Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Condoms in porn: should they be mandated?

Hey hi, all.  I missed you, did you miss me?  I've gotta put this out there before the election, but I promise I have some sexier topics in mind for writing about after Nov. 6.

I don't live in Los Angeles County, but I've been thinking about this measure they have on the November ballot, Measure B, which would require the use of condoms in all porn filmed there (vaginal and anal, but not oral).  Since a huge percentage of U.S. porn in made in L.A. County, this would have a big effect on the industry.  Some companies are threatening to move; others say that wouldn't be so easy.  Porn stars have come out against the measure.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Pro Measure B:

When I watch porn with unprotected sex scenes -- which is most porn I see -- I worry about the actors involved.  I really don't want them risking their health for my entertainment.  The industry argues that its customers don't want to see condoms.  I'm here to tell you that they don't speak for me.  I'd much rather see the man come with his penis in the woman's pussy than the common "come-shot," where semen goes flying everywhere.  Coming inside is so much more loving and romantic.  And if anyone needs proof of the man's orgasm afterwards, he can pull his condom-clad penis out, and we can see the rubber full of spunk.  (To see what I mean, check out this scene featuring the beautiful Persia Monir.)

Anti Measure B:

The industry argues that it has a testing regimen that (mostly) works, and that requiring condoms would infringe their free speech rights.  (You could argue that forcing people to wear seatbelts or motorcycle helmets infringes their free speech rights, too.  I don't buy that argument.)

I guess what sways me in the end is the Los Angeles Times' editorial opposing measure B.  They conclude:

If Los Angeles County could demonstrate that it was ready, willing and able to enforce a permit and condom requirement or that producers would not simply evade the requirement by leaving the county (and if audiences would choose to watch explicit sex scenes depicting condoms) [Note: I'm ready for more porn with condoms, as I said above.  -- V.P.], Measure B could merit support. Instead, it's impossible to predict the results of passage. Measure B then falls into the category of "Let's pass it and see what happens." That's a bad way to make law because it puts government, or voters, on a track toward regulating all kinds of conduct without any hope of enforcing the requirements fairly and equally, and that in turn undermines the power of government.

Performers should use condoms. Producers should encourage them to do so. But the power of law to make them do it is limited. So is the desirability of always turning to government and lawmaking to address all dangers.