“You’ve got to set up the dynamic, which is, we can talk about absolutely anything here. I’m not going to judge you. I’m not going to shame you. I can take it.” ~Tristan Taormino
Sex episode! Sexpisode? You decide. Either way, educator, author, and media-maker Tristan Taormino talks about the joys of her DIY career and what she wishes therapists knew about sex. And, boy howdy does she have street cred to spare!
From her first book, The Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Women (published waaay back in 1997) to her current podcast, Sex Out Loud, Tristan’s dedicated her life to creating shame-free, inclusive spaces where knowledge and straightforward advice flourish. She’s also a prolific maker of feminist porn and erotica and a champion of marginalized voices. She uses her various platforms to amplify the views of her LGBTQIA peers and other groups who are consistently excluded from the CIS male-dominated mainstream conversations around sex and pleasure.
As a self-described big feeler, Tristan’s gained plenty of cognitive insight into the client-therapist relationship. She’s participated in years of dialectic behavioural therapy (DBT) to address her own childhood traumas and in continued support of her severe depression. She’s witnessed firsthand how therapists’ inherent sexual biases or avoidance tactics inhibit authentic therapeutic conversations. “If you’re in couples therapy [or] relationship counselling and your therapist doesn’t ask you about your sex life or your sexual dynamic…they do not have the full picture.”
She urges therapists to stop waiting for clients to lead on the subject of sex. With a little grace and a lot of sex-positive education, therapists can gain competencies that support their clients’ sexuality even if they themselves don’t fully embrace every kink or intimate desire on the spectrum.
Tristan Taormino is an award-winning sex educator, media maker, and speaker. She is the author of eight books and editor or co-editor of 25 anthologies. She keynotes, lectures, and teaches workshops around the world on sexual pleasure and health, relationships, and social justice. She is the host of the podcast Sex Out Loud. She is the creator of Sex Educator Boot Camp, a professional training program, and she runs a coaching and consulting business for sexuality professionals.
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