Annie M. Sprinkle, Ph.D. is an artist and activist whose feminist, sex-positive, and ecologically minded work — dating from the 1970s through the present— encompasses a variety of media, including photography, writing books, filmmaking, performance art, theater, and visual art. Sprinkle graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1986. She has passionately researched and explored sexuality in all of its glorious and inglorious forms for over thirty years and has shared her findings all along the way through producing and starring in her unique brand of sex films, photographic work, teaching workshops, and college lectures. She is also an internationally acclaimed performance artist, touring one-woman shows about her sex life. Sprinkle has done significant work on undoing the dominant codes of representation in pornography as a porn actress and activist beginning in the 1970s, campaigning to defend the rights of sex workers. She was one of the pivotal players in the Sex Positive Movement of the 1980s. In 2002 she received her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco, the first porn star to earn a Ph.D.
Sprinkle's work has been shown at documenta 14, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Venice Biennale. Her autobiography, Post Porn Modernist (published by Cleis Press, 1998), is a cult classic. Her book, Hardcore from the Heart: The Pleasures, Profits, and Politics of Sex in Performance, won the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in 2002. Awards include the Rhodes Family Award for Outstanding Achievement in Photography, Acker Award for Excellence in the Avant Garde, Artist/Activist/Scholar Award from Performance Studies International at Stanford, Tom of Finland Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Eureka Fellowship from Fleishhacker Foundation. With her wife and collaborator, Beth Stephens, they founded the Ecosex Movement, and in 2020 they were awarded a Guggenheim grant for their film, Playing with Fire. Their most recent book, Assuming the Ecosexual Position — The Earth as Lover — was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2021. Sprinkle was the recipient of the 2020 Tom of Finland Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Sprinkle lives and works in San Francisco, CA.