Pornography

Are California Lawmakers Trying to Chase Out Porn Industry Entirely?

Given how a similar condom requirement worked in L.A. it seems California Assembly members want to drive the adult film industry out of state.

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calvinfleming/Flickr

When Los Angeles enacted a rule requiring condom-use in porn, the ostensible reason was to stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Nevermind that this isn't really a problem in the up-and-up adult film industry, which has voluntarily adopted strict STI-testing standards and boasts an on-set HIV transmission rate of zero over the past decade. The county was going to "protect" performers from condomless sex, whether anyone in porn wanted it or not. 

Since the measure's passage, in 2012, the number of porn stars utilizing condoms hasn't really risen, but the number of porn films made in L.A. has plummeted. According to Film L.A., the organization that issues local film production permits, there were around 480 adult films shot there in L.A. county in 2012, before the condom law went into effect; in 2013, there were about 40. 

"It's a safe bet to say that the world didn't lose its appetite for porn during that time," writes Los Angeles Times editor Jim Newton. "Instead, many of those who produce it are either moving outside the county … or filming without permits."

Newton spoke with Kayden Kross, a porn actress and director who moved filming from L.A. to Ventura County to skirt the condom law. But she may be forced out of the state of California entirely, if lawmakers in Sacramento have their way. State Assemblyman Isadore Hall is sponsoring AB 1576, a measure to take the condoms-in-porn requirement statewide, as well as implement new state-mandated testing and reporting requirements. It's under consideration by a Senate committee today. 

Given the way the condom law has played out in L.A., it's hard not to see this as a move by California legislators to unload it's porn-production hub status to places beyond state lines. At the least, it's a downright illogical and ineffective way to try and make porn safer, as Newton explains: 

At first blush, the requirement seems sensible. Who could oppose safe sex? But the effort to require condom use in adult films is misdirected — the porn business isn't the hub of AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, asking people to wear condoms is one thing; having the government order it and enforce it is another. And, most important, it doesn't work. Measure B is taking a fairly safe business and pushing it underground, outside Los Angeles and quite possibly into places that don't honor protocols put into place to protect adult film actors, which require that every performer be tested every two weeks for sexually transmitted diseases and cleared for work only if the test is negative.

"It's time to accept that Measure B's impact hasn't been to encourage condom use; it's been to encourage evasion and flight," Newton concluded. 

For more on Cali's quixotic campaign to solve a porn problem that doesn't exist, check out this 2012 video from Reason TV. For other avenues of neo-"war on porn" activism, check out Peter Suderman from the March 2014 issue of Reason.

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  1. A new life awaits you in the Florida colonies! A chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

    1. Perhaps a porn series based on the exploits of Florida Man?

      1. Wait, is there such a thing? I mean, porn TV series? Threesome’s Company.

        1. Jenna Jameson had one.

            1. I don’t know, I watched it. It was a reality show. America’s Next Top Porn Star type thing. I recognized one of the girls, too.

                1. American dildo.

          1. My next question is why the porn industry doesn’t have a Porn Olympics. Or maybe they do?

            1. Hello? Debbie does Dallas? Certain seemed like an Olympic event.

            2. Will they drug test against enhancement pharmaceuticals?

              1. I suspect not. The international porn committee that sets the rules and chooses the host nation likely will be almost as corrupt as the IOC.

            3. Seem to recall a ‘Battle of the Network Stars’ type of porn series from back in the ‘Golden Age’.

      1. Don’t be silly–Florida is chock-full of nudity, porn, and more nudity.

        1. Nudity is ok. Vanilla r-rated type sex is usually tolerated. Anything outside of that is asking for trouble with Fla obscenity laws. I listed those two cases above with that arrest in 2013, but it has been going on for a while. Even making a comic is unsafe:
          http://cbldf.org/about-us/case…..ike-diana/

          1. Choose your locality carefully.

      2. Yeah, I spent my first 4 years in the military in Florida – all the ‘X-Rated’ movies were cut to cable standards and the strip clubs were topless only.

    2. You mean the Dominion of British West Florida ? http://dbwf.net ?

  2. “Instead, many of those who produce it are either moving outside the county … or filming without permits.”

    Impossible. How do the cameras even work without a duly issued county permit?

    1. Doesn’t the gov’t make more from booze and cigarettes than the actual manufacturers? Why not porn, too? It’s a filthy business, government is.

      I’d make a comment about how making laws is like making sausage, but some kid here would take it as a double entendre. As they would double entendre.

      1. You forgot gas.

  3. Given the way the condom law has played out in L.A., it’s hard not to see this as a move by California legislators to unload it’s porn-production hub status to places beyond state lines.

    Missed a golden opportunity to phrase it thusly:

    Given the way the condom law has played out in L.A., it’s not hard…

  4. Given the way the condom law has played out in L.A., it’s hard not to see this as a move by California legislators to unload it’s porn-production hub status to places beyond state lines.

    And they are/will fail at that too. It’s not like porn consumers are screaming that they can’t see the L.A. skyline in the background and then choosing to go find Texas or Nevada porn.

    If they really wanted to get rid of the porn label, they should be ‘right-sizing’ the film industry and do their damnedest to drive out the Kardashians and The Real Housewives.

    1. That’s it! LA could just set an extremely high minimum wage for the actors — they’d get rid of the industry and look benevolent at the same time.

  5. State Assemblyman Isadore Hall is sponsoring AB 1576, a measure to take the condoms-in-porn requirement statewide, as well as implement new state-mandated testing and reporting requirements. It’s under consideration by a Senate committee today.

    Isadore Hall and the rest of his uptight, white, conservative Republicans are killing California. When will California voters finally wake up and vote for hip, cool Democrats that will finally remove the boot from the neck of the citizens. It’s old-style thinking that these SoCons impose on our once free state that is leading us to ruin. Let’s run the GOP out of state leadership and vote in Democrats. We will return to California greatness of the past!

    1. The ultimate irony would be if the industry moved to Texas where all those uptight socons live.

    2. Well played, sir.

    3. if I was a cynic I’d suspect Isadore just wants to meet some porn stars.

    4. Isadore should really be more concerned about how many of his constituency he’s going to put out of work with this bill.

  6. When I was young, I would think of CA as a place of beauty, fun, adventure…

    Now I am absolutely repulsed by that statist shithole. No offense to those of you living there, I know it has pluses you value, but I just don’t understand how you do it. I couldn’t live under that kind of repression. How can such a large majority of a group get so fucking wrong about almost everything?

    1. The thing is that most wage apes here in CA don’t really feel the boot on their neck except when they are doing something radical like buying a car or a home. Then it’s just exorbitant registration and permitting fees.

      I can’t imagine what running a business in this state would be like. Not something I would ever undertake, to be sure.

      1. I think I have an entrepreneurial spirit buried somewhere deep within me, but it has been crushed by the apparatus of this state.

        1. That’s my excuse too. Well, that plus the fact that it looks like a whole lotta work.

          1. Good friend started a business just about the time everything went to shit.

            He’d get 3-4 hours of sleep a night (stress), wake up in the middle of the night and puke. Worked constantly. 12-16 hour days. Weekends.

            He just sold (after 12 years) majority ownership to a billionaire. He still owns like 35% and he runs the operation. His share now is probably worth $5M, in 10 years it’s projected to be worth $30-70M.

            Worth it? Not my thing, but I’m glad there are people for whom it is.

    2. Quite frankly, if my daughters and grandchildren weren’t here, I’d leave this state.

  7. Look- it’s just common sense. These people are exemplars and role models. Kids look up to them, and emulate their behavior. When little Timmy sees The Human Sea Biscuit burn through a dozen women and a gross of condoms in forty five minutes, he’ll say, “I can wear a rubber and not be a dweeb, by gosh! Cleanliness really is next to Godliness.”

    1. Kids look up to them

      Look, those girls in the POV head scenes may look young, but they’re all in their early 20’s. Stop calling them kids.

    2. I have a cunning plan. Educational porn. The entire goal is to teach kids some subject in a porn film. Or maybe even a porn game.

      1. how do you think I learned german?

        Ein shvanz! Ein grosse shvanz!

        Spritzen sie nichte das sofa!

        /Apology to F. Zappa

          1. That’s a great name for a trans porn star.

    3. What’s really disturbing is that I think this probably paraphrases the real reason people voted for this. They probably actually believe this. Sometimes argumentum ad extremum actually hits the nail on the head.

  8. If California ever legalizes marijuana recreationally, it won’t be becasue of the money it would bring into the state.

    California doesn’t care about bringing money into the state.

    They don’t care about bringing money into the state. They don’t care about chasing businesses out of the state.

  9. Educational porn.

    “Value is subjective. Suzy does not like being tied up, and in order to get her to acquiesce, a higher fee may be necessary. If Billy doesn’t really care whether Suzy lets him tie her up, and is willing to forgo the restraints, they may arrive at a mutually acceptable exchange value which is lower.”

  10. Is there any private industry they don’t want to drive out.

    1. For a certain sized donation, I won’t run your business out of the state.

      For an even bigger one, I’ll your competitors out.

  11. At first blush, the requirement seems sensible. ”

    No it doesn’t. Stop saying that about ridiculous laws.

  12. I’m waiting for the protests from gay porn makers. “California is homophobic!”

  13. You all may soon be seeing more saguaro cacti than palm trees out the window of the skeevy van that they shoot your favorite porn in.

  14. California. Leading the way into the abyss, giggling hysterically.

  15. The part I found interesting in the video was the porn actress Alex at about the 4:16 mark: “I think people tend to look out for their budgets first. So, if the company thinks that they’re not going to make as much money shooting in Los Angeles, because of this condom law and all the extra fees associated with it? then I think they’ll move. I think people care more about their bottom line than any building.”

    What I’ve learned today is:
    1) Porn actresses know more about economics than politicians.
    2) They’re more honest about the cost of them fucking you.
    3) They get tested every 14 days, whereas there is no standard for politicians.

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