BEVERLY HILLS—Dozens of porn fans and other Angelenos gathered Saturday night at the Hustler Hollywood store on Sunset Boulevard to witness the first in a series of events sponsored by the Association for Safe Fun Sex (ASFX), an activist group whose message is that "safe sex doesn't have to be boring sex," according to ASFX publicist Tyler Barnett.
Also on board for the festivities were adult novelty manufacturer/retailer Screaming O, which brought its own d.j. and plenty of novelties for attendees to check out, and the Hustler Hollywood chain itself, which will provide space at its stores nationwide for future ASFX/Screaming O events. Saturday's event included prizes (including giveaways of the Screaming O Vibrating Condom Pack), a "Guitar Hero" style video game, and an after-party at the MI-6 nightclub in Hollywood that reported drew as many as 200 attendees.
"ASFX was founded about three years ago by activist Justin Ross," Barnett told AVN, "and the whole concept was, condom use is going down, STDs are going up, unplanned pregnancies are going up, so we wanted to do something different and fun and interesting to encourage people to have safe sex, and the Screaming O has got a really cool product, the Screaming O Vibrating Condom Pack. So we thought, what if we can launch a campaign, non-profit, where we're encouraging people to have safe sex in a fun way? Our motto is, 'Play safe, safe sex.' And the whole concept is, safe sex doesn't have to be boring sex, it doesn't have to be worse than unprotected sex. Safe sex can be better than unsafe sex. The concept is, 'Peace of mind/have a good time,' and so we've teamed with Hustler Hollywood because obviously it's a fun place, it's on Sunset; it's got a lot of stores, and this is the first of many events to come where we're getting the word out about ASFX and the association."
Although Screaming O is an old hand at safe sex events on campus, ASFX has now revamped its website and has recently begun to take a more activist role in promoting condom use, taking its message to a wider audience through the use of co-sponsors like Screaming O and Hustler, as well as some upcoming projects that will involved Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry trade organization.
"We're talking to everybody," Barnett stated. "But this is not about porn and it's not about the adult industry. It's about people, and about people not using condoms, and we're trying to encourage them to have safe sex."
Also on hand for the event was Kenny Santucci, a member of the veterans team on the MTV program "Gauntlet 3," and who, with a partner, was the second runner-up in "Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat," a reality TV show filmed in Australia.
"I'm going to start promoting it on Twitter, for the people who follow me on Twitter, @KennySantucci," Santucci said, "and I'm going to get the word out there, get the word out to the kids. I do a lot fo public appearances, so I've got a little bit of a decent following, and I'm going to get the word out there and show the kids some new toys. There's a couple of really cool toys here, and I think everybody should try them out. I've been working on these things for a while, and my girlfriend doesn't have any complaints."
ASFX will be videotaping the events and using the footage for a series of public service announcements on its website and any other venue that will carry them—and Barnett noted that he's been pleasantly surprised at how well ASFX has been received by college students.
"It's been fantastic," Barnett said. "At first, we thought the concept might be a little too edgy, but what we found is, everything's so edgy as it is these days that people love it, and it gives college students and people in general the chance to enjoy safe sex and try something different."