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Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex

Studio: Adam & Eve
Category:  Instructional
Directed by:
Starring: , , ,
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YogaDame's ratings for Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex:
Overall Rating 4.5 stars
Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex overall rating 4.5 stars
Female Looks Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex Female looks rating 4 stars
Male Looks Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex Male looks rating 4.5 stars
Sex Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex Sex rating 4.5 stars
 
Plot/Acting Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex Plot/Acting rating 4.5 stars
Extras Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex DVD Extras rating 4 stars
Audio/Video Quality Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex A/V Quality rating 4 stars
Worth$17.50
Rating Scale
Reviewed by YogaDame  on  5/30/2006

Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex

Cast: Nina Hartley, Mika Tan, TJ Hart, Christian (aka Christian X).

Director: Ernest Greene

Videographer: Ralph Parfait

Production dates: 8/22/05–8/24/05 (opening statement), 2/13/06 (box)

Length: 89 min.

Extras: A 21-min. behind-the-scenes featurette, a 17-min. interview with Nina Hartley, a 14-min. bonus scene from Fleshbacks, 13 min. of trailers (Carmen & Austyn, Tell Me What You Want #4, The More the Merrier, The Contractor, Hair to Stay, Latin Fantasies), and a 4-min. slide show.

Audiovisual quality: The camerawork is professional, with smart angles and no focus problems. The lighting is also good. The performers are visually identified one-by-one in the opening credits—a nice touch that shows some extra care. Most dialog is easy to hear and understand. Off-camera directions are also audible in a couple of places, which is my biggest criticism of the technical aspects of this production. In addition, a low volume background rumble persists through significant portions of the sex segments.

Ratings note: Nina Hartley's Guides are, of course, an instructional series. So I've used the "Plot" rating above as an evaluation of the educational content and overall flow of the commentary.

Highlights:

Scene 1 Nina Hartley and Mika Tan open with a chat. They discuss the various types of strap-on gear, anatomical and mechanical considerations, the transmission of sensations, and the potential for enhanced intimacy through role playing and other types of sexual exploration. Nina and Mika then show what they know on a platform bed with various cushions and wedges for comfort. The warm-up includes kissing, caressing, and manual stimulation for Mika. Mika gives a blowjob to Nina's strap-on, and Nina fucks Mika vaginally and anally with four different dildo/harness combinations (plus a metal butt toy). The sex is frequently interrupted while the ladies give pointers on technique, which is fine, since the information is good and the intent of this section is clearly instructional. Mika has several orgasms, and I found myself daydreaming I could join their fun, too. I was quite surprised to discover an hour had passed; it seemed faster than that. Times: 19:20 for discussion, and 39:48 for demonstration. Rating: 4.5 stars.

Scene 2 TJ Hart and Christian pair up for a straight coupling with no narration. I really like the flow of energy between these two. TJ is playfully aggressive, initially refusing to let Christian remove her bra. As the scene progresses, the dynamic becomes more equal, with each partner taking a turn at giving and receiving anal penetration (TJ uses a strap-on, and Christian uses his natural equipment). They strike an appealing balance between athleticism and intimacy, mixing smiles and kisses with thrusting and tussling. One of my favorite parts is the upright 69 position with TJ inverted. The blood rushing to her head must give her ideas, because she retrieves the harness from behind a couch pillow right after that. Overall, this is a strong performance with strong orgasms from both. Unfortunately, the mood is dashed by a postproduction gaffe at the very end (see "Thumbs down" below). Time: 28:33. Rating: 4.5 stars.

The extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette which covers two productions: this one, plus Nina Hartley's Guide to Female Ejaculation. It comprises prop preparation, wardrobe details, casual conversations with three of the performers (Mika Tan, Angela Stone, and Anna Mills), and a general sense of the congenial working atmosphere at Ernest and Nina's place. The interview with Nina is largely another instructional segment, in which she speaks to the camera directly and neatly recaps all of the information from scene one. Nina also talks about her personal experiences with strap-on sex, and she supplies more tips for techniques and shopping.

Angela Stone and Tyler Durden star in the bonus scene, which takes place in a prison cell and portrays unprotected anal sex and repeated, voluminous squirting. Bleah. The slide show is prettier than most I've seen, with its smooth Ken Burns effects and a funky Middle Eastern soundtrack.

Thumbs up: This is only the second volume I've watched in Nina's educational series. It's refreshing to see all of the technical improvements in the nine years since her Guide to Seduction. And of course, my feelings about Nina haven't changed—she's still one of the niftiest people on the planet. She clearly knows her subject, and her enthusiasm is contagious. Also, I'm super happy that the discussion is so inclusive of gender and sexual orientation. Nina has a real gift for putting everyone at ease with their sexuality, which probably comes from the fact that she's so comfortable with her own.

Thumbs down: The editing goes sufficiently well up to the end of scene two. At that point, the editor apparently yawned, stretched, stepped out for coffee. Meanwhile, Christian climaxes, and an offscreen voice immediately directs him to change positions: "Come in front of her a little more." So much for fantasy. How about fading down the sound a little sooner next time, mmkay?

Themes: Instructional, pairs (F/F, F/M), strap-on sex (multiple styles of harnesses and dildos), oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, kissing, tease, light spanking, undressing, and fetishwear.

Condom use: Yes, Christian wears one during vaginal and anal intercourse. Nina also wears gloves when she plays internally with Mika. I strongly prefer these types of safer sex practices, so this suits my fancy.

Juice-o-meter: Medium high.

Final analysis: Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex is a really nice place to start for newbies (and also for folks who are just curious about this phenomenon—that would be me). It answered a few questions I didn't even know I had, got me thinking, and got me wet, too.




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The opinions expressed in this review of Nina Hartley's Guide to Strap-On Sex from Adam & Eve are not necessarily the opinions of Adult DVD Talk. Adult DVD Talk provides a public forum for consumers to post their DVD reviews. Adult DVD Talk does not edit these reviews.
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