FSC’s Duke: “The adult industry is facing its biggest existential threat since the Meese Commission in the 1980s”
CANOGA PARK — The Free Speech Coalition announced it will fight newly revised Cal/OSHA regulations which as proposed would mandate goggles, condoms, dental dams, gloves and other skin guards for adult performers. The revised regulations, which were released in mid-October, ignored extensive opposition by performers, producers, and health experts, and will now go to a full vote. The regulations would take effect likely during the second quarter of 2016.
Opponents of the regulations, including the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC), have until November 3 to respond to file formal response; however Cal/OSHA has expressed that many of the most controversial items, including condoms, eye and skin guards, and dental dams, are no longer up for debate. The regulations are expected to pass when the Cal/OSHA board votes early next year.
“This isn’t regulation, this is a complete shut down adult production,” says Diane Duke, CEO of the Free Speech Coalition. “Asking adult performers to wear goggles is up there with asking ballerinas to wear boots. It does not only not match the threat, and it effectively prohibits production in California.”
The regulations have been spearheaded by the controversial AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which has lobbied for greater control of the multibillion-dollar adult industry in California. Earlier this year, adult performers and performer groups protested at a preliminary Cal/OSHA hearing, after an initial draft of the regulations was circulated in the spring.
Included in the regulations for adult performers are:
- Mandatory goggle and eye protection
- Dental dams and condoms for oral sex
- Skin guards and gloves to prevent fluid contact
- Mandatory vaccinations for adult performers
The Cal/OSHA ‘goggles and gloves’ regulations come in conjunction with a 2016 ballot initiative that would allow private citizens to sue performers who don’t use condoms. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has funded both the regulation and the legislation.
Adult performers are currently tested for a full slate of STIs, including HIV, every fourteen days. The Free Speech Coalition had previously submitted to Cal/OSHA an alternative plan that incorporates a variety of safety precautions, including testing, PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), and performer choice over condoms. There has not been an on-set transmission of HIV on a regulated adult set since 2004.
“The adult industry is facing its biggest existential threat since the Meese Commission in the 1980s,” says Duke. “Back then, it was obscenity and vice squads. Now it’s Cal/OSHA regs and a ballot initiative. But the intent and effect is the same: to harass adult performers, to scare adult producers, and to put a multibillion dollar industry out of business merely because they object to the content.”
As scary as this is I believe in the resilience of the adult industry. They’ll bounce back from this futile attempt to muffle an industry that is known for it’s adaptive nature.