All video by Ned Halaby
By now, the 2012 AVN Awards are but a sticky-handed, flashbub-popping memory. But not everything that happened that week in the porn business is confined to memory. The Tuesday before the AVNs, LA's city council passed a law to require all adult film actors to wear condoms -- and funded inspections of studios with a mandatory fee for all skin flick companies.
It was a controversial move. Industry types, wary of an already flagging adult DVD market, have made weak noises about condoms not being sexy -- but also that LA clamping down on the issue will only cause studios to move away. Internet porn is a largely amateur, largely diffused phenomenon that doesn't rely on SoCal so much anyway. AIDS organizations applaud the measure's potential to cut down on sexually-transmitted diseases.
But what do the stars themselves think? We were able to speak with a few of them on the red carpet: AVN's official red carpet host Kayden Kross, Kink.com directors Princess Donna and Bobbi Starr -- the evening's winner of Best Female Performer -- and Jon Jon, who was nominated for a passel of AVNs that night including Best Group Sex Scene for his work in Asa Akira is Insatiable 2 (hands down, the night's big winner with seven awards in total).
Here's what they had to say. You can watch the rest of our clips from the red carpet -- including an interview with Jincey "lesbian Hugh Hefner" Lumpkin, who figured prominently in my "Queer and boning in Las Vegas" cover story here.
Princess Donna and Bobbi Starr (pardon the screeching that begins the clip) "It's only going to affect the people that purchase permits for their shoots, and I gotta say that it's actually a very small percentage of the industry that uses shooting permits."
Jon Jon was unruffled by the controversy:
Kayden Kross was adamant that the regulation was babysitting an industry that doesn't need it: “I think it's the most retarded answer to something that wasn't even a question.”
Of course, what none of these interviews mentioned was a point that this article brings up: that condom regulations are not just for the wellbeing of the professionals who act in pornography. Many of us grow up watching porn -- for some of us, it's our first image of what sex is. If porn stars using condoms can convince teenagers to do the same, more power to the condom regulators.