MENTAL FLOSS: Helping One of Our Own

PORN VALLEY—I've known Nina Hartley since shortly after I got to California in 1991, having met her on the set of Mummy Dearest 3—but I've enjoyed her work practically since I started reviewing movies for AVN. She shone in her first real feature, Educating Nina, where she played a student researching the effects of sexual fantasies—talk about life mirroring art!—but I think I remember her best as the titular character in the series that began with Debbie Duz Dishes—an excellent comic turn for an actress who can play just about any part.

A veteran of over 800 movies, Nina has friends in all walks of life, from educators to politicians to physicians (she's a nurse) to her hordes of longtime fans ... but now she needs some help. Some women, as they age, develop fibroid tumors in their uteruses (also known as uterine fibroids), and while they're not life-threatening, they can be (to mix a metaphor) a real pain in the ass. Symptoms can include increased menstrual bleeding, longer periods and even bleeding between periods; pelvic cramping; increased need to pee; and worst of all for an adult performer, pain while fucking.

So Nina's decided to get hers removed, and apparently she has enough medical insurance to pay for the operation, currently scheduled for March 11 ... but not for the recovery, which may take as much as a month. And since she's a porn star who only gets paid when she's on camera, that means as much as a month without any income whatever.

A collection jar was passed around at the Legends of Erotica Hall of Fame show in early January, where one contributor remarked, "I've heard so many people say that seeing Nina's performances changed their lives—and they can't kick in a lousy $5 or $10 or $25 so she can keep doing it for others?" But that collection resulted in just over $300. More successful has been a Web donation page created by one of her fans, but even that has raised less than half of what she'll need to see this through.

"After all she has given me, taught me, been there for me, it is my pleasure to give back to her," wrote Lesley, the page's creator. "If she has ever taught you anything, been there for you when nobody else understood, or just made you happy with her sweet, wonderful demeanor, please donate at least five bucks."

Nina's a great lady and a tireless supporter of adults' sexual freedom—and there's an army of porn fans who first jacked off to her movies. It would be nice to help her continue doing the work she loves.

Contributions can be made here.

MENTAL FLOSS columns are quasi-editorials containing the opinions of AVN Senior Editor and Legal Analyst Mark Kernes, and should not be taken as necessarily reflective of the views of AVN magazine,, its owners or staff.