May 4, 2004

With or without use of condoms, adult pornographers do not deserve a ‘seal of approval’


NEW YORK (May 4, 2004) – In an op ed column, “How to Put Condoms in the Picture” (NY Times, 5/2/04), Sharon Mitchell, founder of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation (AIM), said that the answer to the hardcore pornography industry’s latest AIDS crisis is more industry “self-policing.”  To be specific, she proposed that AIMHCF reward companies that require performers to use condoms with a “seal of approval.” If “mainstream” cable and satellite systems and hotel chains would then show only films having the seal, the porn industry would have a financial incentive to follow the rules.

Robert W. Peters, President of Morality in Media, ihad the following comments:

“There are a number of problems with Ms. Mitchell’s proposal. First, most pornographers do not have contracts with mainstream cable and satellite systems and hotel chains and never will. What they do have is the Internet and a network of ‘adult businesses’ and other retail outlets nationwide that will be more than happy to sell ‘condom free’ hardcore pornography.

“Second, pornographers that have such contracts could still produce one version of their product with condoms for distribution by ‘mainstream’ companies and a ‘condom free’ version for everyone else.

“Third, while condoms reduce the risk of AIDS, they do not eliminate it. The risk of condom failure or an accident surely must increase with multiple partners and rough hardcore sex. Furthermore, AIDS isn’t the only STD, and condoms don’t provide protection from STDs spread by skin-to-skin contact.

“Fourth, there is something incongruous about providing companies with a ‘seal of approval’ for using condoms while doing nothing to alter the essential nature of the hardcore pornography business, which is to debase one group of human beings in order to appeal to base and sick sexual desires in other human beings.

“Consider, for example, the following hypothetical video plot. A bored, beautiful and sexy teenage babysitter calls her boyfriend who shows up with three male friends. The boys use condoms while cheerfully gang banging the babysitter, and the company gets an AIMHCF seal of approval.

“Or, how about this? An express delivery driver arrives with a package at the home of a lovely young wife, who has just packed her young children off to school. The driver uses a condom, and the company gets the seal. Or, how about this? A rapist beats and nearly strangles a beautiful young jogger before she yields. This, however, is an ‘adult industry’ approved rapist. He uses a condom, and the company gets the seal.”


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