Adult film industry moves to Las Vegas

California condom law prompts exodus.

by Jennie Kermode

California's enaction of strict laws mandating the use of condoms for certain sexual acts in porn films has seen the number of productions shot in the state fall by 95%, it was revealed this week. Rather than adopting the safer sex practices intended to protect performers, the industry has found a new base in Las Vegas, where there is currently little support for similar measures.

Las Vegas was hit hard by the recession and the move is being welcomed by many because of the number and diversity of jobs it will create. It's a move that suits the industry not only because of the condom issue but also because filming costs are much lower there. Some production companies are struggling to make ends meet due to falling DVD sales, a consequence of the ease with which free pornography can be accessed over the internet.

Porn star James Deen, who recently appeared in Brett Easton Ellis adaptation The Canyons, said that he doesn't think the move will fix any of the problems related to HIV and thinks those who made the Californian law have failed to understand the industry. Several former porn stars who are now living with HIV, however, have expressed concern about how the industry treated them.

Last year the Californian industry suffered three major health scares, with productions being shut down and performers given emergency tests after actors tested positive. The apparently early identification of those affected stemmed from a rule requiring that performers be tested every two weeks in order to minimise the risk of the illness spreading. Industry trade group director Diane Duke stressed at the time that the infections had been acquired off set. "Adult performers - like all of us - have personal lives," she said. "We cannot control, and should not look to control, people’s private lives. What we can do is make sure that HIV is stopped at the gate by testing protocols."

It is currently unclear whether or not testing protocols will be applied in the same way in Las Vegas.

Share this with others on...

The turning point Wendy Makkena on Tom Hanks, Chris Cooper and Matthew Rhys in A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Decisive moments Evelyn Schels on Marina Abramovic, Sigalit Landau, Shirin Neshat and Katharina Sieverding in Body Of Truth

Sense memories Robert Tinnell on Feast Of The Seven Fishes and family memories

Keeping his word Michael Apted in conversation on 63 Up

Talking about juxtapositions Thom Powers on dreams, fashion, identity, nature and bright spotlights in DOC NYC

Dedicated to DA Pennebaker Thom Powers on Martin Scorsese, Michael Apted, the Masters and Winner’s Circle in the tenth edition

More news and features

We're bringing you coverage of Tallinn Black Nights, Welsh horror spectacular Abertoir and the French Film Festival.

We've recently been at the London Korean Film Festival and DOC NYC, the Valencia Film Festival, New York's NewFest, the Cambridge Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, the London Film Festival, the Iris Prize Festival in Cardiff, and Manchester's Grimmfest.

Read our full for more.

Visit our festivals section.


More competitions coming soon.