Condoms and Cal-OSHA: AIDS Healthcare Foundation Tells Larry Flynt to Wrap It Up

Last week, the indefatigable AIDS Healthcare Foundation launched the latest salvo in its long running battle to pressure California's occupational health and safety agency to enforce the bloodborne pathogens standard on porn sets: Lodging a complaint against porn magnate Larry Flynt with Cal-OSHA and supporting the charge with a five-foot stack of Flynt-produced DVDs.


California is one of only two states where it is unequivocally legal to make hardcore porn. The state also has some of the toughest occupational health and safety laws in the country. The bloodborne pathogens standard stipulates that workers are entitled to condoms or equivalent protection on the job. Condoms are the norm in gay porn, and in the straight porn industry in Brazil, but straight porn producers in California routinely ignore the law.

The porn industry is always trying to tell us how mainstream it has become over the years, and indeed, the industry is very mainstream when it comes to signing multi-million dollar distribution deals with major satellite TV companies and hotel chains. But when it comes to protecting the health of workers, the industry wants to cling to its outlaw status instead of taking on the responsibilities that other employers shoulder as a matter of course. If you're a regular movie producer and you want to depict an actor running through a burning building, it's up to you to figure out how to do it safely. My story on condoms, OSHA, and porn appears on Slate's Double X.

[Photo credit: ClixYou, Creative Commons. Slogan reads: For love, wear a condom.]

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

Sponsored
  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.