Larry Flynt attacked over "unsafe" porn

AIDS Healthcare Foundation goes after the smut magnate in its latest attempt to require condoms in X-rated flicks

Published August 27, 2010 1:01PM (EDT)

Even a porn star's stamina fails to measure up to that of the AIDS Health Foundation -- at least when it comes to the organization's campaign to get condoms legally required in the industry.

On Thursday, the group filed a complaint with California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health and once again called for the state to mandate the use of condoms in adult films, the Associated Press reports. They also dropped off some research material: 100 hardcore Flynt films -- only one of which shows performers using condoms, and in only one scene. The complaint claims the DVDs "clearly demonstrate workplace activities highly likely to spread bloodborne pathogens in the workplace."

This is the same approach AIDS Health Foundation took in April when it filed a complaint against nine producers of condomless porn; and it's the same approach it took in August of last year when it went after 16 individual pornographers. Their efforts have kicked off investigations, but so far without any significant movements on the state's part, and the industry is still holding fast. Michael Klein, president of Larry Flynt Productions, said in a statement: "We won't budge when it comes to condomless productions. That's what the consumer wants, and we deliver it."

It isn't just that there is no market for condom porn. As I've written before, there is also pushback from performers. Some actresses say that required condom use could actually make their jobs harder. Longtime performer Nina Hartley put it like so: "For the women, there are just four words: rubber rash/friction burn." What's more, minor abrasions can leave performers more vulnerable to STI transmission. Questions also remain about the state's ability to adequately enforce a condom-only rule, and whether spotty enforcement could ultimately undermine the current testing system and put actors at greater risk.

Once again, I'm left feeling conflicted, and with more questions than answers -- which is, perhaps, why the campaign hasn't gone much of anywhere.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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