Would Porn Industry Leave California, Go Underground If It Was Forced To Use Condoms? Health-Care Lawyer Brian Chase Calls B.S. On That Notion

Would the triple-X industry move out of CA if it had to deal with Jim-E?
Would the triple-X industry move out of CA if it had to deal with Jim-E?
Ed Schipul via Flickr

Updated after the jump with reaction from the porn industry health-care group's attorney. First posted at 3:04 p.m.

The big, Mandingo-sized elephant in the room when it comes to the latest HIV crisis in porn is this: Health-care nuts want the industry to use condoms in the same way construction workers must wear hardhats. They're safety devices designed to save lives.

Except that porn's leaders have said government-required condoms would only push smut underground, where there are no regulations whatsoever. The adult film scene is safer as-is, says the industry.

Well, that's a lot of bullcocky, according to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's assistant general counsel, Brian Chase.

He took issue with our summary of the industry's arguments -- that porn would simply move out of L.A., out of California, and beyond -- if condoms were required.

As things stand, performers who work for San Fernando Valley-based studios are tested regularly and when HIV happens, it's caught, according to arguments we've heard in the past from the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation.

See our update below. (AIM has repeatedly ignored our requests for interviews, leading us to wonder why we are carrying water for it and the industry when they don't have the balls to speak for themselves on this matter).

This kind of stuff could be headed to a basement near you, the XXX industry claims.
This kind of stuff could be headed to a basement near you, the XXX industry claims.
Mark Hogan via Flickr

If things moved into basements or even to Thailand and Brazil (the source of 2004's HIV scare in porn), things would be worse.

Chase wrote to LA Weekly to dispute that notion:

Ridiculous. High-production adult films are a multi-billion dollar industry that cannot be replaced by a few amateurs holding a shaky camcorder. Yes, there will always be small producers making a buck here and there on low-quality porn, but the bulk of production (and profit) rests with the established studios. An amateur with a camera phone cannot compete with Hustler and Vivid any more than a few actors in blue body suits and face paint can compete with Avatar.

The adult film industry is a legal, legitimate enterprise in California. And it's high time it started acting like one. Legitimate businesses are required to protect employees from harm, and the only way the adult film industry can protect workers from STDs is to require condom use. The industry will fuss and whine, but at the end of the day they will stay in the Valley. Only the California and New Hampshire Supreme Courts have held that paying actors to have sex on film does not constitute prostitution. And I somehow doubt that any of L.A.'s porn moguls are eager to move to the frozen wilds of New Hampshire.

It's true: Perhaps the biggest revenue streams for the adult film industry these days are hotel pay-per-view rentals and cable and satellite channels -- all of which lean toward more slickly produced, tamer fare.

Which is strange to us: Condoms wouldn't actually make much of a difference for those products.

So, if porn production fled California and ended up in Cletus' basement, would you still watch? What do you think?

Update: Jeffrey J. Douglas, attorney for AIM, says:

"AIM does not take a position on mandatory condoms. That battle is being undertaken by the other organizations. AIM advocates for safer sex practices, however, and provides free condoms."

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