Michael Weinstein and AIDs Healthcare Foundation have made it a point in their efforts to convince the voters of Los Angeles that he cares about the performers in adult entertainment. He says this law is about being FAIR. FAIR stands for For Adult Industry Responsibility. He says he wants to protect performers that cannot speak for themselves. He wants to ensure a safe work place for all pornstars.
Well, except those pornstars that work in gay porn in San Francisco. At the AHF press conference on September 17th I challenged Michael Weinstein on why he was only focusing his efforts on the straight side of the adult industry in Los Angeles and not trying to protect performers on the gay side of the industry in San Francisco. He stumbled when giving his answer basically stating that the reason why AHF is forcing condom use in straight porn is because he lives in Los Angeles and this is where AHF is located. That is far from a reasonable answer as to why he chose not to push a safe sex in gay adult films law to protect gay performers in San Francisco as well.
Eight years ago when there was an HIV outbreak in the Los Angeles porn industry and five performers were infected Michael Weinstein could careless about the HIV and porn or condoms for that matter. He attended a California Assembly Subcommittee meeting titled “Worker Health and Safety in the Adult Film Industry.” This is the actual summary of his testimony from the meeting;
“Mr. Weinstein made the point that there are thousands of HIV infections occurring all over the country and the world and yet the media and Legislature are now focused on the handful of infections that have recently occurred in the porn industry. He also stated that AIM may be best suited to deliver HIV testing and prevention services to the porn community rather than other HIV related organizations like AIDS Healthcare Foundation.”
You can read the full report here -> koretz_posthearingreport-1.pdf
On September 26, 2012, Mark Kernes of AVN published a story addressing Michael Weinstein’s complete reversal of position on condoms in porn. Kernes attended the “Worker Health and Safety Meeting” discussed above and was able to shed more light on Weinstein’s position on condoms and porn in 2004 ( Please see: http://business.avn.com/articles/legal/Synchronicity-Hypocrisy-Condoms-and-Michael-Weinstein-489484.html ) In this author’s opinion the most telling Michael Weinstein quote from Mark Kernes’s article is;
“There is no precedent in any state law for mandating the use of condoms,” Weinstein noted, “and I feel we should be careful before crossing that threshold… In the end, prohibition [of non-condom sex] does not work.”
Obviously, much can be learned about Michael Weinstein from his own words. As head of the AHF, Michael Weinstein writes a monthly column for the LA Frontiers Magazine called HIV Living (Please see: http://www.frontiersla.com/Channels/HIVLiving/Story.aspx?ID=1768519 ). Here he discusses the “battle” that is sexual health;
“The next sexual revolution has begun—it is the battle for sexual health. We have a right to a sexual life that is as free from disease as it can possibly be. We know that the more sexual partners we have, the more risk we are taking—that is a fact.”
On AHF’s website, Weinstein discusses what the focus of this battle should be. He wants to be in your bedroom. He wants to be a part of your sex life. He wants to influence young men (and women) in their thinking about sex. From an article posted on AIDs Healthcare Foundation’s website ( Please see: http://www.aidshealth.org/archives/news/frontiers-hands-off-hiv-prevention/ )
“It isn’t enough to use a condom yourself. We need ambassadors, who actually ask other men who want unsafe sex, why they want to put themselves at risk. We need to get as close to the heat of the moment, when people are actually making these decisions, as we can get. We did this before—we can do it again.
Some men will never be safe— we can’t change that. But, if we can grab the middle ground, so that young men coming of age automatically assume that they must use condoms, the numbers of new infections will come down drastically.”
I believe this quote cuts to the heart of the reason why Michael Weinstein is now trying to force condom legislation on the adult entertainment industry. He hopes that those couples that use porn as a part of their sex lives will see the action on screen and at that very moment make the decision to use a condom. He also realizes that porn is now easily accessible by anyone with an Internet connection and probably believes that young men (and women) coming of age will use porn and see others using condoms and incorporate condoms into their own sex lives. In 2004 porn was relegated adult DVD stores or to the corners of Mom & Pop DVD rental stores. Now it’s mainstream, free and being watched by millions of users everyday. What better way to send a message of safe sex and reach the broadest possible audience.
Except he doesn’t just want to be the condom police, he wants to be the thought police.