On March 5, new health regulations which would require porn actors to use condoms while shooting on location will come into effect in Los Angeles, after the City Council voted in favor of the law earlier this year. L.A. and, more specifically, the San Fernando Valley, have long been home to a thriving porn industry. But now the studios are faced with a dilemma: do they comply with the regulations and lose a portion of their audience, or do they abandon the area for somewhere without such rules? People within the industry claim that using condoms in their films hurts sales, and that the system currently in place, in which performers have regular screenings for HIV, does enough to protect their actors.

AIDS activists, who lobbied in favor of the change, say that it's not just about protecting the health of the porn actors, though that is certainly a large factor. Not using condoms in porn, they say, reinforces the idea that the best sex is unprotected sex — effectively discouraging the use of condoms for the industry's massive audience.

There are some ways to get around the law, like shooting scenes in certified sound stations. But people in the industry seem to feel that if the law becomes too much of a problem for production, they'll just relocate. And that could means some losses for the city:

In the most recent study, local economists estimated a decade ago — before the recession — that the industry generated $4 billion in sales and provided 10,000 to 20,000 jobs annually to actors, makeup artists, camera crews, caterers and the like.

Those who oppose the new regulations could also take legal action and potentially overturn the law, though such a task is generally a drawn-out one. In the meantime, supporters maintain that the number-one priority should be the health of the performers and, potentially, the general public. But something tells me that as long as there is demand for porn films without rubbers, those movies are going to get made.

Commentarium (3 Comments)

Feb 21 12 - 6:31pm
KS

Where but Los Angeles will they find such a large supply of people with incredible bodies and broken dreams?

Feb 22 12 - 1:10am
lolwut

Miami. A few studios have already set up shop there, the LA studios might follow suit.

Feb 22 12 - 4:40pm
res

I can't believe Mayor Mikey Bloomberg hasn't jumped all over this! I can just picture the press conference -- little Mikey with a couple of porn starlets at his side (so much taller than him that their boobs are at the level of his face)....
C'mon, Mayor Mike! Bring more jobs to New York!