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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nina Hartley: Porn Feminist


Nina Hartley sometimes gets a lot of heat in some quarters because of her long tenure in a profession known for it's focus on youth, but the truth is that few other performers have done as much for the industry, and to the industry, as Nina has to such positive effect.

Nina GETS it. Nina Hartley is a sex worker, a porn actress, a strong intellectual voice about sex in America, and (this might surprise you) a feminist. In this outstanding interview with Anna North over at Jezebel (the site for horny women), Nina takes on several of the most controversial topics in the industry, and along the way reveals herself to be a loud, proud, pro-porn, sex-positive by-Goddess feminist voice in the sex industry. Nina Hartley understands that the freedom to do porn movies in our country isn't just about our First Amendment rights, it's about a woman exercising her most basic and fundamental right: the right to do with her body what she desires.

That's not always a popular position for a self-declared feminist to take -- but then again, there are so many factions and sub-factions of intellectual schools of thought throughout Feminism that such distinctions become moot after a while. And one must take these things in context: it's easy to preach about feminism when you're a tenure-protected Ivy League professor hawking your newest book; it's much more credible, to me at least, to see such a controversial feminist perspective from someone who has been at the bleeding edge of the sexual revolution for as long as Nina has. Nina has not just been a Professional woman, she's been a professional Woman -- using her femininity, in part, as her means of support. While some may consider that self-exploitation and degradation, compared to hallowed Ivy League crowd, are those academic voices not also trading on their femininity as a means of support? Is their gender and sex not implicitly necessary to support their assertions? Meanwhile, as the sex industry world-wide surges in this new open era of sexual entertainment, with perhaps millions making their living through it one way or another, the Ivy League crowd can only see the degradation, not the enlightenment, that exists there. Indeed, along with the fundamentalist religion crowd, they're the only ones who are pushing the idea that mixing sex and money for any purpose is dirty -- and those are exactly the attitudes that harm those in our industry the most.

Don't get me wrong -- child trafficking and sex trafficking is a horrific evil that should be aggressively opposed and prosecuted. And I won't deny that there are ugly parts to our industry. But there is a line, and those of us on the legal, legitimate side of that line provide for our families and pay taxes in our communities and to our respective nations just like autoworkers, firefighters, farmers and shop owners. Advancing the notion that the sex industry, in all of its manifestations, is morally repugnant instead of providing a good and valuable -- and necessary -- part of the entertainment world is ultimately harmful to those the academics profess to want to protect the most. Or, to paraphrase from the comments of Facebook's lame anti-porn page,

"Porn exploits women and makes them objects! And men who don't like sluts and watch porn . . . guess what, you're watching sluts!"


If you can't see the intellectual dishonesty in the above statement, then email me after class and I'll explain it to you.

A sampling of the quotes (full props to Anna North -- great interview!):

People get hysterical about sex. They want pornography to do the job that they themselves are not doing, which is educating our young people how to be safer. Unless a pornography movie is advertised as educational [...], it is not educational. And the fact that people are reduced to looking at an entertainment medium to find out about sex is sad. It would be less sad if it wasn't so tragic. Watching pornography to find out about how sex works is like watching a James Bond movie to find out how spies do their job.


Priceless! And so true! And . . .

"We have tall and thin we have short and thick we have boxy-waisted, short-legged, long-legged, flat, big big butts, small butts, bit of a tummy. Women who are actually not the standard of beauty get work in pornography who would never get work in mainstream Hollywood." And, she added, "I have two words for you-April Flores."


LOVE it! The myth of the blonde-bubble-butt-sex-goddess being the be-all and end-all of feminine sexuality is one of my pet peeves. When they were only making a few hundred movies a year, the Porn Blonde was the lowest common denominator; but with the digital media explosion (and the willingness of so many to suddenly flaunt their naughty bits on camera) now the porn consumer has a much wider market to choose from. Given a choice, people choose -- and the Porn Blonde, while still strong, isn't the only game in town. While the greater Feminist community has yet to clue in to this serious development on the front lines of the sexual revolution, the fact is that in cultural terms it's dawning on guys that the Perfect Woman comes in infinite varieties and vintages. And it's dawning on women that their coochies don't have an expiration date that makes them unfuckable after thirty. (Or forty. Or whenever the next milestone birthday is). People aren't just burying themselves in porn, they're hooking up on the internet all over the place, and they seem to be valuing authenticity over a standard of iconic beauty in their choices.

And while that might not mean very much to the Ivy League Feminists, the positive effects are being felt in the sex lives of women all across the world. And that has to be a victory for feminism, if not Feminism.

Thanks, Nina!

BTW, just got the first look at Nina's new appearance in the MILF flick Seasoned Players 12 (Tom Byron Pictures), where she does a sizzling interracial anal scene with veteran ebony cocksman Sean Michaels. No, you don't have to gleefully take an 11" black prick up your ass to get my attention in a discussion about feminism, but any woman who can do that with a smile on her face automatically gets my respect, if not my full attention. But the scene proves Nina still has game -- maybe now more than ever! -- and you should check out the flick. (Besides, it has one of my favorite stars, Aurora Snow, in it as well -- does this mean I get to lust over you all over again as a MILF, Aurora? You're too good to me . . .)

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