Porn stars rage against California’s safe-sex bill

A bill in California is intended to require safer sex in pornography, but the consequences could be far greater

Topics: Film, Pornography, State legislation, porn stars, californa,

Porn stars rage against California's safe-sex bill (Credit: CatLane via Shutterstock)

If you are prone to following porn stars on Twitter, you are undoubtedly aware that said industry was up in arms this week over something called AB1576. The designation corresponds to a bill introduced in California this year that would, among other things, require pornography performers to wear condoms — or, as the bill puts it, “protective equipment” — during scenes depicting intercourse. There are countless faithfuls who might object to the presence of latex in their viewers, but the bill — which sailed through the California State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee this week — is about safety not aesthetics. The legislation, which was introduced by Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, allows for the use of a little movie magic in the concealing of jimmy hats and other precautionary material. Porn stars are railing against the bill for a host of other reasons.

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AB1576 requires that porn producers keep performers’ personal history on file indefinitely, an action some performers view as an invasion of privacy. There are others in the porn biz that object to the legislation on the grounds that its mandates for safety are allegedly lower than those standards the industry has set for itself over the years. This might be the most compelling reason to resist the bill, which has yet to fully pass.

The most interesting argument against AB1576 — at least to me — corresponds to the last of the above tweets and the perception that, while legal in many places, pornography is still an outlaw business. Many performers openly admit that were the bill to pass, the creators and production houses would not simply comply with the new regulation. It is more likely that a vast section of the industry would simply pick up and move to Nevada, a state with presumably less stringent laws. What other industry do you know of that can simply pull up stakes and flee when threatened?

Neil Drumming
Neil Drumming is a staff writer for Salon. Follow him on Twitter @Neil_Salon.

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