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Deal with It Says Tina Tyler

Tina Tyler posts on : I wasn’t going to even broach the subject of the current medical situation in porn.

I mean, why publish yet another opinion from someone who is not directly affected by this? The people I would want to hear from are the ones who have either tested HIV positive or are on the quarantine list. Unfortunately, there have been far too many unqualified and ignorant opinions published all over the internet as of late and I feel it necessary to take a stand.

In reference to the panic that has eroded our industry, all I have to say is… GET OVER IT! HIV is not a death sentence. Let’s get real here. The true death sentence is being born in the first place. I really wish that people (in general) would understand and accept that death is a part of life and nothing to be terrified of. Yes, it’s true that dying of a terminal illness is not anyone’s first choice of how to die, but very few of us get to choose how it happens. As for contracting HIV, however, I have several friends who are positive and have been for over 15 years. You’d never know it. They look healthier than the average bear. As far as incurable diseases go it’s certainly more livable than say cancer, MS or even Alzheimer’s Disease.

As you’ve probably gleaned by now, this column is about fear and control. More specifically how people in positions of power try to control the masses using fear. Rather than use sweeping generalizations here, I’ll keep my comments specific to the business of pornography over the past few weeks.

I’ve always said that working in porn is akin to being in Junior High School, from the cliques that exist to the general lack of self esteem, to the cattiness and in fighting. The government won’t be the death of porn — we will, if we don’t grow the fuck up, put aside the petty, ego driven bullshit and realize we’re all in this together.

Speaking of which, I don’t understand all the AIM Healthcare bashing that has been going on, or maybe I understand it all too well. As far as I see it, AIM is a very necessary part of our lives in porn. Without them, who knows how many people would have been affected directly by this “outbreak” (quotes used to denote sarcasm… two cases does not an outbreak make).

It seems to me that there are three reasons that the people who are writing the negative crap have to write it.

1. They’re looking for their 15 minutes of fame (such as it is).

2. They don’t like the fact that AIM has a monopoly on industry testing. To this I say, you fools, can’t you see that if we tested at a multitude of different clinics, there would be no real way to keep any form of centralized database and it would take that much longer for any disease to be contained

3. They’re of the mindset that actors (present or former, male or female, but especially female) should be kept down and resent Sharon Mitchell for becoming an integral cog in the porno machine.

It’s the third reason that I will address in more detail. I applaud Sharon Mitchell for trying to do something positive for an industry that serially disrespects her. Sharon has stuck by the performers through a lot of bullshit, up to and including threats on her safety, and the majority of these performers don’t respect her for it. She’s chosen a very lonely road to travel and has worked incredibly hard to stay on that road with very little real help. I see her public detractors as either simply ignorant (which is forgivable) or mean spiritedly trying to keep fear alive and well so the actors don’t figure out that the emperor has no clothes.

There have been meetings held over the past week or so. As a matter of fact, there was one tonight that I’d like to touch on briefly. Let me preface what comes next by saying that I have not attended any of the meetings that have deluged the landscape, reason being I don’t want to think to myself “if I only had a gun this would be sooooo over.”

Now, as for the meeting held this evening (as I type the date is April 28, 2004) there is already hypocrisy afoot. The following is taken from in reference to tonight’s meeting:

“The forum was chaired by AVN publisher Tim Connelly and director/photographer Suze Randall. As announced beforehand, media representatives were not admitted to encourage candor among the attendees.”

Now, last time I checked, AVN was media. As a matter of fact, they’re our foremost trade publication. They’re sole purpose should be to do what they get paid (handsomely) to do… advertise! What I want to know, is why, oh why did AVN have the misguided notion that they had any business calling for a moratorium on shooting? (MISTAKE!) All that did was send even more female performers into escorting situations that are far more dangerous than anything a porn set could throw at you, because now, these girls can’t pay the rent. It was a reactionary, fear motivated move at best. I only wish that someday soon, the company owners will finally smarten up and realize that all it would take to get AVN out of the picture entirely is to ban together and stop buying their ad space… in a matter of 3 months, bye-bye AVN!

But, who will “honor” us with well deserved and paid for awards for a double anal scene, I hear you opining… WHO THE FUCK CARES, I reply! Are we all that desperate for approval? Oh, wait, I forgot, we are! Shouldn’t the admiration of thousands of fans be enough? How’s that for candor, Mister Connelly?

In a recent post on, KSEXradio host Wankus wrote a brilliant rant talking about his disdain for brand new performers talking to mainstream media about the current situation. While I agreed wholeheartedly with (almost) every word, I’d like to take it one step further and voice my personal disdain for ANYONE from our industry talking to the mainstream media about this… only bad things can come from speaking to a very ill informed, mean spirited and biased group of people. Don’t we have enough of those in our own media circus? At least the porno press is relatively well versed on the industry they report on, which puts them head and shoulders above the mainstream who only want to paint us in a bad light.

Mainstream media has never been kind to us, what makes you think they’ll start now? If you absolutely MUST speak your mind, then do it on your own web site, in your own column or verbally to your own friends. At least if any mainstream press decides to print your words from what you wrote, they can’t misquote you (well, okay they can and most likely will, but at least you can have an original to point to and prove it!).

In closing, I’d like to encourage everyone who works in this business, be they in front of or behind the camera to try something they’ve never tried before… stop playing the blame game and take responsibility for your own actions. I’ll even include an example of what this means. If you willingly have unprotected sex on camera, “forget” to look at the test results of your co-star previous to the act and contract an STD (any STD will do) please place the blame squarely where it belongs. The director? The company owner? Your co-star? No, the only person you have to blame is YOU.

Deal with it!



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