Allen Hall hosts adult filmmaker, Tristan Taormino this week

By Daily Illini Staff Report

This week an adult filmmaker will be the Guest-In-Residence at Allen Hall. Tristan Taormino is an award-winning author, columnist, editor, sex educator and advocate for the LGBTQ community.

Taormino was first invited to Allen Hall in 2012. Among other things, she was offered her own radio show, “Sex Out Loud,” during her stay here at the University, leaving her nothing but “pleasant memories” of the place.

Laura Haber, program and academic director of Allen Hall, said Taormino was invited to Allen Hall as a part of their Unit One Guest-In-Residence program, which offers workshops and lectures for students.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to learn from writers, artists, activists, performers, scholars, various people that have an interesting perspective on multiple issues,” she said.

This year, as a returning favorite, Taormino is giving lectures on topics such as sexual positivity, sexual empowerment and LGBTQ teatime. Some of the more explicit activities include a workshop titled “The ultimate guide to women’s sexual pleasure.”

Although most of the activities will take place in Allen Hall, Taormino is scheduled to give a lecture on “sexual positivity and social justice” at the Women’s Resources Center on Sept. 22.

Haber said students recommend people to invite other students and a variety of people visit throughout each year.

“Last year we had a survey of our students and we found that Tristan was very popular and there were a lot of students interested in bringing her,” she said. “(Taormino) has a lot of to offer for students, she’s someone who can answer questions about human sexuality and sexual health and communication.”

On her first night here, Taormino greeted her audience with a speech on her “journey from activist undergraduate to law school reject to struggling writer to author, columnist, sex educator, and adult filmmaker.” The Unit One/ Allen Hall Facebook page said, “(Taormino will) reveal what she’s learned from her jobs and the pleasures and pitfalls of writing about sex from such a personal perspective.”

She will also hold a discussion on the importance of consent, Haber said.

“We’re really excited to have that conversation because consent is an issue that’s really big on college campuses,” Haber said. “And in the media, talking about how do people negotiate consent; how do we ensure that students’ are having consensual relationships and how do we help students communicate consent and hear consent.”

Although none of the students who were here for Taormino’s last visit in 2012, Haber said the topics Taormino will discuss cover “important relationships skills for students” and will help “students understand their own sexuality and their own needs.”

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