Join award winning author, speaker, sex educator and media maker Tristan Taormino as she explores the world of sexuality from every angle. Tristan interviews leading authors, educators, artists and icons about sexual pleasure, sexual wellness, identity, relationships, community, and social justice. Get an inside look at alternative sexual practices, communities, and relationships—like LGBTQIA folx, BDSM, polyamory, sex work, and disability—from both leading and underrepresented voices. Tristan also shares her twenty years of experience with honest, sex-positive sex advice for listeners. Excited by sexual pleasure and sexual politics? You’ve come to the right place. This program contains explicit content that may be unsuitable for some listeners.
Leslie Lehr on Her Obsession with Boobs
New York Times “Modern Love” essayist and author Leslie Lehr joins Tristan Taormino to talk about her new book A Boob’s Life: How America’s Obsession with Breasts Shaped me…and You (Pegasus Books). The book has just been optioned for an HBO Max series by Salma Hayek! They discuss how breasts played a central role throughout Leslie’s life, from flat-chested adolescent to breastfeeding mom to divorcee with breast implants all the way to breast cancer survivor. Along the way, Leslie details her childhood, marriage, divorce, relationships, and her ongoing struggle with her boobs and body acceptance. Leslie Lehr is a prize-winning author, essayist, and the Novel Consultant for Truby’s Writers Studio. Special thanks to Calm and Sakara for their support of this episode.
Sex Writer’s Journey in Desire and Pleasure with Tracy Clark-Flory
Journalist Tracy Clark Flory joins Tristan Taormino to talk about her new memoir Want Me: A Sex Writer's Journey into the Heart of Desire. They discuss her early interest in sex and how her attitudes were influenced by her hippie parents, the media, and HBO’s Real Sex. As a young adult, she struggles with failing at being a woman, and she searches for “what men want” and her own desirability through porn, strip clubs, sex writing, and a lot of casual sex. She comes clean about being an orgasm faker during this time, and they unpack why. She shares when she began to challenge the paradoxical sexual norms of our society and center her own desire, pleasure, and power. They delve into how her mother’s death affected her sex life, her orgasmic breakthrough, and what she’s learned from visiting porn film sets. The book is deeply personal, yet brilliantly analyzes the social and political forces that shape the current sexual landscape. Special thanks to Calm and Sakara for their support of this episode.
Tracy Clark-Flory is a senior staff writer at Jezebel. Her work has been published in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Marie Claire, Salon, The Guardian, Women’s Health, and the yearly “Best Sex Writing” anthology. She has appeared on “20/20,” MSNBC and NPR. She is the author of the memoir Want Me: A Sex Writer's Journey into the Heart of Desire.
We Too: Sex Work and Survival Part 2
In part 2 of a 2 part series on the new book We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival, contributors join Tristan Taormino to read from their chapters in the book and discuss how sex workers have been left out of the #MeToo movement. Selena the Stripper, host of the podcast Heaux in the Kneaux, shares faer foreword where fae talks about first forays into SW and becoming a stripper and activist for stripper’s rights. Writer/activist Vanessa Carlisle tells the story about forming Hooker’s Army, a peer support and self defense collective for sex workers. Tina Horn, who served as assistant editor, reads from and discusses her deeply personal and fascinating piece on sex, power, cults, and BDSM. Special thanks to Calm and Sakara.
Selena the Stripper is a sex worker, sex work labor advocate, blogger, podcaster, and artist. Fae is president of Strippers United, formerly known as Soldiers of Pole, which is a labor coalition of strippers, other sex workers and their legal team who are fighting for the right to a safe equitable workplace for strippers across the United States and beyond.
Vanessa Carlisle holds a PhD in Writing and Gender Studies and has been a sex worker for twenty-two years. She writes and teaches on a variety of sexuality-related topics, from sex workers' rights to polyamory, creating healthy boundaries, kinky skills, and more.
Tina Horn is the creator and writer of the sci-fi sex-rebel comic book series SfSx (Safe Sex). She also hosts and produces the long-running kink podcast Why Are People Into That?!.
Natalie West on We Too: Sex Work and Survival
Editor Natalie West joins Tristan Taormino in part 1 of a 2 part series on her new book We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival. In the wake of the #MeToo resurgence, sex workers of all kinds were hesitant to tell their stories of harassment, coercion, and assault. If sex workers (SWers) tell stories of being victimized, it confirms what people already think they know: sex work is degrading and dangerous. If they don’t speak, they can’t get community support, resources, a chance to speak their truth, and, in rare cases, justice. Natalie talks about sex work labor, victimhood, the problematic movement to “save” SWers, the role of law enforcement, and the conflation of sex work and trafficking. There is deep resilience and hope in this book which shows how organizing is a tool of empowerment and healing.
Natalie West is a Los Angeles based writer and educator. She worked as a professional Dominatrix while obtaining her PhD in Gender Studies. She moonlights as a sex work and BDSM authenticity consultant for film and TV productions and is currently at work on a memoir. Special thanks to Like A Kitten and Sakara for their support of the show.
Children in Polyamorous Families with Dr. Eli Sheff
Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff joins Tristan Taormino to talk about her latest book Children in Polyamorous Families, which is based on her groundbreaking 20+ year Polyamorous Family Study, which is the only longitudinal study of polyamorous families with children to date. She talks about the advantages for children raised with polyamorous parents as well as the unique challenges they face. Plus: how does growing up in a polyamorous household affect their attitudes about communication, relationships, and love? Eli works with the team that developed the Bonding Project, an app that can help people figure out what kind of relationship style works best for them: one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, or solo. Tristan takes the test and Eli tells her about her results. Special thanks to Calm and Like A Kitten for their support of this episode.
Dr. Sheff is a researcher, expert witness, coach, speaker, and educational consultant. With a PhD in Sociology and certification as a Sexuality Educator from the AASECT, Dr. Sheff specializes in gender and sexual minority families, consensual non-monogamy, and kink/BDSM. Sheff is the foremost academic expert on polyamorous families with children, and her 20+ year Polyamorous Family Study is the only longitudinal study of poly families with children to date. Sheff co-chairs the Consensual NonMonogamies Legal Issues Team for the American Psychological Association, Division 44.
Sex, Monogamy, Fear and Technology with Romantic Chorus
Director/co-producer Jeff M. Giordano and interview subjects Imani Johann and Jade Theriault join Tristan Taormino to talk about the groundbreaking full length animated documentary Romantic Chorus. The film is focused on sex and romantic connections featuring 21 diverse interviews with people from a wide range of genders, cultural backgrounds, abilities, and sexual orientations as they discuss sex, monogamy, fear and technology. Jeff talks about the process of making the film and what surprised him along the way. The group has a lively discussion about desire, dating, intimacy, polyamory, cyborgs, and even dick pics and The Bachelorette! Special thanks to Sakara and Dipsea for their support of this show.
Jeff M. Giordano has been directing documentaries since 2004. In 2020, he won an award for Disability Justice for the 70 minute documentary The God Given Talent: the Creative Life of Charles Curtis Blackwell.
Imani Johann is a 31-year-old queer black Philadelphia native who owns Decadent d'Vices with a mission to provide pleasure to all bodies as all bodies deserved to feel good.
Jade Theriault is a cyborg who combines provocative thought with moving furniture. Jade has performed at many showcases and festivals, and has a new short film coming out called Masked & Abused.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Such a transformative podcast!
I’ve been a fan of Tristan’s for many years and even have a signed copies of several of her books! I don’t know why I only now discovered her podcast. The recent episode with Stacie Ysidro was just what I needed to hear. Her discourse concerning the various sexual blueprints helped me realize more about my own blueprint (and shadow self!). Thank you again!
Sex and identity politics...need I say more?
I don’t know why this podcast doesn’t have 5 stars. It is awesome. The content is always informative and delivered in an intelligent way. Sexy nerds are hot!