Annie Sprinkle

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Annie Sprinkle
Annie headshot 300.jpg
Annie Sprinkle in 2005
Ellen F. Steinberg

(1954-07-23) July 23, 1954 (age 67)
Spouse(s)Beth Stephens (2007–present)

Annie M. Sprinkle (born Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, 1954) is an American certified sexologist[1] and advocate for sex work and healthcare.[2] Sprinkle works as a sex educator, feminist stripper, pornographic actress, sex film producer and sex positive feminist, and she identifies as ecosexual.[3] Her education includes a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts (1986) and, in 1996, she became the first porn star to get a doctorate degree (PhD), which she received in Human Sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, a former unaccredited, for-profit, degree-granting institution and resource center in San Francisco (1996) that closed in 2018.[4][5] Sprinkle is best known for her self-help style of pornographic content teaching individuals about pleasure and for her conventional pornographic film Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle (1981)[6]. Through the production of content, Sprinkle has contributed to feminist pornography and the larger social movement of feminism; she is also known for contributing to the rise of the post-porn movement and lesbian pornography.[7][8] Sprinkle is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and she married her long-time partner, Beth Stephens, in Canada on January 14, 2007.

Life and career[edit]

Annie Sprinkle was born Ellen F. Steinberg on July 23, 1954, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to a Russian-Jewish mother and a Polish-Jewish father.[9] Her family moved to Los Angeles, California when she was five years old, and she lived in Panama from age thirteen to seventeen.[5] At eighteen, she began working at the ticket booth at the Plaza Cinema in Tucson, Arizona, when Deep Throat (1972) was playing.[10] 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. She followed him to New York City, where she lived for twenty-two years.[10] 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.[6]

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. The film was co-produced and co-directed with videographer Maria Beatty, and it 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.[11] Sprinkle has also presented many sex workshops with fellow sex facilitator Barbara Carrellas, with whom she presented the stage production Metamorphosex.[12]

Sprinkle has appeared in almost 200 films, including hard- and softcore pornography, B movies, loops, and numerous documentaries. She starred in Nick Zedd's experimental films War Is Menstrual Envy (1992), Ecstasy in Entropy (1999), and Electra Elf: The Beginning (2005). She also appeared in 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.

Annie Sprinkle is known as the "prostitute and porn star turned sex educator and artist."[13] 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.[14] She also performed The Legend of the Ancient Sacred Prostitute, in which she did a "sex magic" masturbation ritual on stage.[15] She has toured one-woman shows internationally for 17 years, some of which were titled Post Porn Modernist,[16][8] Annie Sprinkle's Herstory of Porn,[4][12] and Hardcore from the Heart. She then performed two-woman shows with Beth Stephens titled Exposed; Experiments in Love, Sex, Death and Art, Dirty Sex Ecology, Earthly: An Ecosex Bootcamp, and Ecosex Walking Tour.[17]

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. Through The New School of Erotic Touch, she has released several video classes, including Female Genital Massage and Amazing World of Orgasm.[18] 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.[19] 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."[20]

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.[21]

In 2017, Sprinkle and Stephens were official artists in Documenta 14. They presented performances and visual art, lectured, and previewed their new film documentary, Water Makes Us Wet: An Ecosexual Adventure.[22][23]

Contributions to feminism[edit]

Annie Sprinkle has contributed to feminism and specifically to feminist pornography by redefining expectations of sexuality.[8] She has defied the ideas of some feminists who refer to themselves as WAPs (women against pornography), who do not believe that the creation of feminist porn is possible. Women against porn believe that porn is a means of hyper sexualization of women, that it is inherently harmful, promotes violence, and objectifies women.[24] However, Sprinkle and other feminists in favor of pornography argue that women have an inherent right to contribute to the production of erotic content and that censorship or restrictions on pornography will not cease its production.[25][26] As a porn actress, Sprinkle refused to play any submissive roles; instead she displayed more aggression and dominance. She also drew greater attention to the female orgasm.[27] Through her performance artistry, pornographic content and live shows, Sprinkle challenged the censorship of female genitals and presented a reimagination of what and who can be considered sexual.[11]

Due to their creation of the ecosexual identity, Sprinkle and Beth Stephens are also important contributors to environmental activism and sexuality. Ecosexuality involves seeing nature as a lover; this implies that a relationship with the Earth is two-sided, and it therefore holds humans accountable for taking care of the planet.[28] This challenges heteronormative ideals and redefines ideas of love, sexuality and gender.[29] Ecosexuality also contributes to ecofeminism, which highlights how women and nature are treated similarly in a patriarchal society.[30]

After receiving her breast cancer diagnosis, Sprinkle made a collage of her breast tissue scans in order to provoke questions about whether a body that has been subject to surgical procedures and illness can be a sexual one.[11] Sprinkle continued to engage in this medical commentary by juxtaposing medical scans with erotic images and using an electrocardiogram to record the waves of an orgasm.[11] In her performance Public Cervix Announcement, Sprinkle inserted a speculum into her vaginal canal to display her cervix to the audience.[11] The previous acted as satirical-commentary on the private and invasive nature of gynecological procedures. Sprinkle's use of the erotic and explicit imagery can be said to be feminist as it presents the vulva and internal female anatomy as worthy of being the subject of art and encourages individuals to explore their sexuality.[14] The celebration of erotic imagery that is seen in Sprinkle's work can be compared to other feminist artists or art which use genital iconography to invoke questions about sexuality and anatomy such as Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keeffe and The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago.

Post-porn movement[edit]

The post-porn movement is a counterculture body of scholarship and ideals that were developed within Europe and the USA. Within the post-porn movement there is a critical lens applied to corporations producing pornography and non-corporate pornographic content is instead valued. The post-porn movement also values the production of pornography which centres queer and gender diverse folks as well as questions the racialization and reliance on stereotypes found in the pornography industry.[7] Sprinkle has contributed to the post-porn movement explicitly in her now retired show Post-Porn Modernist and implicitly through her artistic body of work which engages in critical reflection and parody.[7] Sprinkle has also contributed to this movement by challenging who can be represented in porn and which bodies are sexual ones.[11]

Stage name[edit]

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."[31]


Annie Sprinkle as pictured on cover of her book 'Spectacular Sex' (2005)
  • Sprinkle, A. "Contributor" in Webb, S Tattooed Women, Unknown: R. Mutt Press, 1982, ISBN 978-0-7643-1540-4.
  • Sprinkle, A. & Vera, V. Annie Sprinkle's ABC Study of Sexual Lust and Deviations. Radio Art Publications, 1983, ASIN B007RZ7JCI.
  • Sprinkle, A. The Kinky World of Annie Sprinkle. Unknown: Hudson Communications, 1985, ASIN B005JRVWB0.
  • Sprinkle, A. "Beyond Bisexual," in Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out. Alyson Publications 1991. ISBN 978-1-55583-174-5.
  • Sprinkle, A. Annie Sprinkle’s Post-Modern Pin-Ups: Pleasure Activist Playing Cards. Gates of Heck, 1995. ISBN 978-0-9638129-3-3.
  • Sprinkle, A. Love Vibration. Kawade Shobo Shinsha, 1996. ISBN 978-4-309-26284-0.
  • Sprinkle, A. XXXOOO: Love and Kisses from Annie Sprinkle. Gates of Heck, 1997. ISBN 978-1-889539-00-3.
  • Heidenry, John. What Wild Ecstasy. The Rise and Fall of the Sexual Revolution. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997. Reviewed by Robert Christgau in The New York Times, April 27, 1997.
  • Sprinkle, A. Post-porn modernist: my 25 years as a multimedia whore. Cleis Press, 1998. ISBN 978-1-57344-039-4.
  • Sprinkle, A. & Cody, Gabrielle H. Hardcore from the Heart—The Pleasures, Profits and Politics of Sex in Performance. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8264-4893-4.
  • Sprinkle, A. Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular Sex—Make Over Your Love Life with One of the World's Greatest Sex Experts. Tarcher/Penguin, 2005. ISBN 978-1-58542-412-2.
  • Sprinkle, A. & Jong, E. Pees on Earth. Brooklyn, New York: powerHouse Books, 2006. ISBN 978-1-57687-317-5.
  • Sprinkle, A. Foreword in Carrellas, Barbara Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century. Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 2007. ISBN 978-1-58761-290-9.
  • Sprinkle, A. Foreword in Sundahl, D. Female Ejaculation and the G-Spot. Almeda, California: Hunter House Publishers, 2014. ISBN 978-0-89793-702-3.
  • Sprinkle, A., Yu Dori (Illustrator), Beth Stephens (Contributor) Explorer's Guide to Planet Orgasm: for every body, Greenery Press, 2017, ISBN 978-0-937609-85-9.
  • Sprinkle, A., Beth Stephens, Documenta 14: Daybook, eds. Laimer, Quinn, Adam Symczyk, Prestel Press, Munich-London-New York, 2017, April 24, pgs 19–20.



Film and TV credits
Year Film Role Notes
2017 Water Makes Us Wet: An Ecosexual Adventure Lead, Director
2013 Goodbye Gauley Mountain: an Ecosexual Love Story (Video)
2012 Lesbian Sex Education: Female Ejaculation (Video)
2011 Kenny Hotz's Triumph of the Will Self Episode 4
2009 Mutantes: Punk, Porn, Feminism
2005 H.C.E. Various
2005 Electra Elf: The Beginning Parts One & Two
2005 The Keep (Short)
1999 Ecstasy in Entropy (Short)
1997 The Fanny (Video)
1996 Bubbles Galore God
1992 Pinned and Smothered (Video)
1992 War Is Menstrual Envy
1992 25 Year Old Gay Man Loses His Virginity to a Woman Self Directed by Philip B. Roth
1991 Mature Women 2 (Video)
1991 Shadows in the City Ex-Girlfriend
1991 My Father Is Coming Annie Directed by Monika Treut[35]
1990 Fantasy Salon
1990 The Golden Boat Waitress
1989 Young Nurses in Love Twin Falls
1988 Bazooka County (Video)
1988 Dreams of Desire
1988 Hotter Than July
1988 The Horneymooners (Video) Jane Norris
1988 Tattoo Vampire (Video)
1987 Rites of Passion
1987 She Comes in Colors
1987 She-Male Encounters 5: Orgy at the Poysinberry Bar
1987 The Lingerie Shop
1986 Sweet Revenge
1986 Wimps (Video) Head Stripper
1985 Spitfire Lulu
1984 Electric Blue 12 (Video) Shelly
1984 Throat... 12 Years After The Sewer Mother
1983 Big Busty 3 (Video)
1983 Kneel Before Me Wife / Justine (as Annie Sprinkles)
1983 Oriental Techniques in Pain and Pleasure Annie (as Annie Sprinkles)
1982 Night on the Town
1981 Bizarre Styles Annie
1981 Pandora's Mirror The Queen of the club (as Miss Annie Sprinkle)
1981 Centerfold Fever Annie
1981 Twilite Pink Prostitute (as Annie Sprinkles)
1981 Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle
1980 Midnight Blue 2
1980 The Satisfiers of Alpha Blue Satisfier
1979 For Richer for Poorer Party Guest (uncredited)
1979 Jack n' Jill First Caller
1978 The Ganja Express Sherry Herring
1977 Unwilling Lovers Hooker with Stole (as Annie Sprinkles)
1977 Cherry Hustlers Sprink (uncredited)
1977 The Devil Inside Her Orgy Girl (as Annie Sprinkles)
1976 Wet-X-Mas
1976 Funk
1976 Come with Me My Love Tess Albertino
1976 The Affairs of Janice Susan (uncredited)
1976 Call Me Angel, Sir Tracy Dixon
1976 The Double Exposure of Holly Muff (as Annie Sprinkles)
1976 Slippery When Wet Stella Wilkins (as Annie Sprinkles)
1976 Bang Bang You Got It! Rhoda Thomas
1976 My Erotic Fantasies Russian Porn Actress
1976 Seduction Girl at bridge party No. 1
1976 The Night of Submission Editor's Mistress
1976 Teenage Cover Girls Anne Sands (as Anne Sands)
1976 Once Over Nightly
1976 M*A*S*H'd Gail
1976 Expose Me, Lovely Robin (as Annie Sprinkles)
1976 Ecstasy in Blue Hentai
1976 Teenage Deviate Ella (as Annie Sprinkles)
1976 Honey Pie Blow Job Annie (as Ann Sprinkle)
1976 Pornocopia Sensual Susan
1975 Fanny June (uncredited)
1975 Satan Was a Lady Terry (as Anny Sands) Directed by Doris Wishman
1975 Wild Pussycats
1975 French Shampoo (Homage to W. B.) Little Mary
1975 Too Hot to Handle Ellen (as Annie Sands)
1975 Sherlick Holmes
1975 Kathy's Graduation Present Anita (uncredited)
1975 Teenage Masseuse (as Annie Sprinkles)
1975 The American Andventures of Surelick Holmes Stewardess (uncredited)
1975 My Master My Love Margaret's Brunette Client (as Annie Sands)
1975 Sue Prentiss R.N. First Nurse (uncredited)
1975 Blow Some My Way B.J.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Sprinkle Story - the First 25 Years — AnnieSprinkle.ORG
  2. ^ Bell, 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 978-0-253-20859-0. 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 978-1-57344-039-4.
  3. ^ Brown, 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.
  4. ^ a b Smith, 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 978-1-4405-3605-2.
  5. ^ a b "Annie's Ecosex Herstory | SEXECOLOGY.ORG". Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Little, Reg (June 18, 2009). "Iffley and the former porn star". Oxford Times. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Jacobs, Katrien (2014). "Internationalizing porn studies". Porn Studies. 1:1-2 (1–2): 114–119. doi:10.1080/23268743.2014.882178.
  8. ^ a b c Williams, 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 978-0-85170-403-6.
  9. ^ "Annie Sprinkle on Shtetl". Shtetl: Your Alternative Jewish Magazine. February 21, 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Annie Sprinkle: The Early Years (audio podcast interview)". The Rialto Report. April 7, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Chandler, Meghan (October 2014). "The erotic anatomies of Charles Estienne and Annie Sprinkle". Porn Studies. 1 (4): 391–401. doi:10.1080/23268743.2014.958385.
  12. ^ a b Rees, Emma L. E. (August 1, 2013). The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History. A & C Black.
  13. ^ Menon, 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.
  14. ^ a b Kapsalis, Terri (1997). Public Privates: Performing Gynecology from Both Ends of the Speculum. Duke University Press. pp. 113–134.
  15. ^ General 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 978-1-155-64308-3.
  16. ^ Czekay, 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.
  17. ^ Bond, 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 978-0-89281-904-1.) Interview.
  18. ^ "Annie Sprinkle Ph.D. | New School". Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  19. ^ Benn, D. (2006). "Annie Sprinkle on the Adult Star Path of Fame: 43 Stars Laid in New Jersey". Porno News Network.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Ecosex Manifesto". Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  21. ^ "Mutantes at IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  22. ^ Theobald, Stephanie (May 15, 2017). "Nature is your lover, not your mother: meet ecosexual pioneer Annie Sprinkle". The Guardian (in British English). ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  23. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Video: "Ecosexual Walking Tour" of female porn activist Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens in Kassel during documenta 14". YouTube. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  24. ^ a b Long, Julia (2012). "The Resurgence of Anti-Pornography Feminism". Zed Books.
  25. ^ a b McKee, Alan (2008). "The Porn Report". Melbourne University Press Digital.
  26. ^ a b Taormino, Tristan; et al. (2013). "The Feminist Porn Book : The Politics of Producing Pleasure". The Feminist Press at CUNY.
  27. ^ "Sexologist Annie Sprinkle Isn't Covering Anything Up". Interview Magazine (in American English). September 30, 2019. Retrieved December 16, 2020.
  28. ^ "EcoSexuality: 7 Things You Need To Know About This Sexual Identity". HuffPost UK. July 3, 2017. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  29. ^ Richter, Nicole (March 2018). "Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love". Sexualities. 21. doi:10.1177/1363460717737490. S2CID 148905993 – via SAGE Premier 2016.
  30. ^ "Ecofeminism | sociology and environmentalism". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved December 17, 2020.
  31. ^ "Annie Sprinkle". Miradas (in Spanish). escrito por Redacción de Miradas. Archived from the original on May 1, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  32. ^ Williams, Linda (1993). "A Provoking Agent: The Pornography and Performance Art of Annie Sprinkle". Social Text. 37 (37): 117–133. doi:10.2307/466263. JSTOR 466263.
  33. ^ Chandler, Meghan (2014). "The erotic anatomies of Charles Estienne and Annie Sprinkle". Porn Studies. 1:4 (4): 391–401. doi:10.1080/23268743.2014.958385.
  34. ^ Attwood, Feona; Smith, Clarissa (2014). "Editorial". Porn Studies. 1:4 (4): 331–333. doi:10.1080/23268743.2014.965032.
  35. ^ "My Father Is Coming (1991)". Retrieved August 22, 2018.

External links[edit]