The war on "unprotected" porn wages on

AIDS Healthcare Foundation accuses talent agencies of encouraging adult performers to work without condoms

Published April 15, 2010 12:52PM (EDT)

Advocates are taking a fresh approach in their campaign to mandate condom use in porn films. AIDS Healthcare Foundation is filing a complaint Thursday with the state of California alleging that several adult talent agencies "encourage" actors to risk their health by performing without protection, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Many of these agents are callous enough to describe the unprotected sexual acts their clients will engage in on a checklist on their Web sites as cavalierly as if one was ordering off a menu in a restaurant," says Michael Weinstein, the foundation's president.

Talent agencies claim that performers decide for themselves whether they are comfortable going bareback. Of course, advocates' chief concern is that porn actors don't actually have a meaningful choice when it comes to condom use, because viewer demand drives performers to go without. That's really what this entire campaign is about: Calling for greater governmental oversight and protection of adult workers' health. As I've said before, though, many actors and industry insiders say that these advocates are well-meaning but misguided, and pushing for measures that could ultimately harm performers (think: friction, rubber rash) and undermine the industry's existing STD testing regimen.

One thing is certain: It can be awfully hard to know what is what and who to trust in a debate revolving around sex, a deadly disease and a multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on taboo.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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