Let me start by putting it right out there: I LOVE PORN. Objectively, I think it’s a wonderful thing that everyone can find stuff to get them off in the safety of their own home or hotel room, and maybe learn a few things too. And subjectively, what can I say? I’m a highly sexed girl and I like watching hot people get it on.
I love porn people too. As a writer of erotica, I’ve spent a lot of time around the adult industry, and find the people involved on both sides of the camera to be an open-minded, intelligent and politically astute bunch. That’s why I’m advocating a NO vote on Prop 60.
Proposition 60 — a new proposal that would make the use of condoms mandatory in all adult films shot in California — goes to the vote on November 8, 2016. And while its sponsors claim the bill is intended as a protective measure, its many critics believe it could have serious repercussions for the safety and freedom of adult performers.
Citizens as ‘condom cops’
One of the most unusual and disturbing aspects of Prop 60 is that it allows any Californian resident to file a for-profit lawsuit if a condom is not visible in a single frame of a video — and without having to provide evidence that they suffered any harm in doing so.
Not only does this open the door to frivolous lawsuits; but it allows private citizens access to the personal information of adult performers simply by opening up a lawsuit, whether it is legitimate or not, making them easy prey for stalkers.
And Prop 60 makes anyone with a financial interest in an adult movie, such as a producer or distributor, liable for prosecution. Industry insiders fear this irregular and highly alarming provision could even extend liability to hotels and cable companies, giving it far-reaching consequences. Think about the implications of that, if you’re one of the millions who enjoy a little late-night entertainment when you’re on a business trip…
The adult industry already safeguards its own health
Those behind the Proposition say it’s a protective measure, and argue that it would send out a safer-sex message to viewers. There is already a law in place in California that requires condom use in adult movies, but lead sponsor of Proposition 60, Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, says the state isn’t doing enough to enforce it. Weinstein has a history of filing complaints and lawsuits against adult movies.
This heavy-handed approach fails to acknowledge that industry performers undergo testing for HIV and STD infection every two weeks as standard. In fact there has not been an HIV transmission case linked to the industry in 12 years. Having sex with an adult performer who gets regularly tested is way less risky than having unprotected sex on the casual dating scene.
Adult performers say that in some cases condoms can actually increase risk by causing friction and tearing; and they want the freedom to make their own choices. You may have strong feelings about the pros and cons of condom use, but would you want your choice enforceable by law? Prop 60 is a violation of civil rights.
Driving the industry underground
Earlier legislation — the notorious Measure B — drove a lot of the adult industry out of LA, resulting in economic losses to the state. It also forced elements of the adult film industry underground, increasing the vulnerability of performers by exposing them to more dangerous work. Proposition 60 has the potential to intensify this situation.
Strong opposition from all sides
Prop 60 is being opposed not only by Californian adult performers and producers — spearheaded by the Free Speech Coalition — but also by major newspapers and political organizations in the state.
The Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, Equality California and AIDS Project Los Angeles are all opposing Prop 60, putting the lie to the claim that it is primarily intended to protect health. Members of both the state Democratic and Republican parties are also on record as opposing Prop 60.
A vote for freedom
Voting NO on Proposition 60 means safeguarding the privacy and freedom of choice of all those involved in creating and enjoying adult entertainment. Whatever your personal feelings about porn, adult performers or condom use, don’t be misled into believing Prop 60 is actually about safer sex.