Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Friday, 19 February 2016

Porn Performers Will Not Be Made To Wear Condoms, Dental Dams Or \'Eye Protection\' In California

Porn Performers Will Not Be Made To Wear Condoms, Dental Dams Or 'Eye Protection' In California

The Debrief: Over a hundred porn performers and workers came together to speak out against the proposed regulations

In California a proposal to make performers in porn films wear condoms and dental dams, for oral as well as penetrative sex, and even goggles, has been defeated. The state’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards body were looking into such requirements in an attempt to make the adult film industry safer.

High profile porn performers like Nina Hartley, Joanna Angel, April Flores, Lily Cade and Jessica Drake, alongside nearly 100 others, came together to protest and speak out against the proposed regulations.

As things stand, performers must be tested for STIs every two weeks, but they won’t be forced to wear condoms or ‘eye protection’. In Los Angeles County, rules brought in to force in 2012 require performers to wear condoms. However this does not yet apply to the whole state of California, there will be a vote on whether it should or not in November.

The most recent debate about safety has come about because the Aids Healthcare Foundation lobbied California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s Standards Board for better and more rigorous workplace safety rules in the porn.

Performers and representatives of the porn industry argued that not only would these restrictions mean that many familiar porn film scenes would no longer exist, and could, even, push the industry underground, ultimately increasing the risks.

Siouxsie Q James, performer and writer, spoke at the hearing. She argued that further marginalising and imposing upon sex workers and porn workers, who she referred to as an 'already marginalised' group of people was the antithesis of protecting them.

The Guardian reports that Louts Lain, a performer who also spoke at the hearing, said:

‘My sexual health is actually a lot more safe now that I’m in the porn industry, because of our testing protocols. The Aids Healthcare Foundation is attacking our industry because it’s headline grabbing. They should focus their HIV prevention money and efforts in the communities where HIV is actually on the rise.’

While Dr David Holland, a professor at the Emory University School of Medicine, also urged the board to reject the rules. He argued: ‘we’ve tried to tell people what kind of sex they can or can’t have, and that doesn’t work. The only thing that this kind of rule does is push the activity underground where you can’t see it.’

Eric Paul Leue, activist and Executive Directors of the Free Speech Coalition celebrated the victory as one which showed that prejudice against porn performers and, more broadly, sex workers, was beginning to be dispelled. However, he warned that this was only the beginning:

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Tags: Porn, USA