Home Peep Show Peep Show – Interview with Tristan Taormino, Part Two

Peep Show – Interview with Tristan Taormino, Part Two

Peep Show – Interview with Tristan Taormino, Part Two

We like Tristan Taormino’s style: brains + bawdiness + bad ass marketing techniques.  As a successful pornographer / author / educator, Tristan has done all the things that we indie filmmakers are being told to do: she’s found a niche (several, actually); she interacts with her audience; she uses social media to connect with her fans; she pairs free content with paid content; and she offers fans opportunities to meet her in person at live events such as workshops, conferences, book events, and workshops. Events they have to pay for, FYI.

Imagine that, filmmakers: people lining up around the block with YOUR DVD / poster / book in hand ready to pay for the chance to meet you and get your autograph. Not a bad life. Let’s see if Tristan can give us any more tips on how to get there.

You read Part One of our interview with Tristan, right? Good. Then let’s move on to Part Two:

King is a Fink: You have a far reaching internet presence, through both your website, blog, and Twitter.  Do you interact with your audience a lot?  How so?  How often?  And how important is it to engage with your audience in this way?

Tristan Taormino: You know, this is a really interesting question for a pornographer. Most often, people watch porn in private so I don’t know when or where they’re doing it. It’s not like seeing a room full of people at a movie theater or someone reading your book on the subway. Plus, most people don’t come up to me on the street and say, “Hey I just watched your porn and I love it!” There’s still too much stigma.

I interact with my audience via my website, email, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I still think that for some people it’s too risky to post on my Facebook wall for a variety of reasons, unless they are ready to out themselves as a porn fan. I try to answer all my emails, which is not always easy! I love doing Q&A’s at screenings and college lectures/events because I can be face-to-face with fans and hear what they think about my work. I am on Twitter the most often: it’s brief, immediate, and just works the best for my hectic schedule.

One of the things I love is that nearly all the performers I work with are also on Twitter, so there’s an opportunity for cross-dialogue with my fans and theirs. I want to hear what my audience thinks, I want to know how they see my porn, and what they get from it.

We watched the Satine Phoenix/Derrick Pierce segment from Rough Sex at CineKink Las Vegas, and your film, more than any of the others, inspired a flurry of conversation afterward. When you make films, do you have intentions beyond creating hot sex scenes?  Do you want people to think, react or be inspired by your films?

Tristan: That is really exciting to me! Don’t get me wrong; if you watched my movie, got turned on, and had a great orgasm, that’s wonderful. I love it. But if my movies also make you think, challenge you, push your buttons, inspire conversation with friends or partners, that’s even better! Ultimately, it’s great when people get off and get it. I put a lot of energy, thought, and passion into my films, and I want people to get a lot out of them. I want it to spark dialogue about the things we don’t discuss openly and honestly enough, whether it’s fantasies and turn-ons, consent and gender roles, or insecurities and fears. We all have them, and we need to talk about them more.

KFink: Do you have anything new in the works that we should watch for?

Tristan: My next film will be out at the end of this year. It’s my latest title for Vivid-Ed, and the title and topic are … a secret for now. Sorry. Here’s what I can tell you: I am really proud of this film. It’s different than anything else out there and I think it’s some of my best work. I plan to announce the title in November where all breaking news happens: on Twitter! I’m also in post-production for Rough Sex 3: Adrianna’s Dangerous Mind. It is all about one of my favorite performers, Adrianna Nicole, and her wonderfully perverse fantasies. I’ve never done a movie that revolves around one performer, and I loved the experience. That will be out in 2011. I’m also working on five new books, including co-editing an academic collection called Feminist Porn Studies: Writing by Academics and Sex Industry Workers.


Huge thanks to Tristan and her kind assistant Colten for putting this PEEP SHOW interview on T’s crazy schedule.


KingIsAFink Jessica King grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and eventually moved to the city via China; country mouse Julie Keck entered Chicago via Jessica. Their first films were inspired by inside jokes and made primarily to tickle the fancies of their closest friends. In subsequent films they explored the exquisite embarrassment associated with living. King and Keck’s most recent efforts, Anxiety Acres and Libidoland, showcase characters venturing out of their comfort zones and flailing in the quicksand of their own imaginations. In addition to producing ultra-low budget films, Jessica and Julie write short and feature length screenplays in a variety of genres. Their primary goal: to tell stories that are at once familiar, uncomfortable, demented, and exhilarating. They’re currently working on a movie dramatic thriller called TILT with Minnesota director Phil Holbrook. Julie and Jessica chronicle their work at kingisafink.com and are active on Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube.


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