I don’t have a lot of free time. Honestly. I’m totally not trying to sound tough or anything, but I have a lot going on pretty much all the time… sometimes that makes me sad and other times it makes me mad (!!), but occasionally it simply perplexes me.
I get especially perplexed when I see people who appear to have excessive amounts of free time spending it in ways that seem frivolous (at least to me). Watching primetime television, not doing your assigned reading for identities class, and pretty much everything Michael Weinstein has been doing as of late are examples.
Oh wait – “Who is Michael Weinstein?” you ask. Well let me tell you…
Michael Weinstein is the president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), “the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care.” According to their website, AHF’s mission is to provide cutting edge medicine and services to HIV positive persons, regardless of their ability to pay. The organization currently serves more than 110,000 clients in the United States, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, and Asia and operates fifteen outpatient healthcare centers in California and Florida. In order to help finance these services (and a bunch more), AHF/Weinstein also created the Out of the Closet thrift store chain. Several Out Of the Closet stores, which incidentally are only located in California and Florida, offer free HIV testing. Oh, and Weinstein also has an honorary doctorate from Whittier College.
Now I know you may be thinking “‘Too much free time’ my ass!! This guy Mike has got a lot going on!! Plus, he and his organization are clearly dedicated to one of the most noble causes ever!!” And with this I would generally agree, however one must also consider Mike’s most recent crusade – condom use in porn.
Yesterday Mike and about two dozen of his buddies (read: AHF volunteers and employees) protested outside the Flynt Publications Building in Los Angeles. They carried signs that said things like “Condoms in Porn Now” and “Condoms Save Lives.” This protest coincided with AHF’s plans to submit additional complaints to California state officials regarding the lack of condoms in a sampling of 100 Larry Flynt Productions’ (LFP) adult films. According to AHF, a condom was used in only one scene out of however many there were contained in this sampling of films. (see coverage of this event by XBiz here and here)
(pictured: Larry Flynt and some ladies; not from yesterday)
Wait a minute! Obvious methods questions – how were these films sampled? Given the extensive LFP catalogue, how can we be sure that these 100 films are representative of the company’s content? Moreover, a whole lotta fucking is certainly depicted in 100 adult films, but how much exactly? And where is the data/evidence/codesheets showing these films were watched scene-by-scene, closely and carefully (and not to mention coded consistently)?
Now I’m just being a bit of a methods priss here, as I’m fine with AHF’s finding. In fact, it doesn’t really surprise me, as LFP has pretty much always been vocally “no condom.” Thanks for pointing out the obvious Mike! And how much time did you spend watching all that porn anyway?
But I digress… AHF has been fairly involved with the whole push-for-condoms-in-porn thing since 2004, and they’ve made significant strides in turning the whole file-a-complaint-coupled-with-a-big-news-event thing into an art. Case in point: back in June, AHF helped mother and daughter former talent Diana Grandmason/Desi Foxx and Beth Garren/Eli Foxx (aka the Foxx girls) file a lawsuit against Adult Industry Medical (AIM) alleging violation of medical privacy laws the day before a big public Cal-OSHA hearing about condom use in porn. Sounds like a publicity tactic to me. But there’s no shame in trying to get your word out, you know? (details of this event here)
(pictured below: from yesterday’s protest)
Weinstein/AHF have been so bound and determined to get their mandatory condom word out that they even made a commercial about it back in July. When XBiz, a prominent industry trade organization/publication, refused to run the ad, Weinstein was quick to call them out for infringing on his and AHF’s right to free speech. (details of this event here)
Wait… what?!! Are you trying to tell me that an organization refusing to run ads that attack its very survival is a violation of the attacker’s free speech, Mike?! Yes, I think you are. But this makes me wonder – like pretty much every other media outlet around these days, XBiz survives on ads. Did AHF offer to pay for ad space with XBiz like everyone else must? And doesn’t XBiz have the right to pick and choose the advertisers and organizations it works with? Just curious…
Which gets me back to the whole “too much free time” thing, and I’m just gonna come right out and say it – Mike, I think you may have too much free time on your hands.
You are commander and chief of an AIDS/HIV healthcare and advocacy organization, a wonderful successful necessary and effective one from what I read. Why are your panties so twisted up about condom use in porn? I know I’m not telling you anything new when I say that only two active talent have tested positive for HIV since the industry began regular testing in 1998 (Darren James in 2004 and “Patient Zero” in 2009). And although Darren James did infect three women talent during his undetectable period, Patient Zero was identified before any infection was spread. (more on this here)
Yes, spreading HIV is some scary shit; but when you consider the almost nonexistent transmission and incidence rates in the context of the shear amount of sex that is occurring in adult film production, the absence of HIV/AIDS in the adult film industry becomes a little bit amazing.
In order to manage what would constitute “high risk behavior” in the general population (lots of sex with lots of people), the adult film industry has taken steps to meet the specific needs of its unique and relatively isolated talent population. And I know that talent currently working in the industry have been telling you that they’re comfortable with this… why won’t you listen, Mike? Are they too stupid to speak for themselves? Or are you bored?
I can’t imagine that you’re bored…
And I also wonder – what’s your preoccupation with condoms? Do you think condoms are infallible? Do they protect all persons in every type of depiction offered by adult film fare from all potential STIs (just pretend you represent a general sexual health organization here for a minute, ok)? Just imagine someone’s face up in some bacterial infected pussy… A condom is most certainly not going to help that person. Why aren’t you worried about them?
Regardless, AHF is focused on HIV… and you’re searching for a “connection” between your organization and a population that doesn’t have a high incidence of HIV infection… and you’re also going after some very big players in the adult film industry during the course of your search.
Are you really this bored Mike, or are you after something else?
* * *
Questions? Comments? Email Dr. Chauntelle!!
You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from PVVOnline/Porn Valley Vantage, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”