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      How Do You Feel About Condoms in Your Porn?

      November 13, 2012
      From the column 'Question of the Day'

      For a bunch of people who fuck each on camera for money, the most important election results didn't have anything to do with Barack Obama. If you're a porn performer (or a porn consumer), you saw the government intrude into your life even more than it already does with Measure B, a recently passed California law that makes it illegal to film condom-less porn. If you've read Chris Nieratko's takedown of Measure B you already know the specifics of the law and the opposition to it. But how do ordinary people feel? Do they care that they won't be able to watch their favorite porn stars raw dog each other? We asked some ordinary-looking people to find out.


      Michael, 24, musician: Porn actors should probably use condoms, you know, for plenty of obvious safety reasons. You can never be too sure.

      They do get tested every 28 days, though.
      Yeah, but the HIV virus can lie dormant for months and months. You need to be on that.

      Chris, 19, student: I guess it’s safer. I mean, diseases don’t go around if you wear a condom. Or there’s a lower percentage that they do. I feel like people who watch that kind of stuff, if they’re against it, I don’t really know why.

      Some people say it ruins the illusion.
      But they’re watching weird shit. Were they really believing it in the first place? I think it’s safer, that’s what matters.

      Rebecca, 18, student: I didn’t even realize they weren’t wearing condoms, at first.

      I guess you don’t watch that much porn.
      No. But I think pornstars should be able to do what they want. They’re already doing a disgusting deed. If they were to wear a condom, it wouldn’t make it any less disgusting. I don’t know.

      Theresa, 24, student: I hadn’t given it much though. It’s not really something that crosses my mind, but it seems kind of like an extraneous measure, especially since they have adequate testing in place. This seems like something about visibility rather than actual concern for AIDS.

      So it’s more like a token gesture?
      Certainly. There’s more and more meaningful work that can be done to prevent AIDS and other STDs. Porn is already a very much fantasy thing. I don’t think people are going to watch it and be like, “Since we’re already doing all of these other things they’re doing, we should also wear condoms.”

      Tom, 24, student: I guess it’s interesting, because it raises the question as to whether or not people look to pornography as to how they’re going to have sex. So it’s based on the idea that people copy or imitate pornography. I’m not sure, in my opinion, that that’s how it works. I don’t draw inspiration about how I have sex from pornography, so I don’t think it’s that effective in the first place. Porn models aren’t role models for sex. There are other issues, like sexism and how women are treated in pornography, that are more important than condoms.

      It seems like you don’t think this law is at all about porn actors and actresses, but about the audience.
      Yeah, I don’t think the welfare or the well-being of the porn actors are what’s at stake here. I think it’s more about raising awareness about contraception, and if the well-being of porn actors had been the consideration, this would have happened a long time ago.

      Nick, 27, painter: I feel good. They’ll probably be able to get the invisible ones.

      Do they make invisible condoms?
      They probably don’t right now, but I bet they will within a year so that people that get off on raw-dogging will still be able to.

      Could this law be an opportunity for innovation?
      Yeah!

      And the STD prevention is just a bonus?
      No, that matters too, but I don’t really see any downsides to pornstars wearing condoms, except that sometimes it’s harder to get off if you see people wearing rubbers.

      Some people in the adult film industry say that the condoms break from friction and cause more harm than good.
      Then they’ll make better condoms! Lots of innovation. Everyone benefits.

      Arthur, 26, researcher: I think that employers have an obligation to look out for the health and safety of their employees, but it’s also an art form, so I feel the government is kind of overstepping a little bit. It’s a tough call.

      Do you think that the current STD testing is insufficient?
      It can be. It’s not a perfect science. There’s an incubation or latentcy period for everything. At the end of the day it is a choice that someone is making, but I like that they are exercising certain standards for health and safety.

      Emily, 21, student: I think it’s a good idea. I think the transmission of sexual diseases is a negative for the community. I think it creates a good model for teens and kids. It’s not like they’re not watching porn, so they might as well be taught how to prevent a pregnancy and transfer all these diseases.

      Do you think the dissenting opinions of the adult film industry should be taken into account?
      Not really. I think they should look at themselves as role models for a lot of people that are having sex and using their videos as instruction manuals. A lot of people see their videos and they don’t see them putting on a condom, and they don’t think to put on a condom; they think it’s normal and fine. You should always wear a condom when you have sex. It’s bigger than them. 

      Previously - What Would You Die For?

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      Topics: porn, condoms, California, Question of the Day, QOD, Measure B, role models

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