The porn industry doesn’t need goggles, but it does need more condoms

A proposal to involve porn performers to wear condoms and obstacle protection for eyes, scalp, mouth and mucous membranes was voted down last week in California. Unsurprisingly, porn producers strongly opposed the regulationsthreateningthat the industry would be forced underground and/ or out of state if condom measures passed.

The current industry status quo involves musicians have sexually transmitted infection( STI) exam results less than 15 days old before filming, but does not typically mandate condom utilize.

The HIV testpreferred by the industry has a window periodthe time in between infection with HIV and detectabilityof 13-28 days Additionally, there are many small studios and independent musicians who do not use the system preferred by industry organizationsa window period of 90 days. According to a 2012 study, undetected asymptomatic oral and rectal infections with gonorrhea and/ or chlamydia are common in the adult industry, affecting 28 percent of musicians. Accordingly, the Center for Disease Control recommendsthat the adult industry adopt, in addition to regular performer testing, employ of condoms and HIV preexposure prophylaxis( or PrEP) as industry standards.

Some performers, such as Nina Hartley, have claimed that usingcondomsin a porn scene is too uncomfortable to do regularly enough to make a living .

Defenders of the status quo point to the adult industrys excellent track record with HIV and STI prevention. And some musicians, such as Nina Hartley, have claimed that using condoms in a porn scene is too uncomfortable to do regularly enough to make a living: ts 30 to 60 minutes of thrusting. It doesnt matter how much lube “youre using”, its uncomfortable…I could manage two to three condom scenes a month. But actors are paid by the scene, and I couldnt do three in a week.

Producers “ve been trying to” frame the issue as being about the performers bodily autonomy. In their live twitter coverage of the California OSHA hearing, Harlot Magazine quoted a representative of the Free Speech Coalition 😛 TAGEND

Though some performers may genuinely prefer to work without condoms, the debate that sex in porn is too physically exceptional for condom employ is exaggerated: The standard unit of hour for appointments with an escort is one hour and bodyguards commonly ensure clients more than merely a few times a month( it is also criterion for escorts to utilize condoms ). Porn producers, however, have a clear interest in discouraging condom use; when Vivid Entertainment began necessitating condoms following an HIV outbreak in 1998, their sales dropped 30 percent. It is imperative to separate, as best as possible, the financial interests of porn producers from the health and safety issues of performers.

It is true that there are many small business owners represented from minority demographics in the adult industry. This is not, however, because porn happens to be especially progressive or empowering. This is because in marginal sectors of the working class relationship to capital tends to be more unstable. Sexuality employees are not typically employees, as such: nearly every sex employee is an independent contractor. With changes to the adult industry bring along new media, more and more often porn musicians have to engage in some degree of content production and distribution( e.g ., content trade ). Musician who produce and distribute content could thus seem to share common interests with major porn producers; however, changing the practices of the industry as a whole could help prevent independent performers from needing to engage in riskier practises in order to compete with main producers in the porn marketplace.

The proposed regulations in California were absolutely overreach; obstacle protection for eyes, skin, mouth and mucous membranes” are far more than the CDC recommends and could plausibly obstruct the production of saleable pornography. Likely if regulations this stringent had been passed on a state level, it would have indeed pushed production from California to Nevada and other countries.

Regardless of the level of risk for performers, it is irresponsible for the porn industry to promote mens fetishization of unprotected sexuality .

However, the suggestion that standardizing condom use in porn would, by itself, drive porn underground or out of business is absurd. The companies that make up the $10 -billion-dollar-a-year industryare not going to abruptly become criminal organizations in response to a sensible health regulations. In Japan, where genitalia must be totally censored in pornography by law, the porn industry is even more profitable than it is in the United Statesdespite uncensored international porn being readily available online. In order to prevent production from moving to another state and to ensure compliance among the many small, independent producers around the country would, however, require a condom policy be effected on a national levelnot just in California.

Regardless of the level of hazard for performers, it is irresponsible for the porn industry to promote mens fetishization of unprotected sex.

Porn affects people’s sexual the behaviours and behaviors. This can be seen in the rise in popularity of anal sexamong straight couples since the spread of porn on the Internet began, for example. In general, erotic predilections are behaviorally conditioned. Researchershave even been able to condition erotic fetishes for garb and smells in male rats through behavioral reinforcement. For men, the development of erotic preferences has a social dimension. According to a 2008 studyon the on the social development of male sexuality, sex activity is a key route to masculine status, and other men are the audience, always imagined and sometimes real, for ones sex activities.”

The erotic object get conflated with its social meaningwith the gaze of a mans peers; masculine sexual socialization( e.g ., going to strip clubs, watching porn) conflates these as much as pursuing a trophy spouse or girlfriend. Erotic interest is as much directed towards the individual girl as the idea of who a man becomes through how he acts upon her. The proliferation of pornography idealizing unprotected sex, creampies, etc. thereby serves as social instruction to fetishize riskier sexuality as a type of conquest. This affects musicians health too: there are countless adult performers who work as escorts and have clients attempt to pressure or coerce them into unprotected sex.

At a minimum, major porn studios and trade organizations should seek to voluntarily standardize condom utilize .

At a minimum, major porn studios and trade organizations should seek to voluntarily standardize condom utilize. It is an ethical imperative, both in terms of protecting musician health and in terms of culturally normalizing safer sex. In other industries, one wouldnt construct the argument for a workers right to choose to be exposed directly to hazardous materials without protection; it is understood that workers need protection precisely because of the power dynamic to participate in financially incentivizing risky run. While porn industry representatives shed crocodile tears over the supposed violation of bodily autonomy that is safe sexuality , nothing is said about the coercive power dynamic of an industry which hires only actors willing to work without condoms. It will be possible to standardize better industry practice without putting sexuality employees at risk or out of run, but a cultural shifting will be needed in the industry on a national level.

Rebeka Refuse is an adult entertainer and moderates Trans Housing Network . She can be found on Twitter or Tumblr at @jobhaver .

Illustration viaTiffany Pai

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