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Activists to target porn agents in latest push for increased regulation

Aidshealthcare
 
An advocacy group that has been demanding greater government protections for adult film performers plans to file a complaint Thursday with state regulators against nine Los Angeles-area porn talent agencies.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation officials, opening a new front in their fight with the porn industry, said they plan to send a letter to State Labor Commissioner Angela Bradstreet arguing the agencies encourage porn performers to engage in unsafe sex that puts them at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

“Many of these agents are callous enough to describe the unprotected sexual acts their clients will engage in on a checklist on their websites as cavalierly as if one was ordering off a menu in a restaurant,” said Michael Weinstein, the foundation’s president.

The nonprofit foundation, based in Los Angeles, has been campaigning for increased regulation of the porn industry since a 2004 HIV outbreak among performers in the San Fernando Valley.

Agencies named in the complaint include A List Talent, ATMLA , Gold Star Modeling, LA Direct Models, Lisa Ann’s Talent Management, Metro Talent Management, SpieglerGirls.com, Type 9 Models, Inc. and World Modeling, according to Weinstein.

Woodland Hills-based ATMLA’s website features a list of mostly female performers’ names and photos. Click on a photo, and up pops a list of sex acts the actress is willing to perform on screen, including many that involve unprotected sex.

The agency’s owner, a former porn actress known as Shy Love, said she believes AIDS Healthcare activists are on a witch hunt.

"They keep trying to figure out who to blame, and now they’re blaming the agents,” Love said.

Love said she cannot dictate what sex acts the performers she represents are willing to do. She said her job is simply to match performers with production companies and projects, just as a mainstream movie agent would.

“They tell us what they want to do, we find those jobs and present it to them. We don’t force them into anything,” Love said.

Love said that she worked as a porn actress for a decade and performed more than 2,000 scenes, 95% of them without condoms. She paid to have herself tested regularly for sexually transmitted diseases and said she never tested positive.

“We’re adults who make adult decisions to protect ourselves the way we see fit,” Love said.

Last month, in response to an AIDS Healthcare petition, a state workplace safety panel created an advisory group to consider mandating condom use and added testing and other health protections for porn performers. Los Angeles County public health officials have recommended that condoms be required for porn productions and that adult film industry producers, not performers, pay for testing. Public health officials contend that as many as a quarter of porn performers are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease in any given year.

Porn industry officials have disputed the sexually transmitted disease figures quoted by county officials and AIDS activists. They said AIDS activists are bent on attacking them even as they have been trying to work with regulators to improve performers’ safety.

“We make sure our performers are well taken care of,” said Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based porn trade association. “This is a legal, vital and important industry.”

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Read more from The Times' archives about the adult film industry

Photo: Outside a state workplace safety panel meeting in Costa Mesa last month, former adult film actresses Madelyne Hernandez, left, and Shelley Lubben chat as Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation talks about the need for porn actors to wear condoms.  Credit: Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (6)

"“We’re adults who make adult decisions to protect ourselves the way we see fit,” Love said."

This is really the bottom line.

When will AHF stop with its obsession to control how adults use their own bodies? This isn't love, it's the colonization of bodies by public health. It's called the "adult" industry for a reason. Let them make their own decisions.

When will AIDS Healthcare Foundation stop with it's obsession to control how adults use thier own bodies. This isn't love, it's the colonization of bodies by public health. It's called the "adult" industry for a reason. Let adults make their own decisions. Pretty soon they'll want to regulate condom use in homes.

we shouldn't just focus on the individual making "adult" decisions - what about the environment that adult performers work in that puts pressure on them to perform these "sexy" scenes without condoms, without showing what may happen to you days, months, years later? the adult film industry needs to start recognizing its accountability in being not just a commodity but also a tool for education, especially for all those teenagers who learn these things for the first time by watching it. people will have sex - why not teach them how to do it safely?

This is just a ploy for publicity. No one in the porn industry is complaining, so who are the members of AHF? And if their goal is to cut down on AIDS, will we see them picketing west Hollywood? Or lecturing Haitians? AIDS infects people every day, yes, we should protect ourselves, but lets be real. AIDS in porn is a drop in the bucket compared to the general population. No one forces people to work in porn. And if you want to see safe sex performed by responsible adults, go ask your parents to tape themselves. I prefer the fantasy and illusion of adults exercising their free will. They are actors, after all, not hotel workers or janitors. And having an OSHA inspector in a HAZMAT suit on the set would look kind of silly, don't you agree?

According to me this is just for marketing nothing else


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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