The Bond that Ties

Diane Duke
This industry is complex, with many different microcosmsgroups successfully and independently co-existing under the umbrella of the adult entertainment industry. What keeps these groups apart is the fierce independence and entrepreneurship that drives much of the competition and success in the industry.

There exists an impenetrable bond within the industry that is strengthened by government oppression and attacks by everyone from fundamentalist extremists to radical feminists. It is this bond that brings the industry together when the chips are down.

Recently, I have been in discussions with some industry businesses around a difficult and contentious issue — barebacking. This issue has triggered, and continues to trigger, a significant divide among gay producers.

Bill Gardner, a bareback producer for Hot Desert Knights, announced in February that due to “the proliferation of new bareback studios, especially those from overseas, who are using increasingly younger models without providing any counseling or information regarding STD transmission to these models,” he will begin testing all of his models prior to shooting. He is working with Sharon Mitchell and AIM to set up the process and protocols.

Bruce Cam and Keith Webb of Titan Media support a condom-only approach to the gay adult set, based not only on safe sets, but also a sense of social responsibility. Titan fundamentally disagrees with Hot Desert Knight’s bareback stance. Yet in my discussions with both, I have found common ground: neither believes that the government should regulate this issue.

In California, a bill is being tested that, among other things, requires condom use on the set for any penetration (including oral sex), mandatory testing of talent, mandatory vaccinations, the creation of a record-keeping process complete with a custodian of records, processes and procedures for handling any contact with blood-borne pathogens that consist in of any number of bodily fluids including semen and more.

Both companies see the danger in government regulation of an industry that the government not only does not understand, but also actively tries to destroy. In such a heated and extremely contentious debate, government oppression, in the form of excessive regulation, is the common ground.

Both of these companies are committed to very different approaches to a key issue in the gay community and the gay porn industry.This is a perfect example of the fierce independence and entrepreneurship that I spoke of earlier.

However, I respect and appreciate the willingness of these companies to sit down with us at FSC and have a discussion for the good of the industry. That is an example of the impenetrable bond within this business that I also mentioned earlier, a bond that instills a sense of pride and justice that is the foundation for the adult entertainment industry.

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