Porn Stars are not a Hazmat Team

It's time to take a break from my regularly scheduled programing to write about something serious. At the urging of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Cal/OSHA has drawn up some new rules for the porn industry to follow, ostensibly to keep performers safe on set. If you've been following the news, you may have read something about this - it's been covered in Huffington Post and the LA Times and so forth. For the most part, the media has mentioned only condoms in its coverage of this story, but the actual proposed draft goes much farther than that.

Here's the document Cal/OSHA has drawn up. (Warning, it is a PDF download).

These regulations, if actually enforced, are so absurd that they would spell the end of porn production in California. It doesn't make us safer on the job to regulate our jobs out of existence. We're not just talking about condoms here, but about barriers to prevent ALL contact with body fluids. "Condoms, gloves and eye protection" are specifically mentioned.  That's right, it's time for the facial, break out your face shield.

Come on my...face?

The draft seems to have been drawn up by someone who has never seen porn. It draws heavily on the regulations that prevent bloodborne pathogen transmission in nursing and medical care (right down the long section on sharps disposal). We are required to take "universal precautions" - to assume that everyone is infected. We must dispose of condoms and other used barriers as if they were hazardous waste and wear gloves to wash the sheets people fucked on (even though earlier, it states that we're supposed to fuck on plastic sheeting).

The thing is those regulations don't keep a nurse from doing her job. They do keep me from doing my job. People do not want to watch porn where everyone encases themselves in plastic wrap and as much of the sex as possible is faked:

A) Simulation of sex acts using acting and production and post-productions techniques;

I don't want to use gloves and dams and make sure nobody's vaginal secretions touch any part of my skin (not only are my partners tested, woman to woman transmission of STIs low to begin with). I don't want to simulate sex acts using editing (yeah, right. Let's rotoscope out the "personal protective equipment" while we're at it). I'm not radioactive, and neither are my colleagues. We had a testing protocol in place, and it worked. Personally, I've never had a dirty test. My friends who have come down with STIs like clamydia or gonorrhea found out quickly (because of the monthly testing) and got treated. The industry has had a handful of cases of positive HIV results (two since I've been in porn, neither of which resulted in further infections). How many have occurred in the general public in that time?

We are not handling hazardous materials, we are having sex - something that almost everyone does and that the human race has been doing since there was a human race. Porn performers, the "workers" that Cal/OSHA says it's trying to protect, do not want these regulations. We want to be able to work.

 

 

 

2 comments:

  1. The people behind the condom (etc.) requirement don’t care about your health or safety. They care about killing porn. So, the more ridiculous the requirements are, the better. And I’m sure none of them care about the long-term health and safety effects such absurd regulations would bring, because if porn in America is forced underground, performers will be much less healthy and much less safe.

  2. This is way out of hand already and the whole thing looks like it’s going to end in one of two ways, either we go to work in a head-to-toe latex suit or our industry is going to leave CA/ go under ground!!!
    It’s aweful, I can’t believe so many people think it’s their business to tell us how to live our lives!!!!!

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