I recently spoke with John Flynn, a writer/reporter working with the Sacramento-area News Review. John wrote an excellent piece about Prop. 60 — the mandatory condoms in porn bill that California residents will vote on in just under a month. The piece offers an in-depth consideration of some of the more “fringe” elements of the proposition.

In “Outsourcing Porn” (October 6, 2016), he asks: would the California Prop 60 initiative really protect adult film workers — or expose them to starker dangers?

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(pictured: image via the News Review)

Here are some key quotes and passages from the article:

Sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the bill would strictly enforce an existing federal regulation that all adult performers wear condoms and file permits before filming sex scenes. AHF President Michael Weinstein claims the initiative is necessary to protect adult performers’ health, but many opponents have questioned his real motives. Meanwhile, at least 1,500 adult performers have protested that the proposition would drown them in slut-shaming civil lawsuits that expose their identities and bankrupt mom-and-pop erotica producers like [part-time webcam couples]…

Only performers with a financial stake in their movies would be liable, and only after self-styled condom cops exhausted an official complaint process. But there are more do-it-yourself pornographers than ever, thanks to the YouTube-ization of the internet, say adult entertainment experts.

***

“Performers care more about their own safety than anybody else,” [Chanel] Preston said. “If we’re not healthy, we’re not working. And we’re not making money. We put in a lot of measures to ensure that we are healthy and we are safe. But people just have this misconception that we’re children that need to be taken care of.”

***

[Civilian-initiated condom lawsuits] could expose private information that might be used maliciously by stalkers, overzealous fans or disapproving religious groups. And if civil verdicts go against porn-makers, plaintiffs receive 25 percent of the awarded penalties, which could incentivize litigation and bankrupt independent operators like [part-time webcam couples].

***

The bill is expected to cost the state more than $1 million in extra enforcement and several million in tax revenue, as adult film performers and producers have considered leaving the state.

[Yes on 60 campaign manager Rick] Taylor welcomes that prospect.

“If you want to be a business in California, and you don’t want to obey the law, then please move,” he said. “I would encourage you to move. Take that threat and take it to some other state. The pornographers only care about one thing and that’s their pocket book.”

Please take some time to read the full piece right — here. It provides another layer of understanding to the real potential impact of Prop. 60, both on workers and on the state.

…and copied below is my full correspondence with John. What do you think?

JF: What is the breakdown of people producing adult films between major companies, performer/producers with their own followings, and DIY amateurs?

DrCT: There are no reliable existing numbers describing the breakdown of people producing adult content between major companies, performer/producers with their own followings, and DIY amateurs. In many instances, performers are producers (and producers performers). Also, the form is highly variable. You can find performers who only ever create content for major producers who also cam independently (so, relatively DYI). There are people who are relatively amateur clips-only performers who cam for major networks. Point being that there are absolutely no existing numbers outside of educated guesses from within the industry. At best, my assessment over the years could only be “a very high percentage.”

JF: Does Sacramento sport any sort of decent-sized adult film performer population, including cam-girls?

DrCT: Performers are everywhere in the US, including Sacramento (including cam). There are several high-profile porn stars who come from the Sacramento area, and many everyday performers who do as well. And cam is an entirely significant population on its own. Because people can cam from anywhere (as long as there’s good internet), you can find webcam performers.

Further…

DrCT: I have never heard of anything like this before — the leader of a non-profit organization writing themselves into an essentially untouchable political position through the course of a voter proposition or law. There is no precedent for it that I am aware of, and there is nothing ethical about anything AHF and/or Weinstein have done throughout the course of this process. Weinstein’s preoccupation with the adult entertainment industry borders on obsession and has long before Prop 60. This has been going on for years now.

.

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(pictured: snap of a quote)

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Got a sociology question? Need some social justice informed life advice? Contact Dr. Chauntelle right here.

Get Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment on Amazon and CT.com.

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