Kerishma.

Blogging for HONS 201: Feminism, New Media, and Health at Hunter College.

Should Porn Actors Have to Wrap It Before they Tap It?

“Condoms,” Robert Elyov via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution

As a sex-positive feminist, I’ve struggled with the Southern California’s proposed Measure B plan. Measure B, if it approved, would mandate condom use by actors in adult films. The plan, which is intended to save saves and prevent the outbreak of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), has been met with resistance from much of the porn industry. Is it in the government’s power to mandate condom use in pornographic films?

One of the arguments about the measure, given in the above video, is that porn actors are already well-protected against STIs, as there are already rigorous screening and testing procedures in place. While I applaud the steps the porn industry takes to protect its workers, I don’t think that it holds up. Gonorrhea, for example, is often difficult to track and treat because of its ability to develop resistance to antibiotics. When STIs can change and prove difficult to screen, condom usage is the only method of prevention I can think of.

I can’t help but think that there are merits to Measure B. Part of me looks at it as a professional issue; professional electricians or construction workers can choose to wear or not wear protective gear when at home, in their own personal lives, but have to wear it when they are on the job. Surgeons have to wear gloves. The actors in porn are professionals, and maybe a workplace mandate for safety is a step in the right direction.

It doesn’t hurt that it would push for the normalization of condom use. The media loves selling sex, but rarely sells condoms with it. (The only TV show I can think of that emphasized condom use almost every sex scene was the UK’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl.) But then one has to ask if it’s the porn industry’s job to promote healthy sex habits…and I personally just don’t know.

I think maybe an outright mandate for condom use might be a bit much all at once ; what might be a better idea would be some sort of incentive – such as tax breaks – for production companies to have their actors use condoms.

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One comment on “Should Porn Actors Have to Wrap It Before they Tap It?

  1. Janet V.
    October 17, 2012

    I came across an article by Gail Dines in response to this proposal that I think you might find interesting:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/28/porn-syphilis-money-shot-condoms

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This entry was posted on October 15, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , .

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