Nina Hartley (born Marie Louise Hartman;[3] March 11, 1959) is an American pornographic actress, pornographic film director, sex educator, sex-positive feminist, and author.

Early life

Marie Louise Hartman was born in Berkeley, California, to a Lutheran father and a Jewish mother (born 1926)[4][5] whose family was from Alabama.[6] She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.[7] She is the youngest of four children, with an older sister and two older brothers.[1] Her parents were communists[4] who converted to Buddhism when she was young.[8] After graduating from Berkeley High School in 1977, she attended San Francisco State University's undergraduate nursing school and graduated magna cum laude in 1985. She was a registered nurse per the California Board of Registered Nursing until her license expired in 1986.[9]

Adult film career

Hartley in an undated photo

In 1982, during her sophomore year of nursing school, she started working as a stripper at the Sutter Cinema and later the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater.[10][7] She made her foray into the world of pornographic movies during her junior year, in 1984. Her debut performance was in the film Educating Nina, making her a protege of Juliet Anderson.[11]

Explaining how Marie Louise Hartman became Nina Hartley, she stated in an interview that she chose the name "Nina" because it was easy for Japanese tourists to say during the time she was a dancer in San Francisco; "Hartley" was chosen as it was close to her own real last name and because she "wanted a name that sounded like that of a real person".[7] She stated that when she got into the adult business, she was blessed with two popular fetish items: "big, baby-blue eyes and that round butt with a high, small waist", with her buttocks becoming her trademark.[12]

Sex-positive activism

Hartley considers herself a liberal and an outspoken sex-positive feminist,[13] although for a time she was a socialist activist.[14] Addressing other women, she said, "Sex isn't something men do to you. It isn't something men get out of you. Sex is something you dive into with gusto and like it every bit as much as he does."

Hartley has been an advocate for the adult film industry's right to exist, and, before the rise to stardom of Jenna Jameson, she had often been called on when television news programs and talk shows required an articulate, leading adult film actress to support the pro side. She appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show with fellow porn actress Ona Zee. The two came under hard scrutiny from the mostly female audience, but they refused to back down and were outspoken in their support of the industry. She and Ona Zee spoke out strongly against illegal drugs in the industry.

Mainstream work

She had a role in the 1997 film Boogie Nights, playing William H. Macy's serially unfaithful wife, and she appeared in the 1996 Canadian film Bubbles Galore.[15] Hartley also appeared in late rapper Tupac Shakur's music video for his 1996 single, How Do U Want It.

Later career

As of 2015[update], Hartley remains active in the industry.[10] Appearing primarily in "mature"-themed pornography, she also has a line of instructional videos which are marketed under the Nina Hartley's Guide brand covering subjects ranging from basic sexual intercourse and foreplay, to anal sex and bondage.[2] In 2006 she published her first book Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex (ivbro).[16]

In 2010, she quipped, "Now I work with women who are younger than my breast implants."[17]

Hartley played the part of Hillary Rodham Clinton in the film Who's Nailin' Paylin? This was a pornographic parody of then Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, with Lisa Ann in the role of Palin.[18][19]

Hartley was also featured in the 2010 documentary After Porn Ends, which is about life after being a porn actor.

Personal life

Hartley is openly bisexual in her private life.[20] She has described herself as an atheist,[21] but when asked about this in a later interview she corrected it to "a neo-pagan, with a Buddhist trait."[22]

Hartley serves on the Board of Directors of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance, an organization whose mission is to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.

From 1981–2000, Hartley was involved in a threesome with a man and a woman. She married her male partner in 1986; their divorce was finalized in 2003.[10]

She is currently married to Ira Levine (aka Ernest Greene), a director of porn films, particularly BDSM films.[23] They sometimes work together, as in The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women, directed by Tristan Taormino and Greene, and O: the Power of Submission, directed by Greene; she played supporting roles in both. The couple consider themselves polyamorous. Hartley has no children.


AVN Awards

Hartley has won numerous awards throughout her career, from various critic and fan organizations. The following is a list of her Adult Video News Awards:

  • Best Non-Sex Performance for Not Bewitched XXX (2009)[24]
  • Best Specialty TapeBDSM for Nina Hartley's Private Sessions 13 (2005)
  • Best Specialty TapeSpanking for Nina Hartley's Guide To Spanking (2005)
  • Best Supporting Actress – Video for The Last X-Rated Movie (1991)
  • Best Couples Sex Scene Film for Amanda By Night II (1987)
  • Best Couples Sex Scene – Video for Sensual Escape (1989)
  • Best Supporting Actress – Film for Portrait of an Affair (1989)
  • Best Actress – Video for Debbie Duz Dishes (1987)

Other awards and nominations



  1. ^ a b c d Christina (2008-05-08). "Interview with Nina Hartley". AIPdaily. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  2. ^ a b Nina Hartley at the Internet Adult Film Database
  3. ^ "14 arrested in reported live Vegas sex show". San Jose Mercury News. 1993-01-11. Retrieved 2010-02-14. 
  4. ^ a b TYT Interviews: "Legendary Pornstar Nina Hartley" January 11, 2013, Retrieved April 13, 2014
  5. ^ "Marie L Hartman, Born 03/11/1959 in California". Retrieved June 7, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Atheism ethics & pornography: The Humanist interview with Nina Hartley". Humanist. 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c "Ask Nina Hartley Anything: Sex, Politics and Sexual Politics. Plus Porn!=2015-08-27". Reddit. Summer 2015. 
  8. ^ Stephanie Nolen (1999-04-24). "The thinking woman's porn star speaks out". Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 1999-04-25. Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  9. ^ "over 18?". Retrieved 2016-05-19. 
  10. ^ a b c Wischhover, Cheryl (May 19, 2015). "Why I'm Still Doing Porn in My Late 50s". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  11. ^ "AVN Nina Hartley". AVN. Retrieved 2011-03-30. 
  12. ^ David Sullivan (2009-03-11). "Happy Birthday, Nina Hartley". AVN. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  13. ^ "About Nina Hartley". Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  14. ^ McLemee, Scott. (February 6, 1997). "Sect Appeal",
  15. ^ Bubbles Galore at the Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ "Amazon: Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex". Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  17. ^ Lynn Comella (2010-10-06). "Las Vegas Weekly: Nina Hartley's adult film career has been long, distinguished and trailblazing—and it’s far from over". Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  18. ^ "Hustler Video Does It Again With Palin Parody". Hustler World. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  19. ^ "Nailin' Palin". Masturbation Invasion. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  20. ^ Mourra, Sarah (November 22, 2000). "Porn Star Talks Sex to Students". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2007-11-14. 
  21. ^ "a magazine of critical inquiry and social concern". The Humanist. Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  22. ^ "Legendary Pornstar Nina Hartley". YouTube. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2013-09-24. 
  23. ^ "Nina Hartley: Information & Biography". Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  24. ^ David Sullivan (2009-01-11). "2009 AVN Award-Winners Announced". Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  25. ^ "AVN – A Full Deck Of "Legends" At Night Of The Stars". 1999-08-20. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  26. ^ "Legends of Erotica". Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  27. ^ "The FICEB Ninfa, Tacón de Aguja and HeatGay Awards". 2007-06-09. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved 2014-04-20. 
  28. ^ XBIZ Nominees 2013, XBIZ, January, 2013
  29. ^ Peter Warren (April 13, 2014). "2nd Annual Fannys Presented". AVN. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 

External links