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Friday, 19 February 2016

Condoms Ruling: Not Required on Porn Sets, Ca.

adult-film-condoms
OSHA votes nay to mandatory condoms on California porn sets.

The controversial law proposed requiring condoms on all California porn sets was voted down.  There was a vote crucial to the California porn industry this Thursday, Feb. 8th 2016 in Oakland, California held at the Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (OSHA).  The vote today at the Harris State building auditorium was on updating the regulations on workers safety to protect workers in the adult industry from bloodborne pathogens.  This would update Title 8, Section 5193 of the Cal/OSHA regulations making condoms mandatory in all porn shoots in California.

This regulation was extremely controversial in the porn industry because California represents about
65% of all the porn shot in the USA and OSHA could have required condoms to protect workers -- which would have had major effects on the industry.  Currently, 'bareback' films are the standard (bareback refers to no condoms being used) and are much more popular amongst viewer -- with many resulting sub genres such as 'creampie' (where the male cums inside the female) and pissing films possible only without condoms being in place.   The San Fernando valley, aka The San Pornando Valley and Silicone Valley has be the center of the American porn industry since the 1970s but this law would have likely caused a mass exodus to a state which currently has no condom legislation in place.

porn-industry-condomsNote: I have seen Nevada being proposed as the most likely place for the industry to go as it is nearby but that makes no sense as shooting porn in Nevada is illegal -- which kinda trumps the whole condom law altogether. Personally, I think a move across to Miami, Florida is way more likely as currently about 25% of porn is shot in Miami.  Thinking there won't be an exodus is foolish considering Los Angeles County with it's infamous "Measure B" (the Country of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act) -- and porn permits dropped from 480 in 2012 down to just 28 in 2015 -- a decline of 1700%.

This OSHA ruling follows on the heels of a law shot down in December 9th,  2015 that proposed mandatory condoms on adult film sets and making bareback films a criminal offence.  Judge Susan P. Graber cited freedom of expression and said expression trumps the possible risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Condom use in porn would definitely have a major impact not only in the porn industry but in society in general.  Since the advent of the internet, porn has become mainstream and an entire generation has received sexual education directly from porn. And porn not using condoms often has a major effect on that education and I believe directly contributes to condoms not being used for protection from STIs.  While there are some alternatives which can prevent the spread skin to skin contract viruses (see my article on Bioniix (or go buy this handy spray product here)  condoms remain the first line of defense against blood borne pathogens such as HIV/AIDS.  And they are also somewhat effective in preventing pregnancy too ;)

So the adult film industry has vocally opposed the mandatory use of condoms on film sets -- as this would directly impact their bottom line and the viability of industry in California.  It has turned the fight for worker safety into a freedom of expression fight.  But there have been HIV and other STI outbreaks in the tightly knit porn industry which often requires multiple partners and swapping of bodily fluids. And while I am not a huge fan of condom use until condoms that feel a lot better (see my list of the best feeling condoms here) I am an engineer and safety is a major influence in my life.

mandatory-condoms-porn-setsIn my current industry, practices that have harmed, killed and resulted in lost days of work have been systematically targeted and eliminated resulting in a workplace that used to have hundreds of lost time injuries and deaths at my location now has the occasional person slipping on some ice and hurting themselves.  This is a very good thing.  One of the older guys said to me, "There used to be lots of extremely poor kids here in the 1960s -- as their fathers had been killed in the plants and there was no compensation. Now, we do everything possible to prevent any chemical release and dangerous practice and our jobs are a lot better as a result."  This was said to me this week.   So change takes time -- but protecting workers rights is absolutely essential to improving people's lives and safety should never be taken lightly.  


So I am pro safety in a big way.  But that said, a husband and wife team that has sex exclusively with
each other should not be forced to wear condoms at 'work' when they don't wear condoms most of the time when they fuck --so that doesn't make sense either.   But how common is that scenario compared to a young, naive girl with little confidence being told by an more powerful, experienced porn producer  that if she requires condoms being used that she doesn't get the job? The whole 'work refusal' under such circumstances is not a real option and girls are bullied into no condoms every day in the adult industry.    And if being bullied results in you getting a lifelong, life threatening disease like HIV/AIDS that is a major fucking issue.

Condom use is also being championed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (aka AHF).  Of course, testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections IS already mandatory in the industry with testing required every 14 days (increased from once every 28 days).  Still, the Center for Disease Control investigated a 2014 HIV infection and concluded this week that it was contracted on a porn set in California.

adult-film-star-using-condomBut porn IS a fantasy and my fantasies never involve condoms because they...well, they suck. A condom that enhances feeling and makes sex feel better is absolutely required to actually transform their use.  And condoms have basically been unchanged over the past 50 years -- so it's time for technology to step up and do sex a solid. (I began researching an article on condoms that make sex feel better about 8 months ago but the results were too preliminary to actually post...but I will revisit that topic and see what new innovations have come to light --as people are working on this problem...it's just 'how far' have they advanced since I last looked.)

So, despite my desire to see workers with the best and strongest health and safety laws...I can't say I am
totally disappointed to hear that condom use wasn't made mandatory. If you have an opinion on this topic, I'd love to hear you r comments on it down below.  I am especially interested in your opinion if you work in the porn industry so please let me know your thoughts.

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