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Dec 12 2013

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‘Condoms and Porn Don’t Mix’ is a Stupid and Unhealthy Belief – Just Ask TJ Cummings, Porn Valley’s Newest HIV+ Performer – 5 Cases in 4 Months

TheGuardian.com
Thursday 12 December 2013 08.15 EST

Let’s be honest: porn industry groups fight mandatory condom use because they care about profits, not their employees

Screen-Shot-2013-08-22-at-2.10.18-PMJohn would say “SHUT IT DOWN”

One might think that when a person makes their living having sex with strangers, as porn industry performers do, using condoms would be a no-brainer. Yet despite the prevalence of STDs in the industry, the ill-conceived notion that condoms and porn don’t mix seems to have trumped common sense.

Apparently, the sight of a condom clad penis is a buzz kill for end users, and performers don’t want to wear them anyway. Or, at least, that’s what the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the trade association for the adult entertainment industry, would like us to believe as it continues its fight against mandatory condom use. With another performer testing positive for HIV and the Los Angeles-based industry facing another moratorium in production, the time may have come for both the profiteers of porn and those who get their kicks from watching it to get over their condom phobia.

Last Friday, the FSC announced that one of their LA-based performers had tested positive for HIV, and that all filming would be suspended while they try to determine if anyone else in their talent pool had been exposed to the virus. This is the third time in the past four months that the industry has had to shut down production after performers tested positive. Despite these repeated blows to the industry’s bottom line, never mind the pain and suffering of the infected performers who have been hit with the double whammy of contracting a life-long disease and losing their livelihood, the opposition to mandatory condom use persists. At the same time, the industry’s justification for its opposition – that performers just don’t like condoms and that they prefer to rely on testing systems – is getting harder to swallow.

The arguments put forth by the industry against mandatory condom use are as creative as they are varied, ranging from violation of performers’ first amendment rights (the industry’s trade association is not called the “Free Speech” Coalition for nothing) to the risk of condom-induced vaginal irritation known as “floor burn“. Porn sex, as aficionados will attest, is not the same as civilian sex – put simply, performers go at it for hours on end, while for most of us mere mortals the penetrative part of the act can be over in a matter of minutes. Some female performers say that in shoots that last several hours, condoms can be irritating and can lead to internal abrasions. The industry claims that these abrasions could make it easier to transmit infection, and that this is the reason that many performers prefer to not use condoms at all.

While floor burn is a legitimate concern recognized by doctors, the second part of this argument (that using condoms ultimately makes it easier to transmit infection) makes little sense. If performers consistently use condoms, which have been proven to provide protection against disease, then the risk of transmitting infections can only be reduced. Yet this rather lame argument against condom use, that has been embraced by an industry that claims to care so deeply about its performers’ wellbeing, kind of leaves a lot of them (the female ones in particular) stuck between a rock and a hard place. Basically female performers are left with a rather dismal choice – use condoms and risk being afflicted with the painful but treatable condition of floor burn, or don’t use condoms and risk contracting chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and even HIV.

For now the only recourse most performers have to protect themselves against HIV and other STDs is to be constantly tested and hope that their fellow performers do the same. To the industry’s credit, it has a fairly rigorous testing system in place. Prior to the three cases of HIV being detected in September, performers were being tested monthly. Now the industry requires performers to be tested every 14 days (at their own expense) before they can be cleared for participation in a shoot. While testing has its place, it doesn’t quite hold up as a preventative measure, however. As Ged Kenslea, spokesperson for the Aids Healthcare Foundation put it:

Relying on testing to prevent the transmission of HIV is a bit like using a pregnancy test as a form of birth control.

As the industry continues to push testing as the best form of prevention, it seems to have forgotten that using condoms is a legal requirement not an option, at least in Los Angeles where the majority of all porn films produced in the US are made. Last year voters in Los Angeles County passed Measure B, which mandates the use of condoms in the adult entertainment industry. Even before this measure passed, condom use was already technically required under the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) laws but was difficult to enforce.

Measure B was supposed to change that, but according to Kenslea, who has reviewed a representative sample of straight porn films, over 90% are still condom free. (This is in stark contrast to the gay porn industry which has voluntarily complied with condom laws and is still managing to thrive.) So despite laws being in place to protect all performers, the industry continues to mostly defy them, all the time claiming to be acting according to the performers’ wishes and in their best interest.

Could it be that the industry has a more self-serving reason to favor testing over mandatory condom use that has little to do with the wellbeing or otherwise of performers and a lot to do with profits? According to CNN, when the industry experimented with condom use over a decade ago after another HIV outbreak, revenues declined by 30%. It may well be that the concern that “Debbie does Condoms” will not be a big seller among porn users is what’s driving the industry to move out of Los Angeles to cities like Las Vegas where condoms are not (yet) required, rather than any real concerns that condoms are injurious to performers’ health.

I hope before any more performers learn through the industry’s mandatory testing that they have contracted HIV, which could have been easily prevented by observing mandatory condom laws, they will at least question their employer’s motives.

 

12/10/2013

03:43 AM PST

The TJ Cummings HIV Saga : How Many Talent Were Exposed?

Our administration has failed us again

AdultFYI.com–Rob Black

We’re just gonna get right down to it. We’re gonna talk about facts.

Right now that facts are that we have a male performer named TJ Cummings who has tested positive for HIV. Currently he is dealing with it and there is information that others have been exposed and there are problems locating them. Contrary to what you’ve been told on other news sites, TJ was a popular performer who worked often and with many different talent.

We told you weeks ago when Cameron Bay came up positive that this was not going to be limited to this unknown girl that everyone called names. We told you that is was going to happen again. So you have Cameron Bay, Rod Daily, Sofia Delgado and now TJ Cummings. TJ Cummings is your typical male performer, no different than your average person working in the business today.

What this latest infection signals is that the only way to have any measure of safety in the industry is new leadership. Ultimately, whether it’s condoms or testing or whatever policy is put in place, the only thing that matters is having leadership that people listen to and trust.

There have been questions about whether the moratorium should be adhered to. My feeling is that we should always use condoms and always have testing. There is always the possibility of HIV in the talent pool and especially when it is revealed through testing, we should always wait until the entire pool of talent has been retested.

I definitely feel that there will be more talent coming up positive. TJ was not a rogue performer. He was no different that anyone of you. Everybody tried to say that Cameron Bay and Rod Daily and Sofia Delgado were not part of us. Jessa Rhodes went so far as to say they should be shot for having HIV, that these people were irresponsible. That they brought it on themselves. That they all should die.

As unsettling as those comments were, I sorta understood it, because Cameron wasn’t part of the A-list of adult talent or that ingrained in the business. But with TJ Cummings, the exposure list is about a mile long and this is a guy who has worked with all the name girls, including Wicked Girls as early as a month or two ago.

So now everybody’s going “Whoa, wait a minute. This guy is Rocco Reed.” Everybody remembers Rocco Reed. He was Chanel Preston’s boyfriend. He dated Asa Akira. He was an A-list top level performer who at the peak of his popularity signed a contract with a gay company. That seemed to take everybody by surprise. People were in such denial that this actually represented most of the guys in the business. So this lynch mob mentality that Cameron Bay and her boyfriend were some kind of aberration or a freak show was perplexing to me.

When I started directing again after prison under the names Sinister X and General Stone, I used a lot of these so-called “crossover” talent because they were the best talent available at the time. When the industry embraces something that is demonized after the fact what you get is a kind of a stupid area.

We can do all of these witch hunts, but the only way things are gonna change is with a new administration. We have four HIV cases in five months that could’ve been prevented by this administration by doing what the law says and wearing condoms. This is a fact.

TJ Cummings is the fourth HIV positive in five months and the administration that is in place now has failed us. It has been failing this entire business for years. They are making millions and people in the business are getting sick.

Ladies and gentlemen, Free Speech Coalition has still not addressed the allegations that Alex Gonz has worked with hepatitis C for years. He exposed numerous girls to hepatitis C. When you have hepatitis C, your immune system is compromised and makes you more susceptible to HIV.

Four cases of HIV in five months is astonishing. I don’t get why you people don’t understand that the business needs regulation by outside agencies that don’t give a fuck about social circles and are only concerned with doing what’s safe.

Sex outside of a monogamous relationship in inherently dangerous and we have been fooled into this notion that a test will protect us. Because we all trust each other. But everyone knows deep down that this notion is a lie.

So when something like this TJ Cummings situation comes along everyone is in denial. Everyone is afraid. Everyone starts all these witch hunts and say, “Well, he’s a faggot. He’s a rent a boy.” TJ is no more of a “faggot” than Seth Gamble or Christian XXX or Danny Wylde or Ryan Driller. You can witch hunt all you want, but facts are facts.

The notion that everyone can be separated is ridiculous. There is someone right now named Kimber James who got his cock cut off and made into a vagina and “straight” guys fuck Kimber and claim that he is a girl because he got his dick cut off.

You can’t decide whether someone is a cool gay or not as to whether they have a disease. So let’s put all of that thinking to bed. You’re never gonna have a business that says no more crossovers, no more gays. It’s just not gonna happen.

The HIV bug doesn’t give a shit where it goes. Guy, girl, transsexual, whatever. It can go to anybody. It doesn’t discriminate. And here we have a potential epidemic.

What we have is witch hunting, and it’s just bizarre. If this doesn’t show you that we need new leadership, I don’t know what else will.

Before the news of TJ came out, I was contacted by AIDS Healthcare Foundation asking me for the performer’s name and who had he worked with since November 20th. The information on TJ was released on AdultFYI.com because people have a right to know whether they’ve been exposed and you can’t go off a list of only people that have been with him on camera.

I don’t lie. My name’s not Mike South. I don’t tell people that there’s 15 people with super gonorrhea. I don’t sit there and do witch hunts on guys and drum up bullshit. I state the facts. The fact is TJ Cummings is HIV positive. I don’t there and speculate what he does in his personal life, because what he does in his personal life is what 95% of the people in this business do. Some just hide it better than others.

So if you’re gonna do a witch hunt on TJ Cummings, you better take Ryan Driller and beat him to death. You better take Seth Gamble and beat him to death. You better take Wolf Hudson and beat him to death.

We have HIV. That is a fact. And a lot of you have fucked TJ off camera and that’s why you’re wigging out. Now it’s not Cameron Bay and Rod Daily. It’s somebody that you all know. Everyone’s having a hard time reconciling that fact.

HIV is here. It’s real. It’s in our business. We can’t weed it out. Just like the gay industry has realized that it’s a real threat and can’t be weeded out and they wear rubbers. We have to do the same thing. If we keep doing the same thing we’re gonna keep getting cases. The only way to prevent it is condoms and testing. That’s it.

I know it’s hard for all of you to comprehend that it’s someone that you know and are friends with has it and it’s in our talent pool.

Are you ready to deal with the fact that our administration has failed us?

You have studios that are out there shooting when Free Speech Coalition issues a moratorium. That is pathetic guys. What does that show the entire fucking world? It shows that there is no faith in the governing body. It shows that there is no trust in the people in power with issues that affect the health and safety of the talent.

It’s moot to even talk about the upcoming FSC board election. The Free Speech Coalition is done. It’s over. Stop giving them money. Stop doing anything to support them.

Girls, do not go back to working without a rubber. You’re just asking for trouble. You really are. Forget listening to Free Speech Coalition. Forget listening to producers. You know what to do. You know that it’s not safe to fuck a stranger without a condom just because they have a piece of paper that says they’re clean. You know that in your heart of hearts. You’re not that stupid.

You know that you’ve been fed bullshit propaganda by Free Speech Coalition. You know it. You know the time is now to say that it’s over.

Are you gonna tell me that this onslaught of disease is enjoyable? The fear of HIV, hepatitis C, syphilis, super gonorrhea, this is fun? It doesn’t bother you?

TJ is just like all of you. He just happened to have rolled the dice and he got the bug. He’s worked with all the top talent. For any of you to dismiss him as some faggot junkie crackhead is ridiculous and you all know that. You fucking know that guys. He’s just like all of you. He’s been around for years.

We have HIV in the talent pool. We can go back and forth about testing, but it’s all moot. We need new leadership. I have told you all of this for seven months. We need new policies and new procedures. People like Diane Duke have used the testing system in our business as their own piggy bank.

Don’t let them disarm you. They disarm you by not giving you the information to protect yourself. They spin and they lie.That is what the Nazis did. They take away your peace of mind that you are safe.

Ladies and gentlemen this is your wake up call. If TJ is not one of you I don’t know who is. You have people shooting around the moratorium because they don’t trust the governing body. They don’t trust the judgement of this administration. And that is sad.

They have already shown a lack of judgement in allowing a convicted pedophile to do business with them and having him fight 2257 laws.

The Free Speech Coalition is a corrupt criminal empire. It is time for this regime to be gone. We have HIV in the business. We have people defying the moratorium on production because they don’t trust this organization.

2014 is almost here. We need new leadership and we need it now. Let’s make 2014 the year that we finally get it.

Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: rzblack@yahoo.com

Permanent link to this article: http://porninthevalley.com/2013/12/12/condoms-porn-dont-mix-stupid-unhealthy-belief-just-ask-pornstar-tj-cummings-now-hiv/

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