Tristan Taormino Tackles Porn Issues With Cosmo

Nov 13, 2013 7:00 AM PST

NEW YORK — Feminist pornographer and author Tristan Taormino ramped up her mainstream media exposure in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan magazine.

In addition to her usual wheelhouse that centers on the definition of “feminist porn,” Taormino also spoke to the issues of content piracy and porn’s objectification of men.

Taormino told the magazine that feminist porn is ethically produced content that empowers performers and provides movies with desire, beauty, pleasure, and power through alternative representations, aesthetics, and filmmaking styles.

She noted that fem porn usually includes real orgasms and doesn’t discriminate or “fetishize” against any body type or ethnicity, unlike some mainstream porn.

On the flip side, she also addressed the issue of women liking porn where men dominate women.

“I have no interest in policing or judging anyone’s desires, fantasies, and porn preferences, and I know that plenty of women have fantasies of dominance and submission. Images of dominance and submission are not anti-feminist in and of themselves, but one of the reasons feminists critique them is because consent is not always explicit and because of the repetition of men dominating women, making it the main type of power exchange we see in a lot of mainstream pornography. I think there is a stereotype that women want kinder, gentler, more romantic porn; some women do, but not all women. Feminist pornographers don’t want to do away with sexual power dynamics; many of us want to explore them in an explicitly consensual and more diverse, nuanced, non-stereotypical way,” she told Cosmo.

Taking a stance on tube site piracy, Taormino called out YouPorn and RedTube as examples of sites hurting the industry. But she pointed out that the Internet has made it possible for feminists when it comes to controlling porn production.

Taormino said, “There are a lot of small, indie porn sites run by the performers themselves like MeetTheMayhems.com and LiandraDahl.com. MakeLoveNotPorn.tv is an actual amateur file sharing site where the people who make the scenes and films can share profits with the site.”

Coming to the defense of male talent, Taormino said that the objectification of men in mainstream porn is rarely mentioned, and that men are often portrayed as always being hard, one-dimensional sex robots with “disembodied penises.”

“What I’m trying to achieve in my films is a more diverse array of sexual representations and that includes more diverse images of men’s sexuality. I like to show men asking their partners for directions, men who get off on giving pleasure, submissive men, straight men who get anally penetrated, and men who aren’t afraid to challenge norms about masculinity in other ways,” the co-editor of “The Feminist Porn Book,” said.

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