California Porn Condom Law Will Ruin More Than Just Porn


Earlier this month, a new law went into effect in Los Angeles mandating condom usage for adult film stars. Yup, California is now 'policing the porn business.' The law is intended to protect the actors and actresses from contracting any sexually transmitted diseases. In 2004, five people in the California porn industry contracted HIV, prompting a voluntary 60-day shutdown by the studios. 

What happened to ‘my body, my choice’? Porn star Kayden Kross told Fox Business Network’s John Stossel, “... a third party stepped in and created, essentially, a crisis that wasn’t there.” She also pointed out that the studios require all their actors to test every 28-30 days, and they do so without any law requiring it.

Adult film stars are adults, free to make their own decisions. They don’t go into that line of work without understanding the potential consequences, and that’s a risk they’re willing to take. Their decisions, their bodies, their choices. 

In the wake of the condom mandate, many of the Los Angeles-based studios have threatened to leave the Golden State and relocate in Arizona. So now the law is not only violating the personal freedoms of individuals, it’s also driving business out of a state that is losing business like my dryer loses socks. 

They might need to find somewhere else to go, because Arizona has some pretty strict pornography laws. Maricopa County Bill Montgomery says his office is ready to prosecute anyone that breaks those laws. He says: 

Under Arizona law, anyone paid to appear in a pornographic movie may be guilty of the crime of prostitution, which carries mandatory jail time as well as the possibility of other penalties ... Arizona law precludes the establishment of a 'pornography industry' to any degree such as that present in California.

The whole thing might be a moot point anyway, because the LA City Attorney’s Office has not been willing to commit the resources necessary to "inspect" porn sets to make sure the new law is being followed. I’d love to see that guy’s business card ... “Joe Schmoe -- Condom Inspector.” 

For now the law seems to be a symbolic one, but I agree with Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke, who said upon its passage:

Government regulation of sexual behavior between consenting adults is, and has always been, a bad idea. The government has no business in our bedrooms -- real or fantasy.

What do you think? Is a condom law a good or bad idea?


Image via Kain Road Cul de Sac/Flickr

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nonmember avatar qwerty

They do have a choice, they can work in a different field. This is not analagous to abortion, it is analagous to OSHA regulations for workplace safety. This is just like requiring hard hats on construction sites or biohazard suits in disease labs.

It must be nice to live in JennyLand where you can compare apples to giraffes and use it to "debate."

nonmember avatar Jane

We found common groun, Jenny! I actually agree with everything you wrote just now! Condoms are great, but using one is a personal choice. PERSONAL!

Procr... Procrastamom

It's okay Jenny, you don't need to worry about this at all.  If Santorum gets into power he's pledged to shutdown the porn industry ( ) .  It's part of his "job creation" platform.  Oh no, wait, the unemployment rate doesn't matter and neither does the economy.

Also, you forgot to blame Obama directly for this one.  You're slipping.

nonmember avatar lilias

@Jane - using one in your private life is a personal choice, but this is a workplace, and using one is no more a choice than factory workers using eye protection. This is a workplace safety issue, not a personal issue.

nonmember avatar John

Jenny, liberals only have one recourse to running our lives for us when someone like you points out their agenda and that is to personally attack the messenger. BTW, I'd like to apply for that porn inspector job. Any government subsidy?

AliNo... AliNoelle

Haha Procrastamom! She is slipping.  Yet another ridiculous Jenny article.

Jespren Jespren

Frankly I'm surprised this law didn't already exist. As a STATE law I have no object to it. The Constitution provides that the FEDERAL government stay out of the private industry. But states have broad lattitude to interfer in pretty much any way they want as long as their voters agree with it. This doesn't really seem like a privacy or sexual freedom issue, it's refering to what a business does to keep it's employees safe. Now, if the law stated that everyone who worked in porn was required to wear condoms *off set* in their private affairs so as to increase safety *on set*, then that would be an overreach. But this isn't any different that safety glasses or hard hats.

nonmember avatar EmmaFrom√Čire

Haha too right procrastamom, i was expecting to see bitching about Obama and democrats left right and centre! Frankly i think this is a great idea.It's all about increasing safety. And as for the government regulating bedroom behaviour? They're not, they're regulating business safety. You can't refer to porn as a business then as a private matter in the same article. Make your mind up.

nonmember avatar Jane

Yeah, it's about workplace safety.. but this isn't a typical workplace. To become a pornographer is a personal choice, too. Yes, it's a profession, but it's not as black and white as construction or food prep. An actor not wearing a condom only affects the actors and people involved in the fluid exchange on a health level, not the viewer or anyone else. If a director wants to shoot a bareback film for fans of going bare they should be allowed to. Wearing a hardhat is really different and can't be compared.

forev... foreverabuff

I'm torn on this. I completely agree that these people go into this line of working knowing full well what the consequences are and I don't want the government dictating what goes on in the bedroom.

Having said that, I think Lilias hit the nail on the head. This isn't behind closed doors, it's a workplace, and there's no reason that the porn industry should be exempt from safety regulations anymore than a construction worker. 

On a more personal level, I'm happy about this law because maybe the more they see them being used, the more they'll equate condom usage with being "normal" and that sex can still feel good using one. The more you see something, the more positively you tend to feel about it, so that could potentially be a great advantage. 

It really pisses me off when the porn industry says that it'll "ruin" the business. Seriously? A CONDOM is going to ruin porn? Thinking safe sex can't be "hot" is exactly why so many people don't use them in the first place! So...personally, I'm mostly in favor of this. But I absolutely understand the outrage over the government meddling in this business.

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