The pornography industry is big business, and Los Angeles is home to one of the largest porn hubs in the world. Recently, a ballot initiative requiring all porn actors to wear condoms while filming qualified for the June ballot and will be voted on by the city’s residents.

The initiative was spurred on by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation who say the porn industry is riddled with sexually transmitted diseases. The group collected 71,000 signatures, exceeding the 40,000 needed to put the measure on the ballot.

Proponents of the measure say it’s a necessary step to make the industry more safe.

Reuters reports:

“There are thousands of STDs in this industry,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, adding that jurisdictions pass the issue around like a hot potato.

“It’s the ick factor. They don’t want to deal with this because it’s sex, and because it’s porn,” he added.

Weinstein compared the measure to other public health laws that the city enforces, like those regulating massage parlors and smoking in public.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has issued over $125,000 in fines against porn producers in the past five years for various violations, but some of those citations are on appeal, according to figures from the agency.

Despite facing fines, most major porn companies continue to shoot without condoms, and some in the industry have argued that using the latex would take away from the fantasy appeal of their product

But opponents of the proposed law say that mandating condom usage will do little to encourage safer sex practices, and might even erode current practices because regulating sexual practices between consenting adults is extremely difficult.

What do you think? Should voters decide on industry regulations or should it be left up to filmmakers? 

  • Clnmike

    Well it is a matter of public health, these actors do not stop having sex when they are not on set, and they have kids as well. Some people can not be trusted to police themselves.

  • http://www.BlasianBytch.com N’jaila Rhee

    On one hand porn is protected as free speech so this is like telling painters they have to wear gloves to paint a picture. I would as people that feel that adult actors need to be policed how would you feel if it was illegal to have unprotected sex? Can YOU police yourself?

    Seeing as the Adult industry’s STD percentages are MUCH lower than the general population you have to wonder who needs the condoms.

    Even if they say in LA you must shoot with condoms, the industry would just move out of those limits. The biggest STD and AIDS risk are performers who moonlight as escorts and dabble in the bits of the general public that barely get STI and STD screenings once a year let alone once a month.

    I would also wonder what this would do for performers with allergies to lubes, spermicidal agents and performers that only engage in Girl/Girl scene which would be un-shootable with the labia covered by a dental dam.

    Its interesting that papers never quote the actual people that are engaged in the sex acts that are being debated.

  • Clnmike

    It is a for profit business impact over community health, since it is a business it can be regulated and subject to federal and state laws that protect workers. So if that law includes using condoms than it is no different than requiring adherence to something like OSHA standards. The private lives of people can not be regulated only educated with varying degrees of success. They porn industry can pack up and leave Californian but that would not matter since these laws once they catch on in one state tend to spread like fire to others.

  • Just Me

    I definitely believe it would take away from the fantasy aspect of the films, and drive the industry out of LA and into another city where laws are more lax.

    Whether porn stars have higher rates of STDs than the general public doesn’t make it ok to regulate what two (or three, or four, etc. LOL) consenting adults chose to do in bed, even if it is on film. I think, if this law passes, it sets a very dangerous precedent. Some demographics have higher STD rates than others (such as IV drug users, sex workers, people who live in major US Cities, and certain other groups). Are we going to expand the requirement to these groups as well? If a prostitute winds up pregnant or with an STD, are we going to arrest her for unprotected sex? After all, sex workers probably have a higher rate of STDs than even porn stars. Or is it ok because it’s not on film?

    Also, don’t forget, these ARE consenting adults. They don’t need anyone to save them from themselves. They can chose for themselves whether they want to enter the porn industry. No one is forcing them to be in porn (and if they are, that is a TOTALLY different issue all together). Certain careers are riskier than others. And if you’re NOT in porn, and you chose to sleep with someone who IS in porn, you need to protect yourself. Don’t depend on the government to protect you.

    I think this law is just based on people’s general disaproval of the porn industry and has little to do with their concern for anyone’s health.

  • E.M.S.

    I almost wonder why this hasn’t been considered sooner.

    This is an issue of sexual health, and anyone who has sex that often with that many different people ought to know they’re exponentially increasing their risk for STD’s. To me this ought to be common sense, a law shouldn’t even be required. Unfortunately, looks like it needs to be.

    I would say the law is necessary because while you do have freedom to perform unprotected sex, you have no right to infect someone else with something you’ve contracted. Think of the consequences. While we may not consider pornography to be a decent job, those employed in the industry deserve to be healthy. So I would support this fully.

  • Perverted Alchemist

    If you ask me, this should have been done a long time ago, but why did they take so long in doing this? And, more importantly, why do they need the public to vote on this?

  • princ essa

    How can we argue that we cannot police people’s sexual preferences when being a porn star is just a job. If these were factory people we would be all over this about N95 masks and appropriate breaks. STD and STIs are an occupational hazard in the porn industry and the Health and Safety committee should do its best to protects workers.

  • SxyDread

    exactly! I’m trying to understand why this was never done before. these people are in DIRECT line of fire when it comes to getting an STD. This is not to say others who aren’t in porn are less able to get diseases but let’s be real. once they leave the set and have passed diseases back and forth amongst themselves… what happens to Joe or Jane who sleeps with them?

  • chanela

    why are they barely doing this? LMAO

  • chanela

    how are prostitutes and people in porn different? (sorry i refuse to call them actors or stars) its the same thing. they both have sex with random people for money.

  • QON

    @N’jaila Rhee

    Thanks for the information. I did read somewhere that porn with condoms isnt very popular with viewers.

  • Jenn

    Places of porn production are (obviously) places of employment and therefore open to employee safety regulation. Construction workers wear hard hats, surgeons wear masks and gloves, porn performers should wear condoms.

    The concept of viewers not liking condoms is bogus. A.) Usually the condom is barely visible. B.) It’s a head thing. They’ll get over it I don’t believe for a second that if all porn went profylactic tomorrow that the porn industry would collapse. C.) If it came down to it film makers could choose female condoms. If placed closed to the opening of the vagina they’d be almost undetectable on camera.

  • Jenn

    The problem with the “consenting adult” argument is that this is a place of employment not a private bedroom and therefore it’s subject to health and safety regulations like any other service industry. It’s not about policing sex it’s about policing an employers ability to exploit its employees.

  • Nicole

    Personally, I’d much rather have sex with someone who is tested regularly and knows their status than someone who equates promiscuity with disease. The people supporting these mandates forget that industry people have lower instances of STDs than the general population. Or do they think they get the testing because they really, really like peeing in a cup?

    So who is really spreading disease? The argument that porn is unsafe is illogical, but socially conservative people don’t really use logic. It’s not about health, it’s about control. But, hey, if they were honest about their agenda(s), fewer people would vote their way.

  • damidwif

    i agree with nicole 100%

    and @jenn in the previous comment: male condoms are visible, hell theyre not transparent! and the female condom is extra visible. visuals are everything. plus, i might be inclined to believe that it would have a negative influence on performance.

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