Voters in Los Angeles will get their chance next year to tell the county just how they like their porn — and pending the results in the polls, some adult stars might be forced into changing how they have their sex.
A ballot initiate has qualified to go into voting booths during a presidential primarily election scheduled for June 2012, allowing the people of LA County to decide if porn stars should be mandated to wear condoms in their scenes. Should the law be passed, actors and actresses engaged in explicit acts on film will have to cover up if they want to avoid hefty penalties. But the approval of the legislation would also cause the industry to undergo not just new regulations, but to mandate how couples appearing on film have consensual sex.
Advocates in favor of the law say that it is a necessary precaution to prevent the spread of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases in the community, although regulations are currently in place to insure that all actors and actresses are tested regularly for infections. Right now law requires actors to be tested for diseases every 30 days and proof of results must be shown before each shoot. Even with those regulations in place, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein tells Reuters that“There are thousands of STDs in this industry.”
To Weinstein, lawmakers are avoiding the problem.“It’s the ick factor,” he says. “They don’t want to deal with this because it’s sex, and because it’s porn.” For the industry, its actors and the county of Los Angeles, however, it is much more than that. Not only would legislation regulate consensual sex, but it could cause films to stray from the style established as an industry standard and could cause studios to spurt underground operations to avoid penalties.
“The subject of condoms has always been an issue within our community; companies would rather not shoot scenes with condoms because they always see a decline in sales when they do,” writes Mr. Marcus in his book The Porn Star Guide to Great Sex. At 41 years old, Marcus is a seasoned veteran of the industry and has acted in more than 1,500 films over the span of 16 years. If anyone would know the sex biz it’s him, and he doesn’t think condoms fully have their place in porn. “It seems most people don’t want condoms in their porn movies. I think it’s because porn is fantasy, and when people fantasize about fucking they’re not thinking about condoms,” he adds.“After much debate, some companies that were condoms-only have now taken the stance of condom-optional.”