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Nina Hartley: Herself, Growing Older

Nina Hartley Airerose Entertainment

 

Nina Hartley, a porn star for more than three decades, is one of the few people who can articulate aging in this unforgiving business from the standpoint of someone who is still working.

“People used to call me and my husband (the BDSM director and Master of O author Ernest Greene) `hot,” she says. “Now they call us `adorable.”

Hartley, whose bestselling educational series for Adam & Eve (Nina Hartley’s Guides) and MILFy or fetish queen mentor roles in more movies than she made as an 80’s ingenue (including this year’s great performance in Marriage 2.0), nevertheless knows that Porn Valley still runs on young flesh, and she has made a conditional peace with it.

“A few years ago, I was not feeling attactive. I was cast with these younger men in movies like I was the booby prize. And not the good booby prize,” she says. “They wouldn’t look at me. They also didn’t know who `Nina was, and didn’t care.”

Nina Hartley and James Deen In

This reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend a few years ago. She was in her early fifties (Nina is now 56) and had been a tall, whip-smart punk rocker in the 80s and 90s. She remains all of those things now, save for the punk rocking. I asked what I might expect from my fifties and she said, “I don’t know what it’s like for a man, but for a woman the worst thing is that you suddenly become invisible.”

Nina is not invisible but she has never been an attention-seeking person (her partner in crime, Ernest, would gladly admit to this for himself). But, like other veteran pornographers who have seen and done everything, she expects, as one would who has spent three decades in the same job, to newcomers knowing who she is.

Nina Hartley in Marriage 2.0

“I mean, at least smile,” Nina says of indifferent young male talent. “Make eye contact. To be honest, I’m not that attracted to you, either.”

As in real life, fucking someone in porn whom you don’t want to fuck is a bad idea, Nina says.

“It’s not healthy for a guy to consistently fuck people he finds repulsive for the money,” she says. “It contributes to bad feelings about women. It’s like the women who fuck (well-known Golden Age era male porn star) for the money. That’s not doing people any favors.”

Hartley, whom I’d just seen in a spirited, hilarious performance in Marriage 2.0, was going to turn this conversation around, I hoped. And she did.

Legendary Players By Airerose Entertainment

“So what changed your mind?” I ask.

“It wasn’t what changed my mind,” she says. “Getting older is getting older. The idea is: If you don’t do MILFs, don’t do MILFs, if they don’t turn you on. But what changed my mind was a who, not a what.”

It was 2006 and Hartley was shooting Nina Hartley’s Guide to Porn Star Sex Secrets¬†when she met Marco Banderas.

“Marco was too old to be my son, and he was my fan,” she says. “He was a lovely porno fuck. What’s more? Women are a great idea to him.”

Hartley would cast Banderas several more times, in her Guides to Stripping for Your Partner and The Perfect Orgy.

Beautiful Blonde MILF Nina Hartley

“You can’t really control who you’re attractive to,” she says, “but Marco made me remember that I was attractive.”

Of people her own age, Hartley extolled the very real skill of Sean Michaels to stand there and take a blowjob in Seasoned Players 12 (“Let someone be good at what she does,” she says. “That’s a real man”). She also says Randy Spears who retired from porn last year was “kinky as fuck” and a “DILF from way back.”

Since that change of heart, Hartley doesn’t deny her age but, like any healthy relationship, temporary or otherwise, she holds out for the people who like her.

“It’s not always easy, and it is going to get harder,” she says. “But I live in Sex Land, and those are the rules.”

Sex Land, she says, is for people like her.

“My father once asked me, `Why Sex? Why not the violin??” Nina says. “If it had been the violin, I would have been studying with Itzhak Perlman. Or jazz? John Coltrane. You want sex? I’m here for the general public. I live in Sex Land and am not going anywhere. I’m the mendicant with the robes and the bowl and the stout heart.”

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