Review: Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Female Orgasms

Cover of film Expert Guide to Female Orgasms with an African-American woman being kissed on the neck

I first met Tristan Taormino when she came to my college for a workshop on anal pleasure. I’ve followed her work ever since. I would give Tristan the title “Queen of Feminist Porn” and she has earned that title over the years as an author, filmmaker and educator. She’s committed her career to producing female-centered videos, books, dvds and erotica that have a decidedly feminist bent. You can read all about her work at her website (NSFW, btw).

Her newest educational film, Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Female Orgasms, is no exception. I’ve flipped through my fair share of how-to sex guides, but Tristan’s style of instruction through narration alongside scenes from couples actually getting off is engaging in a way that no book could ever be. Tristan takes the viewer through the basics of female orgasm, anatomy, physiology and sex, offering tips and suggestions along the way. When she talks about different positions that are good for certain types of orgasm, you can see those positions, acted out in real time by the couples starring in the video. They are all porn stars themselves, but their interest in one another is surprisingly genuine–the women were able to pick their costars and the chemistry is evident. Also no faked orgasms here: these women are actually getting off, without scripts and with the aid of toys like the Hitachi Magic Wand. The focus on the female partners (there were queer and straight couples in the film) getting off is so rare in most porn that it was almost jarring.

The film is marketed as “sex-ed for a new generation.” While I wouldn’t necessarily advocate showing this film in schools, I do think it’s a great resource for couples or women who want to learn more about getting off and enhancing sexual pleasure. Plus, watching this video with a partner will definitely entice you to try new things…probably before the film is over.

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