“They thought the title of my paper was too risky and wanted me to change it,” says Chauntelle Tibbals, Ph.D., of her upcoming presentation for the Stanford Law & Policy Review.
“’Anything that forces itself into my vagina is by definition raping me . . .’ – Adult Film Performers and Occupational Safety and Health’ might have sounded too sensational,” she says. “But I said No.”
The quote in the title, attributed to Kayden Kross in an XBiz Op-Ed story about the recent Los Angeles condom mandate, speaks to the overlooked question of personal choice in all the actions taken against the porn industry in Los Angeles.
“‘I understand what I’m doing and I’ve made this choice’ is what everyone I’ve interviewed has said,” says Tibbals, who received her doctorate in sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. “‘The choice to use a condom is mine.’”
Tibbals will present her paper, based on interviews with 24 adult industry performers, at a symposium on Adult Entertainment And the Law for the upcoming 23rd volume of the Stanford Law & Policy Review.
Other topics will include UNLV law professor Ann McGinley’s paper on the hypersexualization of casino workers in Las Vegas (including, Tibbals notes, The Hard Rock Hotel And Casino, lately home to XBiz and AVN events) and a performance by Brian Chase, Assistant General Counsel of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who has not disclosed the subject of his presentation.
Following the presentation of papers, Tibbals says there will be a Q & A session.
The negating of choice in legal rulings concerning the adult industry is not the only issue muddying public perception of porn, Tibbals says.
“Current regulations do not take the inner-workings of the adult industry or the concerns of the workers they’re trying to protect into account,” said Tibbals in a statement.
“Disconnects existing between adult industry producers and performers, regulators, and the wider social world are deep-seated and significant. Reliance on the concept of bloodborne pathogens protection as it is currently defined points to a lack of understanding about the mechanics of professional sex performance,” she continued.
I asked Tibbals to elaborate on disconnects between performers and producers, something that porn personnel often don’t publicize for fear of giving comfort to the enemy.
“It has a lot to do with the way performers’ jobs are structured,” she says. “Except in the case of the diminishing ranks of ‘contract girls,’ they don’t have a job to go to. They work for themselves. When you talk about airing your grievances in the way you’d do in a normal workplace, it’s not as easy. There’s a lot of the same players who shoot for the same companies, of course, but many performers don’t have even the opportunity to connect with each other. The agencies are so fractured, the studios are fractured; in both directions, the structure of the industry makes that conversation difficult.”
So there’s more grist than mill?
“Performers are freelancing in a saturated market,” she says.
Tibbals learned only recently that Chase had been added to the panel, which at first focused on Tibbals’ and McGinley’s work. As the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has emerged as a boogeyman to the adult industry, the post-presentation Q&A may get spirited.
Stanford Law & Policy Review’s website states that its goal for the presentation and forthcoming publication “is to have a well-rounded symposium that contributes new and useful ideas, as well as potential solutions.”
Tibbals looks forward to her participation in the Adult Entertainment Law panel, scheduled for April 11, if anything to present her findings based on meticulous research.
“Adult performers do have a wide range of opinions about condoms,” she says, “which you discover by actually talking with the people involved in the industry whom [condom laws] affect. But they all agree that, as adults, wearing condoms or not should be their choice.”
Previously on Porn Valley Observed: One Flew Over the AIDS Healthcare Foundation; Porn Valley sees opportunity in condom ordinance
See also: Chauntelle Tibbals’ Porn Valley Vantage, Stanford Law & Policy Review