Porn Industry Claims Sperm Goggles Are Being Forced on Performers

Porn Industry Claims Sperm Goggles Are Being Forced on Performers
File photo by Star Foreman/L.A. Weekly

UPDATE at 4:33 p.m., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015: Cal/OSHA weighs in, below.

The porn industry is at it again.

Back in 2012, when the business was fighting unsuccessfully against a Los Angeles County measure that requires condom use by porn performers, the industry claimed that the voter-approved law also would mandate dental dams, rubber gloves and other unsightly protection.

It does not.

And the next year the business lied again, claiming that proposed California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) rules for porn stars would require goggles to protect the sex workers from semen.

The story was picked up by Time, the New York Daily News and Salon. And it was wrong.

The industry is making the same argument this week — that a final draft of those very same regulations, expected to be finalized soon, would require "not only condoms but also goggles, dental dams, other skin protections to prevent any possible contact with bodily fluids by adult performers," according to a statement from Free Speech Coalition, the adult trade group.

"We have irrational regulations based in fear and stigma about adult film work that make no sense on an adult film set," said Chanel Preston, president of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.

That group, jointly with the Free Speech Coalition, registered the industry's concerns with the impending rules in a letter to state officials.

"Because of one man's well-funded moral crusade," Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke huffed, "we're now talking about goggles and gloves for adult film, and porn stars being sued if they don't use a condom."

She's speaking of Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which spearheaded the Cal/OSHA rule change and which is now bringing a statewide condom initiative to California voters.

The AHF this week dismissed the industry's goggle claims. It cited Jeffrey Klausner, professor of medicine and public health at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, who said, "The proposed language does not include the word ‘goggles’ anywhere."

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We looked at the language and couldn't find a goggle or dental dam requirement, either. Condoms? Yes.

The foundation, meanwhile, announced that its California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act has enough valid signatures to qualify for the November 2016 statewide ballot.

Porn Industry Claims Sperm Goggles Are Being Forced on Performers
No on Measure B

You'll likely get to vote on condoms in porn for the Golden State.

The industry, of course, wants nothing to do with prophylactics, arguing that consumers don't want to see them in action and that its twice-a-month testing for porn stars works.

"They told me testing would keep me safe," said former adult performer Cameron Adams. "Prevent infections. What they didn’t tell me is that those tests aren’t complete. They miss infections all the time. Plus, testing doesn’t stop infections. Testing only tells you what you got. And I got HIV."

UPDATE at 4:33 p.m., Friday, Nov. 6, 2015: We've heard from a few industry boosters who insist the Cal/OSHA language required goggles, dental dams and gloves.

So we asked Cal/OSHA directly. Here's what a spokeswoman said when we presented the industry's claim to her: "The standard doesn't say that at all."

Cal/OSHA's Paola Laverde later added in an email, "There is no mention of goggles in the proposed language."

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