Workers Vanguard No. 1020

22 March 2013


Nina Hartley on RCP Puritanism

(Young Spartacus pages)

We print below part of a February 24 letter from Nina Hartley, porn star, author, sex educator and high-profile fighter against the censorship of sexual expression. The Spartacist League defended her and ten other women sex performers in 1993 when they were arrested and threatened with up to 12 years in prison on “felony lesbianism” charges (see “‘Felony Lesbianism’ in Las Vegas,” WV No. 573, 9 April 1993). Young Spartacus asked Nina to send us her views on the Revolutionary Communist Party’s anti-porn crusade. We appreciate her insights.

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As a sex worker with, now, thirty years’ experience, I continue to be amazed and angered at the anti-worker tone of the RCP’s stance on pornography and sex work.

When I started as a sex worker I knew that religious people and institutions would hate what I do. I knew that certain factions of the Feminist movement would take issue with what I do (though their intransigence does continue to astound me) and it was disappointing that Communists would do so, as well.

I’m a sex WORKER, emphasis on the “worker.” I freely chose my job and would enjoy it a lot more if the eroto-phobic, Puritanical, sex-and-men-negative attitudes did not prevail in the culture or the conversation.

In our Capitalistic society, all people must work to survive. Not all are so lucky to like their jobs, so we promote unions to at least give workers a living wage and some minimum safety on the job. In our eroto-phobic world, with its religiously based notions of “modest” and “pure womanhood,” and bestial and aggressive “manhood,” we create the need and the market for sexual commerce.

You’d think that the RCP would recognize Judeo-Christian notions of “natural” male and female roles/natures/places as the basis of their anti-sex and sex-worker rhetoric. They don’t. They’ve so deeply internalized these notions as to think they’re natural, and that pornography and sex work are somehow demeaning, ON THE FACE OF IT, to all sex workers.

Only those people stuck in jobs they hate are being demeaned by their jobs. People who LIKE their jobs, like their jobs.

Some of us are well-suited, emotionally and temperamentally, to sex work.

My sex-worker friends, all of whom identify as Feminists, only want the laws to change to stop their harassment by clients, police and the court system.