November 10, 2009

Should Condoms Be Required In Porn?

Opinion 3 Comments

I know, I know. Porn is all about the fantasy. You hate me for bringing reality into it. But I can’t help it. I live in Los Angeles and we had a pretty scary freak out in June when a performer was diagnosed with HIV.

We all think that the porn industry is safe–it has to be with all the juices flying around. But nothing is 100 percent certain. All it takes is one time with one person.

Darren James was a porn star for eight years before he was diagnosed HIV-positive in 2004. He told ABC how hard it is to pinpoint how he got infected: “There was just so many women pressed up in that short period of time. Sometimes it’d be 10 women in an orgy scene–nonstop. And you work from eight in the morning to maybe eight at night. And that’s one scene. All these women. Nonstop.”

James unknowingly passed the virus to co-workers.

“I’d known three girls I’d infected and I knew them,” James said. “They’re nice people and I felt bad.”

He is now campaigning to make condom use mandatory in the adult industry.

Sharon Mitchell runs the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation, which is where the June case of HIV in a performer was diagnosed. Wile in this case the virus was contained, no other performers appear to have been infected, and statistics show Los Angeles porn stars have a lower rate of STD infection than the general population, the case still raised concerns in the community.

Should condoms be required?

“The truth is that when people watch adult movies, they’re watching for the fantasy, and they don’t want to see condoms,” said Steve Hirsch the CEO of Vivid Entertainment, the biggest porn producer in the country. “It’s been proven over and over and over. Condoms in adult movies just don’t sell well. That’s just a fact.”

Currently, testing for STDs in the industry is voluntary, but Vivid requires performers to provide a clean bill of health every 30 days in order to work.

Of course, 30 days still leaves a window of risk open to performers.

“It’s not 100 percent, nothing is 100 percent safe,” the porn star Nikki Jayne said. “It would make me more nervous probably like, getting on a plane and thinking that the plane is going to crash. I don’t really think about it.”

When asked whether making condom use mandatory would help reduce risk, Hirsch and other industry insiders agreed it would only push production underground, making the situation even riskier.

“We produce as an industry about 10,000 movies a year,” said Hirsch. “Each movie has about five sex scenes, so that’s 50,000 scenes a year. Multiply it by five years and we’re talking about 250,000 scenes have been shot since 2004, and one person has tested positive. I like our track record.”

What do you think? Should condoms be mandatory on set? Would you watch porn that employed condoms?

I’m concerned about the risks this poses for performers. But guess what? I like my porn without condoms.

Information from ABC.

AV Flox

Your humble editrix-in-command.

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  • http://dichotome.net ms.dixon

    I like mine without condoms too.

    Hey Porn Industry(tm), why not donate a percentage of profits for all your movies made without condoms to AIDS vaccine research? No law necessary, this is just good business sense. You have billions.

    Really, it’s in your best interest.

  • Devon

    I don’t mind condoms in porn. yes its about fantasy but its also real people having sex with each other. I have friends who have been in the industry and would hate to see something happen to them, but mandatory? no. the choice should be there though.

  • Pingback: Condoms In Porn? Nope | Sex and the 405

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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

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