LA Porn Actors Must Wear Condoms; Will Industry Pros Wrap it Up or Take Business Elsewhere?

 
on January 20 2012 9:38 AM
Condoms
Will pornographic film companies make their actors wrap it up or shoot elsewhere? Reuters

A city council voted 9-1 to require actors who work in pornography films to wear condoms while performing in the city of Los Angeles, according to a Los Angeles Times report, and now questions are coming up about what will happen to the area's thriving porn industry.

Industry experts believe the ruling will just cause businesses to do what they can to protect their bottom line, even if that means moving elsewhere.

Lux Alptraum, editor of the adult Web site Fleshbot.com, noted that the mandate comes at a time when the industry is treading water financially due to piracy and the prevalence of free porn available on the Internet.

She believes that some companies may film less frequently, take their chances and flout the law, or just pack up and shoot outside of city limits. There's just a lot of places where I think they will start looking at shooting, Alptraum said, citing San Francisco and Las Vegas as possibilities.

Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, which he said has a condom optional policy, slammed the ruling.

History has shown that regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults doesn't work, he said. We don't believe that trying to police thousands of movie sets a year is the best use of taxpayer money. Testing procedures are already in place and have worked well for years. We do not believe that this is a public safety or health issue, but rather an attempt to regulate an industry that is already operating quite well with self-regulation. We will look into our options moving forward.

Alptraum also spoke to what can be perceived as a double standard in the porn film industry, arguing that Hollywood directors are not required to show safety precaution in their movies.

We understand that what we see there is a fantasy, she said. We want to enjoy the fantasy without being reminded how our sex lives really are.

Alptraum noted the testing standards that are already in place, and that performers are required to provide proof that they've been tested for chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV within the past 30 days, with some companies requiring even more frequent testing than that.

Shelley Lubben, a former porn star and president of the Pink Cross Foundation, which works to help those who have been harmed while working in the industry, lauded the ruling. She disagrees with the idea that actors should have the right to choose whether they wear condoms.

Why should workers in the porn industry be given the right to choose their protections while other workers in other industries like construction, hospital, food services, have no right to choose and must follow safety and health laws on the job, Lubben wrote in an email. What the porn stars are having a hard time understanding is that they may be two consensual adults having sex but IN A CALIFORNIA WORKPLACE. There are workplace laws already on the book that they must follow. If they don't like the laws, they need to go to legislation and lobby to get them changed.

Alptraum believes that instead of mandating condoms, officials should mandate more frequent testing for adult film performers and foot the bill.  

They don't have motivation to cooperate if they feel they're being targeted or discriminated against, she said of industry companies. Mandating condoms is like applying a Band-Aid to a vastly more complicated issue.

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