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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Porn stars will not have to wear condoms or goggles while filming

They had argued the move would destroy the industry.

Chanel Preston, Adult Performer's Advocacy Committee President, speaks before the Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board.
Chanel Preston, Adult Performer's Advocacy Committee President, speaks before the Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board.

ONE AFTER ANOTHER, scores of people who make porn films for a living pleaded their case to California workplace safety officials: Don’t force condoms or safety goggles or other devices designed to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases on them because those devices will simply stop people from watching porn films and soon they’ll have no jobs at all.

“All of us are here for the same reason. We want to keep California workers safe,” porn actress SiouxsieQ, who also reports on the industry for various publications, told the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s Standards Board during a public hearing last night.

But adopting regulations specifically requiring the use of condoms and other safety measures that audiences don’t like would only keep people from watching films and destroy a multibillion-dollar business that employs thousands, she and dozens of others told the board.

The panel, which had been poised to approve the measure, eventually voted it down when only three members gave their support.

Four yes votes from the seven-member panel were required for passage. The vote was 3-2 in favor, with one member absent and one board position currently open.

The panel will now begin considering a new worker-safety measure for the porn industry, said Cal/OSHA spokeswoman Julia Bernstein.

Board members appeared influenced by the large number of industry representatives, ranging from actors to writers to directors, who argued forcefully but politely during five hours of testimony.

If the proposed regulations didn’t destroy their multibillion-dollar industry, they said, they would likely force it underground. Doing that, they added, could be even worse for performers by eliminating existing safeguards such as the industry’s requirement that actors be tested every 14 days for sexually transmitted diseases.

“I ask you not to approve this policy that will endanger me and my colleagues,” said porn actress Maxine Holloway.

Mike Stabile, a spokesman for the industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition, said after the vote that pornographers hope they can work closely in the future in crafting safety requirements that the industry can accept. He didn’t say what those might be.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has lobbied Cal/OSHA for years to adopt workplace safety standards specifically for the porn industry that are similar to what it has for other businesses.

Although disappointed by the vote, foundation spokesman Ged Kenslea said his organisation was impressed that porn representatives said they recognise a need for some sort of regulation.

He added his group would be interested in working with them to achieve that goal.

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