Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy (Belated) Birthday Nina Hartley

One of Porn's legends turned an unbelievable 50 years old last week. This also marks 25 years in porn for Ms. Hartley. Can you believe that? This woman started fucking and sucking onscreen when many of us (including yours truly) were in diapers. And she's hasn't fallen off. God bless her.

Of course this anniversary has got me thinking. It occurs to me that in the long timeline that is the history of my porn consumption, Nina Hartley comes in relatively recently. I am talking of course about her sex scenes. I have known of Nina for quite some time. Whenever there was a critique of pornography, I could always count on the writer getting Nina's always cogent, always articulate arguments. Thank you, Nina Hartley, for being porn's best apologist. You made me believe that porn has the ability be empowering for women. Whether that actually happens is a different story.

Yes, I've been reading about Nina since I was 14, but I didn't actually see her till Boogie Nights. And even after that it was a while before I saw her do hardcore. It was an old scene, one of Peter North's first, where he pulls out of doggystyle an shoots a load that drenches her back. Explosive! I had broadband so I had to have been in my early twenties at that point.

Better late than never.

Thank God for the emergence of Cougar Porn. It keeps Nina Hartley working an the world is better for it. I think she's better now than ever. I saw a recent scene she did with Byron Long that so intimate and sexy--sexy in the human way not the porn way--that I actually watched the whole thing start to finish. That's huge. I skip through scenes. Blow job. Missionary. Doggy. Maybe spoon, if it's a good flick. Load. Then I'm done. It takes all of three minutes. You've got to be a goddamn master of your craft to get me to watch an entire 25 minute scene. And that was not all. In the end, the climax I reached was so intense it rivaled anything I've experienced IRL.

So Happy Birthday, Nina Hartley. This isn't something I tell all 50 year-olds, but I hope you keep doing porn for many years to come. The younger girls in the industry have a lot to learn from you.

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