Mandatory protective eyewear in porn?

What about condoms during oral sex? Draft rules for regulation of California's adult industry could mandate both

Topics: Pornography, Sex, Love and Sex, porn,

Draft regulations currently being considered by the state of California would mandate the use of condoms on porn shoots. Sure, we’ve heard this before with the AB640 condom bill, which is currently stalled in the Senate. But this draft from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) would not only require condoms during intercourse but also prohibit ejaculation onto the genitals, mouth or eyes, and instruct employers to provide performers with protective eyewear to avoid ocular contact with semen.

Here’s the thing, though: Condoms, and other barrier methods, are technically already required in porn, both during penetrative and oral sex, according to Deborah Gold, Cal/OSHA’s deputy chief for health. So too is eye protection from semen and other bodily fluids. If you’ve ever watched a porn you probably have a sense of just how relatively rarely these requirements are enforced. If instituted, these draft guidelines would actually offer a trial period in which an exception is made for the barrier method requirement during oral sex. (As of 2018, the exemption would be reconsidered and could either end or be extended.)

Regardless, some porn insiders are unhappy with the draft rules, which were initially leaked on an industry blog that is vocally supportive of a condom mandate. Peter Acworth, CEO of the fetish site Kink.com, tells me that the draft regulations “basically criminalize the production of porn” in California. In fact, because of these draft guidelines and AB640, he’s considering selling the Armory, Kink’s infamous San Francisco porn palace. If these Cal/OSHA guidelines are instituted, he says Kink will “have to invest in a warehouse in Nevada or Europe” for production. If that happens, the Armory will likely have to go — and, he says, so will adult productions in California.

In response, Gold said, “The fact is there is a rule right now that they’re supposed to be complying with.” She added that these draft guidelines are an attempt to tailor existing workplace-safety rules relating to blood-borne pathogens specifically to the adult industry.



The draft guidelines do not require the regular STD testing currently instituted by the industry. It does, however, call for employers to provide hepatitis B, hepatitis A and human papillomavirus vaccines to performers. It additionally requires that, in cases of potential STI exposure, porn studios “provide for post-exposure prophylaxis … when medically indicated,” as well as counseling. The 21-page document suggests several other regulatory changes, including cleanup requirements, like providing “plastic coverings or other disposable materials to facilitate cleaning of the work area.”

On the one hand, the guidelines introduce the progressive prospect of adult companies taking responsibility for workers’ medical care (currently, performers often pay for their own STD tests). On the other, it conjures the fantasy-smashing image of a begoggled porn star performing on a plastic-wrapped couch. That is, if these draft rules were any more strictly enforced than the current ones.

Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...