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Safe-Sex Industry

Will L.A. Be The First City To Mandate Condom Usage In Porn?

vat-of-condomsA measure that would require actors in porn films to wear condoms qualified to be on the ballot next June in L.A., the adult-film capital of the United States.

The AIDS Healthcare Center collected around 71,000 signatures for the measure, almost double the 41,000 needed to get on the ballot. Although condom usage is fairly widespread in mainstream gay porn, most major straight-porn companies don’t use them consistently.

Rising tensions about AIDS in the porn industry have reached a fever pitch in the past year: An AIDS scare based on a positive result from star Derrick Burts put a halt on the entire U.S. porn industry this August. Just a few weeks ago, the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, a testing center partially funded by the porn industry, was shut down after being criticized by Burts and called a “sham clinic” by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

The ballot initiative has its detractors: L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich says she believes the issue is for the state to regulate, not the city or county, and has filed papers saying so.

Photo via Holly Williams

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Dec 28, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 29 Comments
    • Bob
      Bob

      Everyone should decide for themselves. This is stil a free country (somewhat as long as Republicans don’t gain full control) and adults should have the right to decide as long as there is mutual consent. The government needs to stop dictating everything we do!

      Dec 28, 2011 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tommy Shepherd
      Tommy Shepherd

      @Bob: I respectfully disagree Bob (and I’m a Liberal). People may mutually consent to dangerous and silly behaviour, but their actions may impact on the lives of many people – their children, parents, partners etc. Also, there have been plenty of studies which have shown that people tend to copy what they see in porn. If we all had “free will” then the advertising industry wouldn’t exist. So, I’d rather a benevolent government tell us what to do, than corporate America – who just views us as consumer units.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      In this day of 20 minute testing, there has to be a better solution than bad sex
      the rapid test is 100% accurate for negatives. It only requires a confirmation for positives.
      Perhaps making porn with out-positives would be better. I don’t know.

      Porn is fantasy sex, not reality sex.

      But I like porn.

      And I will never pay a nickle for “safe” porn.

      With my computer, I can buy porn from anywhere in the world. If LA wants to
      close it down, that’s fine.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean
      Sean

      I think the rise of HIV among those under 25 can be attributed to young gays mimicking what they see in porn. They werent around to see the AIDS pandemic in the 90’s and have the attitude that it’s just a managable illness that is controlled with a pill. HIV is still a problem, our relaxed attitude toward safe sex is a problem too. Whats to say the virus doesn’t mutate or eventually resist the cocktail? As a liberal I welcome this as safe sex is the best way to prevent the spread of this disease and a more logical approach than promoting abstinence right?

      Dec 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kurt
      Kurt

      State wide would be better than a municipal ordinance.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 12:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • steve sydney
      steve sydney

      @Sean: Well I’m under 25 and in Sydney no less and I can tell you I don’t think it’s happening because the young ones are mimicking porn, it’s that they feel indestructible and that it won’t happen to them. They would never imagine a 20yr old they cruising would be positive therefore don’t consider the risk. Also since HIV is no longer a death sentence with improved treatments that allow a fairly healthy life, there isn’t that concern or die hard panic that there were in the late 80s and early 90s.

      For the record, I don’t bareback and I don’t even watch that much porn. I do agree that there shouldn’t be a double standard and if this will make straight porn studios made condom wearing compulsory then I’m all for it. In this case, I do think it gives straight guys the message that protection is something that they don’t need to be concerned about if the woman isn’t providing it.

      Oh and .. this will probably increase the demand for bareback porn currently made and distributed in and out of Europe.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • steve sydney
      steve sydney

      ^ ^ ^

      Please forgive the abundance of grammatical errors above

      Dec 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      Whether condoms *ought* to be mandatory in porn or not, banning them at city level is foolish, for the same reason banning circumcision at the city level is foolish: it’s so easy to just go do it next town over.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • WillBFair
      WillBFair

      It’s been thirty years, and we haven’t stopped hiv. Now the government is having to step in.
      Please, grow the f— up. Shout down the sociopaths who push for no standards re: hiv. Get involved. And help set standards in our community to stop the spread of hiv.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • QJ201
      QJ201

      BULLSHIT. AIDS Healthcare Foundation recruited Derrick Burts to malign AIM. Burts claims that AIM “hung up on him” came after they became aware that he was working with AHF to shut them down.

      Regardless, as many have already said, if they require condoms in porn, the hetero porn companies will simply move elsewhere. Probably San Francisco…which seems to have no problem being the home of Treasure Island Media.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      Show me the study that says that BB porn increases HIV seroconversion rates. Show me ONE.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 11 · Fitz wrote, “Show me the study that says that BB porn increases HIV seroconversion rates.” Do you mean an increase for the people watching it or the people making it?

      It obviously increases the risk for people making it – even with a recent test, there’s a small chance that an infection will not be detected (i.e., a very recent infection), and receptive anal sex without a condom is known to be a high-risk activity.

      Whether people watching it would be less likely to use a condom than otherwise is less clear. I’m not sure if there have been any studies of that, but even if you wanted to do one, I can see how a funding agency might think twice about what would happen when conservative politicians found out about it.

      There’s a good reason as to why people would want to put this on the ballot, however: LA doesn’t want to be outdone by San Francisco, which managed to qualify an anti-circumcision initiative that the courts later threw out. That is, unless the motivation is to provide porn “actors” with a safer workplace.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andy
      Andy

      Oh, I can see the timeline now…

      March 15, 2012: legislation passes banning bareback porn in LA.

      March 17, 2012: the last remaining porn studio in The Valley shuts off its lights, hangs a “for sale” sign on the gate of their gate and leaves.

      March 18, 2012: Shooting of “Dyson’s 982 1/2 Load Weekend” resumes in Las Vegas, Houston or New Orleans.

      January 2, 2015: The smuggies on queerty become erect when yet another porn star seroconverts. The headline asks “Should We Protect our Gay Youth by Putting HIV+ Porn Stars in Concetration Camps?” The article details a 23 year old who is *shocked* to learn that the HIV test his 62 partners were administered did not definitively prove anyone was free of the virus. The ensuing conversation perpetuates the delusion that half of the performers in porn aren’t already poz, betrays astonishing igorance about the testing process and promptly degrades into such a stark example of stigma that it could be confused as something straight from 1982. No less than 200 gay men swear that they’ll never get tested again after reading it.

      December 13, 2013: Osha begins mandating nationwide condom utilization.

      December 15, 2013: The last operating porn studio in Miami closes its doors.

      December 17, 2013: Shooting of “Bareback to the Future” resumes in London, Ibiza or South Africa.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matthew Rettenmund
      Matthew Rettenmund

      When people say “porn is a fantasy not a reality,” that is another way of saying “people who feel compelled to do porn or who choose to do porn deserve to get HIV anyway and I really don’t care.” Because it may be a fantasy to viewers, but to those making it, it was reality that day and potentially for many days after.

      Saying, “Oh, it should be their choice” is comparable to arguing that the government should relax all safety legislation regarding any industry because hey, it’s the workers’ choice to be put into dangerous situations in order to make a living.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 4:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @Matthew Rettenmund: Pretty much. I’m not worried about my waitress’ varicose veins either. Nor that my doctor isn’t spending enough time mediating and relaxing. I expect grown ups to take responsibility for themselves. I will not be over latter to wipe you.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Roger Rabbit
      Roger Rabbit

      If you think that bareback porn videos are influencing people to do bareback, I’m not going to be able to change your mind.

      But bareback porn is all over the internet and 99% of it is private couples having unprotected sex. Quit focusing on the single tree and focus on the forest. Regulating the porn industry will do nothing but push the problem elsewhere and the videos will still be made.

      You can’t regulate human behavior. The only way to win this is with education, and the gay video community has been doing that since the beginning of this disease crisis.

      So if we’re going to do anything, let’s see mandatory NON-Skippable warnings at the front of the videos and online sites before viewing the porn. AND PLEASE include warnings on pregnancy and other diseases as well, including the newly incurable ones.

      It won’t do to much, but might get a few to stop and think.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Roger Rabbit: Non-skippable warnings serve no purpose whatsoever except to annoy people. The audience already knows it’s against the law to copy store-bought movies… and also that you ought to wear a condom during sex. Forcing people to listen again and again to what they already know (but perhaps choose not to act on) benefits nobody.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @Roger Rabbit: If you really want to use legislation to do something real other than puritan finger-pointing at porn:

      Make HIV testing required at each contact for services from MD or DDS offices.
      It’s cheap, and if a portion of positive people get tested, it will pay for itself.

      We have precedent: this is how we almost eradicated syphilis.
      Porn does not cause HIV. Sex does not cause HIV. A virus causes HIV.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Fitz: Mandatory, even for those who already know they have it?

      Dec 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @Hyhybt: Anyway, that would mainly serve to discourage people visiting the doctor or dentist. (Why dentist, anyway? Might as well throw in barber while you’re at it.)

      Dec 28, 2011 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ggreen
      ggreen

      @Matthew Rettenmund: When was the last time you saw the double safety harness on Ton Cruise’s stunt double in the final film? In movies the fantasy sells and reasonable precautions are taken. (POZ guys working together and neg guys working together after being tested to name but a few.) POZ performers taking anti-virals are less likely to infect a non-poz partner than ever before. I don’t recall an army of lesbians driving over a cliff like Thelma and Louise after that very popular movie.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @Hyhybt: Well, of course not for positives. The fear of it discouraging people from seeing their MD is valid, but it doesn’t pan out. Eventually, people NEED a doctor either for an illness or work-clearance, etc. This was proven during the 60’s and 70’s when America very quietly almost eradicated syphilis. Normalizing the test would serve both to identify positives AND to really assault the denial that people live in.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      Good.

      Who needs anti-gays when we do so much self-inflicting damage?

      In this economy with social services being cut and nonprofits financially struggling, it’s especially dangerous to get HIV.

      Since schools are not teaching LGBT-inclusive sex ed, most LGBTs, especially gays and transgenders, will get there first ideas about sex from sites like Adam 4 Adam, Xtube, and all the porn sites.

      Just as smoking billboards by schools increase smoking among kids and just as bombarding poor neighborhoods with fast food restaurants increases obesity, bombarding young LGBTs with depictions of unsafe sex will likely have (or is already having) a subconscious effect on the their sexual behavior.

      No wonder why HIV rates remain disproportionately high among gay men.

      LGBT mega groups are quick to fight anti-LGBTs who hurt us but they seem to be mute when we hurt ourselves. This begs the question of who’s profiting from the HIV/AIDS pharmaceutical industry.

      Meanwhile, my impression of many HIV/AIDS activists is they refuse to get harsh on the glorifiers of unprotected sex for fear of repealing LGBTs from conversations about safer sex. Yet, again, HIV rates among gay men remain high.

      I boycott bareback porn glorifiers, I do not watch BB porn on free sites, and I encourage my friends to always use condoms at least until 2 HIV negative tests into an LTR. Then again, since some places will not allow couples to get results together due to HIPA laws, you can never really know if your partner is honest unless the HIV tester provides a confirmation of the result at the time of visit.

      Should HIV Testing Be Mandatory In Gay Porn?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLgMoHLNJ1M

      What Happens To HIV+ LGBTs If America Crumbles?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkgjnzQwByw

      Is Unprotected Sex More Common In Gay Black Porn?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UGJh78CxAU

      Gay Glorifying Of Bareback Sex
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VzaC5LgJEY

      Condomless Sex Glorified By Mainstream LGBT Company

      Dec 28, 2011 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @jeff4justice: Oh good. The hysterical anti-sex
      crew made it in. All we need now is Jason to tell us that HIV is caused by women.

      Dec 28, 2011 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 14 · Matthew Rettenmund wrote, ‘When people say “porn is a fantasy not a reality,” that is another way of saying “people who feel compelled to do porn or who choose to do porn deserve to get HIV anyway and I really don’t care.” Because it may be a fantasy to viewers, but to those making it, it was reality that day and potentially for many days after.’

      When people say “porn is a fantasy, not a reality,” they mean in part that safety precautions are not shown in the film. If you want to make a bare-backing film safely, test everyone, take them to an isolated island where they can work out and get a nice tan, and after the ‘window period’ has expired (the interval between infection and having detectable antibodies), test them again. And just to be sure, take two blood samples and send those to different labs to protect against a processing error, using the most accurate and sensitive test available. At that point, you can be pretty sure that the entire cast is uninfected. Of course, none of that would appear in the videos – that is why you can call it a “fantasy” (similarly, they may not show people applying lube, douching, or what-have-you).

      So, the issue is not whether you can do it safely – you can – but whether your typical porn outfit cares enough about its “actors” to spend what it would take to protect them: doing it safely is not cheap.

      Dec 29, 2011 at 12:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      @B: Or you could just use healthy looking positives. There are a lot out there.

      Dec 29, 2011 at 1:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 24 · Fitz wrote, “All we need now is Jason to tell us that HIV is caused by women.”

      Don’t give him ideas – everyone who has HIV has been inside a woman (before birth).

      Dec 29, 2011 at 1:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • damon459
      damon459

      I doubt this mandate will do anything other then convince the porn companies to relocate. Bareback porn sells and in case anyone didn’t know porn companies are in business to make money not people a public service announcement. If people under 25 are getting hiv it isn’t the porn companies fault none of them are saying hey do this is safe. If you really want to point finger why not point them at all these so called safe sex classes that teach abstinence only, and tell kids condoms don’t work at all.

      Dec 29, 2011 at 4:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jim
      Jim

      You know what? Let’s all check our brains at the door and let the government decide what’s best for us, because we obviously can’t be trusted with ourselves.

      Dec 29, 2011 at 12:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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