Testing vs. Condoms in Pornography

Monday, Sept 17th:

I woke up. I showered, washed my hair, and carefully shaved my underarms, legs, and genitals… avoiding any cuts or razorburn. I gently brushed my teeth and skipped flossing as dental floss can cause small cuts on gums. I went to the location where we were filming my newest pornographic movie for Digital Playground.

My test hadn’t been uploaded to the APHSS database yet. The APHSS database replaces the extremely difficult to tamper with STD/STI test viewing system that the adult industry lost when AIM was shut down. We were already transitioning over to this database when Mr. Marcus recently became infected with Syphilis and faked his test results, and most of the major production companies are now requiring that all performers be listed in the APHSS database as cleared to work before performing a scene. Even though my test (which was negative for HIV, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia) had been emailed directly from the testing facility to the production manager, we waited about an hour until my test results were uploaded and the database showed a green check mark next to my name before shooting anything.

Makeup was applied to my face and things involving a straightening iron were done to my hair. I was dressed by wardrobe. We began shooting the story part of the movie. James Deen, the male performer I was working with that day, arrived on set. Manwin is the company that owns Digital Playground. Their PR person arrived on set with a science correspondent from the New York Times named Donald McNeil and his photographer. Mr. McNeil was there to observe what we do before shooting a sex scene. He said he was interested in the adult industry because we haven’t had a single case of HIV transmission within the industry in 8 years and there is no other community he knows of that has that low of a transmission rate. A couple of performers have been infected with HIV outside of the heterosexual oriented porn industry and been identified as positive before passing it on to anyone else. Others who wanted to enter the adult industry have been identified as positive before entering it. Since the infections of Darren James, Miss Arroyo, Jessica Dee, and Laura Roxx in 2004, there has not been a single transmission of HIV on an adult film set in the US.

After we had filmed everything James Deen and I were needed for aside from the sex scene, we filled out our paperwork. This includes a performer release, tax forms and 2257 documentation to prove we are over 18. The production manager printed out a copy of each performer’s page in the APHSS database. I signed my own copy and James’s, indicating that my results were mine and accurate and that I had seen James’s and was comfortable working with him and his clean test which had been taken less than 14 days prior. He did the same. Then the production manager performed an inspection. He looked in our mouths, at both sides of our hands, and at our genitals to make sure there were no visible sores or open wounds. There was another paper to sign stating that we have no sores or open wounds on or in our mouths, hands, and genitals and had been inspected. We also looked at each others genitals, mostly for fun but if either of us had seen (or smelled) something odd we would have called off the scene ourselves. Then we said goodbye to the reporters (who didn’t seem interested in sticking around for the fun part) and had fun, uninhibited sex together while the camera crew filmed it.

We were able to have fun, uninhibited sex with each other without a condom because we both knew that the chances of either of us being infected with an STD are very low. Far lower than, say, a stranger at a bar or a person who hasn’t been tested in a year or more. Our frequent STD testing, the APHSS database (and AIM before them), and the skin inspections are self-imposed. The adult industry created these procedures to keep themselves safer. I follow these procedures to keep myself safer, and because it is required in order to be able to work. When any performer tests positive for HIV or Syphilis, we stop production voluntarily. When I (fairly rarely) have sex with someone outside of the adult industry, I use a condom (Full disclosure: unless we have both been tested very recently, I am on a hiatus from the adult industry, and we are only having sex with each other - also known as monogamy) because I don’t want to catch anything and bring it into our talent pool. I don’t want to catch anything and be unable to work.

Measure B claims to be attempting to fix a problem that doesn’t really exist, and ignores the highly successful health and safety measures that the adult industry already has in place. If everyone in the world got tested every 14 to 28 days, was as educated as we are about the risks they take when they have sex, and called a halt to sexual activity any time one person tested positive for an STI until the incubation period had passed and everyone had been re-tested, there would probably be a lower rate of infection outside the adult industry as well.

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