Condoms in porn movies
posted: 04/22/2006 12:00 am
Dear Dr. Myrtle,
Why aren’t porn stars wearing condoms? Does that present a risk to the actors? If not, do you know why it doesn’t?
Erotic movies often have a disclaimer: "...this is fantasy material. We hope that you are using safe or safer sex methods at home ...". The inconsistent use of condoms in visual erotica certainly sends mixed messages and confuses many people about what safe sex really is. It’s important for people to recognize the boundary between fantasy (watching something that is actually not safe), and reality (doing something that is not safe).
Safer sex is the use of barriers and lubricant to keep secretions from passing between bodies. Oral sex with a man (fellatio) needs to be done with a condom on his penis for it to be safer sex. Oral sex with a women (cunnilingus) needs to be done with a opened condom or oral sex dam for it to be safer sex. Any sexual act is safer when one body is prevented from directly contacting another body. This is why we call condoms "barriers": the condom is acting as a barrier between bodies.
If you don’t want to use barriers, another way to have safer sex is to get regular medical screenings for sexually transmitted infections prior to contact with a new partner. If you have been tested and are negative for infections, you can be sexually intimate without barriers with other people who tested negative at the same time. (This does not prevent pregnancy, however.)
Examples of this in erotic films include some actors who are lifetime partners. Not only have they both been medically screened, but they have a consensual agreement not to be sexual with other people unless barriers are used, to reduce the possibility of infection contamination of their partners. However, some actors choose not to be sexually safe, and are unsafely sexually intimate with whomever their acting partner is. It’s a bit of a hodgepodge, really, and you can’t tell by looking what the circumstances are.
Strict attention to safer sex isn’t seen in the majority of erotic films. If you are really serious about not exposing yourself to infections, don’t get your information from erotic films - it isn’t accurate. Ironically, it is SAFE sex to WATCH erotic films. Getting turned on by watching other people in films is completely safe - just don’t DO what you are seeing.
My suggestion: learn about safer sex, and use movies as arousal tools, rather than educational tools.
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