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Taormino Lecture Sponsored by Adam & Eve

Hillsborough, NC – Columnist, author, and director Tristan Taormino will be making a return visit to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a guest of the student body to discuss her life as a feminist pornographer. The lecture will be sponsored by Adam & Eve, the leader in the distribution of sexual products, services, and health information. The lecture will take place on the campus on April 21, 2004 at 7:00 pm.

This past February, Taormino traveled to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) to give a lecture called “Sexploration,” as part of the university’s “Sexual Responsibility Week.” Taormino spoke to the students about sexual anatomy, communication, masturbation, and safer sex.

An associate professor from UNC-Wilmington, a neighboring university, heard of Taormino’s visit and wrote two columns about the lecture, attacking Taormino’s credibility and chastising the University for bringing a “porn star” to speak at UNCG. “North Carolina taxpayers actually paid to promote pornography and anal sex in the name of ‘wellness’ and ‘diversity,'” said the professor. The column led to two statements by the University Chancellor Patricia Sullivan, where she claimed that officials didn’t know about the background of Taormino. The initial statement from The Chancellor said the following: “Had we more thoroughly investigated Ms. Taormino, I do not believe we would have invited her to appear.”

Several days after the release of the initial statement, the Chancellor issued a corrected statement where she apologized for her previous remarks and said that University administrators did in fact know about Taormino’s involvement in pornography and that they still asked Tristan to appear at the University. In her mea culpa, Chancellor Sullivan still maintained her anti-porn stance: “I am not comfortable with Ms. Taormino’s pornographic associations and her website, and I do not think it is good for the reputation and image of UNCG to be associated with the promotion of pornography, directly or indirectly.”

The Chancellor’s statements and the subsequent news coverage about Tristan’s visit generated a heated debate on the UNCG campus. A group of students, including senior Joe Killian, editor in chief of the student paper The Carolinian, has invited Taormino back — this time, to give her talk entitled “My Life As A Feminist Pornographer.”

When Killian attempted to secure funding from various academic departments and student groups for this lecture, he ran into resistance. “Everybody that I approached has been hesitant to lend their support in a public way. They worry that there will be negative repercussions from the administration. Chancellor Sullivan’s statement about ‘exercising good judgment when choosing speakers’ seems to have scared people off,” says Killian.

Undeterred, Killian and fellow senior John Russell decided to hold a fundraiser of their own to raise money for Tristan’s appearance. It will be held Saturday, April 3 at 8:00 pm at Phases (329 S. Tate Street) in Greensboro, and feature a raffle as well as entertainment by local performers including the band The Green People.

Upon word of this lecture and fundraiser, Adam & Eve, based out of Hillsborough, North Carolina, has announced they will match all funding brought in by the students to make sure Taormino is able to speak at the University. “Once we were given the information behind this upcoming event, we knew we wanted to be a part of this. The opportunity to speak directly to college students about sexuality is important to all of us at Adam & Eve,” says Katy Zvolerin, Director of Public Relations for Adam & Eve. “It is also extremely important to discuss how and why businesses within the adult industry, like Adam & Eve, are not degrading or exploiting women, as certain elements would like the public to believe.”

Tristan Taormino is the sex columnist for the Village Voice and the award-winning author of three books on sex: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, Down and Dirty Sex Secrets, and True Lust: Adventures in Sex, Porn and Perversion. Taormino has directed, produced, and starred in two educational adult videos based on her book The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women. The first volume won two Adult Video News (AVN) awards in 2000.
 

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