LOS ANGELES—Anyone who knows Nina Hartley at all well knows that for her, doing porn is only partly about the sex. Sure, she likes it, but with her background as a nurse, she's also aware that sex, sexual touching and even simply reaching out and touching another person can be healing to that person's psyche—and that's what the Huffington Post brought out in its interview with the veteran star posted earlier today.
"Touch is a universal language because it’s how we communicate before and beyond spoken words," Hartley explained to interviewer Dr. Sandra LaMorgese. "Touch is how we show infants that we care and that they matter to their caregivers. It’s how medical professionals communicate to patients that they are safe and seen. Touch is essential for mental and emotional health. It’s been shown that punishments like solitary confinement can drive people mad, and we see damage done to children in orphanages in places such as Romania, where insufficient attention stunts their physical growth and mental health. ... Good, positive touch can lower our cortisol levels, which can improve our libido, sleep, digestion, and immune response."
Hartley went on to say that no matter who she's working with in an on-camera scene, she likes to make them feel "easy, comfortable, sexy, desirable, competent, safe, and seen," adding that as far as she knows, thanks to her kind manner, there are no stars who would refuse to work with her.
Hartley picked up many of her ideas about healing from her parents, who tried "nearly every kind of New Age therapy available in the San Francisco Bay Area of the 1960s," and what she got from that early on was a recognition that she had surrounded her psyche with Reichian "body armor," and got into massage therapy at age 13 to free herself from its grip.
Also important to one's mental health, according to Hartley, is understanding the concept of shame and how useless in can be in our interpersonal relationships, revealing a bit about her personal history in the process. All in all, the interview is way too short, but still well worth reading. Again, it can be found here.