Tuesday, April 20, 2004

From the "Doesn't Government Have Better Things To Do?" file ...

State, County May Require Condoms in Adult Films

Don't get me wrong; preventing the spread of AIDS is an important issue. But if a group of adults is determined to engage in unsafe behavior, esp. when such behaviors can be rendered (relatively) harmless with minimal effort on their part, is it not a waste of government's finite resources to attempt to change their mind? Such is the problem in La-La Land:

After almost a year of urging the adult-film industry to require actors to wear condoms during sex scenes, state and county officials say the recent HIV infection of two porn stars has given them the leverage they need to force change. State and Los Angeles County health officials said Monday they believed existing regulations gave them the authority to require adult-film actors to use condoms, and the state Division of Occupational Health and Safety plans to begin inspections this week, marking the first time Cal/OSHA has investigated the adult-film industry ... some industry officials say pornographic movie production would move out of state if condom use were required.

Although a few California adult-film producers have voluntarily switched to condom-only productions, the majority of producers and distributors have balked at doing so. It is conventional wisdom within the multibillion-dollar industry, which employs more than 6,000 people in California (including about 1,200 performers), that using a condom doesn't pay.

"It's market forces," said Mark Kulkis, president of Kick Ass Pictures, a production company based in downtown Los Angeles that specializes in fetish films. "The bottom line is, customers don't like [to see] condoms."

I'm all about the market forces - but if you are stupid enough to go along with this caveat, all I can say is you'd better have iron-clad private insurance, 'cause the State of California has no business paying for your healthcare when you come down with AIDS. That's what the legislature ought to be doing - protecting the state's finances from people who are determined to give the term "Career Suicide" a literal interpretation, not trying to legislate common sense in an industry filled with, pardon the expression, headcases.

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