Condoms in porn: The debate rages on

The recent uproar over an adult performer testing HIV positive has reignited the debate over safety in the porn industry, while many in the business insist that current regulation works.

California’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has recently met to debate its existing policy amid calls for more industry-specific rules for adult entertainment. Critics argue that forcing condom use would be a blow to the industry, as viewers not interested in seeing condoms would switch off. And some have even suggested adult businesses might abandon California for states with less regulation.

“Companies feel that they will make more money with films that show condom-less sex,” porn actress and director Madison Young told Salon. “[It] goes back to the idea that viewers want to the sex fantasy without safer sex practices.”

Other issues concern the physical wearing of condoms. “Male performers aren’t used to using them; The men are larger than average — like, much more larger than average,” adult film performer Stoya told Metro. “It is quite possible that condoms are too tight and uncomfortable.”

While industry leaders argue that the current system of mandatory monthly testing is just as effective, some have already embraced condom use. The adult film studio Wicked Pictures voluntarily instated a condoms-only policy in 2004, though it is still the only major porn company to do so.


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