Should Condoms Be Required In Porn?

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Image.
Should porn performers be required to wear condoms during anal and vaginal intercourse? A newly qualified ballot measure in California will allow voters to decide the answer to that question next November, The Sacramento Bee reports.

"We now look forward to the next steps, both in the Legislature and before voters in November 2016, if necessary," stated Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the act's sponsor. Last year, a similar condom-requirement measure failed to pass legislation, to Weinstein's dismay. His organization insists that condom mandates ensure a safer workplace for porn actors.

Within the porn community itself, however, opinion is more nuanced. In 2013, performer Stoya wrote an op-ed for Vice that argued that condom use should be a matter of individual choice. "My orifices react negatively to extended condom use, and I strongly prefer not using condoms in scenes," she said. "I believe in the right of every person to choose what goes on and into their body. I believe in my right to use my body as a tool to perform in graphic depictions of sexuality for the purposes of entertainment."

Performer James Deen has also spoken out against condom requirements. "It’s irritating that we’re still fighting sexual stigma as a culture, that people with no insight or knowledge about how the adult industry works would make these decisions for us,” Deen told Refinery29 last year. "If people would think of us less as hookers with cameras in front of us and more as entertainers, people would see this a lot more clearly."

Since California's San Fernando Valley, according to the L.A. Daily News, remains the "porn capital of the world," California voters' perspectives next November could have an immense impact on the industry and the people in it.
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