The Porn Condom Issue is No Different than the Arguments Against Smoking

As a friend of mine in the porn industry likes to say, “Football’s the greatest game on earth.” Except he hasn’t been around long enough to remember when it was also a man’s game and not played by a bunch of pretty boys.

I’m thinking of Bobby Layne [pictured]. With the face of a union organizer, Layne was the hard-as-knuckles, take-no-shit field general from the Detroit Lions back in the Fifties. Layne drank like a Cossack the night before a game and smoked cigarettes on the sidelines during time outs and between possessions.

Loads of ball players did that. In baseball they chewed tobacco and spit wads of juice in the dugout.

If you opened any magazine years ago, you also found a young pre-Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck staring at you hypnotically with a Salem cigarette in his hand. Then there was the Marlboro Man, sun-weathered and cowboy tough as John Wayne.

If you smoked cigarettes and squinted into the sun you stood to become a lot like them- as long as you weren’t too obsessed with condoms on a man’s dick. At least that was the machismo sold by Big Tobacco.

Then something happened during the intervening years. Lawyers filed massive class action suits against Big Tobacco and the government put warning labels on packs of cigarettes. Baseball players began chewing bubble gum and sunflower seeds while guys like Layne turned into Tim Tebow.

And you no longer saw tobacco ads in magazines and on television. You were no longer told how ciggies were flavorful. In movies where it was cool for Bogart or some other anti-hero to light up just before plugging a guy with a .45, you just didn’t see those scenes any more. The government stepped in. Just as they’re eventually going to step in on this condoms issue.

Sure people are still smoking, but they’re not allowed to do it in public establishments. Like in Los Angeles. Try lighting up in an outdoor bistro in, say, Calabasas, and in two shakes you’ll have the tobacco gendarmes on your ass. Think you can call your lawyer and argue freedom of choice?

Even if Big Porn wins on Tuesday, it loses and the argument’s no different. You smoke cigarettes, you stand to get cancer. You fuck without a rubber and you might catch an STD or HIV.

Pa Pa Weinstein will run straight to the Feds and complain about secondary smoke, black holes in his lungs or some other argument equivalent to the non-use of condoms. And sure enough Big Porn will have to follow the rules just like Big Tobacco did, all the while crossing its fingers that porn in any form is just as addictive as nicotein.

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