L.A. County Voters Approve Measure Requiring Condoms in Adult Films

The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act follows on the heels of a similar law passed by the Los Angeles City Council.

UPDATE 7:35 a.m.

Voters in Los Angeles County approved Measure B Tuesday, ushering in a new era of government oversight of the adult film industry.

The new law, which passed with over 55 percent of the vote, requires male actors to wear condoms during the shooting of adult films and follows on the heels of a similar ordinance passed by the Los Angeles City Council in January.

The vote is a victory for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which gathered enough signatures to get Measure B—also known as the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act—on the ballot. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation also gathered the required number of signatures that forced the L.A. City Council to vote on the issue in January.

Measure B requires producers of adult films in the county obtain health permits and requires that male actors use condoms while filming vaginal or anal intercourse. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has argued that the use of condoms will help protect performers from sexually transmitted diseases.

"Our goal is to protect performers, and I understand if they disagree with us," Michael Weinstein, executive director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Measure B was strongly opposed by leaders of the adult film industry, which is centered in the San Fernando Valley and generates an estimated $8 billion a year in revenue. Approximately 90 percent of all U.S. adult films are shot in the Valley, according to Mark Kernes, senior editor of Chatsworth-based Adult Video News.

A group of adult film performers opposed to Measure B held a rally on Sunday at a strip club in North Hollywood. Many there argued that the industry's required testing of performers is sufficient to protect against STDs.

"We're tested every 15 days," adult performer Tatyiana Foxx told Patch.

Fox said condoms would ruin the fantasy of many scenes her fans enjoy, while male performer James Bartholet said the city would lose tax dollars if the industry were forced to relocate.

"We spend our tax dollars here, we go to the beauticians and the nail salons and the auto body shops," he said, adding: "If you shut this industry down you're going to have local businesses that are going to have a huge drop in sales. Now is that a smart thing?"

Measure B passed despite editorial opposition from both the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News. The Daily News argued that the threat of STDs to performers has been exaggerated, as the industry claims no performer has tested positive for HIV since 2004 as a result of its rigorous testing policies.

After the ordinance was passed in January, many adult film companies have threatened to leave Los Angeles to nearby locations rather than comply with the condom ordinance. In response to the L.A. ordinance, nearby Simi Valley passed its own condom ordinance in April, which was aimed at stopping a possible flood of film production companies relocating there. Now with Measure B passing and requiring condoms throughout the entire county, the future of the industry in Los Angeles and Southern California is unclear.


-- Arin Mikailian contributed to this story

Shelley Marks Kramer November 08, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Undereducated persons do not understand the magnitude of eating gm food, what it does to the body, how they will not have grandchildren and more illnesses that they cannot explained.I have known about products with known carcinogens in personal care and beauty products for over 20 years. Heads are in the sand and education is the key, if only they will listen. People think the government is "protecting the public". Little do they know how we are not protected from environmental chemicals, and hence the reason for so much illness and cancer. Publicsright2know.org, Campaign for Safe cosmetics, Environmental working Group, preventcancer.com, Breast Cancer action., ThinkBeforeyouPink.org, Not Just a Pretty Face. The facts are here, everyone can read them, they just have to open their heads and learn. healthy-communications.com
Hank Hill November 08, 2012 at 06:59 PM
So now we have to pay taxes to regulate this moronic law all the while losing millions in porn industry taxes while they move their industry out of state. What idiots voted on this stupid measure but voted against labeling GMOs??
Bill Wentz November 08, 2012 at 10:57 PM
How does the porn industry being in the same county affect your life at all? Are fake tits constantly bumping into your back at the supermarket? Do you really think the valley is not a family friendly environment? This law isn't about sending messages, it's supposed to be protecting people. The "victims" that are being "protected" don't need this! There is NOT a problem with HIV being spread in the porn industry here. And so what about safe sex? Did you ever think that porn shows people in committed relationships having sex, and maybe even trying to get pregnant? Your bigotry disgusts me. I wish you'd move out of the valley to make the area become a thinking-person friendly environment.
Pottree November 11, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Wow - sounds like a lot of hysteria! Isn't this supposed to be regulated by the STATE, not County or City? This is a great lawyer annuity program in the making! Watch for the screen-searing sequel: Scandal at the Deli Counter! PS - the idea that people who are at best temporary workers in the porn acting gig will never have sex with other people who are not porn actors is outlandish. They will now, while they are working at this gig, and they will later when they are not commercially saleable. This issue isn't about the fantasy or the government intrusion, or the health issues of which there are many... but about at which level this is controlled. It is beyond unreasonable to mandate something like this on a city-by-city or county-by-county basis. And I think anybody who is successful in the business of porn production would agree. This is as nutty as the LA City tax on motion picture production costs, rather than profits, that forced producers to adjacent municipalities. Q: what major studio is in LA City? Does someone know of anyone other than Paramount, sitting on its invaluable lot? Isn't everyone else already paying their city taxes in Burbank, Culver City, LA County, Malibu, Santa Monica, or anyplace else?
Wildthing1 November 11, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Uh, remember Art Buchwald? There are never profits in Hollywood. If motion picture accounting is opaque now, just imagine if we taxed their profits.
Culturevator November 11, 2012 at 04:55 PM
The elected problem solvers in Sacramento love to waste our time and our tax money legislating these frivolous initiatives,because they have no clue on solving real problems. Vote them out and get people who have knowledge and ability to legislate, for the benefit of the people who pay their salaries, not the beauty contest that has become our election process.
Joker Joe November 12, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I like purple. As long as the condoms are purple, I am for it!!
Tim Tritch November 26, 2012 at 11:18 PM
For seven years I worked as the laboratory representative for AIM Healthcare, the organization that did all of the HIV and std testing for the industry before its closure a few years ago. In addition to AIM Healthcare I aslo has legal access to test results from over 12 other clinics that perfomers used for their health needs. First, you can do whatever you want in the privacy of your own bedroom, but when you become a paid employee, you are subject to regulation, as is any industry. This measure requires that porn companies have the same health permits that your barber, or tattoo artist are required to have. I have always found it rather ironic that MMA fighters, and boxers are required by state law, throught the Athletic commision, to pass a strict physical, including HIV and Hep C. tests before they are granted a license to fight, yeat there are NO legal health requirements of any kind to hire people to have unprotected oral, anal, and vaginal sex, complete with exposure to semen, vaginal fluids and other OPIM(Other potentially infectios material) The adult industry has made the claim for years that their std rates are lower than the general public. This statement is flat out false. The std rate in the adult industry is astronomicaly higher than the general public. ANd while instances of HIV in the hetero film industry is very low, the rate of HIV infection in the gay porn industry is conservativley estimated at about 40% YES<<40%
Tim Tritch November 26, 2012 at 11:53 PM
The gay porn industry has no testing program of any kind. In 2004 there was an HIV outbreak in the industry in which one male performer infected three females, all of which occured within 18 hour of eachother. The day it was announced that this male performer was HIV positive all of the people he had contact with were notiified. Later that afternoon I was at the AIM clinic helping coordinate the testing procedures for those who were either directly exposed, and the partners of those direcly exposed. The industry was reluctant in the testing, caliming the costs were to high. In the end I ended put paying for 57 people to be tested at least three times each, some more, over the next month, using a verry expensive PCR test(not your regular HIV test). Over $22,000.oo directly outof my pocket. On that first day of testing I was at the westside location of AIM(there were 2 locations in the valley) One of the girls who had worked with the infected performer walked in the door, and I was the only person at the front desk. She was 19 years old, shaking uncontrolably, sweating profusely from head to toe, and sobbing incontrolably. I sat her down in the exam room and called for the AIM employee to come help her. She told us that she had unprotected anal sex, actually a 'double anal" two penises inserted simultaneously, and she saied "I know I was bleeding." As we drew her blood sample, her fingernails dug into my wrist so hard that I was bleeding.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 12:02 AM
To this day I have a scar as a reminder of that day. 24 hours later I returned her results to the AIM clinic, she was indeed infected with the virus. When she was called in to get the news she said, "I just wanted to make enough money to buy my mom a car." She was actually in the country on a tourist visa, working illegally, another very common occurance. The adult industry did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for the three girls who were infected, tha company had no workers comp insurance. The male performer actually ended up suing AIM for violating his privacy. It is also illegal to require an HIV test as a condition of employment, and it is also illegal to require a prospective employee to pay for any medical tests that may be legally required before being hired, such as nurses being tested for tuberculosis. Do not believe the ridiculous statements about the std rates being lower, or the vastly inflated claims of jobs and tax revenue from the porn industry. THere is not one single person on this planet who knows more about the stds in the porn industry than me, that may sound in some way very arrogant, but it is simply the truth, and the truth is the one thing that the porn industry fears more than anything. The recent syphillis outbreak was caused by a perromer who had already reached stage 2 of the syphillis infection, who then falsified his std test and continued working.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 12:12 AM
I have seen the graphic photos of this performer, with MULTIPLE , clearly visiblesyphillis sores on his penis, yet nobody said anything. The producer said nothing, the director said nothing, the cameraman said nothing, and the female performer said nothing. Believe me, if Iposted one of those photos here I guarantee you that some of you would puke instantly. I apologize for being quite graphic here, but that is the reality of the situaltion. I could go on for days about this, and I have no doubt that if I could speak to any of the individuals here who seem to be so vehemently against this measure, I could convince you otherwise. Asd the majority of female performers who are represented by legal talent agencies also had escort adds a number of escort agency sites. Most female performers these days make more money escorting than in movies. I have also worked as a paid consultant for LATATA(legal adutl talent agency trade association) and AHF(Aids Healthcare Foundation Over the years I also conducted over 600 videotaped interviews with perfomrers. The release they signed for me had a provision that I wait 10 years to release them, and this gave them the opporunity to speak very openly and honestly about their experiences. As anyone in the industry knows, if you speak ill of the industry your career is over. That is why very few current perfomrers did not speak aout in support of measure B. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 12:38 AM
One final note, there are currently working performers who have active Hep C. Thier agents know it, and several well known producers know it. These agents continue to book these perfomers to work, and they do not notify the persons that they are booked to work with. Several of these performers have been in the industry for over ten years. This is the reason that Hep C testing is not part of the voluntary testing program. Dont ask Dont tell, and knowingly conceal the truth. The current testing program is run by a group called APHSS(adult performer health safety system) which is an offsoot of the FSC(Free speech cooalition) the non profit trade organization that represents the PRODUCERS, not the the talent. Having the producers in charged of the health program is like putiint the elephants in charge of the peanuts. When I personally asked what is the APHSS protocol regarding Hep C, o course I got no answer. It is also interesting that there are members of FSC who are among the producers who know who the Hep C positive performers are. I cannot out these people, as I would be sued for HIPPA violations. This is aother reason that performers who spoke out against measure b could say ridiculous things like "In ten years I have never contracted an std in the industry" becuase these performers know that nobody can call them on it withoug violating their privacy. At one OSHA hearing I asked a performer who said this "Are you sure about that" I was asked to leave.
Stephanie November 27, 2012 at 06:22 AM
So if someone isn't into porn they are a bigot? What's next? A person should be able to like or dislike whatever they want. Are we supposed to like everything? A difference of opinion or values does not make one a bigot. I don't care one way or the other about this condom law, but no one should be called a bigot over this. Give me a break.
Stephanie November 27, 2012 at 06:35 AM
Why did AIM close? What changed after it's closure in terms of testing of the performers?
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 06:42 AM
This initiative was completely funded by the AHF, from the signature gathering to qualify it for the ballot to the advertising, urging yes votes. It is simply becasue of the lack on any legislattion that this situation exists. There is not one single law regarding any health standards for the porn industry. Your barber, and the local tattoo artists work under more stringent health regulations than the porn industry. And here's another litttle thing. During this entire campaign the industry talked about the one BILLION dollars they generate for the local economy, and the 10,000 jobs they provide,,,,YET, the entire official No On B committee was unable to rasie even $750,000 to fund their entire campaign. Not even one 1/10t of 1% of the amount theat they claim they generated in tax and 'associated' business revenue. And this is because the numbers you hear from the industry about their revenues are inflated more than a hot air balloon. An MMA fighter needs a license from te state, and a state ordered HIV and Hep C. test, along with a very stringent physical, including eye exams, but a porn perfomrer being hired to have unprotected anal sex is not required by any law to have any type of health screening what so ever. The very limited testing the industry does is basically and 'honor among theives" volunatry program,and is often described as 'self policing.' ps, haveany of you ever seen what gonnoreah in the eye looks like?Iused to see it on a REGULAR basis.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 06:53 AM
Where do I begin Stephanie, A few years ago a battle erupted. Aids Healthcare Foundation began filing OSHA compaints, and Health department complaints, which forced these two government bodies, who had been all to happy to completely ignore the porn industry in LosAngeles for 30 to respond to these legal complaints. For year, AHF has been trying to get any state lesisator to intoduce a bill regarding the use of 'protective epi upment' in the adult industry.But no elected legislator in their right mind would put his name on any legislatioun that would appear to 'promote' the porn industry.So AHF went from trying to get 'legislation' and is now trying to use 'regulation' through OHSA, HEalth Deparment, and other levels of government below the lesislators( where it really belongs) AIM was caught right in the crossfire of this battle. Then AIM made a few mistakes, one of them being the 'hacking' of their entire medial database. But it wasnt really hacked, they would give passwords to porn producers to access medical information. THe 'waiver' that the performers signed did not stand up to legal scrutiny, all though others will argue the waiver was valid, in truth, it was not. AIM basically went bandrupt, but there is alot more to this story than I am legaly allowed to talk about, but I will say this, the accepted industry story that lawsuits from AHF closed AIM is pure unadulterated 100% pure Bull****!!!!
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Regarding testing today. First some backround. The porn industry is not as large as most people think. AIM was formed in 1998 when there were about 400 to450 people who worked as performers in any given month in the San Fernando Valley, or Porn Valley. There was no central testing, and it was just the performers themselves who got tested, and actually bought papper copies of their tests to show eachother before filming. In 1998, there was an HIV outvreak in the indsutry. Within a few months several female performers camu up positive, as many as 6 to 12, depending on who is telling the story. It was discovered that a mutli year industr veteran was forging his HIV test, knew he was infected, and worked anyway. Most of this is true, but not all, but lets move on. Representatives of the adult industry, including Sharon Mitchell, went ot the county health department themselves and said 'we need help.' The county would have nothing of it. They went to OSHA officialls, and again were turned away. SSOOOOO, they formed their own clinic,AIM, Adult Industry Medical Heatlhcare Foundation. At the time many protested forming AIM saying, it will just be useed against us, in the end they were right. Sharon Mitchell was one of the biggest stars in the history of the industry. She ran the clinic. She is one of the most interesting, fascinating, funny, cool,smart,beautiful ladies I have ever known.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 07:16 AM
There are now two places where most performers in Los Angeles get tested, Talent Testing Service, and Cutting Edge Testing. Neither of these places is a non-profit,as AIM was. TTS has been around a while, they do most of the testing for the Florida industry, Florida has a bustling porn industry of its onw(thats another story). CET is a local facility. Today performers go to one of these clinics. The clinic gets the results and then enters "Available For Work" and the date of the test into the APHSS system, which is run by the non-profit FSC, who are funded by the porn producers. With the advancement of medical information techonology available today, there is simply no need for this system. Test results can be verified online, without any third party having to intervene. Other industry politics play into this, such as the single largest company, who is responsible for the majority of 'pirated free' porn on the internet now basically owns the FSC. They were also the largest donors to the NO on B campaign, except that a big portion of their donations had to be returned because they came from an offshore company.(thats another, antoher story) Stephanie, I could literally write a book about this, and one day I well. My hands are legally tied and there is alot I just cant say.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 07:28 AM
Then there was the battle between CET and TTS over which test to use. It was hilarious. TTS says we use the APTIMA HIV-1 kit, CET says we use the kBeckman Assay9or something like that) It was like the Coke vs, Pepsi wars. And then that big company, Manwin, buys an APTIMA machine for the lab that does CET testing, and then FSC accusses TTS of not having a legal doctor on staff, And then APHSS says we wont accept TTS tests, adn then TTS meets with FSC and they make an agreement to be a part of APHSS, but then TTS backs out of APHSS because the FSC wants TTS to provide copies of writtenmedica protocols(Which FSC jst wants to copy to give to APHSS because they are too inept to do it themselves) Then this measure b comes along and the industry decides to start saying that they are testing every 14 days, instead of 30, which is baloney. Then a few months ago, after the performer forged his syphillis test and nine american, and over 75 European performer got syphillis, the industry decides its time to test every month for syphillis too. A test which costs about 4 dollars. So if you were able to follow that sequence of event descibed above give yourself a gold star. Regarding AIMs closure,,,,,AIM did have legal problems, but those legal problems did NOT cause AIM's bankruptcy, and if it were not for legal reasons I would tell you why, but the constant industry 'line' of the lawsuits by AHF closing AIM are again, total bullshit!!!
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 07:47 AM
Now just consider this. Performer X gets tested on the first of the month. Patient Y gets tested on the first of the month. Three weeks later they work together, each of them having had upnortected, prolonged, multi anatomical site sex, with 10 other sex performers and a few johns on the side for some on them,not all, but some, each of of whom in turn has had unprotected sex with ten other individuals who are engaging in the same level of behavior. But, according to the porn industry, both performer X and Y are cleared to work because they have a three week old test that is negative for HIV gonnoreah and chlamydia. Not to mention the gonn/chlam test was only a vaginal test for the females, done off a urin sample, which will not detect the gonn/chlam in the throat or rectum,,,which a recent study showed was present in about 25% of female performers who had rectal and oral swab tests done on those anatomical sites. (and these perfomrers would have never had those oral and rectal swabs done if not for being part of a special study NOT done by the idnsutry. Even after this study showed this the indsutry still does not test for oral or rectal diseases. And i will apologize in advance for this one, but this is a very ugly subject, but the industry will NEVER talk about the prevelence of things like "fecal throat infection", HPV, PID, Trichomonis, and the long term cosequences of the multiple exposures to a host of stds. To put it simply the porn industry is a cesspool.
nonoise November 27, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Is Mayor V going to the television set to check to make sure the guys wear their condoms?
nonoise November 27, 2012 at 03:38 PM
The cheating mayor (cheating on his ex-wife) needs to worry about his own sexual behaviour.
Lightnapper November 27, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Wow. Interesting. Thanks T.T. It almost makes me want to begin reading Patch again on a daily basis-- based upon the "informed" reader's comments.
Nimby pimp November 27, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Super interesting, helpful information. Thank you.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 08:32 PM
As the person who personally handled well over 100,000 porn performer std tests over a period of years, I can say unequivocally that the statement you just made, which is very often parroted by the adult industry is absoltely 100% complete bullshit.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 08:44 PM
The inspections will be much easier than that. Just like the resturaunt industry cried foul when they began posting the letter grades, the porn indistry has made many pleas full of misinformation, alot of which I see in alot of the posts here. Just like OSHA, the violations are on film. Inspectors wont even have to visit sets, and the task of doing these inspections will probably be farmed out to an outside health agency. Here is one thing to remember, if the source of your information,and the arguments on which you base your opinions are coming from the adult industry, you can rest assured that youre not getting anything even close to the entire truth, Do you have any idea how hard I laugh everytime I see someone repeat the industry line. "We have a lower std rate than the general public." In fact, my most conservative estimate, based on 100,000 tersts from AIM alone, and another 85-100,000 tests from other clinics, is that the industry rate is at a minimum 30x higher than the genreal public, and this does NOT include herpes,1%2,,HPV, which is beyond astromonicaly high, PID, trichomonis,fecal bacterial infections of the female throat and vagina f, and a host of other related health problems that are virtually NEVER talked about publicly by the adult industry. I have personally been escorted out of supposedly public OSHA hearings when I have asked these questions and threatened wihe legal action for violating privacy.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 08:53 PM
And what do performers do when they catch stds, and have these other related problems. A vast majority of the time they go to "free" clinics, that is tax payer funded clinics, to get treated. A minute percentage of performers have any insurance, and most of the companies do not carry workers comp insurance, and why they are allowed to get away with that I have no idea. I will give you another example of adult industry exaggeration. A few years ago there was a big deal abour releasing the legendary Deep Throat on dvd. The industry's #1 trade magazine estimated that DT had grossed over $680,000,000 over the years. But when you looked at the formula they used to calculate that number there was an equation right in the middle that said, "Alot of theartres in the 70's use to underreprt their receipts, so they figured the actual number was TEN TIMES HIGHER than the actual theatre receipts. Where they came up with that is still unknown, but then ther was the funniest part, they used 2005 theatre ticket prices and applied that number to all of the ticket sales fromt he 70s and 80s, when the cost of a 'dirty' movie ticket was about 1.oo. Actually DT was used by some of the major mafia families to launder their money, and several of the major crime families all worked together to launder their money through the theatres. Does anyone remember how many years that DT was the only movie shown at the Pussycat theatre on Hollywood and Wester. Pure money laundering operation.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Jordan, where do you get the idea that porn actors only have sex with other porn actors and thier mates. The truth is, the majority of female performers who work for the legal adult talent agents, and the illegal talent agents have escort ads on most of the major excort agency sites., and more guys in porn escort than those that dont. The LA Times edictorial against measure b contained this quote. "Few performers, if any, "date" outside the industry." I personally spoke wit seveal people on the editorial board of the LA Times and not a single one of them would, or could answer my question, "Where did you guys come up with this." The funny thing was that they put the word "date" in quotes, because they couldnt write "Few is any performers "Fu**" outside the indsutry. I have personally spoken to 3 editorial board members, left messages and emails, and have not reciebed a response to the question of "On what or from whom did you get any information to support that statement?' Thier silence has been deafening. And in the industry thier is an std epidemic. If this were any other profession where people were getting diseases this often, nobody would stand for it. And you would be surprised who those 'dirty sex people' are. For every one story you hear of a teacher with a porn star past, there are 100 you will never know about. Where did you get that idea Jordan, was it the LA Times? If so Ican only say that you were misinformed by the LA Times.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Leigh, this has nothing to do with any privacy issue. These actors are employees, performing their jobs under the direct supervision of a director, and producer, and being paid. It is not prostitution becuase neither of the acotrs is paying the other for sexual gratification, they are being paid by a third party, and that removes ALL of the privacy issues regarding the act being performerd by the two actors. These issues have been decided by the ninth circuit courts many years ago. One might have a first ammednment argument, saying that requiring condoms in turn requires that producers to put things in their films that they dont want there. But the response to that is,,,,,,,Is speech that requires the participants to be exposed to disease and potentially infectios material(OPIM) truel a protected for m of speech. If your boss said your job requires you to be exposed to disease, and offered no protection against that exposure, he would be held liable for that exposure. In porn, no such responsibility is taken by the producer. Doctors and nurses are required by law to use universal precautions to protect themselves, and other patients. Would you say that a nurse should have the choice whether to wear gloves or not? Does a performer have the RIGHT to expose a co worker to disease and do nothing to protect his co worker? When two people are paid by a third party to create a visual depiction, they lose the privacy argument.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Leigh, it was either the Freeman or Miller court decisions that made porn in California legal. The ruling was based on the fact that two actors are being paid for a performance, and nobody is being paid for sexual gratification. Actors do not engage in intimate sexual activity, they are paid for a performance that include explicit acts of sex. This was the very core of the ruling that made porn legal in California. Griswald v. Conn is off point.


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