Porn film performers speak out on tougher condom regulations on California film sets

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Adult film actress Darryl Hanah arrives at the 27th annual Adult Video News Awards Show at the Palms Casino Resort January 9, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

More than 100 adult industry performers and public health officials jammed into a downtown Los Angeles conference room Tuesday. There, they discussed proposed state regulations to enforce worker safety on film sets. Many entertainers complain the effort infringes on their right to free expression.

State occupational safety and health workers conducted the open meeting. They tried, sometimes amid heated disputes, to keep participants focused on the workplace safety agenda.

Cal/OSHA members hope soon to recommend stronger safeguards, like mandatory condom use, to the agency's standards board.

Amy Martin is chief counsel for Cal/OSHA. “If you want to depict sexual intercourse that doesn’t use condoms, go for it," Martin said. "But what we do care about is the exposure of the employees while you’re making that movie. That’s all we regulate, so we say while you’re making that movie, you have to be safe.”

An adult entertainer who goes by the stage name “Darryl Hanah” protested that by trying to impose tougher standards, policymakers are trying to regulate her artistic choices.

“We were a country started by Puritans, by religious fanatics who weren’t necessarily comfortable with sex to begin with," said Hanah. “I know they were kind of being vague about it but it really just boils down to no sex.

"They want to go a step forward and have doctors come on set after we have sex and say ‘what happened with that exposure – are you safe?’ That’s really what it’s coming down to," says Hanah. "Fines they can impose and rules they can say we’re breaking.”

Members of the Pink Cross Foundation, which offers support to adult entertainers, attended the meeting. So did representatives from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Late last year, that group petitioned for better health protection on adult film production sets.

This could be Cal/OSHA advisors’ last public meeting on the adult film condoms issue before they offer recommendations to the state agency’s standards board.

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