California has developed a well-earned reputation as a nanny state. Despite its progressive inclinations, state laws and regulations can be quite prudish. So it should not come as a complete shock that there is now an effort to crack down on the adult film industry and force all male performers in the state to wear condoms during their scenes.
In addition to the condom mandate, Assembly Bill 1576, introduced by Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-
Compton AHF, would require performers to: undergo testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases within two weeks prior to filming; force performers to consent to disclose to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health that they took an HIV test and that their employer paid for the test; require producers to keep a record of each time a performer engaged in intercourse and verify that a condom was used for that scene.
“We need to begin to treat the adult film industry just like any other legitimate, legal business in California,” Hall said in a press release. If he means piling onerous and unnecessary regulations on businesses and driving them out of the state, then he is on the right track. After a similar ordinance, Measure B, passed in Los Angeles County in 2012, porn film permit applications in the county dropped 92 percent – from about 480 in 2012 to 40 in 2013. A number of productions left the state altogether, for more friendly climes, like Las Vegas.
Despite AB1576 supporters’ purported health concerns, the industry appears to be doing a good job of regulating itself. There has not been an on-set transmission of HIV in more than 10 years, which has prompted the adult film industry to dub AB1576 “a solution in search of a problem.” It turns out that having widespread sexually transmitted diseases would be bad for businesses and attracting top talent.