Thoughts Over The Morning’s Coffee: Change Will Only Come in the form of Mandates and Arrests

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The condom debate in porn goes back to the 1980’s. It became highly visible when Missy Manners [pictured], Artie Mitchell’s then girlfriend, decided she was going to go the condom route and did a video titled Missy’s Guide to Safe Sex. For the time, Missy Manners was pretty high profile in the industry so this was a big deal.

What’s funny about Missy Manners is she used to be a receptionist for Senator Orrin Hatch who was and probably still is the greatest enemy to porn in the political sphere.

Mitch Spinelli and his father the late Anthony Spinelli then got on the bandwagon, and the first movie for their new company, Plum Productions, [which was later taken over by Frank Koretsky] was about a talking condom. Condoms had arrived in porn, but I can’t remember too many productions featuring them after the Spinelli movie.

The condom issue invariably came up whenever there was an HIV outbreak in the business.

When a performer named Dusty tested HIV positive in 1992, Jonathan Morgan, then a performer, was put out of work because he had been first generation in the Dusty schematic. Nicole London and Steve Hatcher were also on that quarantine list. And everybody screamed about using condoms. Morgan’s career as a performer was pretty much over after that and he went into directing. Hatcher and London have since left the building. But no condoms.

In 1995 when it was rumored that Barbara Doll, a French performer had HIV, the industry was about to lynch her. And that’s not an exaggeration. I attended those blood curdling town hall meetings which called for her to be burned at the stake. Consequently, I wrote the following in an AVN editorial:

“In my 27 years of journalism, I don’t recall ever using the word imbecile in print, but it disturbs me to think it will obtain frequent flyer status in months ahead when describing the mindset of this business regarding AIDS.

“If one is to gather anything from the tenor of the April 28 [1995] performers’ meeting, the conclusion is that we seem to be outfitting our own militia of delusional love children…

“It’s past time for the adult industry to take bold initiatives. A universal mandate for condoms, a toned-down lifestyle…beats the hell out of caskets… The alternatives are less appetizing…be they a total industry shutdown, a reassembly of the talent pool…or total abstinence from hardcore.

“This magazine endorses life whatever it takes.”

Again, I wrote that 18 years ago and nothing has changed and nothing will.

In 1998 during the height of the Marc Wallice HIV frenzy, we saw this story in the LA Times:

LOS ANGELES – “For the first time since the AIDS outbreak, major producers of heterosexual porn videos will require actors to wear condoms on camera.

The move is prompted in part by reports that three adult movie actresses tested positive this year for the AIDS virus, industry representatives said Thursday.

‘It’s a fairly big step,’ said Paul Fishbein, publisher of Adult Video News, a trade magazine. ‘It’s interesting that it takes people to get a little bit scared for them to be proactive.’

The agreement emerged at a hastily called meeting April 13 of more than 40 adult film producers. The condom requirement extends to some of the biggest companies in the multibillion-dollar industry, including Vivid Video, VCA and Wicked Pictures.”

Of those companies, VCA was sold to Larry Flynt, Steve Hirsch discontinued the use of condoms and Wicked Pictures still shoots movies requiring them but Wicked refuses to get on a political bandwagon about it.

A couple of times on his show this week Rob Black voiced deep concern that no one in the business seems to be bothered or is responding to the fact that Mr. Marcus infected a number of performers with syphilis and that Free Speech is sweeping the entire matter under the rug. If only condoms had been used said Black.

I’ve already showed you where twice, AVN came out with statements endorsing the use of latex to no avail. If no one’s listening to the Bible of the industry then we got a Sunday school full of atheists.

Which leads me to conclude that the only way the industry will respond is if the state steps in with a burning torch and a pitchfork. AB640 and it’s predecessor, AB332, was a lot of show and no go; and if there’s no go, the only logical step left is for the law to step in and start dragging people out of the Free Speech office in chains.

Until then, you’ll never see condoms in a porn movie. It has to be done by brute force.


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