‘Porn is a risky business’

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Damn, L.A., you so progressive!

Recently, the City Council of Los Angeles passed a bylaw by a vote of 11-1 that makes it mandatory for actors in pornographic film shoots to wear a condom if engaged in the act of sexual intercourse. This has folks like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation rejoicing, and it has a bulk of the multi-billion dollar adult film industry scrambling for somewhere else to shoot.

Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, applauds the actions of the city council.

“We’d been lobbying for such a bill to be passed for a long time,” Weinstein has explained in interviews. “The STI rate amongst hetero and homosexual adult film stars has reached epidemic levels. This will help promote the idea of safer sex.”

The adult film industry, as well as the Free Speech Coalition (the non-for profit trade association representing the adult film industry in America), has since gone on the offensive. Several notable FSA agents, as well as several adult film stars, have loudly protested the acts of the Los Angeles City Council. They say the rate of STI transmission is nowhere near that of what the AIDS Healthcare Foundation claim. The FSA also claimed this isn’t about protecting their workers, but is just another way for government to tell people what to do. The underlying concern of the FSA and the adult film industry is that the image of a condom may take viewers out of the eroticism and will drive away business.

Weinstein called that position ludicrous.

“If two consenting adults want to film themselves having sex, there’s nothing we can do about that. When you are making a pornographic film, you are being paid as a worker, and, as such, you have to abide by certain worker’’s’ health codes,” he said.

When questioned about the lack of eroticism in a condom, Weinstein responded that in the age of digitization, there’s no reason that the condom cannot be digitally removed in post-production. 

This appears to be a simple case of two groups seeing who can take more litres of piss out of the other. Forcing an entire industry to work a little safer and the backlash induced is newsworthy? Really? Do you think construction workers would strike nationwide if it was mandated that they wear a harness when more than ten feet off the ground? I would like to think not. 

Let’s face it: porn is a risky business. STI transmission is now more easily widespread than ever. The monthly screenings the business runs on its actors are not mandatory, but are performed on a volunteer basis. This is not enough of a preventative measure. People should be safe in the workplace, whether that workplace be an office or a seedy hotel room with crushed velvet pillows.

Frankly, the city council of Los Angeles should be applauded for these measures, even if it took them this long to get around to it.  The adult film industry can cry about this decision all they want, but in 20 years they’ll be wondering how they ever got along without this bylaw.

Kyle Leitch
Contributor

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