Mar 052012

I have been dealing with chronic, often debilitating pain for more than a year, but this is the first time I am writing about it publicly. Many of you have followed the travails with my lower back pain, but this is something different. Lots of medical information coming up, so if that’s not your cup of tea, you can stop reading. The summary: I had surgery, it went well, the prognosis is good.

The first time I experienced severe pelvic pain was in December 2010.The pain was so bad that I vomited, and Colten drove me to the emergency room. When we arrived, they checked me in, then announced that the ER was “on lockdown.” This is one of the closest hospitals to us, but it happens to be the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the area, so it’s where you go if you get shot, for example. They told us the lockdown had something to do with law enforcement, and they weren’t bringing any more patients in beyond the triage area. It was a classic, “What do we do now?” situation. I had stopped throwing up, so I took some pain meds and went home. It lasted for a day or two, then went away.

Then, in July, I had the same feeling: excruciating pelvic pain that ratcheted up from 0 to 10 in less than 10 minutes. I went to the emergency room (where I had morphine for the first time), I had an ultrasound, and doctors diagnosed me with a ruptured ovarian cyst. I followed up with my gynecologist, who noted that it could simply be a one-time thing and we should just keep an eye on it. Then it happened again in November. Back to the ER, another ultrasound, this time the diagnosis was ovarian torsion, a pretty rare thing that happens when you have a big ovarian cyst and it causes your ovary to twist. And I had a big cyst. (I tweeted about this trip to the ER briefly). The torsion resolved itself, so they sent me home. But this time, after the morphine-worthy pain, I had continuing pelvic pain for about a week and other symptoms. It was debilitating, so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed.

I spoke to my gynecologist, who put me on hormone therapy (the birth control pill), and wanted to see me six weeks later to get another ultrasound and see if the cyst had resolved itself. I did a ton of research on ovarian cysts, and there just isn’t that much useful information out there. There are also different kinds of cysts, and that can affect the way you treat them. The treatment options were generally lame: birth control pills, pain management, surgical removal of the cyst (which could always grow back), and worse case scenario was a hysterectomy. In the 6 weeks I was on birth control, I had horrible side effects: constant, extreme nausea, headaches, and debilitating fatigue. I couldn’t work, I couldn’t eat, it was pretty awful. I got my 6 week follow-up ultrasound, and the doctor who did it (not my doctor, another one in the practice) thought the cyst had shrunk. I had an appointment to see my regular gynecologist a week later.

Then, in December, it happened again. I wasn’t crazy about the gynecology resident who saw me in the ER this time around, and seemed to doubt how much pain I was experiencing. She repeatedly called the cyst “not that big,” and didn’t really have an explanation for my symptoms. I called and caught my gynecologist up to speed since I wanted to discuss options when I came in for my appointment. I also had some new symptoms. When I saw her in the office, she had gotten all my previous ultrasounds, all the ER reports, and read them over. Now, she suspected that in addition to the cyst, I had endometriosis. When I did my research, I discovered that I had all of the common symptoms (except infertility, because I’ve never tried to get pregnant, so I don’t know). Endometriosis is notoriously difficult to diagnose because you can’t see it on an ultrasound. And even if they do diagnose it, we’re back to crappy treatment options: birth control pills, pain management, or surgery. I talked to my doctor and agreed to a laparoscopy: she could go into my abdomen with a little camera and assess the situation: see what the ovarian cyst was like (and remove it) and see if there was endometrial tissue elsewhere.

Last Wednesday, I went in for a hysteroscopy (to remove a cervical polyp found during one of my many ultrasounds) and a laparoscopy, which was mostly going to be exploratory and to get rid of that cyst. When she got a look inside my abdomen, it was much worse than anyone expected. I had multiple cysts on my left ovary (that she suspects are endometrial, not functional, cysts, but we’re waiting on the pathology report), endometrial adhesions surrounded my left fallopian tube causing it to twist, and endometrial adhesions on the walls of my bowel. So, she removed the ovary and fallopian tube and repaired the bowel wall.

When I woke up from general anesthesia, I was really out of it. I was in one recovery room, then moved to another room after about an hour, where I finally saw Colten. He brought me up to speed on the details of the surgery and even showed me a picture of my ovary! Everyone agreed that it had to come out and that I must have been in a lot of pain judging by the way it looked in there. I was so nervous about post-surgery nausea and vomiting, since I had experienced it in the past and generally have a pretty sensitive system. But I felt okay.

Because the surgery was longer and more complex than expected, my recovery will be longer. I have some pain, bruising and swelling in my abdomen, three incisions, and I feel exhausted. My belly button hurts. (Plus, I had to remove my belly button jewelry. I have had this piercing since 1991. I can’t put it back in because of the swelling. Truly the end of an era!). I feel very loved and cared for by friends and family, who have been calling, emailing, and texting their well wishes. It has felt strange not to be on social media, and when I have gone on, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share what was going on. I hope it helps explain why I might be quiet on Twitter and Facebook this month. I’m supposed to be taking it easy and not working (nearly impossible for me to do), so I am trying to follow doctor’s orders. Thanks for reading.

Feb 102009

I wanted to compliment your tattoo in your thigh. Did you design that yourself? I think it is almost as beautiful as you are. Was the work done in NYC? Are you a Scorpio? What is its significance?

Thanks so much! My tattoo design was a collaboration between me and the tattoo artist, who also incidentally did my tribal arm band as well. Her name is Squid, and she is perhaps best known as the bass player for the rockin’ band The Lunachicks. I’m not sure Squid is still tattooing, however, she used to work out of a place in Brooklyn called Fly Rite Tattoo, and the folks there were awesome. I am not a Scorpio, I am a Taurus. My father was a Scorpio, and when he died in 1995, I had the tattoo done as a memorial to him.

Sep 012007

Forgive this rather silly, “fan” question. Is your name a “nom de plume” or are you, in fact, of Sicilian heritage?

Tristan Taormino is my real name, given to me at birth by my parents. Thanks Mom and Dad for such a cool name. I don’t have a middle name. As for my ethnicity, I get that question a lot. Taormino is the name of my step-grandfather, who adopted my father as a child and changed his name. My paternal grandfather’s last name was Clancy. Thus, I am Irish (his dad) and Italian (his mom) on my dad’s side of the family and Irish/English on my mom’s side.

Feb 132003

I’m a lesbian in a relationship with a great girl. I’d visited your website before and the idea of anal sex interested both of us, but we’d never gone beyond a little hesitant touching. Your book was an eye-opening experience! I thought that my sex life was fun before, but you helped us to safely discover a whole new level of pleasure, and I really want to thank you for that. My girlfriend and I have different views on the subject: she likes it when I penetrate her with a strap-on dildo; I prefer when she puts a butt plug in my ass, and I wear it for a while — I like the “full feeling” better. We use condoms on our toys, we’re careful to take our time, and we use plenty of lubricant.

After an anal session, whether it’s with a butt plug or dildo, however, my girlfriend gets abdominal cramps. She has absolutely no pain during sex itself (quite the opposite), only afterwards! We have tried different positions, enemas, breathing techniques, and having several orgasms before anal penetration. The dildo I am using is only about 1.5″ in diameter, and she has no problem taking it. The only time she doesn’t suffer these symptoms is when we just do gentle fingering (one or two fingers). This would be fine except she is very into the strap-on. Can you help us?

–Strap-on Slut

When people write to me about pain and discomfort from anal penetration, it’s usually about burning and other painful feelings in their rectum. However, cramping after anal sex is not unusual. In fact, lots of people ask me, “After you did your final scene in The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women video, wasn’t your ass sore?” I tell them the truth: I had so much warm up with fingers and toys, and I was so turned on that my ass was relaxed and open. Even lots of anal penetration over several hours of taping didn’t make me sore, but I did feel some cramps in my abdomen afterwards. Of course, making my video was like the Anal Olympics for me, and I don’t want your girlfriend to have discomfort just from what is, comparatively, a run around the track.

I have a few suggestions. First, don’t fuck on a full stomach. If her body is trying to digest a big meal, then stimulation in the rectum could confuse the natural bowel processes. Similarly, just like you shouldn’t drink gallons of water before you work out your abdominal muscles at the gym, the same holds true for getting plowed. Second, consider using a shorter dildo. The longer the cock, the closer it gets to the lower colon, which for some people may disrupt colonic activity and cause cramps. Finally, as you thrust in and out of her with your cock, air can be pushed inside her rectum and travel upward in the body, giving her cramps, so no more doing her in wind tunnels. Seriously, if her cramping persists, I suggest she consult a physician to see if she is suffering from a gastrointestinal problem.

Oct 032000

I have a question about ejaculating dildos and butt plugs. I saw a “recipe” for cum that is made up of condensed milk, egg white and sugar. I want to use this in a ejaculating dildo. Is it safe to use this “cum” in my ass? Could this cause any medical problems?


Well, Martha Stewart would certainly be proud that you are so enterprising! Ejaculating dildos and butt plugs are lots of fun; they give you the opportunity to experience shooting a hot load up your own ass or the rear of a friend. My first experience with a squirting dong came when I was sucking off a butch girl; she slammed her cock into my mouth, and at the same time squeezed her balls. Suddenly, a burst of fluid shot to the back of my throat, and the surprise alone made me soak the wood floor I was kneeling on!

I’ve heard that different people swear by different formulas for the perfect confection of fake jizz. The most important thing to keep in mind when getting out the measuring cups is that anything you put in your rectum will be automatically absorbed into your blood stream. A shot of sweet faux cum could leave you with a stomach ache. The one that you describe (made of condensed milk, egg white and sugar) creates an impressively life-like texture and aesthetic; if you were going for great visuals — a pop shot on someone’s mouth or tits, for example — that recipe would work well. If, however, your cum shot is meant to be an internal one, I would err on the side of caution and recommend that you simply use warm water. It will still feel quite real, and it is your safest choice healthwise.

Dec 151999

What are your thoughts on anal fisting? I know some women can do it, but isn’t it very rare?


Most people think anal fisting is either a gay urban legend or some freakish sexual circus feat. Actually, it is a very real sex act, and while it is more popular among gay men, certainly there are heterosexual couples and lesbians who are fisting lovers. I recently had the opportunity to teach a seminar on anal fisting at one of the only national events of the S/M community: The 14th Annual Living in Leather produced by the National Leather Association.

When I say the words anal fisting, most people’s immediate reaction is a wide-eyed, half terrified-half titillated “Yikes!” Take a deep breath. (It’s all in the breathing.) Anal fisting, also known as handballing, is the gradual process of putting your hand (and for very experienced players, sometimes your arm up to the elbow) inside someone’s ass. Fisting as a term is misleading since you don’t go inside all at once like a punch and usually your hand is not in a clenched fist once it is in there. Gay men popularized fisting in the late 60s and 70s during the sexual revolution, and founded private fisting clubs in major urban areas. I’ve read and heard tales of these sex clubs, filled with hungry men, waiting slings, and cans of Crisco. Although it is an intense exchange of power between two people, fisting isn’t exactly S/M. Because it is an outlaw sexual practice popularized by gay leathermen, it remains associated with and practiced by S/M folk, although not exclusively. Yet, like S/M, anal fisting explores and tests the farthest reaches of the mind and body’s inner limits.

While vaginal fisting is practiced among women and has been represented in classes, books, erotic stories and videos, anal fisting is a rarity. We’ve concentrated all our energy and efforts on one fabulously flexible orifice and overlooked the other. As a result, unlike gay men, women don’t have a history to hang on to like a sturdy sling, a legacy of fisting pros, role models to pass the skills from generation to generation.

I was scheduled to teach the anal fisting class with leatherman and leading handball expert Bert Herrman, author of the only book devoted exclusively to the subject, Trust: The Hand Book (Alamo Square Press). He also publishes Trust: The Handballing Newsletter. Bert, a fisting legend, has been putting his hands in men’s asses since I was in diapers. A true meeting of the minds and asses, the workshop proved to be a unique bridging of different perspectives, genders, and generations. In our opening, when we talked about warming up for fisting, our differences were readily apparent. An old school fister, Bert’s into getting high on pot and poppers and stuffing gobs of Crisco, whereas I am into endorphin highs and a nice, thick water based lubricant.

We viewed Handball Loving (Alamo Square/Erospirit Institute), which is unlike any video I’ve ever seen. Bert’s approach to fisting is very spiritual; he sees it as a path to enlightenment and higher consciousness, a way to connect with a higher power, and soul bond with another person. He draws on Eastern religions, particularly the principles of tantric sex. In that way, he is at the forefront of future sex, incorporating spirituality into sexuality.

Then there is the simple amazement factor seeing his arm almost to the elbow up his partner’s ass, then later with both hands inside him. It really is a different kind of sex; yes, there’s pleasure and intimacy and even orgasm, but that’s not all. Their bodies melding, their souls merging, both men were transported into a deep trance.

That night, after the workshop, I was inspired. I’ve been anally fisted before, but it was a long time ago and I wanted to do it again. My girlfriend Red and I had already decided to host a small sex party in our room. I started with a medium sized butt plug (appropriately called Voyager) in my ass which I wore for a while, then switched to a larger, very thick red plug. Whenever that one slides in my ass, it feels too big at first, but inevitably I take a deep breath and in it goes. When I felt like my ass was relaxed and ready for more, Red put on a latex glove, slipped out the butt plug, and started working her fingers inside me. I took lots of deep breaths, concentrated on relaxing and opening up. She eventually got all five fingers in to the final knuckles — the widest part of the hand, the dreaded sticking point. At one point I wanted to flip over from my back to my stomach and I was so absorbed that I tried to turn over with Red’s hand inside me not realizing that I would’ve broken her arm if I kept going. I kept asking for more lube but finally she let me know gently that there was plenty of lube, just no more room! At that point, I had moved beyond the point of orgasm, so we just relaxed, ate cheese and crackers with our guests, then fell asleep.

During the experience, I remembered Bert talking about what it feels like when you’re all the way up to someone’s transverse colon (which is beyond the rectum and descending colon). I realized I’m definitely a below-the-transverse-colon kind of girl. Hey, even Buttgirl has her limits.

Mar 081999

I have just started working as a professional dominatrix, and some of my clients (men) want me to fuck them in the ass with a strap-on. Any advice for a novice in that area?

–Mistress Scarlett, Minneapolis, MN

I am so glad you brought this subject up! I just went to a play party at a small dungeon, and watched an amazing anal scene. A tall, gorgeous dom with fiery red hair and thigh-high PVC boots had her sub on his knees sucking her strap-on cock with his hands tied behind his back. He was a little wisp of a thing, but boy could he fit that big cock in his mouth. After he serviced her, she put him on a bondage table on his back, and basically tied his knees to his chest with some beautiful rope work (red, of course). When she snapped on a latex glove, you could see his eyes get big and glassy. She started working her fingers in his ass, and he squirmed and moaned, but couldn’t go anywhere. She came to the edge of the table and started teasing him with her greased-up cock. He went nuts. Finally, she gave it to him, all eight inches, and he was in heaven.

Now for my advice:

There are so many men out there who enjoy having their assholes stimulated, played with, licked, and penetrated. And, according to lots of men I’ve talked to who are into power play, they especially love to be anally penetrated as part of being dominated, disciplined, even punished or humiliated. In addition to all the nerve endings in the anal area, men have a pleasure spot that’s just too good to overlook — the prostate gland. You can stimulate the prostate with your finger or a dildo.

First, you want to choose a harness that fits you well — the snugger and more secure the better; there are many different kinds (usually made of nylon or leather), and you should definitely try them on in a sex toy store if possible to see which works best for you. For beginning anal players, I would recommend a smaller dildo to start out, but of course, you should find what works best for you and your clients.

As the one doing the penetration, you should also experiment with different positions. I know that the first few times I fucked someone in the ass with a strap-on, I had the person in traditional doggie-style position for several reasons: 1) doggie style gives you a clear view of the butthole, so you can see what the hell you’re doing 2) the position allows for a good angle of penetration, towards the prostate in men (and towards the G-spot in women); and 3) it’s an easy angle to get your balance, establish a rhythm, and get some good thrusting going. So, you may want to start out that way, but you can also try missionary (usually with legs over the shoulders) or man-on-top. Although, as a dominant, I would say that putting him in a position with his ass in the air and head down is probably the best way to go, both practically and for its obvious submissive possibilities.

Anal penetration requires patience, practice and lube, lots of lube. Make sure your bottom is warmed up with lots of teasing. When you start out, you want to go slow and let the butt get used to having something inside it. Always work your way up, adding more lube as you go. When he’s finally read for that big silicone dick, be gentle at first; the more you go easy in the beginning, the more his ass will open up and trust you later on when you really want to ram the guy!

For more on this subject, definitely check out the fabulous video series: Bend Over Boyfriend (Fatale Video) and Bend Over Boyfriend 2: Less Talkin’, More Rockin’ (S.I.R. Productions). There is also a good book called The Strap On Book (Greenery Press) and another called The Ultimate Guide to Dildo and Harness Sex (Cleis Press).

Feb 151999

Have you ever done an “anal rape” S/M scene? I want negotiate a scene with my girlfriend with forced anal penetration — how do I make sure that the sex is safe and I don’t hurt her?

–Bob G., Fort Lauderdale, FL

Anal sex can be a very hot part of a forced sex scene for many different reasons. Like many women who are into exploring their submissive side, I find that being anally penetrated can be the ultimate experience of submission as well as a perfect way to explore the limits of my own body. Because buttfucking is already considered taboo and forbidden, those attitudes can be exaggerated and “played with” in the context of an erotic encounter.

In one of my favorite scenes, my top put me in elaborate bondage that was a combination of leather restraints, rope, and Ace bandages. I was semi-mummified in the bandages, and I felt completely confined and nearly immobile. She had me face down on the bed, and the only part of me exposed was my ass. She threatened to take me, to fuck my ass without warm-up, without lube, and without self-control. She went on and on about how I was going to take her big dick in my ass whether I liked it or not. Luckily for me, she put a butt plug in my ass while she barked at me, which helped me warm up and prepare my ass for its violation. When she took the plug out, I was ready for that big dick. As she was fucking me, she continually scolded me for being so naughty for wanting to be tied up and fucked in the ass. She was rough and nasty, and the frenetic energy of the scene was really hot. The best part was that I could surrender to anal sex “against my will,” but still have the trust and safety because I knew my top would take care of me.

Now for my advice:

Scenes with (mutually agreed upon) forced sex of any kind, and especially those with forced anal sex, are delicate, complex, and tricky; they require a tremendous amount of trust between partners and plenty of prior negotiation. For people interested in bringing anal sex into dominant-submissive role playing, it is especially important to negotiate your desires and boundaries with your partner. The negotiation is so key because communicating during the scene in role is difficult. For example, the victim can’t say “slow down” or “that hurts” when she is supposed to be at the mercy of her captor; likewise, the captor can’t say “how are you doing honey?” or “is this okay?” as he tortures his victim. Before the scene begins, you and your partner should definitely talk about what is okay and what isn’t. And reassure your bottom that she is free to use her safeword at any time if things aren’t going well for her.

As a top, remember that even if force is involved, you should still let the bottom take the lead. Find creative ways to warm your partner up, because warm up is absolutely necessary. Like the top in my scene, you can threaten to just have your way with her and fuck her without lube, but in reality, no anal penetration should happen without lube and without working your way up. S/M can be a way to explore the edges of pleasure and pain, but these practices should never be confused with anal sex being painful — remember that anal sex shouldn’t hurt at all. If it hurts, you’re not using enough lube or you are rushing it. Forcing anal penetration can cause damage to the delicate lining of the anus and rectum. The trick is to create the illusion of force, degradation, and surrender, while still maintaining the principles of safety: be patient, go slow, use lots of lube, and listen to the bottom’s verbal and non-verbal cues. Respect each other’s boundaries and have fun!

Jan 101999

Do I have to have an enema in order to get fucked in the ass? I am worried that it will be messy, and I don’t want it to be. How do I make sure I’m clean and how do I give myself an enema? One more thing — is there such a thing as too many enemas? How often can you have one?

–A.J., New York, NY

This question reminds me of the first time I did a pretty heavy enema scene. A fetish photographer I know was shooting a film on girls and bodily fluids, and he wanted a girl who could shoot water out of her ass. So, he called me. He had photographed me before nude and in various compromising positions, and we were pretty comfortable with each other. But nothing could have prepared me for what he had in mind, and, after all, having someone give you an enema is a real bonding experience.

We were both in his tiny East Village bathroom when he filled the superhero red enema bag. I got down on my knees on the cold tile floor and put my ass in the air. He poured some lube in his hand, and I felt his finger stroke my asshole and slip its way inside. I immediately thought, Wow, he has big fingers. I started to loosen up around him, and told him I was ready. As I felt the tip right at my opening, my clit jumped and I could feel myself getting wet. I wanted to reach around to start jerking myself off, but we had a long way to go, so I postponed my need. He slipped the nozzle inside me, and asked me if I was ready. Oh, I was ready alright. He flipped the gauge and I felt warm water filling me. I like it when the water pressure isn’t too high, flowing at an almost sleepy pace; a really unhurried enema always feels more sensual, like slowly filling a tub for a bubble bath. As the water crept inside me, I started to get that full feeling, which was intensely pleasurable. I told him when I was ready, and he removed the tube, and gently shut the door behind him.

We repeated the enema once more, until the water was all clear. Then came the tricky part. He filled me up, and when I was ready to expel, we moved onto his makeshift set. He started shooting, and then so did I. The first time we did it, I shot a pretty steady stream of water out of my ass, and he yelled Yeah! from behind his camera. Then we repeated the ritual — he’d fill me up, start the camera rolling, and I’d shoot for him — we did it thirteen times! Needless to say, that was the most enemas I’d ever have, and after the experience, I felt much more intimate with my photographer friend. And I felt more squeaky clean than ever before!

Now for my advice:

First. let me say that an enema isn’t necessary in order to have safe, relatively clean anal sex. Many people find that a nice warm and soapy shower or bath and a bowel movement before anal sex gets them pretty clean. But other people find that an enema helps reassure them about the cleanliness of their asses and the emptiness of their bowels. And others like to give or receive enemas as part of an S/M scene, and in these cases, an enema does not necessarily go hand in hand with anal sex but becomes an erotic activity unto itself.

If you’ve never had an enema before, you may want to start with an anal douche; these are popularly called “enemas,” but are less complicated to administer. You can buy a Fleet Enema, which has a pre-lubricated nozzle and is easy to use. Make sure you empty out the chemical solution and refill the bottle with plain warm water that feels like around body temperature. Squeeze the bottle to release the water into your rectum. Wait a few minutes, go sit on the toilet and let nature take its course. You can repeat the anal douche (about 2-3 times) until your bowels are completely cleaned out.

Giving yourself an enema with an enema bag takes a little more skill (and maybe even a mistress to administer it or a slave to assist you, which can add to the fun). You need to have an enema bag, tubing, and a hook of some kind (either over the toilet or the tub to hang the bag on). Fill the bag with warm water. Hang the bag within easy reach of your butt. Find a position that’s comfortable; you may want to try lying on your left side with your right leg pulled up to your chest or kneeling with your ass up, head down and one side of your face against the floor. You definitely want to use some water-based lubricant on the tip of the nozzle. Gently insert the tube into your rectum, then release the gauge on the bag until water begins to flow at the desired pressure (very low pressure is best). You’ll know when you’ve had enough. When you feel full, close the gauge, take the tube out and go to the toilet. Repeat several times until only water comes out during a bowel movement.

If you’re having an enema in preparation for anal sex, you should do it at least 2-3 hours prior to the sex to give your body a chance to reabsorb water and recover. Contrary to my little story about the thirteen enemas, it’s not a good idea to have enemas too frequently. They tend to stress out your rectum and too much of this evacuation can really throw your rectum, bowels and gastrointestinal tract off balance.