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Porn And Condoms: California Workplace Safety Officials Get Earful on Move Toward Requiring Condoms in Adult Video

As the state of California seemed poised to hoist condoms upon every penis in the porn industry, the adult game has been kicking and fighting every step of the way.

A major step came Tuesday when representatives of the state's Division of Occupational Health and Safety (Cal/OSHA) came to L.A. to discuss proposed changes to workplace contact rules with industry reps.

The tan, buff and made-up faces of porn's red-carpet elite were in force and challenged Cal/OSHA officials on the possibility of mandatory condoms.

The meeting at downtown's Caltrans building was packed with more than 150 people.

Even with a new rule that would make condoms mandatory in porn, Cal/OSHA chief counsel Amy Martin told the crowd having unprotected sex on-set "is not currently legal in California. It is not currently legal in the United States of America ... When you go to work and have unprotected sex" it "is not permitted."

"You are supposed to be sent to the doctor after the incident ... and that's not happening," Martin said.

People in the crowd asked if, under law, they were supposed to have to see a doctor after each sex scene, and Martin said yes.

A woman who identified herself as a performer said, "You guys are discussing what I need to do with my own body."

Another brought up mixed martial arts fighting, legal in California, which exposes fighters to blood nearly every bout.

Cal/OSHA has been interpreting federal workplace safety laws, which ban exposure to bloodborne pathogens, as meaning that condoms are required in porn. In fact, Cal/OSHA has already cited companies as Larry Flynt's Hustler video for failing to use condoms.

On-set at a porn shoot.

YouTubeOn-set at a porn shoot.

The division has been egged on by the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which has been lobbying the state, county and city to enforce rules that would protect workers from bloodborn pathogens. In other words, the AHF is behind this move toward condoms in porn.

The Valley-based industry, which generally requires regular STD testing for performers, says people won't buy condom porn, and that such a requirement would send production out-of-state and underground, where things would be less safe.

As it is porn is claimed to be a $14 billion a year industry.

The question today whether Cal/OSHA should come up with specific language mandating condoms in porn rather than relying on its interpretation of bloodborne-pathogen rules.

That question won't be answered for months. But this was a forum for the industry's workers to weigh in.

As some in the audience noted, only major porn studios get monitored and cited as it is. (And they remain defiant, soaking up fines as the price of doing business). Underground shoots, which are often much less safe, and sometimes involve unknown performers, seem to skate.

Performers asked questions like whether kissing and spitting would be covered by the new rule (no, Cal/OSHA officials said).

Later, porn star Darryl Hanah XXX told a couple reporters gathered around her, "This is really a witch hunt against the state of California's porn production companies."

According to an Associated Press account, performer Nicki Hunter said the new rule would mean that she and her porn star husband of 13 years couldn't have sex on-camera without using a condom.

"If I wanted to have sex on camera with my husband without using a condom, I couldn't do that?" she asked.

Hanah XXX, also in a 12-year marriage with a male porn star, said she wanted planned to produce a messy, "splash" video involving lots of sperm, just to defy Cal/OSHA [correction] but that Cal/OSHA officials probably wouldn't allow it.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]