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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

Pick Your Porn

By June 17, 2009

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You know what's not sexy? Watching people get infected with STDs, and yet that's what there's a reasonable chance that you may be doing when you're watching bareback porn. Although, in theory, the adult film industry polices itself with regular medical check-ups and quarantines, the evidence suggests that that may be too little too late. After all, even if people were screened once a week, it can take time before an individual tests positive- time when they are still be able to pass on infections to any one they sleep with. Think it's not a problem? According to the L.A. times there have been 22 new HIV infections among adult film performers in the past 5 years along with more than 2000 cases of chlamydia and almost another 1500 of gonorrhea... all diseases which can be effectively prevented by practicing safe sex. Regulation doesn't seem to be a viable option at the moment, so in my mind that means it's up to the marketplace. If people stop buying porn where condoms aren't used, then maybe production companies will stop making it. So here's my proposal - if you're a porn consumer, look for porn that features safe sex. When you find it, write to the companies that make it and tell them you appreciate their work and the fact that they care about the health of their performers. Convinced that bareback porn is hotter? Picture every fluid exchange as teeming with bacteria and viruses and I bet you'll get over it.
Comments
June 23, 2009 at 11:44 pm
(1) Q says:

How does that compare to the infection rates of similar populations? Is there any reason to think this has to do with their lives as performers and not their personal lives?
Not to downplay your point that more porn and more sex should feature protective barriers, but it feels like you might be cherry-picking your data.

June 24, 2009 at 8:23 am
(2) std says:

I completely agree with your comments (particularly since it isn’t my data!), but my point isn’t so much that adult film performers are at higher risk. Instead it’s that, since they have sex as part of their job, it should be part of their employers responsibility to reduce the risk of their activity to their fellow performers. It doesn’t matter if X becomes exposed through her personal life if she then exposes Y, Z, and Q through her job.

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