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Annie Sprinkle

Annie Sprinkle

Annie M. Sprinkle (born Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, 1954) is an American certified sexologist,[1] sex educator, former sex worker,[2][3] feminist stripper, pornographic actress, cable television host, porn magazine editor, writer, sex film producer, and sex-positive feminist. She received a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in 1986 and, in 1992, she earned a doctorate (Ph.D.) in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco.[4] Currently, Sprinkle works as a performance artist, visual artist, filmmaker, author, and sex educator. Sprinkle, who describes herself as ecosexual[5] married her long-time partner, Beth Stephens, in Canada on January 14, 2007.[6]

Annie Sprinkle
Ellen F. Steinberg

(1954-07-23)July 23, 1954
Spouse(s)Beth Stephens (2007–present)
Websiteanniesprinkle.org [32]

Life and career

Artwork depicting Annie Sprinkle as "The Neo Sacred Prostitute" (own concept).

Artwork depicting Annie Sprinkle as "The Neo Sacred Prostitute" (own concept).

Sprinkle was born Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, 1954, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a Russian-Jewish mother and a Polish-Jewish father.[7] She is known as the "prostitute and porn star turned sex educator and artist."[8] Her best known theater and performance art piece is her Public Cervix Announcement, in which she invites the audience to "celebrate the female body" by viewing her cervix with a speculum and flashlight.[9] She also performed The Legend of the Ancient Sacred Prostitute, in which she did a "sex magic" masturbation ritual on stage.[10] She has toured one-woman shows internationally for 17 years, some of which were titled Post Porn Modernist,[2][3] Annie Sprinkle's Herstory of Porn,[4][11] Hardcore from the Heart. She then performed two-women shows with Beth Stephens titled Exposed; Experiments in Love, Sex, Death and Art, Dirty Sex Ecology, Earthly: An Ecosex Bootcamp, and Ecosex Walking Tour.[12]

Her work and publications, spanning over four decades, are studied in courses at numerous universities, in theater history, women's studies, performance studies, GLBTQ studies, and film studies courses. She also is a faculty member at the Oakland, California-based The New School of Erotic Touch.[13]

As Ellen Steinberg, Sprinkle began working at the ticket booth at Tucson's Plaza Cinema at 18, when Deep Throat was playing.[14] The film was busted, and when Steinberg had to appear in court as a witness, she met and fell in love with Deep Throat's director, Gerard Damiano, and became his mistress, following him to New York City, where she lived for twenty-two years.[14] Not long after becoming Damiano's mistress, Steinberg began working in porn herself and, at that time, started calling herself "Annie". Her first porn movie was Teenage Deviate released in 1975. Perhaps her best known mainstream porn featured role was in Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle (co-directed by Sprinkle and sexploitation veteran Joseph W. Sarno) which was the No. 2 grossing porn film of 1981.[15]

In 1991, Sprinkle created the Sluts and Goddesses workshop, which became the basis for her 1992 production The Sluts and Goddesses Video Workshop – Or How To Be A Sex Goddess in 101 Easy Steps, which was co-produced and co-directed with videographer Maria Beatty, and featured music by composer Pauline Oliveros. Sprinkle pioneered new genres of sexually explicit film and video such as edu-porn, gonzo, post porn, xxx docudrama, art porn, and feminist erotica.[16] Sprinkle has also presented many sex workshops with fellow sex facilitator Barbara Carrellas, with whom she presented the stage production Metamorphosex.[11]

She starred in Nick Zedd's experimental films War Is Menstrual Envy (1992), Ecstasy in Entropy (1999), and Electra Elf: The Beginning (2005).

Sprinkle has appeared in almost 200 films, including hard- and softcore pornography, B movies, loops, numerous documentaries, various television shows including four HBO Real Sex programs. She has also produced, directed, and starred in several of her own films, such as Annie Sprinkle's Herstory of Porn, Annie Sprinkle's Amazing World of Orgasm, and Linda/Les & Annie--The First Female to Male Transsexual Love Story. These films played in hundreds of film festivals, in museums and galleries. Her work in adult films earned her a spot on the Adult Star Path of Fame in Edison, New Jersey, and she was inducted to both the AVN Hall of Fame and the XRCO Hall of Fame in 1999. For three decades, she has presented her work as a visiting artist at many major universities and colleges in the US and Europe. Currently her lecture presentation is called "My Life and Work as a Feminist Porn Activist, Radical Sex Educator, and Ecosexual." She has also presented dozens of "Free Sidewalk Sex Clinics," offering free sex education to the public in public space.

Sprinkle's work has always been about sexuality, with a political, spiritual, and artistic bent. In December 2005, she committed to doing seven years of art projects about love with her art collaborator and eventual wife, Beth Stephens. They called this their Love Art Laboratory. Part of their project was to do an experimental art wedding each year, and each year had a different theme and color. The seven-year structure was adapted to their project by invitation of artist Linda M. Montano.[17] Sprinkle and Stephens have done twenty-one art weddings, eighteen with ecosexual themes. They married the Earth, Sky, Sea, Moon, Appalachian Mountains, the Sun, and other non-human entities in nine different countries.

Sprinkle and her partner Beth Stephens became pioneers of ecosexuality, a kind of earth-loving sexual identity, which states, "The Earth is our lover". Their Ecosex Manifesto proclaims that anyone can identify as an ecosexual along with being "GLBTQI, heterosexual, asexual, and/or Other."[18]

Sprinkle has also long championed sex worker rights and health care. She has also worked as a prostitute from 1973-1992.[19]

Sprinkle identifies as a sex-positive feminist, and much of her activist and sex education work reflects this philosophy. In 2009, she appeared in the French documentary film Mutantes: Punk, Porn, Feminism, speaking about the beginnings of the movement as well as her own contributions to it.[20]

In 2017, Sprinkle and Stephens were official artists in Documenta 14, widely considered to be the most significant art exhibition in the world. They presented performances and visual art, lectured, and previewed their new film documentary, Water Makes Us Wet: An Ecosexual Adventure.[21][22]


As noted above, Steinberg first gave herself the name "Annie" when she started working in pornography. As her career continued, she had an epiphany one night and she says that on that night, "as if from the goddess herself," the name "Annie Sprinkle" came to her. She thought the name appropriate because "I was attracted by the sprinkles over ice cones (I am a bit of a sugaraholic!) and I love waterfalls, urine, vaginal fluids, sweat, anything wet. So the name 'Annie Sprinkle' seemed perfect."[23]


Citation Linkanniesprinkle.orgThe Sprinkle Story - the First 25 Years — AnnieSprinkle.ORG
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkjournals.ku.eduCzekay, Angelika (Spring 1993). "Distance and empathy: constructing the spectator of Annie Sprinkle's post-Post Porn Modernist - still in search of the ultimate sexual experience". Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism. 7 (2): 177–192. Today, after seventeen years in the porn industry, ex-sex worker Annie Sprinkle is a performance artist. In her recent performance piece Post-Post Porn Modernist Still in Search of the Ultimate Sexual Experience, Sprinkle talks about her life as a former porn star and ex-prostitute. Pdf.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Link//www.jstor.org/stable/466263Williams, Linda (Winter 1993). "A provoking agent: the pornography and performance art of Annie Sprinkle". Social Text, Special Section (edited by Anne McClintock): Explores the Sex Trade. 37 (37): 117–133. doi:10.2307/466263. JSTOR 466263. Beginning her professional performance career as a masseuse, soon after becoming a whore, Sprinkle next expanded into burlesque and live sex shows, then to writing for sex magazines and performing in pornographic films and videos, where she eventually became a director. Also available as: Williams, Linda (1993), "A provoking agent: the pornography and performance art of Annie Sprinkle", in Church Gibson, Pamela; Gibson, Roma (eds.), Dirty looks: women, pornography, power, London: BFI Pub, pp. 176–192, ISBN 9780851704036.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgSmith, Tyler Stoddard (July 18, 2012), "Hustling for a higher cause", in Smith, Tyler Stoddard (ed.), Whore Stories: A Revealing History of the World's Oldest Profession, Adams Media, pp. 98–99, ISBN 9781440536052.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkarchive.orgBrown, David J.; Novick, Rebecca McClen; Garcia, Jerry (1995). Voices from the Edge: conversations with Jerry Garcia, Ram Dass, Annie Sprinkle, Matthew Fox, Jaron Lanier, & others. Crossing Press. ISBN 978-0-89594-732-1.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkwww.torontolife.com"Toronto Life: Double Exposure". Archived from the original on February 16, 2012.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkshtetlmontreal.com"Annie Sprinkle on Shtetl". Shtetl: Your Alternative Jewish Magazine. February 21, 2010.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgMenon, Rekha (May 1, 2010). Seductive aesthetics of postcolonialism. Hampton Press. p. 51. How can one miss, the Sex Goddess, Annie Sprinkle (the postporn modern artist), Tantric inspired cosmic Kali, Sprinkle as the Neo Sacred Prostitute / Goddess. She is known as the prostitute and porn star turned sex educator and artist. Sprinkle's work has always been about sexuality, with a political, spiritual, and artistic bent.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgKapsalis, Terri (1997). Public Privates: Performing Gynecology from Both Ends of the Speculum. Duke University Press. pp. 113–134.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgGeneral Books LLC (2010). Sex Worker Activists: Annie Sprinkle, Nina Hartley, Carol Queen, Margo St. James, Susie Bright, Tracy Quan, Wendy Babcock, Robyn Few. General Books LLC. ISBN 9781155643083.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgRees, Emma L. E. (August 1, 2013). The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History. A & C Black.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgBond, Lawrence & Ellen Evert Hopman (1996) People of the Earth: The New Pagans Speak Out. (Reissued as Being a Pagan: Druids, Wiccans & Witches Today in 2002. Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-904-9.) Interview.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkwww.salon.comVitzthum, Virginia (February 8, 2000). "Annie Sprinkle swims forward". Salon.com. Salon Media Group.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkwww.therialtoreport.com"Annie Sprinkle: The Early Years (audio podcast interview)". therialtoreport.com. The Rialto Report. April 7, 2013.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkwww.oxfordtimes.co.ukLittle, Reg (June 18, 2009). "Iffley and the former porn star". Oxford Times. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Link//doi.org/10.1080%2F23268743.2014.958385Chandler, Meghan (October 2014). "The erotic anatomies of Charles Estienne and Annie Sprinkle". Porn Studies. 1 (4): 391–401. doi:10.1080/23268743.2014.958385.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkwww.pornonewsnetwork.comBenn, D. (2006). "Annie Sprinkle on the Adult Star Path of Fame: 43 Stars Laid in New Jersey". pornonewsnetwork.com. Porno News Network.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linksexecology.org"Ecosex Manifesto". Retrieved December 9, 2014.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkspectator.netBell, Shannon (1994), "Writing the prostitute body: feminist reproductions", in Bell, Shannon (ed.), Reading, writing, and rewriting the prostitute body, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, pp. 79–80, 203, ISBN 9780253208590. Preview. Citing: Bell, Shannon (November 1991). "Ejaculator meets slut goddess! Or, deep inside Annie Sprinkle's mind, heart and pussy". Spectator: California's Weekly Sex News and Review. 27 (9): 16. Archived from the original on April 5, 2005. and: Sprinkle, Annie (1998), "Introduction", in Sprinkle, Annie (ed.), Annie Sprinkle, post-porn modernist: my 25 years as a multi-media whore, San Francisco, California: Cleis Press, p. 14, ISBN 9781573440394.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM
Citation Linkwww.imdb.com"Mutantes at IMDb". Retrieved December 9, 2014.
Sep 26, 2019, 4:25 PM