Adult Performers Rally for Thursday’s Cal/OSHA Hearing in San Diego

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — The Cal/OSHA standards board meets in San Diego next Thursday morning to review proposed set regulations, including mandated condoms, and adult performers are anxious to be part of the conversation.

The Cal/OSHA meeting on Thursday will address workplace safety in the adult industry, including the issues of mandatory testing, vaccination, condoms and medical recordkeeping.

Draft regulations to amend California Code of Regulations Title 8 § 5193 issued last year went even further, suggesting that adult performers might be required to wear goggles to avoid ocular infections, and dental dams for oral sex.

Michael Weinstein, who leads the AIDS Healthcare Foundation as president, has battled adult performers over mandatory condoms for more than 10 years.

The AHF first proposed the amended § 5193.1 in a December 2009 petition to Cal/OSHA.

Last year, Weinstein called adult performers a threat to public health and suggested that they transmit STIs to the general public.

Performers are tested every 14 days for a slate of STIs, including HIV. Performers have long argued that they should have the option of requesting a condom, but that it shouldn’t be mandatory. Many complain that on long shoots, condoms can be painful for both partners.

Other performers fear that mandatory condom regulations will lead producers to abandon the testing system altogether, or encourage other productions to go underground, without testing or condoms.

“We’re the most important part of this discussion, and yet we’re routinely shut out,” says Maitresse Madeline Marlowe, who is helping organize transportation for performers who wish to be at the hearing.  “We want to make sure the regulations Cal/OSHA issues reflect our needs and reflect our experiences. Attending the hearing is crucial for us.”

While many performers will be driving down and carpooling to the San Diego hearing, Marlowe is organizing transportation, including buses from downtown Los Angeles, for others who would like to attend the hearings but don’t want to drive.

Performer April Flores, who also is helping to organize the buses, said that those who work as talent in the adult entertainment industry are "being made scapegoats in one man’s moral panic,”

"For Weinstein to say he speaks for adult performers is not only incorrect, it’s patronizing and sexist," Flores said. "We’re not opposed to regulation, but we need to have a seat at the table to discuss what our real issues are. We’re looking at a cure that is way more dangerous to the safety of adult performers than anything we face on set.”

Cal/OSHA's standards board will hold a public hearing on the proposed California Code of Regulations Title 8 § 5193.1 starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday in Room 310 of the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, Calif. For information on the hearing, or to reserve a seat on a bus, contact Maitresse Madeline at, or reach out to Madeline or April on Twitter — @maitressem or @theaprilflores.