On Tuesday, Los Angeles County passed a ballot measure requiring porn stars to wear condoms in adult films with 56 percent of the vote. The final vote on the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, or Measure B, is ruffling feathers in adult film industry. While some are calling condoms in porn "a victory for common sense," performers and producers are upset over the measure because the industry already requires mandatory STD testing every 14 or 28 days. Also, condoms hurt the final visual product. Steve Hirsch, the founder of Vivid Entertainment, recently told the ABC News how Vivid momentarily made condoms mandatory in the mid-2000s before industry-wide testing standards went into effect. As a result, sales decreased by 30 percent.
We were curious how the Los Angeles-based porn industry is reacting to the legislation. To further explain why it's a bad thing, we reached out to a long-time friend of BroBible, adult film star Kayden Kross. Perhaps you'll recall our interview with her a few months ago. Here's what she had to say about Measure B, including whether or not the porn industry will be moving out of Southern California.
Why is Measure B a bad thing?
Kayden Kross: The legislation is a bad thing because it was not drafted in the interest of the people it claims to protect. The people it claims to protect were the ones fighting it. We self regulate and do so at a highly successful rate. I wrote a blog that addressed it here in a blog post for XCritic (Note: NSFW).
If you’re reading this you should care. If you’re reading this you should care because I am a pornstar and you are reading one of my blog pages. You’ve probably whacked it to me. If this is not the case, please change that. I’ll wait.
And I’ll assume from here forward that anyone reading has whacked it to my porn, or at least taken a quick glimpse, and not whacked it. If the non-whacking is my fault, I apologize. Beside the point though, the whacking. Please notice—in a quick mental shuffle through the Rolodex of my porn—the conspicuous absence of condoms in my scenes. They are not there. I did condom scenes in my first movie, and that turned out to suck major monkey balls. The added friction the condoms caused over the course of the shoot was ridiculous. The condoms were not a birth control measure. They were, theoretically, an STD protection. But all the performers were tested. So in my first movie I was protected from STDs that my coworkers didn’t have.
In the next movie I opted out of condoms, and have ever since. Six years I’ve been doing this with a perfect testing record. The system has worked for me.
And in that time, yes, performers have caught gonorrhea. They have caught chlamydia. When this has happened they have taken antibiotics and a week off and then returned to work, good as new. They have not caught HIV. Not a single case of HIV has been transmitted on one of our porn sets in the entire time I’ve been in this industry, and some years before that. Not one fucking case.
And yes, people in the industry have caught HIV off set, in the wild. They have been flagged by the testing procedures and removed from the pool of performers available to work. But they have not transmitted it on a porn set to other performers.
And, yes. There is the recent bad business of this syphilis scare. One of our own faked his test and continued working knowing he had it. That’s shitty. We bungled that one bad. Shitty shitty shitty. Two people caught syphilis this way. With all the bungling. They had to take antibiotics.
And the industry reformed its testing measures to better control against this happening in the future.
In the wild, on average, there are around 2,150 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County each year. This is possibly because there are a lot of people having sex with a lot of other people without verifying one another’s STD status. We are not those people. We’re verified. We are card-carrying motherfuckers.
And who wants to see condoms in porn anyway? Porn is fantasy. It is fantastical with fantastically crazy situations wherein incredibly unlikely women with incredibly unlikely breasts suddenly fall to their knees over men who have their own incredibly unlikely anatomy at the slightest provocation. Never mind the lack of realism behind the perfect shaves and the matching lingerie these women all sport, bent over as they are, waggling their asses with spontaneity. Surely this really happens. Surely women just go around like that, clean-shaven and in designer lingerie, with designer breasts, twenty-four-fucking-seven, horny out of their minds. We beg you to suspend your disbelief in porn. We practically grovel for it. We push limits that would make even a puppet show retch—everything from the dialogue to the story holes to the errors in continuity that are just positively and irreverently savage. But… Measure B would have us get all real-world on your ass and strap a condom on the unlikely dicks and remind everybody sitting at home that fantasy time isn’t very fantastical at all because in the real world there is heartache and death and disease and—god forbid—pregnancy?
Porn is legal because it is protected under free speech. Free speech protects expression. Measure B wants to force us to amend our free expression to include their message about safe sex.
Continue reading at X-Critic (LINK IS NSFW).
How are others in the industry generally reacting to the idea regular, unannounced inspection?
No one that I’ve spoken to is treating the legislation as something they intend to adapt to and comply with. They’re waiting on lawyers to interpret what the legislation actually means for individual producers, and also to see where it applies and where it doesn’t.
How do you think the regular enforcement on sets will change the industry?
I don’t expect regular enforcement to actually take place. Instead I expect to see things about the sets to change so that regular enforcement doesn’t apply.
Do you think the industry will move somewhere else? I.E. Miami?
A lot of moves are an option. I think Nevada is the more likely option, or one of the neighboring counties to Los Angeles, or even just to the unincorporated parts that don’t choose to support the legislation.