Porn Star Visits Colleges to Decry Safe-Sex Measure

Coming to a school near you
Coming to a school near you
Courtesy Tasha Reign

Back in my day, says the old guy, we didn't know anything but safe sex.

These days are a little different. HIV is no longer the death sentence it was in the 1980s. Sex is not the top activity for young Americans, apparently. And the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's crusade to put a condom on every male porn star in California feels like a solution in search of a problem for many in the L.A.-based adult video industry.

Porn star Tasha Reign has had enough of the AHF's mission to make on-set sex safe. This month she's embarking on a college tour to let students know about Proposition 60, the initiative that would double down on regulations requiring prophylactics in California porn.

"This is criminalizing pornography," she says. "No female performer wants to be on-set and be told what she can put in her body."

Reign is taking her message against Proposition 60 to college campuses across Southern California starting this week. (See her schedule, below.) She says she wants first-time voters who are in college to understand the "fine print" of the initiative.

"The measure, which requires condoms in all pornographic film shoots within the state, opens up new problems for adult performers already struggling with privacy issues, discrimination and harassment," according to a statement from Reign. "As a result, film production — which brings millions of dollars to California — will be forced out of state to somewhere more willing to enjoy the industry's revenue."

Reign is well versed in the porn industry's arguments against 60: that it would empower anyone to sue producers over lack of condom use on-set and thus obtain the private addresses of performers; that it would violate the freedom of expression of video makers; and that there have been no HIV transmissions on-set in California since 2004.

The attorney who drafted the measure wrote over the summer: "Proposition 60 does enable private parties to sue to enforce Cal/OSHA’s condom-use rule (in effect since 1992). But such lawsuits can only be brought if Cal/OSHA fails to act within a reasonable period of time to enforce violations. Far from being a 'sue an adult film performer' measure, as the opponents would have you believe, the 'private attorney general' provision serves only as a last resort."

In 2014 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that requiring condom use on set in L.A. County, which is the case under 2012's voter-approved Measure B, does not violate video makers' freedom of speech.

Early this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control concluded in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that a 2014 adult video shoot resulted in on-set HIV transmission. It wasn't clear, however, if that took place in California or Nevada. AHF says one of the performers involved was a Californian.

Proponents of the measure say that it will close loopholes that allow porn producers to get away with avoiding condoms, despite current workplace regulations that essentially outlaw the practice of unsafe sex on-set.

"Currently, the statute of limitations for Cal/OSHA [the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health] to pursue violations is six months," according to a statement from Yes on Proposition 60. "Producers will often release films without condoms six months and one day after filming to avoid punishment by the state’s regulatory agency. Proposition 60 would extend the statute of limitations for these violations to one year, adding economic pressure to producers to obey the law."

Reign, meanwhile, says she's not "telling kids on campus not to use condoms." She said she's just "reaching out to my fans" to alert them about the initiative. 

"This will allow random civilians to have personal access to my home address if they want to sue because of their puritanical agenda," she said. "I thought if I can get on college campuses that maybe I can at least get to a few people have a better understanding of Proposition 60."

Here are Reign's Proposition 60 campus tour stops:

Today: UC Santa Barbara

Monday: UC San Diego

Oct. 11: Cal State Long Beach

Oct. 18: UC Riverside

Oct. 24: San Diego State University

Oct. 25: TBA

Oct 31: Cal State Northridge

Nov. 1: TBA

Nov. 7: TBA

Look for updates on Reign's (NSFW) Twitter account.


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