LGBT youth and they co-edited the book It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. He is the star of MTV’s new show Savage U, which debuted in April, and follows him as he speaks to college students about sex and relationships on campuses around the country.