September 15, 2012 09:20pm
Nick East Condom Comments
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Nick East
Nick East was gracious enough to send this in to Adult Industry News (AINews.com) for publication. We thank Nick, and any other person who contributes their well-written and thoughtful opinions.
"On March 25, 1911, a fire erupted at 23-29 Washington Place, New York, NY. This fire occurred in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, and 129 girls/women and 17 men died as a result. They didn't die because they didn't have warning. They died because their employers had locked the doors to the stairwells and exits. As a result, "Many of the workers who could not escape the burning building jumped from the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors to the street below... The oldest victim was 48, the youngest was 11 year old Mary Goldstein." -Wikipedia. Their employers had locked the doors in order to "prevent pilferage and unauthorized breaks." Put into a nutshell, the company made more money by keeping those doors locked!
The public outcry was so enormous that worker safety laws were quickly introduced into legislation ultimately leading to the formation of OSHA, an organization dedicated to protecting employees from greedy employers. It is OSHA which forces companies to not only let their employees wear rubber gloves while drawing blood, but to make said companies PAY for the gloves as well. Hardhats, all necessary testing, that annoying beep you hear when a truck backs up, they are all paid for by the employers in order to protect their workers as best as they can without regard for the loss of profit.
Now, over 100 years later, we find ourselves in a situation where the employers are not only snubbing their noses at regulations already in place, but they are actively invested in fighting the expected clamp-down on their freedom to infect their workers freely! Yes, I am referring to the Condom Initiative on the ballot in November and I am actively calling out the employers who are dedicated to denying their employees (yes, adult film actors are classified as employees) their ability to do their job without CATCHING UNNECESSARY DISEASES!
As already witnessed by "respectable actors" such as Mr. Marcus, Marc Wallace, Brian Pumper, etc., knowingly infecting their partners with syphilis, HIV, or producing completely faked tests, it is apparent that the measures in place to protect the adult film talent are not working. Therefore, I applaud the AIDS Healthcare Foundation for their tireless effort to protect the rights of sex workers and I am outraged by the Free Speech Coalition's use of ridiculous propaganda to try to influence people's opinions.
One argument the adult film companies are using is that condoms will replace testing! That is not true! Testing would and should still be in place in case the condom breaks. I haven't heard about REPLACING one for the other! Simply adding to the safety the workers have the right to enjoy. And yes, I believe the GLTB film community would benefit by using testing in addition to condoms as well.
Another argument is... wait for it... Somehow Diane Duke (head of the Free Speech Coalition) envisions a future where the movie must include the condom being ripped out of its package, well mentioned, and placed on the performer! Okay, that's just not true, so I'll move on.
The adult film companies will leave California! Uh, no they won't! Nowhere else will even have them without considering it pimping, pandering, and prostitution (I don't understand Florida's lack of reaction) so with California's laws the way they are, the companies are pretty much stuck where they are.
The adult film companies will "go underground"! How can I stop laughing at that one long enough to type? There is this thing now called 'the internet,' maybe you've heard of it? No such thing as underground any more, no siree!
Okay, I could go on and on about the ridiculous reasons why the Free Speech Coalition wants condoms to be optional, i.e., Putting money we don't have into programs we don't need, condom police, etc., but I don't have as much time as they do so I'll move on for now. Next item up for bid is… Testing! One two three, testing...
Oh, I remember when I entered the adult film industry as a young man of twenty-one, horny as hell and ready to spend countless hours having sex with beautiful (and highly sexual) women! The day after I signed up with Jim South from World Modeling I was already on a set doing two scenes! I shared bodily fluids with three girls and one guy (it was a boy/girl/girl scene and then a double penetration scene). I didn't have a test, but they didn't require them back in 1991! We just lied to the press and told them we were all tested! Yes, I said it! And it's true! But that's just the way it was back then. The industry was very small, and we all knew each other by our real names.
Testing came shortly after I entered the industry though, and long story short, we've come to the point where performers are tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV on a recurring basis, with a syphilis test once every six months. There is still no testing whatsoever for herpes, hepatitis a, b, or c, tinea versicolor, crabs, etc...
And why are the performers paying for their own tests AT ALL? Hasn't ANYONE read the law about the way employees are to be treated? Does anybody even care? Well, I do! Why, you ask? Because I've seen too many performers Die before their time and I've seen lives WRECKED by the adult film industry! I cannot stand idly by while the supposed 'voice' of the industry (the Free Speech Coalition) fights to protect a companies ability to put their employees health at risk for profits sake!
I put myself 'out there' in order to be a voice of reason which cannot be heard from the multitudes of wonderful people who put their very health on the line in order to bring you entertainment and sexual satisfaction. Since the adult film industry does not control my pocket book any longer, I can stand up and fight where the current crop of mistreated children cannot.
Thank you for reading this missive but I must stop for now.
Peace to those of you who care,
[Nick was gracious enough to send this in to Adult Industry News (AINews.com) for publication, but since there is no format for reader comments here, please go to the AINews FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/AdultIndustryNews and comment on this. It will be posted on or after the publication date on this article. -Ed.]