While porn is no longer the (bags fulls of) cash business it was in the days of “Deep Throat” up until that moment in 1988 that The Supreme Court de facto legalized porn in California in People v. Freeman, it still bears the scars of generations of dubious legality, distrust, and fear.
Which is a great recipe for lockdown stress.
Writing on behalf of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC), vice president Tim Woodman urges performers to support each other rather than go on the offensive as the state plans for a staged reopening of business.
“We recognize that everyone must do what they have to in order to survive,” Woodman writes, “and that will look different for each one of us. For some of us, it may mean returning to work the moment there is a protocol in place. For others, it may mean waiting longer until that system is tested and proven reliable.”
On April 27, governor Gavin Newsom announced a 4-stage re-entry plan for California. Stage One, which we’re in today, involves solidifying the processes of testing, contact tracking, and providing for a safely-scaleable resumption of work and social gathering. The x-on-y porn business would fall somewhere between stages two and three, as porn sets would qualify as a higher risk workplace (stage three) but also be a closed environment (stage two).
“APAC applauds the efforts of Talent Testing Service (TTS) in beginning to establish a testing protocol that may allow performers to safely return to work during the Covid-19 crisis,” writes Woodman.
Indeed, the testing centers that screen performers for HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea also provide COVID-19 tests.
Jay tweets that tests have been available at TTS for a month and are of the viral (current infection) variety, checked with a nose swab. A receptionist for TTS in Miami reports that the C19 tests are $75 on top of the $155 full STD “gold standard” panel most performers get.
Of course, no one is supposed to be shooting at all right now, unless it is solo material or in cases where performers are partnered and sheltering together.
Jay’s tweet specifically addresses the current adult industry production hold, but there are whispers around town that there is some extra-quarantine shooting going on. Woodman’s post does not mention specific incidents of calling out or judgmental behavior but, like an antibody test, a blog post asking porn people not to be judgey suggests the presence of porn people being judgey.
I ask Woodman to clarify.
“This production hold is hurting a lot of us and the future is very uncertain,” he says. “People are getting desperate and I wanted to write something that would give a ray of hope and hopefully keep people from snap judgments.”
Understandably, no one will go on the record with me about whether there is shooting happening. While I can imagine a world where the taboo of quarantine-flouting content might be exciting to some consumers, it’s more realistic that, if material is being shot, that unscrupulous actors will simply fudge the dates. In other words, “Quarantine Porn,” or Quorn, between two or more non-fluid-bonded performers, and marketed as such, is a social no-no. But a scene shot during the production hold that is released as if it were already in the can before the quarantine started is fair game.
“Let’s hope they are baseless rumors,” Woodman says.
For decades there has been a market for porn that has since come under scrutiny. Titles that got Max Hardcore, Rob Black, or John Stagliano in hot water on a legal level. Or deleted scenes from “Pretty Peaches” or the early work of Traci Lords. When Extreme Associates’ North Hollywood office was raided in 2003, following “come at me: boasting by director Rob Black in a PBS documentary, the films seized by the FBI were then marketed as “The Federal Five.”
One of the films was “Forced Entry,” directed by Lizzie Borden and loosely based on the story of “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez. It was an odd, go-for-broke, post-Clinton/Lewinsky/9-11, oats-eating-power-feeling time. The movie seemed like an example of limit-testing behavior, and was exuberantly not good. You want the things that shock you to be of better quality, otherwise they’re kind of insulting.
Will there be a market for Quorn like there was a morbid interest in whether John Holmes contracted HIV on a movie set (and, if so, which movie)? I don’t think so. Unless someone dies. And is the prospect of a porn company donating to your memorial GoFundMe worth the risk of shooting during a lockdown, you idiot?
Sorry. That’s me being judgey.
APAC and Jay stress peace of mind. “Tests are always available, without judgment, for the peace of mind of performers,” APAC writes. “We hope everyone is honoring the production hold, and we hope everyone is staying safe.”
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: John Holmes And A Brief History of HIV in the Porn Industry; The Naughty List—Remembering thew Hayes Code of Porn; Consent for Ca$h—Abducting Chanel Preston
See also: APAC Encourages Solidarity Now More Than Ever