Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Kayden Kross. BADASS. Fine ASS. SmartASS. (Literally.) And, All Up In Measure B's Grillz.

Today, there was an Internet social media protest action launched by former performer/current producer Stephen St. Croix, in which numerous performers, producers, and fans formed a flash mob to promote two YouTube videos he had created as part of the campaign against Measure B, the Los Angeles County proposed initative to mandate condoms for porn shoots there. Unfortunately, due to prior work commitments, BPPA wasn't able to actively participate in this action....but we wholeheartedly in spirit and in solidarity support St. Croix's efforts to inform the public on the dangers and misdirections of Measure  B. For those of you wanting to see the two video ads, here they are:

Original vids can be found here and here

But...if that isn't enough to convince you of the demerits of Measure B, then perhaps a testimonial from an active porn performer will do??

May I then present the powerful testimony of Kayden Kross, which was posted today to XBiz through her insider blog, The Dish. I will simply repost it in its entirity and let you read for yourself, because it says what needs to be said.

— but about Measure B

If you’re reading this you should care. If you’re reading this you should care because I am a pornstar and you are reading one of my blog pages. You’ve probably whacked it to me. If this is not the case, please change that. I’ll wait.

And I’ll assume from here forward that anyone reading has whacked it to my porn, or at least taken a quick glimpse, and not whacked it. If the non-whacking is my fault, I apologize. Beside the point though, the whacking. Please notice — in a quick mental shuffle through the Rolodex of my porn — the conspicuous absence of condoms in my scenes. They are not there. I did condom scenes in my first movie, and that turned out to suck major monkey balls. The added friction the condoms caused over the course of the shoot was ridiculous. The condoms were not a birth control measure. They were, theoretically, an STD protection. But all the performers were tested. So in my first movie I was protected from STDs that my coworkers didn’t have.

In the next movie I opted out of condoms, and have ever since. Six years I’ve been doing this with a perfect testing record. The system has worked for me.

And in that time, yes, performers have caught gonorrhea. They have caught chlamydia. When this has happened they have taken antibiotics and a week off and then returned to work, good as new. They have not caught HIV. Not a single case of HIV has been transmitted on one of our porn sets in the entire time I’ve been in this industry, and some years before that. Not one fucking case.

And yes, people in the industry have caught HIV off set, in the wild. They have been flagged by the testing procedures and removed from the pool of performers available to work. But they have not transmitted it on a porn set to other performers.

And, yes. There is the recent bad business of this syphilis scare. One of our own faked his test and continued working knowing he had it. That’s shitty. We bungled that one bad. Shitty shitty shitty. Two people caught syphilis this way. With all the bungling. They had to take antibiotics.

And the industry reformed its testing measures to better control against this happening in the future.

In the wild, on average, there are around 2,150 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County each year. This is possibly because there are a lot of people having sex with a lot of other people without verifying one another’s STD status. We are not those people. We’re verified. We are card-carrying motherfuckers.

And who wants to see condoms in porn anyway? Porn is fantasy. It is fantastical with fantastically crazy situations wherein incredibly unlikely women with incredibly unlikely breasts suddenly fall to their knees over men who have their own incredibly unlikely anatomy at the slightest provocation. Never mind the lack of realism behind the perfect shaves and the matching lingerie these women all sport, bent over as they are, waggling their asses with spontaneity. Surely this really happens. Surely women just go around like that, clean-shaven and in designer lingerie, with designer breasts, twenty-four-fucking-seven, horny out of their minds. We beg you to suspend your disbelief in porn. We practically grovel for it. We push limits that would make even a puppet show retch — everything from the dialogue to the story holes to the errors in continuity that are just positively and irreverently savage. But… Measure B would have us get all real-world on your ass and strap a condom on the unlikely dicks and remind everybody sitting at home that fantasy time isn’t very fantastical at all because in the real world there is heartache and death and disease and — god forbid — pregnancy?

Fuck that.

Porn is legal because it is protected under free speech. Free speech protects expression. Measure B wants to force us to amend our free expression to include their message about safe sex.

You know about safe sex, right? Because you’re not twelve? Well just in case, here’s the long and short of it:

Sex is the biological function of procreation. As such, procreation sometimes happens. Condoms will help prevent that, as will birth control pills, spermicide, tube tying, and more extreme measures.

STDs are those diseases that are primarily transmitted via sex, although they are not limited to sexual transmission. The nature of communicable disease by definition requires it to be shared between organisms. It must be communicated — by blood or by semen, by air, by skin-to-skin contact, by snot or by spit or by tears — by something. So yeah, sex will bring a person in contact with a lot of these things. All of them, if you’re an avid deepthroater. Sex is messy and in your face. It’s arguably the only acceptable way to interact with two ends of a digestive system that isn’t your own without a medical license. But yeah, condoms will prevent some communicable diseases with 85% accuracy if you use them exactly right. Having sex with people who have been medically verified as not infected with sexually communicable diseases will also prevent this. So will abstinence. Your best bet, though, is agoraphobia.

So now you know that condoms are an option in safe sex. You are a responsible adult. You will make your choices from here.

But we are not responsible adults, obviously. Because Measure B would like to make the choice for us.

Consider this: Do you remember High School Biology? Remember the concept of Spontaneous Generation and how Louis Pasteur disproved it with the squiggly-necked flask that microbes couldn’t get through? Maybe I’m the only one who remembers this because back then I liked textbooks instead of people. But anyway he proved that things don’t spontaneously generate. They don’t just arise out of thin air. And remember that paragraph I wrote a couple of paragraphs ago? I talked about how diseases must be communicated. And remember that other paragraph, up higher, where I talked about how all performers are tested? We are tested every fifteen days now. It used to be every thirty. And I hate needles. The point is that diseases don’t arise within porn. They are brought into porn by contact with partners on the outside.

And yet porn is treated like disease starts with us and we bring it to you people.
No. Disease ends with us. Maybe we’re doing the local population a small favor. Because we, for the most part, have an open and honest line of communication about STDs. STDs don’t carry the stigma for us that the general population associates with them. We talk about it. We’re on the frontlines and it is in our economic interest to stay disease free, not to mention we’re vain about our genitalia. Most STDs are silent. That means that for the most part people don’t know they have gonorrhea or chlamydia. HIV takes a while to manifest. Stage 1 syphilis is a single painless bump. The general population only knows there is something up if there are symptoms, and even then, they don’t always do anything about it. They definitely don’t go stick a godforsaken needle in their arm every fifteen days even though needles give them that scary-sinky feeling they get on the rides at Six Flags that drop too fast. Or again, maybe that’s just me. But anyhoo, in the general population, STDs travel silently. We porn performers are the variables that light them up. If one of us contracts an STD from one of you we catch it fast and we fix it fast and most of us then go back to you (not you-you, but the hypothetical sexual diseased person I am creating for this example. You know what I mean) and you, the hypothetical carrier, are alerted and told to fix it and then you, the hypothetical carrier, stop spreading it. See what just happened there? We are the end of the line.

Imagine if that one of our number who faked his test had just gone on in the real world instead. Not only would he have never tested, but it would have spread on silently, and those people who he spread it to would have spread it, and on and on, and then eventually someone would have had the sense to go to a doctor once Stage 2 flared up on his balls like one of Moses’ plagues. But that person who went to the doctor would have been so far removed from the original source, the incubation period being what it is, and the stigma being what it is, that the person would probably would have treated it silently and gone on with life, and the others would hopefully have done the same at some point, but not before infecting more people, or maybe they would never have treated it and just gone blind and insane. That is an option. Also known as Stage 3.

You’re probably reading this at work, right? If you’re paid hourly this math will be easier, but if you’re not, break it down. How many hours of your day today will be taken from you in the form of the cash you traded them for by the government. I mean taxes, of course. And then the government, being what it is, will reallocate your money, which is a tangible manifestation of your hours of your life that you traded doing what hopefully you love, but very likely don’t love. Some of the reallocation will be nice. Roads and schools and people not holding you up with machetes and taking your lunch money on the way home from work. These are good things. But some things… some things are not good things. Some things get your money by running a propaganda-driven campaign that the government buys into and then funds (with your money).

Like what is happening with AHF (AIDS Healthcare Foundation). AHF is the force behind Measure B. They are a non-profit foundation that possibly doesn’t profit because profits are diverted to Michael Weinstein in the form of a really ridiculous salary, plus perks. A salary to the tune of $366,096.00 as reported on his 2010 income taxes, to be exact (plus additional compensation that is hard to get a figure on). AHF will benefit greatly if this Measure passes. It is in their best interest. If it were in the interest of the performers it seeks to regulate, the performers would be the ones getting behind it.

And because a lot of performers are not behind it, Measure B has decided that it will cost California $300,000 (which is, to the budget’s credit, less than Michael Weinstein’s salary) annually to enforce it. That’s California, just to be clear. You know, the broke state. The one that already needs more dollars from you as it is. So under Measure B, they’d need to find dollars to send officers to porn sets to babysit, to watch hard dicks, specifically, to make sure, the whole time, that there is a latex barrier between the one willing adult participant and the other. Someone will be paid with your money to do this.

And also, because it’s a capitalist system, as in a free market system, a lot of porn will simply cease to be produced in California under Measure B. Because the market for porn with condoms is almost no market at all. So these businesses will likely move or close down. Either way, they stop paying taxes in California. You know, that broke state. There is talk of Nevada, some other states. I thought about what I would do in Nevada. Gambling bores me and I’m asocial. Nightclubs scare me. Magicians aren’t magical. I cannot live there. I thought about it, and I thought, No, that would suck. No offense, Nevada.

And there are people like me who agree with the Nevada thing. Where do their jobs go? Those people like me are people like you. They have families. Some have kids. They’re rooted in the cities they live in. They’re not all performers. They’re caterers and lighting crews and audio technicians and editors and PAs and producers and make-up artists and directors and agents and copywriters and receptionists and on and on. That’s a lot of fucking people with a lot of fucking jobs in this state in an industry where job security is precarious as it is. Piracy. Remember that? There was a worldwide recession, you may have noticed.

But if none of this appeals to your logos or your ethos, let me appeal to your pathos. Imagine yourself whacking it. Obviously I’d like to insert a case here re: why you should whack it to my porn but you can whack it to anything, almost. It is your imagination. So you’re whacking it, see. Maybe it’s the only free five minutes you get out of this day, because your kids are screaming and they need things and your wife needs things and your boss needs things and there is always traffic and emails piled up and taxes due and smaller bills and the dog needs a check up or maybe you do or maybe your grandmother does and the news is scary and you have dry cleaning to pick up, things to mail, a million petty endless errands and maybe today you’ll get them all done but tomorrow you’re going to wake up and start it all over again, and its been going like this for years, this adult life, and you have five fucking minutes to yourself. And you just want to whack it. So you’re tucked away in the bathroom stall or behind the closed door of your office or maybe you’re in your car parked behind an alley — you’re anywhere — and you have five minutes to whack it before the real world sinks its real world teeth in and pulls you back. And you start scrolling through the available porn and everything is condoms, fucking condoms everywhere with their hospital smell and their real world reminders and the funny bunching they do. You dig deeper. You’re looking for a scene with your favorite chick, or not — doesn’t have to be a chick and doesn’t have to be your favorite, it’s your call — so you’re looking for one scene you can really enjoy in your five fucking minutes of reprieve. But you don’t find it. Your five little minutes of pure selfish happiness, your you time, is slightly diminished by this. Imagine that. The real world creeping in on that last bit of sacred space.

Vote No on Measure B. 

— This message brought to you by a girl who would like to maintain autonomy over her vagina. 

The 25-year-old, Sacramento native is among the most sought-after actresses in adult today. The winner of the 2011 XBIZ Award for Acting Performance of the Year for her role in "Body Heat" is currently exclusive with Digital Playground and has been making adult movies since 2006. She is the only starlet in porn to have had exclusive contracts with Vivid Entertainment, Adam & Eve Pictures and now Digital Playground.
An itenerary of posts opposed to Measure B can be found over at Julie Meadows/Lydia Lee's blog here. Also, check out Steven St. Croix's powerful personal testimonial against Measure B here.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How To Stuff A Porn Panic: The Official Op-Ed AGAINST Measure B In Los Angeles County

I'm sure that it will come to no surprise to you that this blog -- BPPA -- has been strongly opposed to all attempts to impose the condom mandate on porn....and we will apply that same principle to our continuous, steady and consistent opposition to Measure B, the proposed referendum that would impose the condom mandate onto Los Angeles County.

Just as this blog will equally and with the same intensity oppose the already passed condom mandate law now in effect in the city of Los Angeles, and which, if the forces of Cal-OSHA and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have their way, would be imposed not only in Los Angeles, but even state-wide and nationwide.

Our opposition to this initiative goes far beyond our questioning of the political and financial motives of the ordinance's proponents...although much has to be said about the history of Michael Weinstein and the AHF in exploiting the pandemic of STI's and HIV to suit his/their own personal profits, or the ham-fisted paternalism of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and Cal-OSHA in rejecting the testimonies and experiences of active performers and the proven track record of the existing system of peer pressure combined with screening and vigilant testing, or the tainted histories of some of the performers who have become the main symbols of justification for the condom mandate campaign.

Our opposition to this initiative also goes beyond our knowledge of what happens when good intentions are connected to bad, overreaching legislation that promises a panacea or a quick-fix to a problem that is considerably more complex and requiring more of a broad-based approach than merely scapegoating performers who engage in sex as a performance job. Not to mention, legislation that detaches itself from the all too real epidemic/pandemic of STI's and HIV that has devastated poor and working class communities, as well as the very gay communities that Michael Weinstein would claim to want to protect.

Our opposition to this initiative also goes well beyond the attempts by certain personalities to distort the facts and inject fear and propaganda through outlandish claims of "blacklisting" of performers who want to use condoms voluntarily as one tool of many in protecting themselves; or, even worse, overt alliances with some of the most antisex, antiporn, antihumanist activists whose objectives to simply destroy both the LA porn industry and the consumers/fans/producers/performers whom have thrived within it, or simply to rehash old vendettas against organizations who have been on the front lines of defending and protecting the rights and responsibilities of porn performers.

Mostly, however, our opposition to Measure B is based on a fundamental principle that has sometimes been hijacked and distorted by its proponents, but nevertheless remains an essential concept: "NOTHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US."

Performers in adult entertainment who take the risks should be the ones to decide for themselves what options they choose to protect themselves...and that includes the choice to use condoms or not to. And any government regulation involving protection of performers must have input and consensus from ALL performers and producers, not simply be imposed by fiat by bureaucrats more concerned with getting sweetheart deals with condom companies and NGO's and government contracts.

In spite of some of the "Why, we're all for performer choice, which was denied us when condom-only was removed in favor of condom optional!!" memes being passed around, the fact remains that this proposal would remove some of the best options for performer testing -- namely, a unified and consolidated testing system -- in favor of a "just shut up, wrap up, and hope the condom doesn't break" fallacy.  Even worse, under the system favored by AHF and the condom mandate proponents, there would be no way that an STD+ or HIV+ performer could be screened out, because of antidiscrimination regulations that would prohibit firing of infected performers.

And, contrary to some of the proponents' assumptions, this is NOT an reflexive opposition to the principle of government regulation, a Trojan Horse to the common right-wing view that ALL government regulation is illegitimate and that only the Wild Wild West rules of "do your own thing, and fuck the consequences" should apply. This isn't to denigrate in any way our libertarian friends and allies who may have that view, but who nevertheless join our opposition to the condom mandate on shared principle; it's only to say that there are people on the Left side of the political spectrum (Susie Bright, for example) who have been as critical and incisive in their opposition to the mandate and the entire campaign to impose condoms as our more conservative friends.

Of course, others far more involved than me have opined about the difficulties in funding the enforcement in an atmosphere of budget cutting and triaging of resoures that could be put to much more effective use, or the imminent dangers of overuse of condoms due to potential allergic reactions and even increased cancer risks. Those concerns are worrisome enough to justify defeat of this measure on its own (lack of) merits.

But whether you are on the Left, Right, or Center, the essential case against the condom mandate and Measure B is best explained by the people who would bear the full brunt of such misguided regulation -- the performers themselves. I will close this with the testimony of one of the most renowned and respected performers of the modern era, since she says everything that needs to be said about why Measure B and all such proposals to impose condoms by force and fiat need to be defeated. I yield the balance of this post to Nina Hartley:

“In a nutshell, performers as a rule don't care for condoms for several reasons. For most of the men (with few exceptions), condoms make for a very-much-more difficult scene; just one more huge distraction to add to the host of other ones on the set: uncomfortable set, no chemistry with the female player, asshole director, late/early hours, too hot/cold, bad food, personal issues, etc.

For the women, there are just four words: rubber rash/friction burn. Not only do I have to work harder for him to feel anything, the scene takes much longer to get through, with the changing out of condoms, needing to give the guy a break and suck him again, and the total passion-killer that is on-set condom use. It's hard enough to create a real connection, so the scene doesn't feel to the viewer like we faxed it in, on a set as it is. If all of our energy is focused on our working parts, there is none left over to actually connect and show a spark, which is what the people at home want to see...

...I know it sounds harsh, but it's not porn's job to set a good example to the viewing public. It's an entertainment medium like anything else out of Hollywood, and mainstream entertainment is not held up as needing somehow to set a good example. It's a shame that our country does such a piss-poor job of educating its young people so that they're driven to view porn to try to get a clue about sex. Except when a movie is expressly done as education-the Guides, Tristan Taormino's movies, etc., their job is to arouse and entertain, period...

...Porn is pretty safe. If a player says "no" to the most egregiously stupid acts (cream pies, whether anal or vaginal), then he or she is unlikely to get a deadly disease at work. People do get the non-lethal ones, but they get treated, as do their partners, and they get to work again when their new test comes back clean.”BPPA
Truer words were never better spoken.

More info on the "NO On Measure B" campaign can be found at the Free Speech Coalition blog, and at The Real Porn Wikileaks blog as well. Also, check out Michael Fattorosi's Adult Biz Law blog, too.

Also, see Dr. Chauntelle Tibalis' recent editorial against Measure B at her PVV blog here.

[A disclaimer: This opinion piece reflects only the views of the author and of BPPA, and is in no way affiliated financially or in any other form with the Free Speech Coalition, the Coalition Against Government Waste, AHF, FAIR, or any other organization or group involved in the Measure B campaign.]