Nina Hartley's awesome. She always seemed to be in control of herself and her environment, and it made her all that much more sexy.

Nina Hartley | The A.V. Club

AVC: At what point were you in more control of your own work and able to call your own shots?

NH: Always. The big lie is that every director forces every performer to do something that he or she doesn't want to do, and that's not true. You have as much power over what you do as you claim. So I've always known that I could say no. I've always known that I could say yes. I've had over a thousand sex scenes, but I've had literally fewer than 10 that I remember as being "Eww"â..and only two of those were because a director, I felt, was pressuring me. The other ewws were just bad days, or the guy was really a jerk, or something like that. But again, I got in at age 25, when I knew more. I knew, as a feminist, that I had the right to say yes or no. When you're 18, you may know intellectually that you have the right to say no, but how much social bravery do you have? Let's face it, anybody who is in the entertainment fieldâ..legitimate, illegitimate, sex, not sexâ..we want approval, we want to be liked, we want to be accepted. So when you're very young, it's hard to say, "I won't do that," even when you'd rather not, because you don't want someone to be mad at you. And that's not the fault of the business, but it is the nature of the power structure between an adult person who's offering you a job, and you, the person who wants the job.


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