Blogging the 'Perfect Orgy'

Blogging the 'Perfect Orgy'



A few weeks ago, I received a press release for Nina Hartley's Guide To The Perfect Orgy, a DVD starring the famous adult-film performer that's part hardcore porn, part Orgies For Dummies. And really, who hasn't wondered about the protocol and etiquette–the ins and outs (score one for Team Obvious Joke)–of orgies? The back of the DVD promises "Nina Hartley® Shows You how To Get Your Own Sex Party Started!"

(Notice the ® after her name. If the Hartleys of Beaumont, Texas, inadvertently name their child Nina, are they guilty of trademark infringement? Maybe it's working; Switchboard.com returned only one Nina Hartley from its database, and she lives in the non-porn capital of New Straitsville, Ohio.)

I'm interviewing Hartley soon, so to prepare, I watched–boned up, if you will (Team Obvious Joke scores again!)–her guide to the "perfect" orgy…and blogged as I watched. (Which, in hindsight, must have looked odd to of my neighbors passing the window near our TV: me with a laptop, watching porn, my wife sitting idly by, reading a newspaper.)

1:01

The opening credits list the stars, including "Chirstian XXX." Um, they mean Christian XXX. Eh, no one's gonna notice: In the background three ladies blow three dudes.

1:08

On a sofa in a generic-looking set sit Nina Hartley and another adult-film lady, Kylie Ireland. Both wear lingerie, though Ireland's outfit is more revealing. This is essentially the core of The Guide To The Perfect Orgy: Two mostly naked ladies sitting and discussing orgy protocol. For half an hour. Saying stuff like, "That's what's great about these things! You never know who you're gonna see!" And "Being in a room full of naked people sure does help break the ice."

2:08

Hartley:
"We're here to help introduce you to one of our favorite forms of sexual adventuring."

Ireland: "And that would be…?"

Hartley: "The orgy, of course."

Ireland: "But not just any old orgy."

Thank God! I'm so sick of the square orgies of my parents' generation. Seriously, time to fucking step it up for my music-downloading, instant-messaging, text-message-sending, TiVo-using lifestyle.

And forget what you know about orgies, Hartley advises about 15 minutes later: "The Hollywood version of some perverted bacchanalia is the product of some director's imagination." She says her suggestions will address "what's possible for real people in real life."

3:00: A definition of terms

"When we talk about an orgy [air quotes], we mean a party of whatever size convened for the purpose of sharing sexual partners or sexual experimentation." Gotcha.

Ireland plays devil's advocate: "Why would you want to do that?"

1. Voyeuristic curiosity (which often accompanies exhibitionism, according to Ireland)

2. Appeal of variety. "For many couples, engaging in sex together with others is a safer and more honest alternative to seeking outside sexual partners on their own," Hartley says. BUT! Don't do it if you're not happy with your significant other. "Don't try to save a failing marriage with an orgy," they command. Holy shit, at what point do you think, "You know what? We've reached the nadir of this relationship, and we can only be rescued by group sex." But I absolutely believe Ireland and Hartley: Somewhere, someone is thinking that exact thought. As Hartley says a minute later, "If there's one thing nobody wants at an orgy, it's a miserable, squabbling couple." So true.

Some other practical things to keep in mind:

1. There are all types of orgies–they can be a "cozy affair" or a "big mixer"–sweet and quiet or "loud and rowdy."

2. "Call it a party" when everyone reaches the same level of "pleasurable exhaustion." So wait, if everyone's worn out and ready to go home, but one couple is still totally going at it, everyone has to wait until they're done? I can just picture a couple in their coats, holding a small duffle bag with their supplies in hand, keys in the other, silently glaring at the remaining participants. "Fucking blow already! We've got to get back for the babysitter!"

7:23

Ireland says the most important thing to remember is that whoever's sponsoring the event makes the rules. And even though orgies seem out of control, they're actually very orderly. "Not everyone has to have sex with everyone else in order to qualify as an orgy, though it helps if they're masturbating!" Hartley says, laughing. "Which they're pretty likely to be doing!" adds Ireland.

8:43

There are some general ground rules to establish, like where, when, how, and with whom. To familiarize yourself with the practical concerns and matters of etiquette, "You may want to check out a few people's orgies before you try throwing one of your own," Hartley advises.

Another thing to remember, as "any experienced orgiest will tell you," it's the people who make the party. So that's why you need to know who's going to be there. Hint: Close social friends don't always make good partners.

"We're not talking about playing bridge or holding a 'great books' discussion," Hartley says. "We're talking about fucking and sucking."

Everyone needs to know everyone who's coming (double entendre alert!) and who's comfortable doing what with whom. Obviously, people's attractiveness is important, "but so is personality." Sure, Jim isn't much to look at, but his pillow talk just lights up the room.

10:11

Another good tip to avoid any awkwardness: Make sure you won't be whipping it out in front of someone you're avoiding. "This might include your boss, your minister, your next-door neighbor or an ex-spouse," Hartley says. Nothing kills an orgy like a minister.

"Mark, you have time for fucking and sucking, but no time for the Lord on Sunday, hmm?"

"Sorry, minister."

"Yes, yes, fine. Hush now. Where's that lovely wife of yours?"

11:13

Okay, another most important thing to address: establishing personal boundaries. Some common ones among couples: only kissing with your significant other (SA); only genital intercourse with the SA; not allowed to leave the room with whomever you're nailing/being nailed by; shared orgasms with SA; limit anal play to SA.

13:36: Orgy preparation

Ireland advises you make sure to be "freshly groomed and trimmed," and to emphasize that point, she spreads her legs. (Thankfully, she doesn't use the word "manscaping.") On the supply side, you'll need warm, comfortable clothes for the ride home (the assless/crotchless patent-leather pants won't feel too good post-coitus), as well as your own "safer sex" supplies like condoms, lube, gloves, and baby wipes. (What about mints and/or a toothbrush?) Bring an ID, Hartley advises, but nothing of value. Orgy attendees can have sticky fingers–literally and figuratively.

15:25: Etiquette in the action

If you want to move from tentatively watching/jerking it from the sidelines to active participation, you'll need to know the protocol, which Hartley and Ireland stage on the sofa. "Ask before touching the genitals of any other person, especially when the ass of said person is in the air," she says. "Get permission." Like this:

Hartley: Your ass is so cute. May I lick it?

Ireland: Why yes, of course.

Hartley: Oh, may I touch your pussy?

Ireland: Oh, please!

Hartley: May I give it a smack?

Ireland: I would like one, please.

17:17

Don't get hung up on proving yourself to everyone. No need to be Mr. Jackhammer all night. "There will almost always be one woman who just loves fucking and will have a lot of it that night," Hartley says. "I'm not one myself, but they add spice to the mix." This coming from the woman who has spent 20+ years in the porn biz.

20:02

Ireland: "The things you experience in an orgy stick with you after you get home." Well, at least until you get a good shower.

20:20

But what happens if your SA seems to enjoy himself/herself a little too much with a particular person? Experienced orgiests like Hartley know this isn't something to freak out about. Think of it as an expression of your SA's comfort and security instead of a betrayal. "No single fuck or a good time can take the place of a good relationship," Hartley says. Orgies offer all the fun of the new without the dangers or hassles of cheating.

But do orgies screw up relationships? In Ireland's experience–which undoubtedly includes an average sampling of the population, your typical Joe Six Partner–it's the opposite. They bring people closer together. Orgiests like sex open and honest; cheaters like deceit.

Nina & Kylie's Tips for Hosting a Sex Party

1. Create a safe and relaxing environment. There goes your "Rape Room" idea.

2. When you send out the invite/Evite, make the sexual nature of the event obvious. Adds Ireland: "If it's a special occasion such as a birthday or promotion, let your guests know so as to add to the festive atmosphere." Good idea. "Guess who got promoted to Business Development Associate? Get on these nuts, y'all!"

3. Post signs around the house to make it easy for people to navigate. Close off one room for pets and things you don't want to get damaged, lost, or inserted.

4. "Make sure the kids are settled in with the babysitter at a removed location and that you can be reached by the phone at all times." Hartley's emphasis on "removed" makes me wonder: What kids have been on the premises during a sex party? (You know, before DCFS hauled them away.) And what did the parents tell the kids? That daddy's having one of his special "hugging parties" and to stay in room at all times? "Some pizza, the Shrek trilogy on DVD, and the kid's good for the night. Let the fucking begin!"

5. Food. Ireland says it should be easy to eat with your fingers (and if you touch something, you take it!) "Sex uses up a lot of energy, and people will need to refuel." If you recycle, make it obvious. That's good advice for non-fucking parties, too.

6. Put extra king-size flat sheets over all the beds, couches, and fuckable surfaces. Offer both water-based and silicone lube. Keep extension cords, power strips easy to reach so no one has to go looking for one "at a crucial moment."

7. Music. As much as it may seem like the perfect time for some wah-wah action, Hartley advises it should be kept to a minimum. No words, and not too loud. Surely that doesn't include Herbie Hancock's 1976 album, Secrets, particularly opening song "Doin' It."

25:57

"You know, all this talk about planning the perfect orgy is helpful," Ireland says, "but until you've seen the real thing, it's just impossible to describe." Hartley concurs. "You have to see it to believe it!" Cue orgy footage.

26:28

Now it's time to party. Three dudes, three ladies, all from Central Casting's pornstar division. The beefy guys had might as well have "DOUCHE" tattooed to their foreheads, though the lone Frenchy in the group, Jean Val Jean–a delicious pun on the protagonist of Les Miserables–would have "EUROTRASH" instead. He's particularly creepy, and becomes more so when he insists on aggressively pinning the ladies down while sticking it to them. The two ladies who aren't Nina Hartley (Ireland isn't here) basically look like different versions of the same person: bleach-blonde hair (with dark roots), some tattoos (one has a pink heart locket on the back of her neck), etc. One appears to have clear braces, which make her teeth look yellow.

The next half-hour doesn't blow any minds, as it covers the typical porn bases and warrants the usual reactions: "Whoa!," "Eww!," "Huh?," laughter, and quiet bafflement. Particularly disconcerting is Jean Val Jean's creepiness, exacerbated by a camera angle that makes his ass look crackless. Also unnerving: the gross gagging noises made by the ladies while deep-throating. Few things are less sexy than someone offscreen sounding like a chicken wing went down the wrong pipe. "MMGHAAA!"

Hartley's husband, Ernest Greene (real name: Ira Levine!), directs the action as he has in similar how-to videos: Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Women (and its sequel), Guide To Sensual Submission, Guide To Threesomes (both Two Girls & A Guy and Two Guys & A Girl), Guide To Female Ejaculation, Guide To the Ultimate Sex Party, Guide To Strap-On Sex, Guide To Porn Stars Sex Secrets, Guide To Erotic Massage, and Guide To Stripping For Your Partner.

1:06:31

The segment ends abruptly, and we're back on the sofa with Ireland and Hartley. This segues into an orgy scene with Ireland and others for 40 minutes. Yawn.

1:46:39

Back to the sofa as Ireland and Hartley wrap it up. "It takes some clear thinking, sensitivity, and a love of the spontaneous to enjoy the process by which group sex unfolds." Do it, but do it for the love of the game. As you figure navigate the world of orgies, Hartley says, "Party responsibly–but by all means, party!" Thus ending Nina Hartley's Guide To The Perfect Orgy on an odd Wayne's World-esque note.

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