Starting March 5, performers in pornography films shot in Los Angeles will be required to wear condoms. The Los Angeles City Council adopted the measure after concerns HIV had been transmitted among performers.
But the porn business is fighting back, threatening to take the multibillion dollar a year industry elsewhere. One Bakersfield woman though, isn't buying it.
"I believe it's a bluff," said Shelley Lubben.
She knows the porn industry well. She is a former porn actress who participated in about 30 adult movies. Along the way, though, she contracted sexually transmitted diseases that caused her to lose children and led to the removal of her cervix.
The porn industry is against the mandatory condom-use law because
it claims performers are regularly tested for HIV. But Lubben suspects the real reason the industry objects to the use of condoms is that it affects its bottom line. Films with actors wearing condoms don't sell as well.
The result is that performers' lives are put at risk, said Lubben.
"Everybody in the porn industry who's been there at least a few months has had an STD," said Lubben.
Once in the adult film business, Lubben is now an ardent watchdog of the industry. She is president of The Pink Cross Foundation, a faith-based organization that reaches out to workers in the porn industry.
It offers emotional support to both men and women, as well as rescuing women involved in prostitution. Some men have been helped, as well, said Lubben.
Should the porn industry be serious about relocating, Lubben said she and her group will follow and warn people about its dangers.
"I'm making good on that promise," said Lubben. "Pink Cross Foundation will be there."