Los Angeles council requires condoms in porn films

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The council’s second and final vote to approve the law was taken without public discussion on a day when most of the porn industry’s major players were in Las Vegas preparing for Wednesday’s opening of the Adult Entertainment Expo, their industry’s largest trade event. They said they weren’t surprised to hear the news, however.

The ordinance will not affect unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, but Kenslea noted his organization is gathering petition signatures for a ballot initiative that would require condoms on porn films shot throughout the entire county. The City Council passed its condom ordinance after his group gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot in Los Angeles.

If condoms are required on film shoots throughout the county, several filmmakers said they’ll likely just go to neighboring counties. The Los Angeles bedroom community of Simi Valley, for example, is in Ventura County but only a 10-minute drive from the west San Fernando Valley, where many porn films are now made.

Condoms aren’t needed, filmmakers say, because the industry already polices itself. Production companies require that actors be tested for sexually transmitted diseases a minimum of every 30 days when they are working.

Industry officials say no cases of HIV have been directly linked to porn films since 2004, adding they fear if the industry scatters to areas outside of Los Angeles that testing could fall by the wayside, exposing performers to more risk.

“If someone is going to catch an STD it’s usually out of the business because we are tested so often,” said veteran porn actress and producer Tabitha Stevens.

In her 17 years in the business, Stevens said, she has worked both with and without condoms. Although she prefers to use condoms, acknowledging they do increase safety, she said the choice should be left up to the performers and not mandated by a government agency.

“If you want to wear them, wear them. If you don’t, don’t. That’s up to the talent to decide. It shouldn’t be up to the government to decide,” she said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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