Doug

AB 332…Because Porn Performers Obviously Don’t Get Screwed Enough Already.

April 10, 2013 by
Filed under: Opinion Piece, Political 

Okay, I typically don’t write about these topics but having watched the lunacy and lack of logic with which this has unfolded, I can’t help but comment on the idiocy that is California Assembly Bill 332 (AB 332). The bill is basically an extension of Measure B in the county of Los Angeles which would require the use of condoms in all adult films made in California, thus requiring CalOSHA or some offshoot of that agency to actively police porn production sets. I don’t work in porn and am not a part of the industry. I do, however, have friends, family and acquaintances that presently or previously worked in the industry and have seen some aspects of its workings first hand. On occasion I have to do a little research to see what these people are referring to, so I have a necessity to keep moderate tabs on it.

Protecting Free Speech seems like a worthy cause to fight over, but AB 332 doesn’t really appear to be a free speech issue at its core. Some might support the bill as an ultimate end to pornography, so I guess there are some free speech aspects inherent in fighting the bill, but it doesn’t appear to be the main goal of those pushing the bill. Protecting sex workers health and working environment seems a worthy cause, but this really doesn’t appear to be about that either. In fact, I know of very few performers who are actually in favor of mandatory condom use. I do know a few, but it is because they ‘choose’ to use condoms and want to have a better chance of getting work amongst those who are willing to work without one instead of being declined work due to their condom requirements, and not because they feel it makes for a safer industry. Many appear to be pro choice on the matter, but this bill does not address or guarantee the freedom of choice among performers. There are adult performers who are married and only have sex with their partner, but would still be required by law to wear a condom. Worse, mandatory condom requirements diminish the successful system of mandatory testing already in place. It appears more than anything to be about the underlying financial interests of those pushing the bill. Aids Healthcare Foundation suggests that condom use is already mandated by existing OSHA regulations. Theoretically, that may be correct. However, theoretically it might also be a sexual harassment violation for my male gynecologist friend to ask his female assistant’s second opinion on the condition of a patient’s vagina or clitoris. Theoretically, it might be an OSHA violation of some type for firearm manufacturers to have loaded weapons in the workplace environment. In specific and otherwise legal industries, some modifications to existing laws and standards must be made in order for the legal business to actually be able to DO their legal business. The statistics I find suggest that there hasn’t been an HIV outbreak in the ‘mainstream’ adult film industry in California in 9 years, and that all other diseases are found in the porn industry at the exact same percentages as the general population. So what exactly are the proponents of AB 332 trying to accomplish? It is an interesting question to ask, but first there needs to be some clarification of the facts in the situation.

The main group pushing for AB 332 is AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), headed by President Michael Weinstein. The main opponents to the bill appear to be the Free Speech Coalition and its Executive Director, Diane Duke…along with an endless list of people actually working in the industry. First, an ideology of extreme importance seems to need to be clarified for the battlefield, but appears that it never is for fear of being accused of “gay bashing.” The argument usually gets divided up into the straight segment of the industry and the gay segment of the industry. To point out anything with the gay industry as any sort of defense, you’re suddenly deemed anti gay or homophobic. The truth is, that is not an accurate dividing line between those two industries. There is the mainstream adult industry, which encompasses straight, bi and lesbian performers and then there is the virtually unaffiliated ‘male only’ industry. Not gay porn, but male only porn… gay (or gay for pay) is more of a necessity in ‘male only’ than an accurate description of the industry. There are PLENTY of lesbians (or gay for pay women) in the mainstream adult industry. Every now and then a male actor might work in both industries but would be required to get a clean test before working in the mainstream adult industry. The male only industry has its own set of procedures, its own set of priorities and thus an entirely different agenda than the mainstream adult industry. If fact, to the best of my knowledge, those leading the charge on both sides, Michael Weinstein and Diane Duke, are openly gay… so again this is not a gay vs. straight issue. Here is where it starts to go way off logical track. The ‘male only’ industry allows HIV infected performers to perform. The mainstream adult industry does not. That is not a negligible difference in ideology between the two industries, it is enormous. In an industry where HIV infection is already accepted among your co-workers, condoms become the optimum preventative measure…but only under those terms. Testing becomes irrelevant if you aren’t concerned with the results of the test. In mainstream porn, there was an outbreak of HIV 9 years ago. It is widely known now that Darren James went outside of the mainstream adult industry in California, worked in Brazil where he contracted HIV and then came back into the mainstream adult industry and worked prior to being retested since his previous test was still “technically” valid for him to work. He did NOT acquire HIV from the mainstream adult industry, but instead negligently brought the infection in. In fact, I have been told that mandatory testing procedures were immediately altered to prevent this from ever happening again. There was another HIV occurrence in 2010 when Derek Burts tested positive for HIV. He contracted the disease while working in the ‘male only’ industry and was thus prohibited from working in the mainstream adult industry due to the mandatory testing flagging him for an HIV infection. Again, the HIV infection did not come from the mainstream adult industry, but in this case was prevented from being brought into those circles. These are Michael Weinstein’s and AHF’s only two examples when arguing for mandatory condoms in the mainstream adult industry. Doesn’t make much sense does it? The two examples in support of mandatory condoms are both people who worked outside of the mainstream adult industry, one negligently bringing the virus into the mainstream industry and the other being an instance of prevention by the mainstream adult industry from allowing HIV to spread FROM the ‘male only’ industry due to their existing standards of mandatory testing. Two infections from outside the mainstream adult industry where testing wasn’t mandatory, where condoms were either not used or ineffective at preventing the infection. In trying to argue that there is a problem in the mainstream adult industry that needs to be addressed, Weinstein and AHF offer the solution that is used in the ‘male only’ industry? That is pure idiocy. The ‘male only’ industry allows HIV performers. CONDOMS ARE A MEANS OF ACCOMMODATING HIV PERFORMERS IN THE ‘MALE ONLY’ INDUSTRY, NOT A MEANS OF PREVENTING HIV IN THE INDUSTRY!!! Seriously, Weinstein and AHF are pushing for a preventative measure adopted to allow HIV infected performers to continue working and wants to make that system mandatory for a group of performers who have virtually eliminated the risks of HIV in their industry already. How is this even a debate, or worth wasting California legislator’s time? Why would anyone push an agenda like this? Does Weinstein make money from the existence and threat of HIV? Might he make money from condoms in some manner? Does he just hate straight and lesbian performers who work in an industry with a low probability of contracting HIV? Is there still an AIDS Healthcare Foundation President without the fear of the spread of AIDS?

Trying to change an industry with a great preventative track record, in order to adopt a solution designed to accommodate HIV within an industry seems pretty ridiculous to me…and frankly pretty fucked up and irresponsible. Weinstein’s and AHF’s example of HIV infection come from outside the mainstream adult industry and their solution is to adopt measures that accommodate HIV performers instead of prohibiting infected performers from working. Does bill AB 332 really offer to help all adult performers? Well, maybe if you have HIV and want to work in both ‘male only’ and mainstream adult, but otherwise it would seem the answer is no. It appears to put most mainstream adult performers at higher risk than they historically have been. It doesn’t appear to offer those performers who prefer condoms the ‘choice’ to use them, and the legal stability to demand that choice, which might be a sensible bill to propose for worker’s rights. It merely gives those who require condoms an economic advantage in the industry as compared to those women who have allergic reactions to condoms or dislike using them for the length of time it takes to film a scene. Nothing will really change for the ‘male only’ industry, they still won’t have to test negative for an HIV infection or other diseases in order to work.

Maybe it’s just me, and I hope it isn’t a choice I ever have to make, but if I had to choose between getting fucked in the ass by a guy with HIV and a condom, or a guy who tested negative for HIV entirely…I think I’d opt for the one with the negative test. There’s no doubt the condom will probably break while I’m trying to kill the guy before I get sodomized anyway. I would think any sane person who enjoys getting sodomized would come to the same conclusion. If you’re one of those people who is afraid porn performers in California are going to spread disease to the rest of the general population: 1) Do more research because that is statistically fallacious, and; 2) Then don’t have sex with an adult performer, or at least not without seeing a clean test first.

Leave a reply

6 Comments on AB 332…Because Porn Performers Obviously Don’t Get Screwed Enough Already.

  1. Dawson on Thu, 11th Apr 2013 12:25 am
  2. Whenever I stumble across unreasonable legislation–of any kind–I usually just have to ask “What’s in it for the proponents?”

    The answers are usually: they are using it to advance their own political career among the credulous voting bloc; or there is Graft money involved.

  3. Alex on Thu, 11th Apr 2013 1:02 am
  4. “If you’re one of those people who is afraid… ” I thought you were going someplace else with that. :)

    I agree with all of that. Makes you wonder what they’re real goal is.

  5. Dawson on Thu, 11th Apr 2013 2:02 am
  6. I never wonder too much.

    Back when I worked undercover for NIS (called NCIS today for some relabeling PR reason) the people who made a Fuss pointing fingers at others were always after Power or Money, and usually both.

    They are always your first suspects and almost always have skeletons of their own in their closets.

    Where’s a good PI to dig up the dirt when you need one. But, they don’t work for free. It ain’t rocket science, it’s just a little muckraking.

    Remember when an honest free American Citizen could buy actifed OTC (Over The Counter) for $1 at the Dollar Stores before someone sucking up to Big Pharma (pro-GMO crops Tom Vilsack http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Vilsack ) got regulations passed to protect us from the “temptations” of building Meth Labs at Home?

    So, instead of the cops doing their job of going after criminals and meth labs, honest citizens had their previously OTC purchase rights restricted.

    The Adult Film Industry is but a hand full of people, but it is a foot in the door for “Sex Laws.”

    If it is good enough that Adult Film workers have mandatory condom uses, well just like actifed regulation, why not protect everybody from themselves so that every person in California who is not married and goes out to a night club and meets up with a consenting adult and goes to a motel can can the door busted down by the cops to see if they are wearing condoms?

    Beware of Do-gooders’ foots in your doors.

  7. Doug Hawk on Thu, 11th Apr 2013 2:14 am
  8. Exactly…or Do-gooders condoms in your ass more likely.

  9. Lydia Lee on Thu, 11th Apr 2013 4:27 pm
  10. The majority think Michael Weinstein just has a huge ego, he wants to be the porn savior. It’s guessed that Assmenblymember Isadore Hall is getting a nice check. Power on the one hand, money on the other.

  11. Alex on Thu, 11th Apr 2013 5:14 pm
  12. It does make much more sense to talk about ‘sex laws’ rather than porn/adult. The current ‘sex-trafficking PR campaign is a powerful scare tactic, just like the unsafe HIV stuff, gay marriage, satanic cults, gun control, etc… any button they can push to sway public opinion is on the table with these guys. Adult gets around the pandering/prostitution laws by positioning the content as ‘entertainment’… seems like that would be the strongest way to fight this: a combination of liability insurance and an exemption under some entertainment law(s)

    I like your ‘sodomy’ theme, Doug… given the choice of anal with an HIV positive guy and a clean tested dude, I’d have to go with neither. :)

    I do wonder why we’ve never talked about Newtown but, whatever.

    Power on one side/money on the other… makes perfect sense

    (I was gonna say: …makes you wonder what they’re up to. and changed my mind – sp.)

 





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