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Porn Stars Must Wear Goggles? It's Not True

Porn Stars Must Wear Goggles? It's Not True
No on Measure B / YouTube

Some big media outlets have fallen again for porn industry arguments that proposed California regulations would require goggles, gloves and other onerous and unattractive gear for adult performers.

It all started three weeks ago when industry blogger Mike South (NSFW link) published what he says is a draft edition of proposed California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA) rules for adult workers.

(Possible NSFW material):

Last week Salon picked up his claim as an example of state regulators preparing to "prohibit ejaculation onto the genitals, mouth or eyes, and instruct employers to provide performers with protective eyewear to avoid ocular contact with semen."

Cal-OSHA has been working on porn-specific workplace rules for years, and the draft seems legit to us. But it also made us yawn for its lack of news value. It mirrors what Cal-OSHA has already been saying for years.

We reported in 2010 that the Division said condoms were indeed already required in porn and that it would fine producers who don't employ them if regulators receive complaints.

See also: California, Federal Laws Already Mandate Condoms In Porn.

After last summer's HIV scare, Cal-OSHA reminded porn producers that "employers must provide, and ensure employees use, appropriate personal protective equipment. Personal protective equipment can include: condoms, dental dams, gloves, eye protection."

Note the word "can."

The reported draft of adult-specific rules do mention "required use of condoms or other protective barriers to prevent genital and oral contact with the blood or [blood-borne pathogens]."

But it also says "employers may use alternate procedures in lieu of using condoms or other barrier protection" and that "personal protective equipment need not be used for contact of the mouth with [blood-borne pathogens] if the employer complies with [certain conditions]."

Those would include "work practices to ensure that body areas contaminated with blood or [blood-borne pathogens] are cleaned between sexual acts with the same or different persons."

That didn't stop the New York Daily News and even mighty Time magazine from completely mucking up the story, attributing the proposed rules to a condoms-in-porn bill, AB 640, that died in the legislature in September.

That bill would have simply required condom use on-set across the state, something that is already really required, something local voters legislated into law last year for most of L.A. County.

See also: Porn Defends the Money Shot.

A spokesman for the bill's author, L.A.-area state Sen. Isadore Hall, says the goggles-for-porn proposal is simply not true. Terry Schanz tells the Weekly:

AB 640/332 mandates condom use for commercially filmed vaginal or anal penetrative acts (adult films) made in California.

The goggle argument is not accurate and is the same old factually incorrect argument folks in the adult film industry have been making for years.

It's pretty irresponsible when porn producers continue to use disproven talking points to respond to one of the largest HIV outbreaks in the adult film industry in American history.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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