An ultimatum in adult entertainment

A recent law requires actors in pornography to wear condoms.

by Hemang Sharma

On Nov. 6, voters in the Los Angeles County passed the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act  or Measure B, a ballot initiative that requires pornstars to wear condoms in all vaginal and anal sex scenes. The law applies to 85 cities within Los Angeles County, notorious for churning out big- and small-budget porn productions.

Many viewers aren’t pleased as they expect thrills from porn, not realism. The pornstars are also unhappy, fearing a lack of sales of their movies and resultant unemployment. Legendary stars like Ron Jeremy unsuccessfully ran a huge campaign to defeat the amendment. The porn producers are also miffed at the hassles of procuring suitable locations where the law doesn’t apply, causing them increased expenditures and lack of available talent in alternate places like nearby Las Vegas. Porn directors are also feeling violated, citing the amendment undermines their personal liberty, artistic vision and the freedom of expression, all vital to their trade.

What Priya Rai, Sasha Grey, Faye Reagan and Nicole Klitman put in whichever parts of their bodies is completely their business. They do so out of free will with other actors. These men and women perform sexual acts for the viewing pleasure of others, a legal activity that they pursue as their job, with pride.

To quote an old-school California Republican and former president who tirelessly championed freedom and personal responsibility, “There you go again.” Sex sells, but it needs money to fuel the passion of the workers. I ask lawmakers to read the First Amendment and pay heed to Ronald Reagan’s words, reflect and overturn this law before the industry fundamentally changes or starts to operate illegally by going underground within Los Angeles County. These are tax-paying, law-abiding businessmen who deserve respect and business-friendly environments.

I support the porn industry in keeping its right for freedom of expression. Why are there still people outraged about sexual expression? Since when did it become the government’s job to mandate safe sex? It is not their responsibility, and it has never been and never should be.

If this is about teaching an example for viewers of adult entertainment, then the government is misguided in its effort. Although I can understand moral and religious concerns about teaching young adults about being careful in their sexual pursuits, it should be done outside of public schools. Sex is the most primal of human nature. No teenager stayed a virgin simply because someone told them to. Laws like Measure B regulate an industry of fantasy rather than one of reality.

Similarly, if people have a problem with porn, they should simply not view it. Their problem with porn is that it is a bad example for realistic sexual activity, yet the industry is not out to provide a realistic example of sex more than any fictitious movie or book is a realistic reflection of society.

The government should look out for companies like Hustler, Playboy, Vivid and Backroom Casting because these industries do create jobs and are a vital industry in society, whether we’re ready to label them as such. Their movies may be immoral and realistically unachievable, yet the fact is the porn industry brings immense pleasure to its consumers and its respective business owners. The adult industry finished off strong, with the glorious, euphoric feeling worth $14 billion in revenues, according to a CNBC report. It seems as though Measure B is attacking an industry that does not deserve such regulation.