“Adult” Lobbying

Dana Goldstein has an interesting, if somewhat random, article about the porn industry’s diverse lobbying interests. One front, a battle against safe sex advocates:

In the meantime, Duke has her hands full in California, where the state Assembly recently floated a bill that would have required all adult-film actors to don condoms. The issue pitted Duke against her former employer; Planned Parenthood, of course, is all about promoting condom usage to the masses.

Porn is about fantasy, though, so Duke says condoms — which might remind viewers of unsexy topics like disease and pregnancy — should be kept out of the picture. Adult-industry performers are regularly tested for sexually transmitted infections and expected to show up on set with paperwork declaring a clean bill of health. (This system hasn’t always worked: In 2004, the industry suffered an outbreak of HIV.) Plus, condoms might make filming difficult, Duke says. “I’m very much pro-safe sex and pro-family planning,” she swears. “But you’ve got eight hours of filming, and lights, and heat, so it’s a very different atmosphere than it would be for people in general.” (Isn’t that what Viagra is for?) Not to mention, of course, “a lot of the demand is for films without condoms.” If the Golden State ever did require condoms in skin flicks, the porn industry would likely pack up and leave town. And since the adult industry accounts for about 50,000 jobs in California — only 10 percent of which are acting in the films — the economic crisis probably precludes the state from such moral posturing.



Fifty thousand is a lot of jobs. I’m a bit surprised that this work hasn’t migrated overseas to lower cost environments.