Tristan Taormino is a badass. Wait, make that an ass-pert. I mean, if you've got a question, just ass, I mean just ask, Tristan—her list of credentials is a mile long. She's written tons of books, worked as a sex columnist and editor, been in over 200 publications, appeared on television shows, and done lectures at colleges and universities speaking on gay and lesbian issues, sexuality and gender, and feminism.

She also runs her own adult-film production company and currently is a director for Vivid Entertainment. (Read: porn.) I had a few questions for Tristan. Please enjoy.

Congrats on winning the 2009 AVN [Adult Video News] Award for Best Educational Release for The Expert Guide to Oral Sex, Part 2: Fellatio! Is "Educational" a new category?
Yes. It's a brand-new category this year, and I am thrilled. It means that there are now enough instructional movies each year to warrant our own category, which is fantastic.

You also have Expert Guides on cunnilingus, anal sex, positions, threesomes, and the G-spot. What's next?
The next title is Penny Flame's Expert Guide to Rough Sex, which comes out March 25. After that, we've got Tristan Taormino's Expert Guide to Anal Pleasure for Men, on May 27, and Midori's Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage, in September. We also have a few more titles in the works.

Is there a really specific topic that could use a proper sex-ed video, but probably won't be made?
Well, I would have said handjobs, but we made that movie! Seriously, Penny Flame's Expert Guide to Hand Jobs for Men & Women came out in the fall of 2008, and there really is no other sex-ed video out there like it. I am really proud of that title, which I codirected with Penny. People underestimate just how important our hands are and how much we can do with them.

Do people ever send you gushing thank-you cards? I think I have one, somewhere, that I never mailed. It went something like, "Dear Tristan, thank you for teaching me so many things that made my life better. You are like Santa, the tooth fairy, and/or the Easter bunny..."
Yes, absolutely. It's definitely the best part of my job. I love the idea that I had an impact on someone's life in a very concrete way. I save every thank-you letter and e-mail I get.

Which Expert Guide DVD was the most fun to make? And the most difficult?
I think that Expert Guide to Cunnilingus was the most fun because I knew it was going to be different than any other movie out there, even other oral-sex instructional movies. It was all pussy-eating, all the time! The most difficult movie had to be the Expert Guide to Rough Sex, because L.A. Vice showed up on the set in the middle of a scene we were shooting to try to shut down production. We had all our proper permits and paperwork, so in the end we weren't in trouble, but it stopped production for several hours. It was very hard for everyone to bounce back after that and resume filming. Talk about stressful.

Your videos are anything but boring or "unintentionally funny," like most instructional films. Sometimes your advice seems a little funny on purpose. ("Lick it just like a half-melting ice-cream cone!" or "Place your hands on his cock like you're juicing a lemon!") What's the most memorable metaphor you've ever uttered or written in print?
Oh, that is definitely from my Expert Guide to Anal Sex. I talk about how to touch the anus with the pad of your finger, and I say something like, "You just want to let the butt know you're there, like ringing the doorbell!"

Um, will you confirm that there really is such a thing as the Feminist Porn Awards?
Yes, I am the recipient of several Feminist Porn Awards! The Fourth Annual Feminist Porn Awards are in April this year. They're produced by Good for Her, a feminist sex shop in Toronto.

Okay, last question. You're an XXX director (and former actress). Can I just ask this? I feel like a lot of porn—not just educational/instructional—can be fun and liberating for WOMEN to watch. In the last porn column, in a review of Cheerleaders, I was accused of things like "debasing and demoralizing real women everywhere" and of "insulting women who are victims of sexual abuse, exploitation, and violence"; someone even said that I was "sick, plain and simple, and an abject expression of 'womanhood.'" Am I really a dirty pervert 'cause I thought Jesse Jane looked really hot bouncing around on Manuel Ferrara's Budweiser can? Tristan Taormino, am I a sicko?
Of course not! Unfortunately, porn is still a very hot-button topic for people, and they have very strong opinions about it. Listen, not all porn is wonderful. There is certainly porn that I find boring, stupid, and yes, degrading. But there is also porn that's sex-positive, sexy, and fun. People need to know there are a lot of different options out there when it comes to watching porn.

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Tristan Taormino's books include Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships; True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion; Down and Dirty Sex Secrets; and The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. She's penned sex-advice columns like Pucker Up for the Village Voice and Anal Advisor for Taboo Magazine, and she was the editor of On Our Backs, a sorely missed lesbian sex mag. She's also been in the New York Times, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, Details, New York Magazine, Men's Health, and Playboy; appeared on HBO's Real Sex, NBC's The Other Half, The Howard Stern Show, Loveline, Ricki Lake, MTV, Oxygen, and the Discovery Channel; and done lectures at Yale, Brown, Columbia, Smith, Vassar, and NYU.

More about Tristan Taormino at www.puckerup.com and www.openingup.net.