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Tristan is currently a columnist for the Village Voice, editor of the magazine On Our Backs and the annual Lesbian Erotica series, consultant for the Lower East Side sex shop Toys in Babeland and host of her own Web site, PuckerUp.com.
We sit on Tristan's bed, a magnificent piece adorned with intricately snapped and buckled harnesses with vulcanized cocks. As her dogs swarm all over me, brazenly trying to tongue me down, we talk about porn, filmmaking and, of course, the joys of anal sex.
Do you ever hesitate before showing people your bedroom?
No. Unless it's my landlord. Then I shut the door, but at this point everyone knows about me so no one's going to be surprised.
Why are your sex toys so visible in your home?
They're partly out for functional reasons; if they were under the bed it would wreck the moment. And there are too many to shove in one box under the bed. And also, the more rooms we walk into and see dildos and vibrators and whips, the better we'll feel about it. The metaphorical ramifications of hiding them away are deep. I'm not ashamed of my sexuality and I don't want other people to be either.
What do people usually say upon entering your room?
No one says anything. Including my mother. My mom gets up every Wednesday morning, goes out and gets the Voice and calls me by eleven to give the full report.
And dare I ask about your legendary uncle?
We used to have more contact than we do now, but I believe he reads me in the Voice because of something he wrote in a Christmas card. One of my first published stories was in On Our Backs and he knew the magazine and I was impressed by that. I feel his silent support.
Tell me about your weekend at the AVN Awards.
My girlfriend went with me and I can honestly say she was the only butch dyke there. People in the industry are not used to women who look like my girlfriend. I had to sign autographs and have my picture taken. It's all performance so it's easy. People wanted to take pictures of my ass. But this was difficult for my girlfriend to see. We're still processing that.
Were you scared when it came to making the anal sex movie?
It was terrifying. I'd never taken a film class or picked up a camera. It was also the sex, of course. It was a whirlwind; I wouldn't remember any of it if it were not captured on film.
One of the things about it is, it was supposed to take place in one day. I had to wear the same outfit and makeup and hair every single day. The shirt I wore in the movie was a favorite of mine, which now I can't bear to wear.
What would you do to unwind after a day of shooting?
I don't drink or do drugs; sex is my way of unwinding, but that wasn't what I wanted to do after shooting all day. I was living with my co-producer who has a dungeon and I was living down there, so it was like double duty. Usually we'd go to dinner and then we'd watch TV and go to sleep. I'd also take long walks with my dog Jordan, who I brought with me. For me my dogs are very grounding and simple in their unconditional love for me. I'd come home to my dog with the bug eyes and feel comforted.
Do you feel that your strong sexual identity colors everything you do?
Yes and no. On the one hand my rep precedes me so people have assumptions about me before I even meet them. So in that way yes, but in another way I'm a totally regular person who has to walk my dogs and do my laundry and I'm very down to earth. People think I'm always swinging from chandeliers having crazy sex and that is a part of my life, but not all of it. My ideal evening would be my girlfriend cooking for me and watching a movie.
And then having sex?
And then having sex.
What's the most unexpected thing about you?
My first thought was that I'm a romantic. My second is that I really like to sleep in pajamas.