No such thing as ‘safe sex’

Since winning of the Adult Video News’ best newcomer award in 2009, adult film performer Stoya has made quite a name for herself — both onscreen and online, where she is an active social networker, interacting with fans on Twitter and through blogs. She spoke with Metro about workplace safety.

Were you pleased with the industry’s reaction to the positive HIV test?

Pleased is a tricky word. There is no such thing as ‘safe sex,’ so obviously there is no way for the adult industry to be completely safe unless we don’t have sex — in which case we’re corny softcore, and that stuff’s kind of cheesy. I’m pleased that there was a reaction, I’m pleased that they were concerned for the immediate health of anyone that might be exposed if they continued filming. I do think that, as an industry, we can do better.

The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM) requires performers to be tested once a month. Is that enough?

That system’s been in place for 10 or 15 years, and over time it should have been improved. I require testing two days before a film scene. I have the ability to ask for that because I have an established brand at a company I’m under contract with. There isn’t as much opportunity for most performers to demand that because we don’t act as a cohesive whole.

Aside from testing, what about condom use on sets?

Here’s the thing: Companies believe that condoms hurt sales, and it is a business. I don’t think it’s really that simple. There is a very vocal section of the consumer base that says, ‘Oh, I hate condoms.’ But I know what I see in my peer group, my friends and the people I have worked with — sex without a condom.

What do you think producers can do to make condoms more acceptable onscreen?

When I see them used in porn, it’s not very organic. They sort of pop up and appear and disappear, and it’s edited to look like a magically intermittent condom. And I think if we used them on camera like we do in our personal lives and didn’t make a big deal out of it, I think it would probably retain more heat, and the people who complain about that would have far less of an issue.

Why can’t the industry decide to lead the charge and make condoms mandatory?

If we only started producing porn with condoms, there are other options. There’s so much porn on the Internet, you can keep yourself occupied for the rest of your life. Those users that are violently opposed to them are going to either just watch older stuff or they’re going to go to amateur websites, and those are already kind of catching up to the professional porn.


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