Thursday, January 19, 2012

Southern California Mandates Use of Condoms in Legally Permissible Sex Professions

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Porn stars working in Southern California, particularly Los Angeles, will now be legally required to wear condoms during filming. Producers in the multibillion-dollar adult entertainment industry -- maligned but vital contributors to the state's suffering economy -- threatened to pull out early and penetrate markets in other areas if the legislature fails to relax its muscle. Regulators claim the austere move comes amid concerns about enforcing health measures needed to protect performers against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Los Angeles City Council members, who approved the measure Tuesday after a 9 to 1 vote, said those studio heads throbbing with rage have been operating under the misguided notion that they've been singled out. "The fact is," said one official, "we're enforcing the mandatory condom requirement across numerous industries and professions where sex is involved, not just skin flicks."

Producers argue that they provide for the health and safety of their actors, and also allow them to make their own choices about using prophylactics. Manly Caves, head of San Fernando’s Dixin Hohls Productions, said the sight of a condom in a sex scene turns off his consumers.

"It's like putting a speed bump in the middle of a NASCAR track," Caves explained. "Look, here's the scene. It's a dark night. Hot lady's home alone trying to figure out how to use the ice-maker in her fridge. She's so flustered and bothered over it, she forgets to dress. Her neighbor stops by to help. Next you thing you know, it's all mayonnaise, rope, leather gimp suits and a rhesus monkey on X. Now, it gets good. There's a motorcycle gang nearby. Bang! Home invasion. A midget cop who part-times as a clown at bar mitzvahs hears the commotion and jumps in. Now everyone's going nuts on that lady. The walls are covered in literally every bodily fluid that exists in the people and farm animals who've wandered into the action. The last thing you want to see is some guy stopping the show to unwrap a rubber. It cheapens the art and ruins the momentum."

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) said that enforcement will prove difficult, if not impossible. The measure itself offers no clear indication of how violators will be punished, how prosecutors will erect hard cases against them or how stiff the penalties could be.

Ted Constewt, an investigator at Cal-OSHA, said: "We've already got a dedicated oversight team watching hundreds of hours of porn. But, you know, by the time the plumber drops his drawers and starts in on the naughty housewife, it's too late for a condom. I mean, he's already laid his pipe and that hole's been snaked, unclogged and drained. All this law means is we're going to tell people they have to wear a condom or else we're going to tell them again. Maybe send a letter. Which costs us money. We can retroactively punish the individual offenders -- we got the proof on film -- but that only works for porn. What about the other industries covered under the new law?"

Despite the focus on adult films, regulators are also incurring the wrath of other industries affected by the legislation.

Constewt said: "For example, we're taking a lot of heat from the TSA and the Catholic Church. The TSA claims that condoms are too difficult to unsheathe with the latex gloves they're forced to wear. The Catholic Church is upset because birth control violates the tenets of their rites. To be clear, Catholic couples are not required by law to wear protective devices during sex; the mandate for condoms applies only to priests, and serves a public health need."

(c) 2011. See disclaimers.

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