Director: Ernest Greene.
Videographer: Ralph Parfait.
Production dates: 12/1/06–12/3/06 (taping), 6/9/07 (DVD).
Length: 76 min.
Extras: A 32-min. behind-the-scenes featurette, a 19-min. bonus scene (Jenaveve Jolie and Alan Stafford from Brat School), 11 min. of trailers (Lady Scarface, Sentenced, Big City Nights), and a 5-min. slide show with 45 photos.
Audiovisual quality: The recent volumes in this series feature consistently excellent camerawork. There is a nice mix of angles and a pleasing balance of wide, medium, and close-up shots. The lighting flatters the performers while still providing the audience with clear views. The sound is also good, with dialog that's normally easy to hear and understand. There's no music except for the jazzy background pieces during dancing. Careful listeners might catch two tiny flaws in the second scene: "Action!" is audible right at the start, and Evan's warning plea for the crew to "Set it up!" precedes the cumshot. Ignoring that and also a brief intrusion of equipment at the edge of the frame, the A/V quality rates at five stars.
Screenshots: At the time of this writing, I was unable to find any galleries online. However, the images on the box accurately depict the cast's look for this movie, including Nina's stunning cover costume.
Ratings note: Nina Hartley's Guides are, of course, an instructional series. So the "Plot" rating above reflects my evaluation of the educational content and overall flow of the commentary.
Introduction: Nina Hartley and Justine Joli — Justine, who's recently begun stripping, absorbs the pointers that Nina has gleaned from more than 15 years of experience as a feature dancer. During this 12-minute conversational segment, they discuss the importance of solo practice and the value starting simply, with outfits that are easy to remove. Nina advises measured pacing for maximum suspense and seduction. Nina and Justine also mention the advantages of private (as opposed to professional) stripping, such as unlimited skin exposure and full freedom to touch.
Female Tease and Demonstration: Nina Hartley and Marco Banderas — Nina proceeds to illustrate just how it's done. She talks a bit more about music selection, thong and garter placement, and heel height. She shows us girls how to veil and unveil with a robe, step out of panties gracefully, shimmy sexily on the floor, and grind enticingly on her partner's lap. Marco finds this quite irresistible. Nina deepthroats his gorgeously curved and uncut cock in 69, swivels her hips while riding him in reverse cowgirl, and kneels on a luxe fur for doggy. They break into spontaneous giggles in cowgirl, and Nina enjoys a shivery orgasm. But they're not done yet—there's anal fun, too! Marco has such a good time that he climaxes on Nina's divine derriere with no additional stimulation required. Time: 12:45 for dance, 17:34 for sex. Rating: 5 stars.
Male Tease and Demonstration: Evan Stone and Marie Luv — Evan proves that it's not just the ladies who've got the moves. He enthralls Marie with a clever and rousing dance. I love the "come hither" motion that he makes with his index finger slipped into his skin-tight white pants. Marie slips him some cash and plays footsie with his colorfully clad pouch. She goes all trembly-legged while receiving Evan's expert oral stimulation. Marie takes him all the way down her throat, with raunchy tit fucking, foot jobbing, and dirty talking all mixed in. Evan helps Marie orgasm repeatedly during vaginal sex, and she uses a vibrator to further pleasure herself during anal sex. He coats her chin and chest with generous splashes of semen at the end. Time: 7:15 for dance, 23:23 for sex. Rating: 5 stars.
Extras — The behind-the-scenes covers two guides: this one and Nina Hartley's Guide to Sex for the Bi-Curious Woman. The highlights include Justine enthusing about having the best of both worlds, Nina spilling the secret to making clothes "rippable," Marie selecting Evan's undies, and lots more fun. The segment also mentions Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex, a book that I highly recommend. The other extra of note is the bonus scene from Brat School, which has a typical naughty school girl theme (as the name would suggest). It's alright, but wouldn't an additional scene focused on Nina and/or striptease action make more sense?
Thumbs up: I've never stripped, but I have performed both choreographed and improvised dances before audiences. Speaking as a formerly shy person, I think Nina's instruction is right on target. She doesn't overwhelm her viewers with complicated exercise routines involving fancy steps and pole moves. Instead, Nina presents just enough basic technique to inspire some courage. And herein lies the essence: the first and most critical step to finding personal flow is to get off the sofa and into the music, preferably in front of a mirror. Nina's presentation provides great encouragement for just that.
Justine might be my favorite of Nina's helpers to date. Her delivery is relatively smooth and polished, peppered with campy, conspiratorial looks at both the camera and at Nina. Mr. Yoga and I agree that this is amusing, in a good way. There's definitely a sense of a lighthearted wink throughout this production, exploding into jawdroppingly hot sex. And as usual, Nina expertly addresses the basic concerns of both male and female viewers. She provides wonderful encouragement for the beginners.
Thumbs down: It's hard to think of anything I don't like, except I do miss the interview. That's often the first section I check when I watch Nina's guides. Nina's interviews always provide helpful summaries of the material in the main part of the feature, plus she typically tells a personal story or two that I love to hear. Alas, there's no interview accompanying this particular guide. Nina does share some of her insights in the behind-the-scenes section, however, so that's a very nice bonus.
Themes: Pairs (M/F only), striptease, dancing, kissing, dirty talking, masturbation, oral sex (including a little rimming), vaginal sex, anal sex, sexy shoes (stiletto pumps for the ladies, over-the-knee boots for Evan), toy (one vibrator), multiethnic cast.
Condom use: None. I honestly prefer to see condoms, partly for the same reason that I prefer to see helmets on cyclists. I feel vaguely anxious when they're absent, which is a distraction to me as a viewer. But I've made an exception for Nina and Ernest's movies. I have discussed the issue with them, and I believe the "condom optional" policy on their sets is exactly as it should be.
Juice-o-meter: Very high.
Final analysis: If all educational productions were like this one, I'd be thrilled to watch nothing but instructional DVDs. Nina Hartley's Guide to Stripping for Your Partner is not heavy on technique, yet there's much to inspire would-be dancers (both guys and gals). And it all leads to such beautifully scorching sex! Nina makes me want to take it off, take it all off.