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At UCLA: Adult film stars Nina Hartley and Richard Pacheco to speak about sex

Los Angeles- You may have seen them naked. Now is your chance to hear them speak.

This afternoon, two adult film stars will present their stories and experiences as part of Make Art/Stop AIDS in an event called “Backstage with the Porn Stars.”

The two X-rated actors, Richard Pacheco and Nina Hartley, will also take questions from the audience and discuss sex and sexuality in Kaufman 200 at 3 p.m.

Pacheco, born Howard Gordon, began his career in pornography in the mid-1970s. He was crowned Playgirl’s Man of the Year in 1979 and appeared in more than 100 films and videos.

Pacheco retired from being in front of the camera in 1985, when HIV and AIDS had become a threatening reality. For a few years he worked behind the scenes in the adult film industry and is now a writer, speaker and a father of three.

His son, Bobby Gordon, is a fourth-year world, arts and cultures student at UCLA and a Daily Bruin senior staff member. Gordon organized the event.

Pacheco has spoken at UCLA before and said he is excited to educate people about sex.

“The idea is to talk about sexuality, to encourage people to be able to enjoy themselves without being stupid,” Pacheco said.

Hartley is an adult film star, speaker, author, educator and registered nurse. She has published a series of sexual education tapes discussing topics such as anal sex, swinging and bondage. She said students should come to “Backstage with the Porn Stars” to hear the “voice of experience.”

“I’m going to be talking about my experience in adult entertainment, but more broadly, the importance of comprehensive sex education to help people, especially people your age, make decisions appropriate to them regarding their behavior and sexual attitude,” Hartley said.

Gordon produced the event as part of the “Make Art/Stop AIDS” exhibit, which has hosted a series of related projects throughout the year.

Pacheco’s life was seriously affected in 1984, when headlines declared rising numbers of heterosexuals contracting HIV and AIDS.

He said the disease effectively retired him since directors did not want him to wear condoms in adult films. He said he was not warmly received on the sets as a director or assistant director because he was a walking reminder of the specter haunting the industry.

“They didn’t want someone reminding them of the danger,” Pacheco said.

Gordon said talking about sexual practices is an important part of making sure people stay safe and educated while enjoying their sexuality.

“An unwillingness of people to talk about sex and sexuality has helped lead to the spread of AIDS because people weren’t willing to talk about what were healthy sex practices, what they should do to protect themselves,” Gordon said.

He said it will also be a fun speaking engagement, and afterward Pacheco and Hartley will walk the audience over to the Fowler Museum for the art exhibit.

“It’s going to be simultaneously really entertaining and really insightful. Both of them have lots of great stories to tell,” Gordon said.

Hartley said people should know that they can still enjoy sex, as long as they make good decisions regarding open communication and sexual practices.

She said a lot of people are alarmists about the many plights of sexual behavior, but that “it doesn’t have to be that way.”

“You can have all the fun that sex can bring you without the dangers. You can have all the benefits and few of the negatives,” Hartley said.

Pacheco said people should attend the event to hear about how AIDS changed the world.

“This is an entire generation where you’ve never not known AIDS. To describe a world where that didn’t exist is to give you a perspective bigger than your own life, which is what my generation went though. That’s interesting stuff,” Pacheco said.

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