99 Problems: Sexpert Tristan Taormino Will Teach You How To Be A Porn Star
Tristan Taormino is a sex educator, author, porn director, all-around smart lady, and founder of the (adult, NSFW!) site PuckerUp.com. Today she answers your queries about making your own porn, and much more.
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I want to make a sex tape for the internet, but I want it to be hot and not cheesy or low-quality like so many of the ones out there. Any tips on making a really great video?
— Aspiring Star
Dear Aspiring Star,
Lighting is key, and I prefer natural, soft light. So, ideally you can shoot your movie while there is plenty of light near a window with a gauzy curtain drawn (or piece of fabric). Camcorders are getting cheaper and cheaper, so look for a sale or buy the floor model at an electronics store. For a better movie, you’ll want to have someone else there operating the camera so you can get busy with your partner(s). I’m not sure if that would feel too weird, but it would save you from having a stationary shot that never changes.
My boyfriend of four years and I want to open our relationship, but we're scared of what might happen. What do we need to do to make sure our love stays strong while we do other people?
— Cautious Adventurer
Dear Cautious Adventurer,
You’ve got to take a leap of faith and really trust your partner before opening your relationship to other people. Make sure you’re solid, then have an honest discussion about your limits. What feels okay or at least tolerable? What is an absolute deal breaker? Be ready to confront your own jealousy, fear, and insecurity — and keep communicating!
I love my parents, but they don't accept that I'm bisexual. They think I'm really straight and eventually I'm going to settle down with a dude. How do I make them understand that I'm just as likely to settle down with a woman?
In my experience, it takes some time for these things to sink in with parents. How much time depends on who your parents are and how much experience they’ve had with bisexuals (do they know any bisexual people other than you?). Some people dwell in denial for quite some time, others grasp reality quicker. Remember, too, that there is a great deal of misunderstanding and stigma about bisexuality, even among gay and lesbian people and sexually-savvy folks. Have patience and compassion; you don’t know who you’ll settle down with, but once that person is a part of your life, her or his presence should be pretty convincing.
My biggest fantasy is to try pegging with my boyfriend, but he thinks it'll be emasculating. How can I let him know he's still a man, even if I sometimes do him with a strap-on?
— Not a Dick
Dear Not a Dick,
Anal sex is a powerful thing, but not powerful enough to change your gender or sexual orientation; that’s a myth rooted in misogyny and homophobia. Straight-identified men have to unpack some cultural baggage around masculinity, normative male sex roles, and being penetrated. Remind your boyfriend that pegging is not about “making him your bitch” (it can be, but that’s a different scene), it’s about an exciting, pleasurable experience for both of you. Then show him my new movie, "The Expert Guide to Pegging" — hopefully it will inspire you both!!
Are expensive sex toys worth it? Why spend $100 on a vibrator when I can get one for $20?
— Thrifty and Horny
Dear Thrifty and Horny,
Well, it depends on the brand, but in many cases, honestly, YES. Many of the companies that produce more expensive toys — including Je Joue, LELO, NJoy Toys, Vixen Creations, and We-Vibe — are absolutely worth the cost. They are made with top quality materials (which make a big difference), have cutting-edge designs (which require top-notch designers), and many have incorporated smart technology that is expensive to develop and test. Plus, we’re worth it.