I’m just saying, dude.

It’s not as if Gakwer is a radfem site.

44 thoughts on “I’m just saying, dude.

  1. STD’s are in fact a problem in porn. Hence the heavy duty testing porn folk go through. The AID’s case is, yeah, damn ass scary (and hey, I for one would be a fan of more condom usage, not necessarily manditory, but yep…)…however, when I consider in my home town we have what is being termed as an HIV epidemic and the rate of transmition is only rising, I have to consider that gee, this just ain’t a porn thing.


      1. I can think of at least a few: Health Care, Emergency Services, Hazardous Waste Disposal, Law Enforcement and employment at the CDC or other similar type organization.

        And regular humans take a risk every time they have sex with someone whose entire history and health record they do not have on hand.


        1. Yeah, but in each of those jobs the employees are allowed/required to take basic precautions to avoid HIV infection, the porn equivalent of which would be condoms. Know what I’m saying?


            1. Just wanted to throw in that, as a healthcare worker, it is REQUIRED that you follow universal precautions when you will be coming into contact with your patients’ bodily fluids – it isn’t an option.

              This is done both for the safety of the individual employees and patients as well as for the safety of others who may later come into contact with that employee’s or patient’s bodily fluids.


  2. Further to the earlier comment, i’d like to add that the language in the Gawker site is rather loaded, and doesn’t emphasise in the slightest the extensive STI and STD tests both male and female porn stars go through on an extremely regular (i believe it’s onfortnightly, or–worst case scenario– monthly) basis.
    Condoms would of course reduce transmission rates immensely, but then circumcision also greatly helps.


      1. There’s some evidence that male circumcision lowers the risk of transmission of female to male HIV infection, in part because the inside of the foreskin has a lot of the type of cells that HIV targets. There’s also evidence that it also lowers the rate of male to female HIV infection, although the reasons are unclear. And as usual, same sex partners and non-intercourse sex are left out of the research, AFAIK.



  3. The rigorous testing, I assume, is only applicable to the major production companies. I’m sure some of the other ones just pay lip-service or don’t bother at all. And with the rise of “amateur” porn, I’m sure that safety isn’t even considered.

    If hard-hats are mandatory at construction sites, condoms ought to be mandatory at a porn shoot. Considering how many people in the general population take porn as their cue on what is hot, I’m sure that the anti-condom brigade extends far into the general population, who drives the demand for shit like “bare-back” and “creampies”.

    Also, I’m pretty fucking disgusted at the idea that porn production companies are making billions of dollars of profits while demanding that their actors expose themselves to deadly STDs for some dude’s boner. If we ever had any doubt that a dude’s porn-addled mind kills people, we’d have to be fucking stupid.


    1. outside of Cali, FL, and possibly NY there are no “big porn” companies. Yet, many of us working outside of those states doing the porn thing get tested every 28 days…and even use condoms sometimes.


      1. However, it’s not mandatory, is it? I mean, do pornographers require papers or proof of having a clean bill of health before the roll the tapes? I sincerely doubt it.

        Also, I’m not suggesting that no pornographers let their actors use condoms. I’ve seen condoms used plenty of times in the porn I happened to watch a year or so back when I was addicted to the stuff. However, the non-issue of condoms is taken as a positive selling point for a short or a film, while there isn’t a market at all for “condom porn”.


        1. Jenn:

          I can’t speak for everyone, but anyone I’ve ever worked with has asked for test results, if the producers don’t, the performers often do. I doubt it is a 100% thing too, but at least in what I’ve seen, it is pretty dang common.

          I’ve also said from the way beginning of talking about porn that I wish there was wider spread condom use. 100% manditory? Not real sure there-leaning towards no myself, but far more wide spread? Absolutely. It is something myself and people generally “on my side” have disagreed on.


  4. I don’t know what US legislation is, but over here you’re legally obliged to provide a safe working environment. Oh and you can also be prosecuted for knowingly/recklessly passing on HIV

    Re circumcision: I’ve heard of it having an effect on HPV transmission. But apparently there’s overall no proof that circumcision affects STD’s.



  5. I don’t have a blog. Please someone, anyone with a blog take down this pompous windbag:


    Also, let’s have a competition of how many mental twists and turns you have to do to stay on message with ernest as he attempts to justify no-condom useage (to protect the talent of course) and vilifies medical professionals and regulators for attempting to hold the industry accountable.

    What bothers me most about pro pornography activism is the lies (and often self denial), deceit and twisted propaganda and this latest piece just illuminates that self serving policy. Ernest, by the way, directs bdsm pornography. Make sure you have some matchsticks to keep your eyes open while reading. When i say windbag i really mean windbag.


    1. One thing he said interests me…the idea that if you over-regulate porn, you make it harder for people to follow the rules, and encourage people not to.

      I’ve heard this argument before, in regards to internet pornography…though, in that case it makes alot more sense, it’s no easier to access regulated porn from your country than it is to find something from a third world country which nobody would deny is exploitation.

      It’s also much the same as the “if you outlaw guns, you put guns in the hands of outlaws” mantra.


  6. Condoms aren’t the silver bullet people think they are, though. People have this knee-jerk response to reports of STD outbreaks in the porn industry: If only condom use was mandatory. Sure, it would decrease the incidence of HIV infection since the primary (and exclusive, according to our limited understanding of the disease) transmission route is body fluids. It would not have as great an impact on transmission of STDs like herpes and HPV, however, since they can be contracted even when condoms and other prophylactic devices are used efficaciously. Condoms are only 50% effective against HSV when the virus is active, which is why studies on herpes blood-testing and prostitutes consistently demonstrate that the vast majority in this sex worker demographic are infected with the virus. I can only imagine that the porn industry is also a breeding ground for HSV-1 and HSV-2, which, contrary to popular myth, do not cause symptoms in most infected individuals.

    Here are some sobering facts concerning HPV and HSV (herpes), and the reason why mandatory condom use in the porn industry would not prevent infection:

    They are spread via skin-to-skin contact, unlike HIV.

    The locality of outbreak is not confined to the penis/vagina; an outbreak can occur anywhere in the pelvic region to the upper thighs.

    An outbreak is not always accompanied by observable symptoms (visible warts). In fact, most infected — and contagious — individuals are asymptomatic and most likely unaware that they have contracted the disease.

    HSV can lie dormant in an infected individual for a period of up to 10 years, manifesting invisibly (without noticeable symptoms) at any time.

    HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread vaginally, orally, or anally. They are not, contrary to popular myth, exclusively “oral” or “genital” strains of the virus.

    Touching an infected individual’s genitals with your hand(s) and subsequently touching yourself is a transmission route.

    Most doctors are unaware that the modern incarnations of herpes blood tests are virtually, if not, 100% accurate. The older versions produced many false-positives.

    You can choose to undergo blood-testing at any time, but your doctor may have to special order the testing kit in advance, and you must abstain from sexual activity for a period of 120 days prior to the test to ensure accurate results. The blood tests are, unfortunately, expensive and unlikely to be covered by insurance.

    The only way to guarantee that a partner won’t infect you with HSV is to insist on a blood test (with requisite abstinence period) prior to engaging in sexual relations.

    That depressing PSA was brought to you by A Concerned Individual Who Knows Too Much For Her Own Good.

    What really riles me is how the sex industry takes advantage of the uninformed. The deceptive advertising used by brothels (Our girls are tested regularly!) ingenuously skirts around the issue that their workers are never tested for HPV or HSV unless they develop observable symptoms, i.e., warts. And since the majority of infected individuals never develop warts…


  7. Ren you hurt me bad. Real bad. I’ll wait for the super takedown on your wonderblog because now that I’m aiming something at you, oh narcissist extraordinaire, i’m sure you’ll get a postin..
    On the issues though, would you say that the promotion of the ‘right to choose’ to wear condoms by performers rather than making them mandatory is about business (as many scenes as poss) or concerns for those involved in pornography? I’d like to hear some of your famed honesty on this.


    1. You’re not worth a take down. I’ve been over why some performers would prefer not to wear condoms all the time before elsewhere, some of that famed honesty you know…but hey, I’d really like proof of my supposedly legendary lying. In any event, here is a short refresher on why some peformers prefer not to wear condoms at all times. See, road rash happens, which means abrasions, which means it is then easier to catch all kinds of other nasty STI’s and other not fun things. Latex irritation and allergies are also a consideration. Oh, plus, those kinds of abrasions? They hurt and itch a lot. Other reasons are some performers pretty much work with the same people a whole lot (including, oh, their spouses), so if everyones tests are all good, condoms might also not be used. Do I think there are producers who pressure folk to not use condoms? Yep. Never said otherwise. But there are other reasons some folk do not use them.

      Point is, a deliberate attempt here to blur the lines between gay porn (which does have a far more condom usage) and het porn (which does not) happened. The problem with HIV spreading seems to be a lot more wider reaching in gay porn, which YES, is problematic and should be addressed…but the two branches of the industry are pretty seperated and there is very little (if any these days) overlap.

      So, I am I infamously lying or not?


  8. ND: I just want to make a few things real clear here before I get accused of lying (without proof) again.

    There are three things with regard to porn that I have said many, many times and why yes, if people check, they will see that I have in fact said them more than a few times:

    1) I would like to see wider spread condom use in porn. I don’t like the idea of making it 100% mandatory, but far wider use of condoms would be a good thing IMHO.

    2) I think the legal age for participation in porn should be 21.

    3) Porn is crappy sex education. (exceptions to this include porn that is specifically made for sex education-which while rare, is done).

    This has been my stance for a long time and still is, even though it has put me at odds with people who are generally my allies. However, I do want it to be out there- again- for the record to avoid distortions of my opinion on the matter and more (unproven) accusations of lying.


    1. I’d up that legal age to 28. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t in any position to make choices that would drastically affect my life forever at 21. And before you say it, yes, I’d extend that age limit to marriage and military service.

      But as to this condom business, I can’t help but broach a few subjects:

      1) There are producers who pressure people not to use condoms. That this situation exists is fucking egregious. Pressuring someone to eschew protecting their life and health? Unbelievable.
      2) What, exactly, is the problem with across-the-board condom use that people can opt out of? I can’t see an objection that makes any logical sense.
      3) HIV transmission from men to women is much more common than vice versa. Hence, the lack of condom use in het porn poses a greater risk to female performers than male ones. Sounds like yet another way in which women get fucked over in the porn industry to me, and looks like an pretty good example of disparate impact. I’d like to see a lawsuit.


      1. 28? really? That seems to argue that you consider people to effectively be children for quite a while.

        What are people supposed to do in the meantime? Can they get a job? Go to college? Decide to move to a different city? Get a tattoo, change their name, travel around the world? Those are all things that people do that can change their lives forever.

        I would agree that there is a point in most people’s lives where they become more able to take the longer view and consider the impact of their choices on their life. And I fully agree that many people, especially young women, get into porn without thinking about or being aware of the potential consequences. I’ve personally talked to at least a dozen women who decided to not do it after learning more about it.

        But are you being literal when you say that you think that people can’t make any life-changing decisions until they’re 28, or are you exaggerating for effect? You’ve mentioned before that you do that or that you use sarcasm for the same purpose, but as is sometimes the case, I find it hard to tell when you mean what you say versus when you’re making a rhetorical point.


        1. I don’t consider people to be children until 28, but I don’t think many people have figured out who they are and what they want before that age. As such, I think it’d be better to avoid things like marriage, joining the army, getting tattoos, and doing porn until one is sure it’s a good idea. But really, I’m sort of kidding. It isn’t as if age limits do much anyway.


      2. “HIV transmission from men to women is much more common than vice versa. ”

        Is that really relevant, though? I mean, surely the issue is people being at risk, not who is at risk, if you see what I mean.


        1. “Is that really relevant, though? I mean, surely the issue is people being at risk, not who is at risk, if you see what I mean.”

          Seeing that women are much more likely than men to be involved in porn because they have no other option – which means that they are already victims of coercion and even rape – I’d say it’s very relevant.


  9. Eh, I will stick with 21, not 28. But if you think 28 is the magic number, you’re entitled to do so. I’ve heard 25 mentioned as well. Shrug, I did make decisions at 21 that drastically changed my life, so…well, yeah, difference of opinion there I guess.

    1) I agree. The decision to use or not to use should rest with the performers.
    2) That is pretty much what I am down with- condoms unless the performers choose or prefer not to use them…(that is pretty much what you are saying, yes?) That’s how I do things when filming my own porn.
    3) Are there any current medical reports on that? (Its not a matter of believing or not believing you, I’d like to read them to be better informed myself). And a law suit would be interesting, but I am not sure how that would go with as many porn folk are independent contractors.


    1. I had a friend who worked for an HIV outreach center and he told me that the latest studies he’d seen had said that the risk was about double for women (1 in 150 encounters for women vs. 1 in 300 for men) with vaginal intercourse, and of course greatly increased with anal intercourse. I’d link to something, but I’d rather drink cat piss than read a medical study.


  10. I know what happens to the performers when they have to film scene after scene Renegade, that’s not the point, as you probably know..
    Is part of the problem for producers, do you think, that mandatory condom use might mean less scenes in a day and that less scenes in a day means less money in their pockets?


      1. Po’d & ND:

        The market demand absolutely plays into it I think (said that before too).

        – as for less scenes made in a day…I don’t think so. You’d just have to hire more people to do those scenes-and really, there is not a shortage of folk willing to do porn. So instead of shooting however many scenes with performers X&Y in one day, you’d shoot however many scenes with performers X,Y,Z & W…who would all probably get paid around the same amount for each scene no matter when it is shot….so no, I don’t think that is a huge cause.


  11. They would just change the actor mid movie? Wouldnt it involve more costs employing more people and disrupting the shoot?
    Where do you think the market demand comes into it?


    1. po’d….

      Um, its not like people are watching porn for the acting, you know? Most porn casts already have a couple various people doing seperate scenes, so changing that up would probably not be a big deal except for on larger, high budget feature films where yeah, they could afford to take days off if wanted. And if you are paying the actors by the scene no matter who is in them, no, the cost would not change so much. You’d just be paying performer X for that scene rather than performer Y. As for disrupting the shoot, that would only happen if you literally had to switch people MID shoot, and if one has planned for that, well, they have planned for it.

      The market demand comes in (IMHO) because porn is not supposed to be sex ed, or sex that “normal” people have with other “normal” people…it is supposed to be fantasy sexual entertainment-where people do not like to be reminded that sex can kill them.


  12. Oh it’s not about acting? Really? I do need to study more on this issue. Although I’m sure I recall lots of argument on your blog and others about the wonderful storyline based titles that dominate the market..
    I do doubt your take on the point about changing ‘the talent’ around rather than paying for one person to be obliterated for the entire shoot but no mileage going around the houses on it.
    You’re right about people wanting to remain in the fantasy though; mainly a fantasy of women as a series of holes to be fucked at will.
    Have you seen the ‘porn stars where are they now?’ website. Seems a disproportionate (in comparison to general popn) of ex pornagraphy performers end up dead. Murdered, suicide, overdoses. Probably the consumers don’t like to think much about that angle either. Or the experiences that often lead people into pornography, or what happens to them while they’re there.


    1. Po’d:

      I use the term performer for a reason…porn performers are that- performers. I don’t think I have ever raved about their acting skills. Have I talked about large budget films where highly paid contract performers are used? Yep. I have also said it is dishonest for critics of porn to say on one hand “these women are not actresses” when they want, then say “these women are acting” when they want- either they can act, or they can’t. I happen to have a degree in acting- so I am not sure when someone else gets to make that determination for me. Most porn people do not- however- the point remains, either they are not acting or they are capable of it- people don’t get to have it both ways.

      As for the production thing- okay, disagree if you want. Have you ever made a porn movie? Oddly enough, I make porn on occassion. I have delt with perform X not being able to do scene 1, so I have to get another performer to do it. So, I pay performer X for the scenes they can do, and pay performer Y for the scenes X could not do, but X would have received payment for if they could have. So, my budget of 3000$ for three scenes is still 3000$, it’s just that X is not getting all of it, X and Y are both getting it for the scenes they’ve done.

      You mean much like many-a rock performer, other models, or entertainment people-stars and not- eh? Maybe it is California…


    2. I believe you’re referring to this page:


      Its a long list of anybody who’s appeared in porn since the 1970s and, some time after that, died. Among the many causes, car accidents, cancer, heart attacks.

      Yep, powerful case against the porn industry – surely these people would all be alive today if they’d never gotten involved with porn. Because, as we all know, its a proven fact that appearing in porn can lead to car accidents, even years after leaving the industry. And we also know that car accidents and cancer are extremely rare in the general population. Its also been shown that Womens Studies graduates never die this way.

      All sarcasm aside, the above list shows no rate of death higher than the general population, or statistical anything in fact, but merely demonstrates a decidedly morbid interest on the part of the list’s compilers.


  13. “idea that porn production companies are making billions of dollars of profits while demanding that their actors expose themselves to deadly STDs for some dude’s boner.”

    That pretty much sums it up right there. They’ll expose women to any and every degradation, torture and danger for some dude’s boner.

    Why would the industry or the men who support it care if some random porn actress gets AIDS? By the time she falls sick, she’s probably aged out of the industry anyway so as far as they’re concerned, she may as well just die.

    There are always newer, younger bodies to degrade.


  14. I look at it like this: this is a basic labor politics issue. People need to work to live, and hence it is unjust, within a capitalist system, for an employer to ask his/her employees to put their health/lives at risk unnecessarily. People do not, however, need to fuck, and if they want to take the risk of getting HIV, then they can do so. But the comparison between porn HIV rates and the general population is a bad one.


  15. Sasha Grey, who is 21, already has had three STDs throughout her porn career, which she began at 18. .
    She said in a Rolling Stone interview recently that STDs are like the common cold in her field of work. That has been her experience anyway. She
    also said something to the effect of, due to being famous, she is now
    able to demand tests of anyone,which implies she
    wasn’t able to do that before(and feel she had job security).


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