LOS ANGELES—The Huffington Post earlier today held a live discussion on its website about the use of condoms in adult films.
Host Alyona Minkovski asked: "Is the call for condoms in porn drowning out the voices of those most affected by the proposed requirements? In light of the most recent push to regulate the industry, some performers are saying that their right to choose is being overlooked."
Joining the discussion was HuffPost Los Angeles associate editor Kathleen Miles, NSFW Corp's sex and science editor Leigh Cowart, along with adult performers Sovereign Syre and Cindy Starfall.
Framing the start of the conversation was the plight of Cameron Bay and Rod Daily. Syre was quick to point out, correcting an earlier statement, that Bay and Daily both contracted HIV off set, and that Daily wasn't part of the industry's monthly testing regimen because he performed in gay films, a side of the industry in which the vast majority of the studios do not test for STIs.
While testing is not prevention, Syre said that it has been effective in stopping the spread of HIV, and there hasn't been an on-set transmission in nearly a decade.
During the ensuing discussion, Syre, a girl/girl only performer, said that she would prefer to use condoms, but still believes it should be a choice the performer makes, not via government mandate.
Starfall said that it's a fine line between an adult performer choosing to use a condom because she doesn't know her scene partner, and one being mandated no matter the situation. Given the opportunity, she'd like to make that choice for herself.
Cowart claimed that AHF's unsolicited intervention in porn is a misguided attempt to regulate an industry in which its participants are fully aware of the risks—after all, only abstinence is safe.
"I think supporting performers through education and empowering them to make their own decisions is a better way to make porn safer," NSFW Corp's Cowart said.
Though we'd be remiss if we didn't debunk Miles' notion that we can't be sure where Bay and an unnamed third adult performer contracted HIV. With all scene partners having been identified and tested clean, we do in fact know that the virus was not transmitted on-set during production.
Other topics of discussion included AHF's possible motives for involving itself in the adult film industry, performers' personal responsibility to themselves and their co-stars, off-set risks, and the importance for performers to manage their money, among other topics.
All those that participated agreed that condoms should be a choice.
To see the full video, click here.