Sex Educator Tristan Taormino Will Speak At Oregon State University and the University Of Oregon

by Viviane on 02/07/2011

in Tristan Taormino

Posted online at

February 7, 2011

Contact: Tristan Taormino (

Three weeks ago, Tristan Taormino’s keynote for Oregon State University’s Modern Sex Conference was cancelled by administrators, who cited her involvement in pornography as the reason (complete background at Response from local and national media, bloggers and sex educators, and on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook was extensive, and the University received hundreds of emails and calls criticizing its decision to un-invite Taormino.

In response, OSU students organized to raise funds from student activity dollars, and they have succeeded: Taormino will give her original talk, “Claiming Your Sexual Power,” on Tuesday, February 15 at 7:00 pm in LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University. Her talk is presented by The OSU Memorial Union and open to all students, staff, faculty, and community members. The presentation will be held the night before the Modern Sex Conference. “I am thrilled at the outpouring of support and honored that the students worked so hard to bring me to campus. I want to thank Memorial Union President Craig Bidiman, his advisors, and the ASOSU for all their help,” says Taormino.

After Taormino was first uninvited from the OSU Modern Sex Conference, she was contacted by a professor at the University of Oregon who was interested in having her appear on campus. On Wednesday, February 16, she will give her talk “My Life As a Feminist Pornographer,” at the University of Oregon. She will talk about her definition of feminist porn, what she hopes to accomplish with her films, and the challenges she faces in her career in the adult industry and in her professional career as a sex educator. She will address the recent controversy at OSU and why she believes a feminist is the most “dangerous” kind of pornographer. Her talk is sponsored by The Center for the Study of Women in Society; Robert D. Clark Honors College; Departments of Women’s and Gender Studies, Sociology, Comparative Literature, and Cinema Studies; Oregon Humanities Center; The Women’s Center; LBGTQ Alliance; and The Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team. Professor Jennifer Burns Levin, who organized the event, says, “Tristan’s involvement with pornography made OSU administrators uncomfortable, but I think they missed the point. Tristan’s sex-positive, woman- and queer-friendly work in an industry known for its exploitation of women addresses exactly the kind of labor issues we should be discussing on college campuses. And preemptively withdrawing funds from a provocative speaker in a time of legislative budget cuts sets a bad precedent, in my view, for others speaking on controversial topics. So we’re very happy to have her at University of Oregon. It should be an energized and popular lecture!”

For more information about these events as well as her two appearances at She Bop sexuality boutique on February 13 and 14 in Portland, see

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