Pornography

Sex Workers Ask Cali Lawmakers to 'Keep Adult Performers Safe' by Rejecting Mandatory Condom Bill

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Kink.com/Twitter

The California Assembly is moving on rules to establish compulsory condom use for adult film peformers. Tomorrow the Assembly's Appropriations Committee will vote on AB 1576, a bill that would require condoms in porn sex scenes, along with other industry "safety" measures, including "the provision of condom-safe water-based or silicone-based lubricants to facilitate the use of condoms."  

The bill also mandates that porn production companies keep confidential employee health records indefinitely, use "plastic and other disposable materials" to clean sets, and provide all employees with a safety training program. It does not "require condoms, barriers, or other personal protective equipment to be visible in the final product of an adult film." 

In other words, there's little way for California officials to monitor or enforce adherence to the condom rule aside from sporadic checks on porn production studios. The bill also seems packed with enough random regulatory requirements to allow health officials to selectively make life miserable for any adult film company they feel like harassing.

Pitched as a measure to protect porn performers, AB 1576 has almost exclusively drawn harsh criticism from this constituency. Hundreds have signed a petition asking Assembly members to "keep adult performers safe" and vote no on AB 1576. On Twitter and other social media, sex workers have been speaking out usiing the hashtag #StopAB1576.

Tim Valenti, CEO of the gay porn site NakedSword, called the bill "nothing less than a full-frontal assault on the rights" of adult film performers. "It requires they turn over sensitive medical information about their HIV status to anyone they work for, including—in a last-minute addition added to the bill last night—a forced waiver of their right to medical privacy," Valenti wrote in a May 15 blog post (NSFW): 

The bill also puts an incredible burden on performers who choose to produce their own films. Under the law, even a monogamous gay couple using webcam from their own home could be prosecuted for not wearing a condom, regardless of whether they do it in their private life or not. They'd also be required to test every fourteen days, to maintain filing cabinets of medical records, and a log detailing every penetration in which they engaged. It's sexually Orwellian.

This isn't a healthcare bill, it's a moral crusade that uses HIV to scare legislators.

In the last 10 years, there have been at least 350,000 condom-less sex scenes shot by the professional porn industry and not a single on-set HIV transmission.

At the blog Tits and Sass, the porn performer, AIDS activist, and HIV test counselor Cyd Nova explains the porn industry's strict protocols when it comes to testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Performers who don't use condoms undergo routine testing every 14 days, with any positive results triggering a temporary industry-wide shutdown while others are tested.

Apart from the testing requirements of the job, porn performers are educated and self-aware about disease transmission. We know that becoming infected with an STI will affect our job as well as our sex partners' jobs, and most people act accordingly….

As a longtime sex worker, seeing one more 'save-a-ho' measure that will do more harm than good is extremely disheartening. Anyone in the porn industry understands that this bill passing will have the following effect: The larger porn companies will move, most likely to Las Vegas, while the law-abiding smaller porn companies that can't move or cover the expenses that this new bill will bring in will fold. I am concerned that what will emerge is an underground porn industry that will provide less access to safer sex tools to workers, along with all the other issues that pop up once increased criminalization occurs in a sector of the sex industry.

After clearing the California Assembly's Arts & Entertainment Committee 4-1 last week, AB 1576 heads to the Appropriation Committee for a hearing Wednesday. This isn't the first time California lawmakers have tried to force porn stars to wear condoms. Last year, a previous porn-condom bill, AB 640, died in the Appropriations Committee.

In 2012, Los Angeles County voters passed a ballot measure requiring condoms in any porn shot within county limits. Reason TV explored the L.A. measure in the video below:

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  1. In other words, there’s little way for California officials to monitor or enforce adherence to the condom rule aside from sporadic checks on porn production studios.

    FINALLY a government job I can apply for: Porn Set Condom Checker.

    1. Careful, its a ‘hands-on’ type of job.

  2. Under the law, even a monogamous gay couple using webcam from their own home could be prosecuted for not wearing a condom, regardless of whether they do it in their private life or not.

    You fool! Those cheaply made home videos (I assume) are your competition. You can afford to accommodate or work around these regulations but the small performers (no judgment) probably cannot. REGULATE YOUR COMPETITION OUT OF BUSINESS!

  3. Probably should not use a hashtag to protest government encroachment.

    All the government loving gen Ys will attack you.

  4. It does not “require condoms, barriers, or other personal protective equipment to be visible in the final product of an adult film.”

    Imagine the lousy but high-paying job of CGI-ing all the condoms off of the dicks.

    1. Maybe they’ll just pixelate the dude’s junk like Japan does.

      1. Those Japanese movies kill me. They have the most degrading shit in porn, then pixilate genitals. I don’t get it.

        1. Gotta leave the money making shit to the yaks.

        2. When you say “shit in porn” that’s just a turn of phrase, right ?

          1. That’s German porn.

            1. Ohohohohoho – you’ve obviously never seen Japanese porn then.

              For the Japanese, scatology and bondage go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

  5. Why not require condoms for anyone engaging in sex? Money changing hands does not make the act uniquely dangerous. I’m hoping that even a California legislator could see the idiocy here when it’s put in those terms.

    1. Don’t. Give. Them. Ideas.

    2. I like this idea. In a century California will be depopulated and new settlers can take over.

      1. The NCR certainly would be an improvement over the People’s Republic of California.

    3. Why not require condoms for anyone politicians engaging in sex?

    4. Why not require condoms for anyone engaging in sex? Money changing hands does not make the act uniquely dangerous.

      For the same reason your home doesn’t have to abide by the same regulations as a hotel – money doesn’t make it uniquely dangerous but it does give legislatures an acceptable cover for meddling.

  6. admit it, Reason, this article is an excuse to plaster some T&A on your magazine

    1. AND?

  7. I recognized all those talented women. What prize do I win?

    1. Some time alone with your hand.

      1. YESSSSS

        *masturbates furiously*

    2. I recognized them too.
      Me and that one blonde..we’re real close.

    3. What’s with the fucking tattoos? Ugh. I’ll be glad when that fad ends so I can enjoy strip clubs again.

      1. As a cartoon once said, the message of all tattoos is “Ask me about my parent’s divorce.”

      2. Tattoos are so overdone. Can we please go back to the good old days when tattoos were only found on sailors and ex-cons?

        And remember laides, even I think a tattoo can be sexy on a lithe, 22yr old with an impeccable figure– but you won’t always be 22. Once day, you’re just another tatted up 50 yr old.

        1. But by then, who’s going to be looking?

  8. How about we make a deal, they can wear or not wear whatever they want, while I as a taxpayer does not have to pay my part of the 29 billion and rising US federal budget for AIDS/HIV

    Throw in other sexual transmitted disease spending at the FED/State/Local level and its a deal

    http://kff.org/global-health-p…..t-request/

  9. My body my choice!

    Who’s with me progressives?!

  10. It does not “require condoms, barriers, or other personal protective equipment to be visible in the final product of an adult film.”

    That term is generally applied to hardhats, respirators, heavy vinyl gloves, hazmat suits, etc.

    Their use of it gives you a clue what round 2 of the regulations will require.

  11. Well you know, Yuma AZ could use a new industry to pick up the economy.

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