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Nina Hartley: I Like the Ladies; That’s Why I’m Here

Nina Hartley was interviewed recently by the Murray in the Morning Internet site. Hartley related the fact that she did her first video in 1984, and noted that she had just finished making two more last weekend. Hartley attributes her staying power in the business to doing exactly what she needs to be doing. “I’m an educator. I’m an exhibitionist. I’m a performer. And I have a message. This is a wonderful way for me to get my message out there.” Hartley also said she likes the work and is well-suited for it. “I’m not quite sure why, but I am.”

Asked what her message was, Hartley said it was one of general sex positivism. “We are responsible for our own sexual happiness, that we are permitted to seek it and to learn how to have it. We’re permitted to have it and have healthy, happy sexual relationships. Part of being happy is feeling comfortable in your body and feeling comfortable with your partner.”

Hartley was also asked if there was pressure being an older woman in the business. In her Forties, Hartley replied, “It isn’t for me because I’ve gotten older in the business,” she said. “I started off as a traditional, young female. I would not want to start in the business at my age because it certainly is ageism.” Hartley said the fact that she’s in her Forties is mitigated by the fact that she’s a star. “My fans have grown up with me and are always happy to see me.”

Hartley: But I wouldn’t want to be someone my age trying to break in. That would be very, very disheartening.

Hartley who does a series of educational videos for Adam & Eve was asked about how they were being accepted, or was their flak about should she be leaving educational videos to the educators. Hartley brought up the fact that she was a nurse and got her B.S. in nursing in 1985. “One of the nurse’s duties is to educate. That’s one of the things that we’re taught to do,” she said. “I’ve always had a greater mission as a feminist, as a nurse. I my meeting of fans across the country and the world, I understand that there is a lot of need for basic information about sex and the body and the social aspects of sexuality.”

When she was in nursing school, Hartley said she kept her hair in a ponytail and had silly Eighties glasses and a pantsuit. “The only guys who responded to me were all over 65.”

Hartley said Adam & Eve approached her about 8 years ago with an opportunity to start the series. “I jumped at it,” she said. “It was exactly the right meeting of my abilities and my training and my desire and their willingness to take a risk on something new.” According to Hartley, the series has sold tens of thousands of copies. “People really need this information,” she said. Hartley was also asked what she thought the common denominator was among women who aren’t enjoying sex.

Hartley: It’s a persistent, socially ingrained belief that their desire to be happy, sexually, somehow makes them less feminine or makes them a bad girl or might intimidate their partners. I think a lot of women still need the message that their body is theirs and it’s okay to want to learn to live it in comfortably. And it’s okay to please it sexually.

Hartley said she just finished videos 19 & 20 in the Adam & Eve series.

It was noted that Hartley once spoke to a temple-group at the suggestion of the rabbi. Hartley said it was about a year ago and she spoke to a reform group along with her husband Ernest Green. “To people in our culture, sexuality is still nudge-nudge, wink-wink, oh we don’t want to talk about it in public.” Hartley also says while sexuality is natural in each of us, it’s socially constructed and people don’t want to talk about it in public. “We have to talk about it before anything can be done,” she says. Hartley said a few people weren’t happy that she was there wondering what in the told she could talk to temple members about. Hartley said she wasn’t there to convert but to share her experiences.

Hartley: Whether you believe in evolution or creationism, our bodies are amazing things. Mother nature gave us the capacity for pleasure; God gave us the capacity for pleasure but we have the capacity for pleasure and it’s one of the strongest bonding mechanisms that we have- pleasure and shared pleasure is a great way to feel closer to another person. I think it is natural. Our culture makes it difficult. But it is a natural urge; a natural need. And humans are designed to find significant others that they want to be with. The more comfortable you are in your body, the more comfortable you are with your desires, the healthier of a relationship you can build.”

Asked what advice she would give to an 18 year-old who wanted to get into the adult business, Hartley sugegsted wait and think. “I got into the business in my Twenties and I knew that I was a lifer,” she said. “If a person feels sexually adventurous, and wants to make money with their sexuality, I highly recommend finding a way to do that so that it does not involve a permanent record. Be a dancer. Work as an Internet girl or something. But the problem with video is that it’s forever.”

Hartley believes a video record can make your future more difficult. “The past is always there. It’s always possible that someone you’d think would never look at a movie, comes up and says wow, I saw this tape the other day.” Hartley said that’s how she was outed in college. “I started making movies while I was still in college.” Hartley said she was on her maternity rotation one day and was on the hospital floor when one of her female teammates said to her, “I saw a video over the weekend. You’re a very good actress.”

Hartley said it wasn’t about the acting but never thought her fellow students were looking at adult tapes. “For me, luckily, I knew once I started I was never going to leave. And I decided that I was going to handle the fact that I’m out in public and cannot hide it anymore.” Hartley said at 18, it’s tough for a person to be thinking about where they want to be in 10 years. “You might want to be married with a couple of kids, and your potential partner might not like that very much what you used to do.” Hartley said there were other ways to get your sexual ya-yas without going all the way by being in adult videos.

Hartley also brought up the menage she had been a part of for 20 years. “They were together when I met them and they’re together still.” Hartley said she was married to producer/director/writer Green. Hartley said she used to think that she was 50-50 bisexual but now is 60-40 into guys. Hartley said there’s a lot of female playmates who come over to have fun. “But the romantic component is absent there.”

Hartley said because of the fact that Green’s been in the business 20 years, he’s absolutely the right man for her. “He’s not intimidated by anything sexually. He’s seen it all. He’s done it all himself. Most importantly, he’s as strong a supporter of sexual liberation as I am. Being married to another professional is very nice because we both understand where the private romance-thing is and where everything else belongs.”

Hartley said if you watch a sex scene being filmed you’ll never want to see a movie again. “It takes all the mystery out of it; all the drama out of it, all the fun out of it. You realize that it’s a job. It’s work.” Hartley said the performers who last the longest are the ones who are temperamentally suited to that work and like the work for what it is. “it’s a fun time with someone and you’re not going to get hurt.”

Asked for some of her favorite male performers, Hartley named Richard Pacheco, Sean Michaels, Billy Dee, Randy Spears. “Evan Stone is wonderful; Evan Stone is fabulous. He’s a fantastic performer and an incredible asset to the business.” Among the women, Hartley listed Shayla LaVeaux and Amber Michael. “I like the ladies- that’s why I’m here. I got into porno because that’s where the naked girls work.” Hartley feels she can in the adult business in one capacity or another forever. “Eventually I’ll probably move more and more behind the camera. But I look really good and I have a good on-camera presence.” Hartley’s of the opinion that she can remain in front of the camera until she’s at least 60.

“I may have to wear more clothes, but my fans will always like to see me have sex no matter how old I get.”
 

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