Nina Hartley On the Book Promotion Trail

We noticed, in the Borders ad in last Friday's New York Times, that legendary porn star Nina Hartley will be signing copies of her new book, "Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex," on the day of its official release, Oct. 19, at Borders' Wall Street location, 100 Broadway (, at 1 p.m.

AVN reviewed the book in its August, 2006 issue as follows:

Nina Hartley's Guide To Total Sex

By Nina Hartley with I.S. Levine; Avery/Penguin Group; 368 pp; $25.95

Nina Hartley begins her masterwork with, "You're holding in your hands the book I wish I had owned when I turned eighteen" – and you know what? She's absolutely right. What follows is not only a guide to (if you'll pardon the expression) everything you always really wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask, it also reflects on the state of sex and sexual freedom in America (and a few other parts of the world) and the relationship between sexual freedom and political and social freedom.

Topics covered included masturbation, oral sex for both genders, vaginal and anal intercourse, swinging, threeways, use of toys, domination and submission, but it's not the topics that are important; it's the first-hand accounts of Hartley's personal experiences of same and what she's learned from them.

The book is sprinkled throughout with bon mots:

* "Consent is not the absence of 'no.' It is a statement of shared intent and a contract that must be continually renewed."

* "I have my own suspicions regarding official and social hostilities toward masturbation, which have everything to do with the political construction of sex as a subversive force that must be constrained for the maintenance of order and the preservation of existing power relationships." (Take that, David Reuben, M.D.!)

* "Looked at from a distance, orgasm is as odd and alien a concept as anything science fiction could devise."

* "In X-rated videos, butt sex happens by magic. One minute, the players are fucking conventionally, and the next, he's in her ass without so much as a pause for reflection, much less lube. This magic is called editing, and it doesn't work in real life."

And that's just the philosophical stuff; there's also real "hands-on" how-to information – stuff like how to arrange for the woman to rub the guy's balls with her foot while he's eating her out. (Who'd'a thunk?)

Bottom line: This is so well written and so philosophically apt and important, it should be on every couple's bookshelf.