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Readers Respond: Should condom use be a requirement in pornographic films?

Responses: 19

By

Updated August 19, 2013

From the article: Bareback Porn
With several reports of non-trivial STD outbreaks among adult film stars, the question has been raised about whether or not condom use should be required in the porn industry. Do you think that porn producers should be required to have their actors practice safe sex? Does condom use make porn less exciting? Do you think porn changes the ways in which people have sex? In a world where many young people may learn about sex from porn, is their an educational value to having condoms and safe sex practices portrayed as common?

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will not work

Its a great idea but the market controls the product. If porn stars were required to wear condoms a black market would surface to supply the public with condom free porn. In fact, in the gay porn industry a large portion of the movies are listed as condom free movies. Ultimately, the public will have to make the demand on the industry.
—Guest kjv

Scary

They should use condoms because alot of youth watch those type of movies and would want to practise what they see
—Guest Ghislain

Porn actors seem to accept the high risk

I saw a documentary on the porn industry and they interviewed a few porn "stars". They all admitted they were scared of getting AIDS and had lost many friends/co-workers BUT the money was too good and they were prepared to risk their lives UNTIL they had paid off the house, to feed their drug addictions and a couple of the women where supporting men who's businesses were failing. Many people in this industry are accepting risk because they want or need the money. Paying with your life seemed extreme to me, but then quite a few seemed to exercise poor judgement in other areas of their lives as well. Most said porn films would not be as popular if condoms were used...it has been tried apparently. All agreed illegal films would take over the market if they were forced to use condoms and eventually they'd be working for the people making bareback films. Follow the money....
—Guest Donna

Condoms are essential

Hi, my views on this are simple, men who use responsible sex workers wear condoms and this doesn't seem to detract from their enjoyment of the experience, so why should it be a problem in the porn industry, I think that condoms should be worn by all porn stars as the 'bareback' approach is ruining to many people's lives. I think its time the porn industry wised up to safe sex.
—Guest Tigertrunx

Just tilt the playing field a bit!

ChadwickWalenga makes the best point. Requiring cigarette-style black box warning on media using the least safe practices and pointing out the risks would be a very good next step that doesn't trample on creative freedom. The industry overwhelmingly both complies with the 2257 requirements, and requires testing every 30 days (I think) of its performers with results going into a central database. I'd like to see more safer sex in porn. I think this simple step would trigger a significant (maybe 10-20%?) shift to more of it. From the producer's POV: I can figure out how to make sure I jump through all the right hoops having the right notices, and have my audience have to view 'em, or I can just have my actors use condoms, etc. The latter seems pretty easy.
—Guest JesusHImposter

AIDS Related Deaths...

... in the US Porn Industry since 1985... Get the facts: www.thepinkcross.org www.breakthesilence.me AIDS Related Deaths in the U.S. Pornography Industry since 1985 2007 Tom Howard – 2/27/07 Joe Romero – 10/30/07 2006 Kristian Brooks – 9/07 Brandy Dalton – 8/4/06 Johnny Rey – 1/18/06 2005 Tamara Lee – 2/3/05 2004 Karen Dior – 08/25/04 2003 2002 Mason Flynt – 1/4/02 Mike Hensen - 2002 2001 Brett Ford – 12/25/01 Ron Pearson – 12/10/01 2000 Chuck Holmes – 9/9/00 1999 Lisa Melendez – 9/99 Sparky O'Toole – 8/99 ChadDouglas - 1999 1998 Scott O'Hara – 2/18/98 Scorpio – 12/24/98 1997 Kurt Houston - 8/23/97 Chet Thomas - 3/23/97 Matt Gunther – 5/27/97 1996 Richard Locke – 9/25/96 Eric Stone - 12/24/96 Brad Braverman - 1/10/96 1995 Ben Barker - 9/28/95 Lon Flexx - 9/15/95 Pierce Daniels - 7/8/95 Jon King - 3/8/95 Chris Burns - 2/26/95 Jason Steele - 2/25/95 Kip Tyler – 1995 Melchor Diaz – 1995 Joe Simmons - 10/2/95 Steve Kennedy – 1995 1994 Glenn
—ChadwickWalenga

Shenanigans

In a world where yes, I watched porn in my teen years... in fact ever since I was around 10, I can safely say that is NOT where I learned how to have sex. Sure it's how I found out what everything looked like & how it all worked, but I never once thought back to any particular porn experience while having actual sex. I know the importance of condoms, and I've seen condoms used in porn many times, although I must admit it is less attractive . Forcing a porn star to wear a condom is a violation of their rights - if I were a male porn star who was clean and the female counterpart was equally clean with her tubes tied ... why wouldn't I want to have sex with her without a condom? Condoms protect against STDS & pregnancy - if there is no risk of either, there is no need for a condom. If there is, then one would hope porn stars would use their brains a bit an wrap it up... **Note from Guide : There is no good way to know they are "clean" with how often they have sex.***
—Guest JR

Porn has it's place...

I think internet porn is producing a lot of men incapable of having sex with a real woman. They masturbate to porn and live in a fantasy world. Porn addiction actually leads to sexless marriages. I think porn can cause men to treat women badly - a friend's BF suddenly wanted to do weird things after getting into violent sex films...she dumped him. I think the actors are living on the fringe anyway - to do this sort of work, health is probably not a high priority. High risk lifestyle = high risks to your health. I doubt making condoms a law would work - as the last poster said, if the public doesn't want to see condoms, the business would just go underground. I don't think these movies teach men much about love-making, just sex. Sometimes couples find watching a movie together can spice up their sex life. I see no harm in watching porn in moderation, but when it takes over your life, it becomes a serious and not easily sorted out problem. It becomes an addiction that needs treatment.
—Guest Kate

Good idea, but...

I saw a documentary on the porn industry recently. The "actors" were concerned about AIDS and STD's, but felt condom use would shut down the market for their movies. Even though they all had regular medical checks, there is only so much you can do in a high risk environment like that... If you made condoms a requirement, you'd probably create an even seedier sub-culture of people making condom-free movies which might attract more demand and a higher price. It seems the viewing public are not concerned about health and condoms are a turn-off. Sadly, many of the people who work in this industry are taking risks anyway with drug use and alcoholism...in some cases, that's why they're there in the first place or they need something to cope with their work. Condoms would be a good idea, but doubt it'd would in practice.
—Guest Deborah

Sex,porn, condoms..hmm

Sex first started off to make kids and grow population. Now (quite strangely) its an occupation. Its simply addicting because the human body WANTS sex to reproduce...But if you arnt going to reproduce, use condoms...And if porn stas dont use it, first of all thats no good for them..Secondly, THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of teens watch porn, 18+ or not...So porn stars dont set out a good example. Check the books. There has been more 'baby accidents' recently then there has in a long long time! Porn + condom = Good example, no mistakes, safe 'fun' ... Absolutely needed
—Guest Josh Stanley

Hmm...

The part of this that makes me ponder is how many teenage males really do start to figure out how to have sex (not the mechanics, but how the scene should work) from porn, and therefore do not include putting on a condom. Do I think that should/would affect all porn? no. Ideally, there would be government money/regulations requiring some portion of porn to have condom use (sorta like the educational material public broadcast stations have to include in afterschool/weekend morning scheduling) to make sure it's represented. And maybe make that porn easier to find. But that would include publicly admitting that teenage boys finding porn is both inevitable and to some extent positive (if presented well with female sexuality intact).
—Guest Karen

standard practise?

Now, I may not watch a whole lot of porn (I tend to prefer reading my erotic material), but from what I've seen lately, condom use already seems to be somewhat of a standard practise. No?
—misskitty_79

Who sets the standards?

Even presupposing there's enough legislative will to address porn directly (as opposed to prosecutorial will, of which there is usually plenty) how will we set the government-approved standard for safer sex? I've seen a fair amount of porn where condoms were used for intercourse, but the oral sex was not only unprotected, but ended with some pretty obvious exchange of fluids. This is obviously not even a particularly coherent safer-sex standard in its own right. But I suspect that backing a particular standard with the force of law is going to create its own problems. And that's all leaving aside the degree to which part of the purpose of porn for many consumers is to portray a fantasy world of sexual excess, where all the women are willing all the time, all the men are hung, and embarrassing and sometimes-difficult safer sex negotiations don't have to be had.
—Guest Architect

persuasion, not legislation.

The inevitable result of legislation or even an industry wide standard would be, you guessed it, underground/illegal fetish bareback porn shoots in which the most disenfranchised people would be coerced into having unsafe sex. persuasion, not legislation.
—Guest wriz

Practice or Portray?

There is a huge difference, to me, between requiring that the porn industry practice safe sex and requiring that they portray the practice of safe sex. I happen to think that the first is an absolutely excellent idea in theory, but a difficult one to execute in practice. The second is huge shades of gray for me... very entwined in the artistic freedom argument not to mention the primary purpose of pornography to begin with, ya know, to get you hot. While the obvious use of condoms doesn't 'de-eroticize' (is that a word?) a huge portion of porn for me - I think it's because a large portion of the porn I'm attracted to to begin with is stuff I can envision myself as really being part of - as in actually participating in. I recognize, however, that for others porn is very much about things that are completely fantasy and never even step near the edges of IRL - and I can understand why the obvious use of condoms would very much 'de-eroticize' that for them.
—Guest ~M

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