Friday, February 17, 2012

prophylactic pornography (pt. 1)

It's said in some circles that the mark of true intelligence is the ability to see both sides of an argument equally.  I don't know if that's literally true or not, but I do know that I'm a former member of MENSA (beware the intellectual dominant) and that I've also been many different things in my life.  At times I've adopted what seem to be conflicting viewpoints.  Regardless of popular opinion, I've always been a seeker of real truth.

Seeking truth is something I share with Serafina.  She's quite the rebel you know, especially when you consider how profoundly submissive she is to me.  Serafina has been kicked out of churches for asking too many questions, not to mention her willingness to enter into debate on the finer points of the real meaning behind biblical texts.

And, intelligently seeking the truth is something I also share with the ultimate author of this post, my dear friend (not to mention former lover and play partner) Cherub.  Our past relationships have had both good and bad moments (an understatement all around) but we have forged a strong long distance friendship out of the ashes of that exciting, but difficult, past.
Cherub has always been a great writer, I'm actually surprised that she's not had novels published.  I think it's less a matter of talent than one of opportunity, as I know personally that it's hard to find enough time and energy to write the Great American Novel when working hard just to support yourself.

All of these words are my way of building up to say that I recently asked Cherub to become a regular contributor at, perhaps she'll even pen the great american novel for us here in installments, who can say?   For now, she's graciously agreed to my giving her regular writing assignments, and the results of her first assignment are complete.

Cherub will be discussing the recent move in Los Angeles towards requiring all pornography filmed within their jurisdiction to use condoms.  Because of my own long winded introduction, her work is split into two parts, and I promise not to intrude at all in the followup to be posted tomorrow.
When Master Samadhi proposed I write an essay on the topic of mandatory condom use in porn, I immediately set out to educate myself on the provenance of the proposed ordinance before the LA city council.  I needed to take a look at what both sides were saying before committing myself to an opinion.

As of this writing, the city council has voted nine to one in favor of the mandatory use of condoms for performers exchanging bodily fluids through sex. (And yes, the vote took place when most of the industries major representatives were attending The Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas.) It is now up to the mayor to vote on the implementation. There is also a finincial aspect, the new law would require film makers to pay an 85 dollar permit fee, which would be used to fund enforcement.

Compliance with the law would be enforced by means of suprise visits to film sets. California and Federal law already require the use of condoms through workforce safety rules, but porn companies have resisted these rules, claiming that the use of condoms would force film production companies to go underground, or leave the US, which would increase health risks to performers.

Since 2004, the industry has self regulated - performers must be screened for STD’s every 30 days. In the years since then, there have been several industry wide shut downs of production when a performer has tested positive for HIV. The main supporter of the law is the Aids Healthcare Foundation, which contends that the measure is needed because the industry has failed to police itself.

The Free Speech Coalition is an advocacy group for the pornography business, and their position is that the law could be deemed un- constitutional and that the legislation of sexual behavior (real or fantasy) is always a bad idea.

I have gotten most of my background information from on-line articles posted on the Guardian UK site. I think it’s safe to assume that that publication doesn’t have any significant interest in the eight billion dollars a year in revenue porn produces, 90% of which is made in the San Fernando Valley.


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