Condom Wars: Porn performers seeking choice

Siouxsie Q.
3 min readFeb 9, 2022

By Siouxsie Q Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015

Dozens of doctors, dominatrixes, porn stars, and lawyers flocked to a public hearing in San Diego late last month to speak out against proposed Cal/OSHA regulations that could require condoms, dental dams, and even goggles on all porn sets in California.

Along with testimonies from performers who would be affected by the regulations, advocates had a long list of recommendations on how the workers would like to see Cal/OSHA’s standards on blood-borne pathogens amended to protect them while on the job.

“We’re here to present amended regulations that make sense for performers and are based in reality, rather than stigma,” San Francisco director/performer Maitresse Madeline Marlowe told the Free Speech Coalition (the adult industry’s trade association) shortly after the San Diego hearing May 21.

Assembly Bill 1576, which would have put similar regulations on the adult industry, was defeated in the state Senate in August 2014 after fierce opposition from those who would be most affected by the law: porn performers themselves, who traveled to the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to dismiss the bill.

But Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who backed both AB 1576 and Measure B, Los Angeles County’s condom mandate that became law in 2013, seems to never tire in his quest to become what the Free Speech Coalition calls “a state-subsidized porn czar.” Weinstein’s recent recommendations include a scheme in which state taxpayers would pay him to watch porn, so he can be extra sure that each and every production complies with his standards.

While the industry has come out in droves to oppose his efforts, performers are certainly not anti-condom. Many choose to use condoms when they shoot, and even giant studios like Wicked Pictures are using condoms on all their sets.

Still, many performers, myself included, want more than one option.

I have shot scenes with condoms and without, and like many other performers, I often choose to shoot sans condoms for scenes that include prolonged rough sex. I’ve found that, particularly for scenes where I am on the receiving end of vigorous anal sex, I prefer to shoot without condoms to minimize discomfort and possible tearing in that delicate area.

Instead, I use the industry-regulated Performer Availability Screening Service (PASS), which…

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Siouxsie Q.

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