There's a ballot measure in Los Angeles county, Measure B, that would require porn producers to obtain a health permit and use condoms. I am very much against this measure, as is almost everyone in porn. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) created this ballot measure, funded the signature gathering to get it on the ballot, and is paying for its advertizing campaign. Here's one of their billboards:
Pornographers do, indeed, say No on B - for lots of reasons.
First of all, let's talk about the permit. The price of this permit isn't specified, but it's supposed to cover the cost of the condom inspectors that are going to have to be employed to make sure we're complying with the law. Porn producers also includes everyone from Vivid to me to some couple doing webcam on their couch. It's not a scaled thing, so for small producers like me, this is likely to be a prohibitive cost. I don't shoot that much, but I employ people (both porn performers and crew people) and I contribute to the CA/Los Angeles economy in other ways too - like buying lights, camera equipment, hard drives and food for crew and talent. If the permit costs more than my budget, I certainly can't keep shooting. My wife is active in the sustainable food movement, and you see a lot of the same problem with certain food regulations - if you treat the lady making rice krispies treats for the school bake sale the same way you treat Nabisco, you end up really fucking over the little people.
Then there's the whole matter of the condoms themselves. I'm not a boy/girl performer, so I don't feel comfortable speaking directly about condoms, but I can tell you that every performer I know who does shoot boy/girl does not want to go to a condom only system; I can tell you that moving in the direction would dismantle our testing system that finds and catches STD quickly and has prevented the spread of HIV on porn sets since 2004; and I can tell you that if boy/girl porn leaves LA, girl/girl porn goes with it.
Measure B also makes reference to the CAL-OSHA regulation that aims to treat porn sets like medical labs - barriers for everything, not just condoms for intercourse. So, depending on how they decide to enforce this, it could involve forcing gloves, dams and eye protection onto every performer in LA porn. No one wants to watch this, no one wants to fuck like this, and it's just completely impractical.
To be honest, I don't understand why AHF is wasting money trying to get a small population of regularly tested people to use barrier protection. They've already spent four million dollars - money that could have been spent accomplishing their stated mission of providing low cost healthcare to people with AIDS - putting billboards around LA and ads on television. What I do know is that this measure (if is passes, and if it subsequently stands up in court) isn't going to help anybody, and is going to hurt a lot of people.
So if you're an LA voter I urge you to vote No on Measure B - keep the porn dollars in our economy, keep the testing system in place, and keep me in LA.