PVV – condoms in porn, as of today at least (1/25/12)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has been at it for a while now; and, at least as of recently, they have finally succeeded – condoms are pretty much required for porn shot in the City of Los Angeles.

I’ve been talking about this for a loooong time now – Michael Weinstein, president of AHF, has too much free time here and my goodness all those CalOSHA meetings I have attended over the years (this is only one). So…

“The Los Angeles City Council has affirmed [a recent] preliminary vote to allow AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s mandatory condom initiative to bypass the election process and go straight to law. [The] 9-1 vote means that the new ordinance—which ties the granting of film permits to mandatory condom use on sets and imposes a fee on producers to fund unannounced inspections—will go into effect in 90 days unless a court challenge is able to derail those plans.” (Tom Hymes, AVN, 1/17/12 here)

And who was the 1 against the 9? The representative from the San Fernando “Porn” Valley, of course.

“On Monday [1/24/12], Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed into law the bill passed…by the LA City Council, based on AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) ballot initiative that would require that all filming permits issued in the City of Los Angeles by permitting agency FilmLA to adult producers to include a requirement that the male performers wear condoms during the filming of sex scenes. Such companies will be charged a fee, the amount yet to be determined, to fund the inspections necessary to make sure the law is complied with.” (Mark Kernes, AVN, 1/24/12 here)

According to Free Speech Coalition (FSC) director Diane Duke: “The city ordinance is more of a nuisance at this stage than anything…but what is significant about it is that it’s the first step in government intruding into how we make film, and even into the sexual behavior that takes place between consenting adults.” (here)

“Even the pro-mandatory-condom Los Angeles Times noted that there are 87 cities in Los Angeles County other than Los Angeles itself, as well as numerous unincorporated areas, only a short driving distance from the City of LA, to which the companies could relocate and begin filming—and noted in any case that the new permitting law doesn’t apply to ‘filming that occurs on certified sound stages,’ of which the adult industry already has several. (Of course, AHF has mounted a second petition drive to place a mandatory condom measure on the LA County ballot.)” (Mark Kernes, AVN, 1/24/12 here)

So this is basically another mountain-out-of a molehill bit of propaganda time-and-tax-payer-dollar-wasting bullshit from AHF – condoms are mandatory, in the City of LA, on certain types of shoots. But AHF apparently has a mission and endless resources, so goodness only knows what will happen next.

Why, why, why does an organization with a stated mission to fight HIV and AIDS care about the adult industry??? I have been asking that question for years now!! And this issue is so complex, with so many components in hot tension: what anyone does with their own body, especially when it’s a question of inserting things inside it, should be up to that person only; people who work in a competitive for-profit business make decisions based upon market demands within the context of their specific space within an overall industry, and they are not evil because they do this… especially given what/who they are competing with on the world’s stage; and people who have no idea what they are talking about, much less doing, when it comes to the adult industry ARE NOT in a position to regulate it carte blanche… and there’s so much more.

I can’t even begin to cover every corner of this debate in a succinct manner, so here are some key points from five well-balanced and informed articles. Please read them all (each article, not just the quotes I pulled), and try to keep your head from exploding…

1. How mandating condoms in adult films will put the industry more at risk by Dr. Alexandre Padilla, assistant professor of economics at the Metropolitan State College of Denver and a research fellow at Reason Foundation, 12/7/09 (2009 wtf?!!)

“Good intentions do not guarantee good results. The costs and consequences of adopting a condom-only regulation far outweigh any benefits. The adult industry has done an excellent job policing and testing itself. The government is likely to do more harm than good to the health of both porn performers and the general public if it meddles in adult entertainment.”

2. Bareback Mountain… Out of a Molehill by David Groshoff, law professor and Business Law Center Director, Western State University College of Law, 1/5/12

“Reducing the number of HIV infections (education!) and fighting AIDS (research!) are noble goals I embrace, but not to the point of enabling the government to conduct random ‘enforcement’ inspections on private property to see if a condom resides inside a consenting adult’s orifices. If you thought TSA enforcement was bad, just wait.

People above the age of consent should understand the potential risks and rewards involved in consensual, private sexual activities, and each of us should take responsibility for our individual actions rather than resorting to majority-vote criminalization and government enforcement.

Otherwise, bareback or not, we all get screwed.”

3. L.A.’s porn mistake: As an actress who’s worked with and without condoms, I can tell you: Mandatory enforcement is misguided by Lorelei Lee, a writer, porn performer, and director (1/18/12)

“Among performers I know, there is a mix of opinions as to whether they mind actually using condoms on set themselves – a different question than the one of a legislated condom mandate. Some, like Nina Hartley, who is also a sex educator and has training as a nurse, are strongly opposed to using condoms at work, believing that they may actually increase likelihood of STI transmission. Personally, I’m not opposed to using condoms during my shoots – in fact, I already do. I became a condom-only performer in 2010, after eight years of working non-condom. But during my time as a non-condom performer, I never once contracted an STI on set that condoms would have prevented, and truthfully, I’m not sure that condoms actually keep me safer than testing alone. Further, I would never want to work on a set that required condoms in lieu of STI testing.”

4. Porn Star Activist Jiz Lee Talks About When and How Sex Workers Can Give Consent by Chris Hall (1/25/12)

Hall: “The issue of condoms has been a big one, and just recently L.A. County passed a law requiring condoms be used on all porn shoots. What do you think of that law, and do you believe it strengthens or weakens performers’ abilities to consent?

Lee: “That law is 100 percent against any performers’ consent. I have never met a single performer who’s in favor of it. I myself am somewhat indifferent, but I don’t like that it’s a mandate. My personal opinion is that it should always be the performers’ choice about how to be safest.”

5. Condom Use in Pornography Production Becomes Law in Los Angeles by AV Flox, who defies the one line bio with her generally amazing prowess (1/25/12)

“This issue raises important questions about the enforcement of the new ordinance. Though supportive of the position on condom use to protect employees from bloodborne pathogens, the office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has doubts about the ability of the strapped Los Angeles Police Department to take the role of enforcer on porn sets. Likewise, county health officials have raised concerns about regulating the industry through the Department of Public Health.”

And re the apparent relentless focus of AHF and the organization’s leader Michael Weinstein…

“According to Weinstein, the mayor of Simi Valley has indicated that he intends to submit the L.A. measure for a vote there.

‘I think that will be the response of most of Ventura County,’ Weinstein said. Other plans include taking the measure to San Francisco.

The AHF means business. When the adult industry threatened to leave the county for a less restrictive place in California, Ged Kenslea, a spokesperson for AHF, told the LA Times, ‘If they go to Ventura County, we will follow them there.’

When the industry threatened to leave California altogether if the measure was adopted state-wide, Kenslea told the Times, ‘When the industry says we’ll go to Nevada, we vowed we will follow them.'”

How is all this ok? Where are the voices of the performers? I know no one gives a damn about what this may do to content producers, but what about what this will do to performers – the folks with bodies *literally* on the line?? Lorelei and Jiz are performers, yes; but they are only two out of thousands.

Thousands.

And why, again why why why, does Weinstein care this much??? I have a guess…

 

 

Film by Michael Whiteacre. Check out his YouTube channel for this and other super incendiary short films.

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