Why I refused to shoot porn without condoms, and why you should too!
When I first started my career in porn I utilised the industry standard of sexual health testing as my protection mechanism. This means that my co-stars and me would be tested before we arrive on set and would not use barrier methods such as condoms or dams. I would even speak about how mandating condom use in porn was not preferential either as condoms increase friction, plus condoms require lube and it seems as though everyone was against the entire notion.
"I was so wrong, turns out I was relying on the trust system to protect my sexual health and thats just crazy."
However the issue with using testing as your protection mechanism is that it relies heavily on trust that the test results are an accurate depiction of the performers sexual health status.
For testing to be used correctly in porn each performer must adhere to a shoot lock down. Which means that at least 2 weeks prior to testing the performer much strictly follow best practice safe sex. This means that condoms must be used for intercourse and oral sex and dams used for oral sex on females. It also requires the performer to disclose any lifestyle risk factors such as injecting drug use including steroids or men who sleep with men. These factors increase the risk of infections with longer latency periods such as syphilis and HIV.
Additionally you need to assess the level of risk of your performance. Examples of high-risk porn scenes are Anal scenes and Cream-pie (where the male ejaculates in a performer either vaginally or anally). Anal is particularly risky as this behaviour carries a 1 in 60 percent chance of HIV transmission as opposed to a 1 in 1500 for vaginal sex.
However, in my experience in Porn over the last 18 months the testing method has not been successful. Performers have not adhered to lock downs. I have seen that male performers who sleep with men in their private lives have not disclosed this to their costars yet shot anal and cream-pie scenes with them. Performers have been affected by stop shoots that is when a performers schedule shoot has been cancelled due to a breach of lock down, this impacts producers, it impacts to performers careers and obviously impacts performers health.
My goal has always been to do what I can to help keep the industry and its performers as safe as possible. In January this year I had the realisation that if porn performers started using condoms in their scenes we would not see the issues that we had faced. Porn Performers who did not want to disclose lifestyle factors would not have to. And as Porn Performers we would be setting a good example for young adults who are watching our movies and trying replicate what they see.
So from now on I am making a stand. I am using condoms in my porn movies. I will promote safe sex and speak out about using condoms in porn not because I want them to be mandated, but rather to fight the industry standard that testing is the preferred way. To show new performers that they do have the option to request for condoms to used.
I believe that performers should be aware of the risks and be respected to make their own decisions. I want all performers to have the power to make the choice on whether they use condoms, not the producers, not the government, not the fans. Because it’s the performers health at stake, so they and they alone should make the decision of how to protect themselves.