Following the recent HIV scare in LA’s “Silicone valley” all prominent US porn companies have suspended business until those at risk can be quarantined and carefully checked. Once again the question of condom use in the industry has been raised by The Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation.
Meanwhile South Africa’s first porn film to feature an all black cast was produced this week. In a nod to the growing AIDS-awareness campaign both male actors wear condoms throughout.
Health-concious porn is highly important for three reasons. Firstly because diesease can spread through the worldwide industry very quickly and affect a huge amount of people. Secondly because it’s often the first exposure young people have to the act of sex itself, and therefore has a duty to educate. Thirdly because the good health, self-respect and self-worth of porn actors are crucial to bringing the idea of legitimate sex work into the 21st century and promoting a dialogue around safe and healthy stripping and prostitution.
Feminism needs to acknowledge that putting paper bags over lads’ mags in shops is not going to make sexuality go away. Extensive legislation is necessary to protect those involved, but also necessary are a greater awareness and a broader dialogue of and around the subject. Tarring the entire industry with the brush of “chauvanism” is not doing anybody any favours, because it makes it difficult to tell what is sexist and what is simply sex.
To end with a quote from the wonderful Wendy McElroy: ”What I am saying is that truth is usually more complicated than any one perspective can capture. Prostitution is not a monolith. Each woman experiences the profession in a different manner. And nothing can be gained by having different groups of feminists or prostitutes — all of whom are probably telling the truth of their own experiences — attempting to discredit each other.”