Guest Writer: J.P. Barnaby (1 of 3), “Have we failed the test?”

(In the spirit of providing useful information and a place for intelligent dialogue, accepts well written blog entries about topics of concern to adult entertainment. The views expressed in the following article are not necessarily shared by the operators of the hosting site. Archived guest writers’ articles will be listed under Interviews & Essays.)

“While L.A. County finally doing something by closing AIM is a good thing, we’ll see if they have the backbone to shut down productions,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, a longtime critic of AIM, who renewed his call for public health authorities to shut down productions that do not require condoms.
– Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2010*

Have we failed the test?

Six months ago, I had never heard of the Adult Industry Medical Health Care Foundation.  In August, I started researching a new project which includes characters that become gay adult models.  Of course, I’ve been a fan of the industry for a while.  I find watching a man make himself physically, if not emotionally, vulnerable to another man incredibly erotic.  That’s one of the reasons I author novels in the genre of gay erotic fiction.  However, I had no idea that there was a clinic in Los Angeles dedicated to the testing of adult models until I began to follow dozens of models on Twitter and saw a tweet from Wolf Hudson mentioning it.

As I started talking to a few of these guys, I found out that testing policies range from strenuous to non-existent depending on the studio.  From watching the ACS (Amateur College Sex) side of Corbin Fisher, I knew that sometimes condoms aren’t anywhere to be found.  This puts a lot of pressure on the models to keep themselves tested and put their health in the hands of their scene partners.  I think a database with test results for everyone involved in a shoot is a band-aid, but it’s better than fucking in the dark.

That’s why I was very surprised to see that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was a longtime critic of the AIM testing clinic.  I absolutely understand their position about requiring condoms on every shoot, but that’s not likely in a society driven by capitalism.  While there are customers that want to see bareback sex, there will be studios that will produce it.  The government tries to stay as far away from the stigma of porn as they possibly can.  I mean, porn stars bring it on themselves don’t they?  If they were worth anything, they’d find another line of work.  This is another attitude that pisses me off, but that’s a post for another day.

If the goal is to minimize the new outbreaks of HIV and other STDs, how does it possibly make sense to close a facility geared toward industry performers?  Consistent testing for models isn’t going to solve all of the world’s problems, but it will allow them to get treated sooner and allow reputable producers to minimize risks to other models.  Of course, that’s a lot of sex to be had in the thirty days between tests and the variables are exponential, but it’s better than them not being tested at all.

I don’t know what the solution is which is why I’m an author and not a politician.  It just seems to me that if the goal is to try and keep models safe and healthy, as I think it should be, they should have more options for achieving that goal, not less.

– J. P. Barnaby
Twitter: @JPBarnaby

Erotic fiction is more than just moans, grunts, and physical pleasure. To J. P. Barnaby, erotic fiction consists not only of the mechanics of physical love, but the complex characters and relationships that lead to those all-encompassing feelings of need and longing.  Sex without context is merely sex – but sex coupled with attraction, with explosive repercussions – that is good erotic fiction.


Author: Devon Hunter

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  1. Thank you, J.P.! I look forward to publishing your next two entries here as well, and I hope others will enjoy discussing all this with you. I definitely agree that “they should have more options for achieving that goal, not less,” but I want whatever comes down the pipe to very carefully examine the issues of privacy and medical history.

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  2. J.P., well done. Some thoughts……
    In any industry, adult entertainment not excluded, employers should have a concern for those you provide a significant contribution to their product. When the attitude is absent by the employer, than the employee (model) must exercise his sense of value as to how far he will place himself at risk. It may not be an easy decision and will take courage, for it may mean leaving the employment; but it may be the right decision. If legislation is suggested, it will not work. It will lack the necessary care and concern.
    Look forward to the next the entry.

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    • I agree that legislation will not work, if there is no will to enforce it. We already have so many laws that are essentially useless; however, having something on the books might give people the foothold they need to suggest/implement/force changes? I dunno… it’s a delicate balance between too much and too little government.

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    • Bob – I don’t disagree with you. However adult performers generally aren’t employees, they are contractors with a variety of different studios. This puts ownership of their health directly on the performer. While there is a demand for barebacking films, studios will meet it. It’s one of the fundamentals of capitalism. I would think that popular models have the option of declining while those still trying to break in to the business would be more vulnerable. AIM not only provided testing but also awareness and education. I’m sure there are models who aren’t even aware of their level of risk, relying on order models or the studio to keep them safe.

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  3. J.P. – I understand the distinction. I use the employee idea simply to establish a business relationship which needs to exist. From my perspective, the same would be true with a subcontractor. The problem rest with responsibility. There is a general liability exposure which businesses have. This should be enough for them to want to ensure the level of health- low at-risk – necessary for the models. But the care is still not there with some adult entertainment owners. Maybe I need to consider Devon’s point – trying to get the delicate balance from some government intervention then none at all, even though I am someone doubtful of its effect.

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  4. This may sound like I am kidding! I am not! Possibly models in the adult entertainment industry need to unionize. Could AIM be the organization to do it? I do not know!

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    • I don’t think that’s crazy at all. I would totally be a member!

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