Thursday, October 14, 2010

Occupational Hazard

This past Tuesday, it was made public that an undisclosed actor in the LA porn business tested positive for HIV.  It's not the first time it's happened, but it is the first time in over a year, and it's making major waves in the adult film industry.  Several adult studios, including Vivid and Wicked Pictures, which are two of the largest, have temporarily shut down production entirely until the full extent of the exposure is known.

Team Hollywood is on the case

There is a standard in the adult film industry that talent must have a negative HIV test result within 30 days of shooting a scene.  To be honest, that standard has been doing a pretty good job of keeping HIV out of the talent pool.  I mean, one case per year isn't all bad, considering the amount of porn that is made during that time.  But do you know what would bring 1 case down to pretty much zero?  USING CONDOMS.

There has been a big debate in California (the vast majority of US porn is filmed in SoCal) about whether or not the adult film industry should have to conform to OSHA guidelines, which would require, by law, the use of condoms.  The Industry has resisted this in the past, saying that it cuts into their revenue because people think condoms are ugly.

AIDS wasting syndrome is sexy as hell, though

This argument, to my mind, is pretty weak.  Wicked Pictures, one of the most successful porn studios around, insist that condoms are used in every single one of its films, and they're not hardly hurting for cash, even with the internet around, and condoms are relatively common in gay porn, which is also not suffering for customers.

Despite this, however, I can't say that I'm in support of government getting involved in whether or not people use condoms - that's getting a little too Big Brother for me, even if we are talking about Industry and not private bedrooms.

But how about people get over it already, and just use condoms because it's SMART?  I'm tired of this notion that you can't have good sex with a condom involved.  Does sex feel better without a condom?  Yes, OK?  It does.  But, I'm sorry, the last time I checked, having sex with a condom involved is still pretty much more fun than anything else you could be doing.

each and every one of them would rather be boning with condoms.

I understand that porn is supposed to be a fantasy, and that most people's fantasies don't involve condoms.  I also understand that it's not the porn industry's responsibility to provide positive behavioral role models for its customers.  But let's think about it this way: if it were part of your job to go in and potentially expose yourself to an incurable, lethal infection, wouldn't you want to wear protective gear?

HIV is considered one of the more dangerous bloodborne pathogens,
but none of this applies to porn because condoms are ugly.

We're not talking about incidental exposure here, either, we're talking take-a-potentially-infected-needle-and-jam-it-in-your-arm exposure.  The kind of exposure that would have had me in employee health starting post-exposure prophylaxis.  I think it's outrageous that these employees are expected to put themselves at risk like that because their bosses think they'll make less money if they don't.

I mean, hello, they make whole movies about how that's crappy

I suggest that porn talent band together and insist they be allowed to use condoms.  Norma Rae that shit.  Yes, there will always be amateur porn and porn not made in California that won't have to use them, but people WILL and DO pay for porn with high production values, even if there are condoms involved.

And what about the fact that porn stars already slice, dice, plump and starve and do indefinite crunches to make their bodies look like that....don't they want to protect their investment?!

At least call Lloyd's of London or something

Porn stars - all of you, gay, straight, man, woman, trans, whatever - you're beautiful people that provide a unique and controversial service to the rest of us, one that I'll admit I appreciate.  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES.  You deserve a safe, healthy workplace, just like the rest of us.  You're worth it!

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