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Old 08-15-2014, 04:09 PM   #1
R. Richard
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Porn And Condoms

I'm the co-author, with Sunset Thomas of "The Anatomy of An Adult Film." Thus I'm peripherally involved in this sort of thing.

Condom bill dies in key California committee, porn industry satisfied — for now
By Susan Abram, Los Angeles Daily News

A closely watched bill that some said had the potential to impact the multi-billion dollar adult film industry in California died in an Assembly committee Thursday without discussion.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Los Angeles, who authored AB 1576, said his legislation would have expanded workplace protections for all adult film workers by requiring the use of condoms and other barrier protections during production shoots anywhere in California. The bill also would have further supported the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Act’s safety standards.

Hall said he was disappointed that the bill died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee but added that he remained committed to protecting the health and safety of all California workers.

“AB 1576 wouldn’t have changed existing law, but it would have helped increase industry compliance in protecting its workers,” he said.

Members of the Canoga Park-based Free Speech Coalition, the trade association that represents the adult film industry, disagreed with the bill’s intent, saying Hall was using it to exploit performers for political gain. The industry, the group has said, already has been affected by voter-approved Measure B, which requires that adult-film performers wear condoms during sex scenes shot in L.A. County. The measure passed almost two years ago, and since then, many production companies have left the area and film permits have dropped by 90 percent, according to published reports.

The industry has been estimated to be worth $6 billion in California and $11 billion nationwide and is believed to have created 10,000 production jobs in the county, including makeup, lighting, carpentry, transportation, food service, payroll, web design and acting.

More than 500 adult film performers reportedly signed a petition opposing AB 1576. In addition, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, AIDS Project Los Angeles and many other groups opposed parts of the proposed legislation because it required mandatory HIV testing. In their argument, the groups said such a requirement should not be used in an overall employment context.

Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, called Hall’s bill an assault on the industry. She has said the industry has long relied on its own testing standard for sexually transmitted diseases. Performers must clear all tests before working.

“The assault had unintended consequences — it unified performers and producers in ways that we haven’t seen in decades,” Duke said in a statement. “Out of this grows a stronger industry, one not intimidated by harassment campaigns like AB 1576. But the battle is not actually over, for we must always work to make sure our productions are safe and legal, that our performers have a strong voice in their own sexual health, and to keep a thriving industry in California.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation supported Hall’s bill, and created Measure B. Michael Weinstein, executive director of the AHF, said his organization would support another bill next year.

“Regardless of whether AB 1576 became law this year, condom use already is — and has been — the law in California under existing Cal/OSHA authority,” Weinstein said in a statement. “The porn industry has simply chosen to ignore these laws, with few, if any, repercussions to date for producers.”

Weinstein said Cal/OSHA has been overhauling and expanding regulations that would cover the adult film industry.




“When enacted later this fall, these updated OSHA regulations could, in fact, make the need for a bill like AB 1576 moot,” he said.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:34 PM   #2
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Hall said he was disappointed that the bill died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee but added that he remained committed to protecting the health and safety of all California workers.

“AB 1576 wouldn’t have changed existing law, but it would have helped increase industry compliance in protecting its workers,” he said.




It's always fascinating to watch politicians spin their words to mask their true intentions - in this case dressing abuse of the legal system for harassment up as "wanting to protect the workers".

More amazing though is the fact that there are actually people who fall for it....
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Old 08-16-2014, 01:41 AM   #3
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Well condoms do indeed protect people.
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:45 AM   #4
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Well condoms do indeed protect people.

Nobody said anything about banning condoms. They are still available to anybody who wants them, as they have always been.

This is more a question of whether or not we wish the government to have power over what consenting adults do with their genitals. It might sound as if it has to do with "health concerns", but remember what the road to Hell is paved with...
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Old 08-16-2014, 02:23 PM   #5
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But porn performers aren't just having sex. They're doing a job, one they depend on for their livelihood. If you want to weld in your garage without safety glasses that's your business, but your employer can't ask you to do the same if you're welding for a living. That's a degree of coercion few working people can stand up to.

Studios argue that performers can demand a condom be used if they wish, but they know that's disingenuous and a cop-out, because it's no secret that being willing to work bareback is considered an asset and those who don't do it are less likely to be hired for shoots, which of course means that the "choice" to go without is no choice at all.

To frame the issue as what "people do with their genitals" is not an accurate assessment. The issue is actually what people's employers are demanding they do with their own genital. Since they're demanding behavior that is, you know, fundamentally unsafe and something almost none of us would willingly do on our own time (when was the last time you had unprotected sex with four people you just met that day?), that's a serious problem.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:26 PM   #6
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But porn performers aren't just having sex. They're doing a job, one they depend on for their livelihood. If you want to weld in your garage without safety glasses that's your business, but your employer can't ask you to do the same if you're welding for a living. That's a degree of coercion few working people can stand up to.
I have seen the welding analogy before, but it doesn't fit Tam.

There is no difference in "the product" whether the welders were wearing eye-protection or not. You cannot look at a car and determine if the welder who made it was wearing goggles. But if the performers in an x-rated movie are forced to wear condoms the result is invariably an inferior end-product. In other words, under the guise of protecting the workers you are effectively banning the production of the most popular type of porn. This means, that you would be "protecting" them by destroying their livelihood. I suspect this is the real agenda of the proponents of this legislation.





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Studios argue that performers can demand a condom be used if they wish, but they know that's disingenuous and a cop-out, because it's no secret that being willing to work bareback is considered an asset and those who don't do it are less likely to be hired for shoots, which of course means that the "choice" to go without is no choice at all.
There is a fairly large segment of customers who will not accept porn with condoms under any circumstance. There is no doubt that once the fight for the freedom for the performers is lost, the production will move elsewhere. Make no mistake. This is not simply about increased costs or inconvenience - it's about the very survival of the porn industry in Cali.




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To frame the issue as what "people do with their genitals" is not an accurate assessment. The issue is actually what people's employers are demanding they do with their own genital. Since they're demanding behavior that is, you know, fundamentally unsafe and something almost none of us would willingly do on our own time (when was the last time you had unprotected sex with four people you just met that day?), that's a serious problem.
To paraphrase the MythBusters: "We are professionals. Please don't try what you see here at home."

You can't compare the calculated risk of a professional performer with promiscuous sexual behavior. They take precautions and have no higher risk of getting hurt at work than construction workers or police officers. Accidents do happen, but since they usually result in the entire industry shutting down for months and half the talent quitting their jobs, safety is taken a lot more seriously than most people anticipate.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:08 AM   #7
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If all porn started using condoms tomorrow, not a single dollar less would be spent on porn the day after tomorrow. This idea that people "won't accept" porn with a condom is frankly silly. People are gonna watch porn. They may huff and puff and make a stink, but at the end of the day they're still going to watch. It's not in them to not watch. Hell, in Japan they can't even show a dick without that annoying blurry after-effect, but just between you and me, a lot of porn gets sold in Japan anyway.

That aside, to argue that a worker should have to endanger their health simply so that their employer can (supposedly) make more money is to demonstrate precisely why people need this kind of law.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:28 AM   #8
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If the studios shooting "bareback" porn would include the new anti-aids drug Truvada in their performer budgets, the point would be moot - at least when it comes to aids. The other diseases, not so much...

It's a tough call. It's not like porn performers are choosing between starvation or an oppressive work environment. They're making big money by taking big risks. If they'd prefer to avoid the risk, they can do so by wearing protection and accepting lower pay. I'd suggest "lower pay" is still more than most people make on a low skill job. Perhaps Mr R could enlighten us on the pay scale for these performers?

BTW, I hate condom porn, but I appreciate its value in the sense that we need to make condom use the norm, not the exception. Universal condom use would go a long way towards lowering the instances of both abortions and unwanted kids.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:15 AM   #9
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It's a competitive field. There's always somebody in line behind you who will do more, go further, and accept less. It's not a question of "low pay," it's a question of being out of a job entirely, and the person replacing you taking risks that are bad not only for them but for everyone they work with.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
If all porn started using condoms tomorrow, not a single dollar less would be spent on porn the day after tomorrow. This idea that people "won't accept" porn with a condom is frankly silly. People are gonna watch porn. They may huff and puff and make a stink, but at the end of the day they're still going to watch. It's not in them to not watch. Hell, in Japan they can't even show a dick without that annoying blurry after-effect, but just between you and me, a lot of porn gets sold in Japan anyway.
Of course people will continue watching porn. But it will no longer be produced in places with this type of legislation. So the law will achieve exactly none of it's stated objectives - protecting the performers - but it will kill a local industry (which is that real agenda I mentioned previously).

To a large percentage of viewers condom-porn like public transportation and light beer - something that is useable in a pinch but will have you searching for alternatives asap. And those alternatives will come from places where such legislation is unlikely to ever exist. The end result could very well be that we push the porn industry to Mexico, thus ending up actually bombing the work conditions for the performers back 20 years.

If you want a great example of another well-meaning venture that went horribly wrong, check out the Prohibition. It was supposed to "save America", but ended up giving birth to organized crime.





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That aside, to argue that a worker should have to endanger their health simply so that their employer can (supposedly) make more money is to demonstrate precisely why people need this kind of law.
This is equal to saying that construction workers shouldn't have to endanger their health just because we want more houses, roads and bridges. Or that firefighters shouldn't endanger themselves just because people put their stuff on fire. Not to mention the way we "force" the acrobats of Cirque de Soleil to risk their lives for mere entertainment. Or how about main stream movies? Did you know that the statistical death toll is much larger for main stream movies than it ever was for porn? Expendables 2 and GI Joe Retaliation both saw stuntmen dying.... hell, even Harry Potter left a guy paralyzed for life.

This is not about "protecting workers" - please do not fall for that spin. This is simply a new round in the fight against sexual freedom. And in the same manner as the creationists are trying to get religion mixed into the science curriculum by "defending the children's right to make their own choice", the latest battle in the war against sexual freedom is masked as "protecting the performers."


See that's the real issue for me Tam - I hate it when people are bullshitting me instead of coming straight out and saying what they're after. If the condom crusaders had come out and said:

"Listen guys! We are sick and tired of being known as a porn-state. We want all that shit out of California asap. They can make it in Mexico or Russia instead and people can buy it over the internet or something like that. But either way we want them GONE!"

See that would be honest. I wouldn't agree, but I would respect them for it and accept their opinion.
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:26 AM   #11
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Thirty years ago Mike Douglas had porn stars on his show demonstrating how sexy condoms and dental dams and bio-haz-mat suits are in porn. But it never caught on.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:46 PM   #12
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If a person wants to work in an adult movie, they must have two forms of picture ID and a CURRENT health test from a professional lab. CURRENT means within 30 days. A few reported problems almost always trace back to a trip to Brail, where there are no medical tests required.

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But porn performers aren't just having sex. They're doing a job, one they depend on for their livelihood. If you want to weld in your garage without safety glasses that's your business, but your employer can't ask you to do the same if you're welding for a living. That's a degree of coercion few working people can stand up to.

Studios argue that performers can demand a condom be used if they wish, but they know that's disingenuous and a cop-out, because it's no secret that being willing to work bareback is considered an asset and those who don't do it are less likely to be hired for shoots, which of course means that the "choice" to go without is no choice at all.

To frame the issue as what "people do with their genitals" is not an accurate assessment. The issue is actually what people's employers are demanding they do with their own genital. Since they're demanding behavior that is, you know, fundamentally unsafe and something almost none of us would willingly do on our own time (when was the last time you had unprotected sex with four people you just met that day?), that's a serious problem.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:08 PM   #13
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If a person wants to work in an adult movie, they must have two forms of picture ID and a CURRENT health test from a professional lab...
And on top of that, many performers are working within a circle of trust....

... or would that be circle of thrusts *snicker*

They form a group of guys and girls that they share a mutual trust with and only performs with other members of that group. This is an accepted practice for established performers.
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Old 08-17-2014, 01:38 PM   #14
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If your test is 30 days old and you contracted something 29 days ago it's not terribly helpful. I wouldn't stick my unprotected cock into a stranger with only a month-old test result. Would you?

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Of course people will continue watching porn. But it will no longer be produced in places with this type of legislation. So the law will achieve exactly none of it's stated objectives - protecting the performers - but it will kill a local industry (which is that real agenda I mentioned previously).
Which is why we need such laws everywhere. But to allow that threat to scuttle a needed law in a jurisdiction is simple bullying.

Quote:
To a large percentage of viewers condom-porn like public transportation and light beer - something that is useable in a pinch but will have you searching for alternatives asap.
The suggestion that safe sex is inferior sex strikes me as rather irresponsible. Again, you would never use this same standard in your own life. "Well gee, I guess I'll use a condom if I can't find anyone willing to go without." But you're perfectly fine demanding that others do the same?

Quote:
This is equal to saying that construction workers shouldn't have to endanger their health just because we want more houses, roads and bridges. Or that firefighters shouldn't endanger themselves just because people put their stuff on fire. Not to mention the way we "force" the acrobats of Cirque de Soleil to risk their lives for mere entertainment. Or how about main stream movies? Did you know that the statistical death toll is much larger for main stream movies than it ever was for porn? Expendables 2 and GI Joe Retaliation both saw stuntmen dying.... hell, even Harry Potter left a guy paralyzed for life.
And every single one of those industries have laws about basic safety that the companies must abide by. This should be no different.

Quote:
This is not about "protecting workers" - please do not fall for that spin. This is simply a new round in the fight against sexual freedom. And in the same manner as the creationists are trying to get religion mixed into the science curriculum by "defending the children's right to make their own choice", the latest battle in the war against sexual freedom is masked as "protecting the performers."
Odd, the porn performers I know who want a condom law don't seem to have much of an agenda about "sexual freedom." But they are tired of being bullied into more dangerous shoots.
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Old 08-17-2014, 02:00 PM   #15
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If your test is 30 days old and you contracted something 29 days ago it's not terribly helpful. I wouldn't stick my unprotected cock into a stranger with only a month-old test result. Would you?
As has been pointed out, the performers are professionals. They have medical tests and a circle of trust to protect them. The monitoring of performers has been tightened up.
One of the past problems has been girls working as street hooker and boys going to Brazil. The performers know who the bad apples are and they mostly refuse to work with them.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:01 AM   #16
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Pinky swearing doesn't strikes me as good standard of safety in a professional environment.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:35 AM   #17
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If your test is 30 days old and you contracted something 29 days ago it's not terribly helpful. I wouldn't stick my unprotected cock into a stranger with only a month-old test result. Would you?
That argument is not nearly as valid as it may sound. Let me illustrate it with a comparison....


When you get on a plane you are trusting a bunch of mechanics under a tight schedule to ensure that a machine built out of over 90,000 parts - many of which could cause you to die painfully if they failed - to works flawlessly. Even if the plane might be a decade old and has flown constantly since it was built.

You also put your trust in a pilot to be skilled and do his job without making mistakes, as they could cost you your life as well. This includes watching his own health and not abuse any substances in order to keep up with the pressure at work. Such things could lower his alertness and affect his judgement, which in turn could cause you to die.

The flight controllers on the ground have your life in their hands as well - in a way even more so than the pilots. Their job is very demanding and you don't see many people over the age of 40 doing it for that reason. Most "close calls" over airports were caused by flight controller mistakes.

The catering company can make you very sick or kill you as well, so you trust them too. They are busy and budgets are tight because of the competition, but you still trust them to keep up their hygiene so you don't end up dying from listeria or salmonella.

Finally the TSA are there to keep pissed-off muslims from blowing you out of the sky.


In total you are trusting your personal life and welfare to dozens of people on a single flight. People for whom you are nothing by a number - one out of hundreds that they deal with on a daily basis. You don't know them and they don't know you. They have no specific reason to care about you, apart from the fact that their own work ethics require them to deliver you safely to your destination.

My question is: If you have no problem putting your life in the hands of a large group of total strangers, why is it such a big deal for you to trust somebody you know intimately to have sex with?

Porn performers are not "strangers" btw. They know each other pretty well. It's a relatively small group that make most of the production...




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Which is why we need such laws everywhere. But to allow that threat to scuttle a needed law in a jurisdiction is simple bullying.
It's not a threat Tam. It's about closing the barn after the cows have escaped.

Think about it - if the purpose is indeed to protect the workers, the law makes absolutely no sense. Since I refuse to believe that our politicians are completely daft, there must be another agenda. Maybe one that would be a tougher sell?

But don't take my words for it. Sit down in your comfy chair and pour yourself a good Brandy. Then clear your mind of everything you have heard from your usual sources and try connecting the dots on your own. Logic is a powerful tool and the number one anti-bullshit remedy.




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The suggestion that safe sex is inferior sex strikes me as rather irresponsible. Again, you would never use this same standard in your own life. "Well gee, I guess I'll use a condom if I can't find anyone willing to go without." But you're perfectly fine demanding that others do the same?
I would never jump a moving bus in my car, but I demand it from the people making James Bond movies. Because that is their job. A movie is all about fantasies - for a short while you can follow Bilbo Baggins through Middle Earth or summersault through a rain of bullets with Jackie Chan. You can also visit the secret Vatican libraries with Tom Hanks or fight big badguys with Scarlett Johansson in a catsuit.

Porn movies are the same way. It's all fantasy! They provide us with sexual feats that most people don't do at home on a daily basis. Simple as that. You can't use the "you wouldn't do that at home" argument. Because 99% of what you see in any movie is stuff that you'll never do at home.




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And every single one of those industries have laws about basic safety that the companies must abide by. This should be no different.
Forced condom usage has nothing to do with basic safety. It could have been, but since it makes the product unpalatable for a large segment of the customers a legal requirement creates more problems than it solves.

There are many better methods to achieve the stated objective without ruining the product.




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Odd, the porn performers I know who want a condom law don't seem to have much of an agenda about "sexual freedom." But they are tired of being bullied into more dangerous shoots.
The former sex-worker I'm married to and all of her friends in the business disagree with you Tam.

There is no "bullying" going on, but - as in any other job - the more flexible you are the more popular you are with your employer. Some performers will only do girl-girl while other have no problem with dp anal and gang-bangs, and the latter are obviously more versatile for the producers. So they get more work.

I don't know what business you are in, but I am quite positive that you face the same dynamics where you work.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:08 AM   #18
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When you get on a plane you are trusting a bunch of mechanics under a tight schedule to ensure that a machine built out of over 90,000 parts - many of which could cause you to die painfully if they failed - to works flawlessly. Even if the plane might be a decade old and has flown constantly since it was built.
But if there were a way to make the same flight exponentially safer at the cost of a couple dollars, you wouldn't pass it up.

Further, I think everyone knows from personal experience that people are very good at fooling themselves and/or suppressing their better judgment when it comes to sex. Less so when it comes to engine repair. And besides, even if I, the passenger, am trusting the airline, the airline is not simply blithely trusting their employees. They're looking over their shoulders constantly, just as they are for all of these other examples.

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If the purpose is indeed to protect the workers, the law makes absolutely no sense. Since I refuse to believe that our politicians are completely daft, there must be another agenda. Maybe one that would be a tougher sell?
I don't understand this statement at all. Condoms make sex work safer. Anyone can see that.

Quote:
I would never jump a moving bus in my car, but I demand it from the people making James Bond movies. Because that is their job.
But you don't ask that they actually die in the crash, or that they actually take a bullet, or that Jackie Chan be dodging live rounds when he backflips. It would probably make a better stunt if they did. But it wouldn't be a reasonable risk when you can get the same shot through safer means.

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The former sex-worker I'm married to and all of her friends in the business disagree with you Tam.
So you say. But I know a few porn performers and a few sex workers and zero politicians, so don't think my position was formed based on some stump speech over here. Really, it's just common sense: unprotected safe is less safe. You can get the same scene using a condom. Unsafe porn shoots benefit the producer exclusively, but the producer assumes no risk.

Quote:
There is no "bullying" going on, but - as in any other job - the more flexible you are the more popular you are with your employer. Some performers will only do girl-girl while other have no problem with dp anal and gang-bangs, and the latter are obviously more versatile for the producers. So they get more work.
But as in any other job, there are practices that benefit the employer at the expense of the employee's safety. And as in any other job, we have labor laws to protect those employees from those practices.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:08 AM   #19
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But if there were a way to make the same flight exponentially safer at the cost of a couple dollars, you wouldn't pass it up.
But it is not about a couple of dollars Tam - it is about a huge chunk of the market.

The price of the condoms themselves is insignificant and would not cause any protests from the producers. Hell they're even cheaper than the coffee and fruit basket for the lunch table, and a lot less bothersome than all the regular health checks and "circle of trust". If it was a viable option, the producers would love to use condoms. Replacing all the expensive precautions with a cheap piece of latex? Why not? But it isn't an option.




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Further, I think everyone knows from personal experience that people are very good at fooling themselves and/or suppressing their better judgment when it comes to sex. Less so when it comes to engine repair. And besides, even if I, the passenger, am trusting the airline, the airline is not simply blithely trusting their employees. They're looking over their shoulders constantly, just as they are for all of these other examples.
Airlines are in it for the money just like any other business, and competition is fierce.



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I don't understand this statement at all. Condoms make sex work safer. Anyone can see that.
If the customers wont accept them, they make sex work impossible.




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Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
But you don't ask that they actually die in the crash, or that they actually take a bullet, or that Jackie Chan be dodging live rounds when he backflips. It would probably make a better stunt if they did. But it wouldn't be a reasonable risk when you can get the same shot through safer means.
Exactly! "The same shot though safer means".

But you do see that using a condom doesn't give you the same shot, right? Just like you can't suddenly put Jackie Chan in a suit that is visibly padded. You have to make things as safe as possible without a visible difference for the viewer. Otherwise you are no longer creating the same product.




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Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
So you say. But I know a few porn performers and a few sex workers and zero politicians, so don't think my position was formed based on some stump speech over here. Really, it's just common sense: unprotected safe is less safe. You can get the same scene using a condom. Unsafe porn shoots benefit the producer exclusively, but the producer assumes no risk.
Wrong. The producer takes a huge risk. If a performer comes down with a serious STD on his set, he is pretty much done in the business unless he is Steven Hirsch or some other porn-powerhouse. And even his company would be forced to shut down for months.

Trust me - the producers aren't the ones promoting risky behavior. If they even suspect that a performer is sloppy with the health checks, the person in question will be thrown off set and replaced.




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But as in any other job, there are practices that benefit the employer at the expense of the employee's safety. And as in any other job, we have labor laws to protect those employees from those practices.
But there is no benefit to anybody in this - neither the employer nor the workers - since it will close the industry down. Not because of the costs of the condoms, but because of the inability to produce condom-free porn.

If killing the industry isn't the true purpose, then why haven't the politicians worked within the system to attempt to come up with viable solutions instead?
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:10 AM   #20
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First off, I agree with TamLin's concerns about performers being pressured into going bareback; I'd be happier if there was no pressure either way, leaving them free to make their own decisions. That said...

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To frame the issue as what "people do with their genitals" is not an accurate assessment. The issue is actually what people's employers are demanding they do with their own genital. Since they're demanding behavior that is, you know, fundamentally unsafe and something almost none of us would willingly do on our own time (when was the last time you had unprotected sex with four people you just met that day?), that's a serious problem.
Length of acquaintance isn't a protection in itself. There are plenty of people who caught STIs off somebody they'd been married to for twenty years who was fooling around behind their back.

What gets you is the combination of not knowing their STI status and not using effective protection (or, knowing they're positive and still not using adequate protection, but that's pretty much a non-issue in this context). For most of us, "people you just met" implies "not knowing their STI status", but in an industry where performers are regularly tested and every contact is documented, it's a different ball game.

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I don't understand this statement at all. Condoms make sex work safer. Anyone can see that.
In most places I'd agree with this statement. In this particular context, it's not quite so obvious. Stoya and other performers have made the point that porn-movie sex is very different from regular sex: bigger, rougher, longer (duration). Under those conditions condoms become less reliable, and even with lube they can cause abrasions etc that are painful for performers and make them more vulnerable to infection by anything that gets past screening.

There was a similar issue with nonoxynol-9 a few years back: it kills HIV and other STIs in vitro, so it was encouraged as a risk-reduction measure, but later research suggested that frequent use actually increased STI risk by damaging the vaginal epithelium and making it more susceptible to infection.

Is there evidence that STI transmission is currently a problem in the California porn industry? My understanding was that porn performers who work within the current voluntary testing system have lower rates of infection than the general population, and that when they do get infected it's usually not via work.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:34 AM   #21
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:57 PM   #22
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Almost all adult film performers work through an agent. The agent tries to get them work, because the agent doesn't get paid, until the performer gets paid. If the performer won't work without a condom, chances are she/he won't work for an agent, as it's too hard to get work for a condom only performer. To really understand the situation, read my book, Anatomy of An Adult Film.
(The few performers who don't work through an agent are almost all female mega stars.)
An agent won't book the agent's performers into known danger situations, because the agent needs to keep the agent's performers. The adult film industry is a rather small operation and the network of agents smaller still. The industry is rather thoroughly self policed.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:46 PM   #23
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There's no such thing as thorough self-policing. An agent will certainly book talent on a risky shoot if they underestimate how risky it is--or if they choose to simply fool themselves about it because, hey, gotta make a living. If the system worked the way you suggest, STIs would be virtually unknown throughout all of society. But here we are.

For the record, I don't know a single sex worker with an agent. Certainly there are some; but there are plenty without as well.


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Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
First off, I agree with TamLin's concerns about performers being pressured into going bareback; I'd be happier if there was no pressure either way, leaving them free to make their own decisions.

Then you should probably support this law, because I honestly think it's downright naive to assume that will happen any other way. This is why we have labor laws to begin with, because "It's the law" is the surest, best protection for a worker. Indeed, from certain practices, it's the only protection.


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Length of acquaintance isn't a protection in itself. There are plenty of people who caught STIs off somebody they'd been married to for twenty years who was fooling around behind their back.

All the more reason why the "circle of trust" is such a faulty system as to not even really qualify as a system at all.


Quote:
For most of us, "people you just met" implies "not knowing their STI status", but in an industry where performers are regularly tested and every contact is documented, it's a different ball game.

Every contact on a shoot, perhaps. But that's not all there is to it, is it?

And you never really KNOW your partner's status. You know their status after they were last tested, within a certain (usually very low) margin of error. For most of us that's good enough, but it would be foolish to assume that the same is so in this context. An active sex worker is having sex with far more partners than any of us and, more importantly, there's an extra degree of necessity in that sexual contact: This is a job. People need to work. That need creates the opportunity for coercion. In fact, it all but guarantees it. We've all done things on the job we'd probably rather not. For most of us those things amount to little more than hassle, but for some people they entail serious risk to life and limb. (Well, maybe not limb in this case. Except for certain more exotic bondage scenes.)



Quote:
Under those conditions condoms become less reliable, and even with lube they can cause abrasions etc that are painful for performers and make them more vulnerable to infection by anything that gets past screening.

1) It's hard to be less reliable than nothing, so I don't how it matters.

2) The situation you're suggesting of something "getting past the screening" is far less likely than the risk if there's no screening to begin with. It's like saying you can't close the barn door because the horses might get splinters.


Quote:
Is there evidence that STI transmission is currently a problem in the California porn industry? My understanding was that porn performers who work within the current voluntary testing system have lower rates of infection than the general population, and that when they do get infected it's usually not via work.
They have at least as much risk as any of the rest of us, and the rest of us use condoms. Don't we?


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Originally Posted by StrangeLife View Post
The price of the condoms themselves is insignificant and would not cause any protests from the producers. Hell they're even cheaper than the coffee and fruit basket for the lunch table, and a lot less bothersome than all the regular health checks and "circle of trust". If it was a viable option, the producers would love to use condoms. Replacing all the expensive precautions with a cheap piece of latex? Why not? But it isn't an option.

It certainly is. I'll say it again: If all porn became condom porn tomorrow, not a single KB less would be downloaded and not a single dollar less would be spent. People want their porn.

Besides, this argument you've presented is simply that employers have a prerogative to increase profits by risking their employee's health. Well, no. We don't accept that in any other industry. We shouldn't here either. It's always profitable to cut corners on safety, be it in a factory or in the bedroom. But workers have a right not to have to choose between their health and their livelihood.


Quote:
Exactly! "The same shot though safer means".

But you do see that using a condom doesn't give you the same shot, right? Just like you can't suddenly put Jackie Chan in a suit that is visibly padded.

There's certainly a visible difference between a safe movie stunt and a stupid one. Or there would be, if they did things the stupid way.


Quote:
Wrong. The producer takes a huge risk. If a performer comes down with a serious STD on his set, he is pretty much done in the business unless he is Steven Hirsch or some other porn-powerhouse. And even his company would be forced to shut down for months.

1) So, just up front we have a hole in this entire line of reasoning: Steven Hirsch et al.

2) Just because it's a dumb risk doesn't mean producers won't take it. People take dumb risks with other people's wellbeing all the time in business, often wrecking their own companies in the process. You remember that banking crisis a few years back, I assume. Lots of dumb risks in that, but if you'd asked any of the responsible parties at the time they'd have had the same line: "You know its' really safe, because I wouldn't put my company on the line otherwise." And yet...

3) This is demonstrably untrue anyway. Darren James contracted HIV doing a shoot for Evasive Angles, who are neither an industry powerhouse nor out of business. He infected at least three women on other shoots, among them Lara Roxx, who has specifically testified that she trusted the "Trust & Test" standards, only to end up HIV positive a couple of months into her porn career, and not only is that company not out of business but you can actually still buy the DVDs of those shoots!

Besides, even if what you say were true, it's still a lopsided arrangement: The worker risks not only their entire career and livelihood just as much as the producer does but also far more.


Quote:
But there is no benefit to anybody in this - neither the employer nor the workers - since it will close the industry down. Not because of the costs of the condoms, but because of the inability to produce condom-free porn.

If killing the industry isn't the true purpose, then why haven't the politicians worked within the system to attempt to come up with viable solutions instead?

Because there are no other options. You said it yourself: If there were, they'd go for it. Condoms are how you make sex safer. If you're waiting for a miraculous way to make condom-free sex suddenly as safe, well, you and billions of horny people for decades on end, right?
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
There's no such thing as thorough self-policing. An agent will certainly book talent on a risky shoot if they underestimate how risky it is--or if they choose to simply fool themselves about it because, hey, gotta make a living. If the system worked the way you suggest, STIs would be virtually unknown throughout all of society. But here we are.
As has already been mentioned, pornstars is one of the groups in society with the lowest frequency of getting STD's. So if we all were to live like pornstars we might be able to eradicate some of them.

You might say that the condom crusaders are fighting very hard to fix a non-existing problem. Which in turn brings us back to the question of whether there could be a second agenda. It has been my experience that when people are saying and doing stuff that doesn't make sense, chances are that you are missing part of the picture...





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Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
Then you should probably support this law, because I honestly think it's downright naive to assume that will happen any other way. This is why we have labor laws to begin with, because "It's the law" is the surest, best protection for a worker. Indeed, from certain practices, it's the only protection.
I think you misunderstand something Tam. Apart from the contract girls at Vivid, porn performers are not "workers" - they are self-employed. They run their own little businesses renting out their bodies on a case to case basis. The people you are referring as porn producers are actually their customers, and if they go away the porn performers small businesses go belly-up.

I don't know if a job at MacDonalds is safer or not, but I doubt they will thank you and your compatriots later when they are working double-shifts flipping burgers for a minimum wage....




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Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
It certainly is. I'll say it again: If all porn became condom porn tomorrow, not a single KB less would be downloaded and not a single dollar less would be spent. People want their porn.

Besides, this argument you've presented is simply that employers have a prerogative to increase profits by risking their employee's health. Well, no. We don't accept that in any other industry. We shouldn't here either. It's always profitable to cut corners on safety, be it in a factory or in the bedroom. But workers have a right not to have to choose between their health and their livelihood.
And if wishes were fishes we'd all casts nets. When it comes to the fight against against child pornography there is a world wide consensus that this type of porn should be eradicated at all cost, but regarding condom-porn there isn't even consensus in the state of California. There is no way that a law like this would ever fly on an international scale.

Even if you don't personally agree, you need to accept the fact that for a large part of the male population condom-porn is inferior. These people will seek other venues for obtaining their preferred porn if California can't deliver and since we are talking about a substantial market share being lost this will kill the industry locally. Can't you see that?



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Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
They have at least as much risk as any of the rest of us, and the rest of us use condoms. Don't we?
Our risk is higher than the porn performers because we don't get tested regularly and aren't focused on STD's in our daily lives. Most people only get tested when they get symptoms.




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Originally Posted by TamLin01 View Post
Because there are no other options. You said it yourself: If there were, they'd go for it. Condoms are how you make sex safer. If you're waiting for a miraculous way to make condom-free sex suddenly as safe, well, you and billions of horny people for decades on end, right?
No. You make sex safer by being meticulous with your health and sexual conduct. The combination condoms/AIDS is a convenient device for removing the porn industry from the state... nothing more. It has nothing to do with caring for the performers.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:53 AM   #25
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Adult films is a business. If Safe Sex Videos doesn't sell and Bareback Back Videos sells, they go bareback.
Some years back Traci Lords came from Ohio and she had a 21 year old ID, unfortunately, nit her ID. She sued a oprioduce3r, who lost over a $million and they had to pill her videos form the shelves.
The adult film people tightened up. They now require two picture IDs and a current health certificate.
The guy who brought HIV will never work adult films again. Chances are that anyone who goes out of the USA or works gay male porn, where the controls are a lot looser, won't work again, without a new health certificate.
You try to demonize people who are working for a living. Yes, there are risks. However, they're trying to cut down on the risks. If it gets too risky, they won't be able to attract the hot bodies that they need.

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Originally Posted by StrangeLife View Post
The price of the condoms themselves is insignificant and would not cause any protests from the producers. Hell they're even cheaper than the coffee and fruit basket for the lunch table, and a lot less bothersome than all the regular health checks and "circle of trust". If it was a viable option, the producers would love to use condoms. Replacing all the expensive precautions with a cheap piece of latex? Why not? But it isn't an option.


It certainly is. I'll say it again: If all porn became condom porn tomorrow, not a single KB less would be downloaded and not a single dollar less would be spent. People want their porn.

Besides, this argument you've presented is simply that employers have a prerogative to increase profits by risking their employee's health. Well, no. We don't accept that in any other industry. We shouldn't here either. It's always profitable to cut corners on safety, be it in a factory or in the bedroom. But workers have a right not to have to choose between their health and their livelihood.
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