Here to Rescue Hollywood and Sports in a Time of the Rona: The Porn Industry

In these difficult times, we rely more than ever on those dedicated professionals working harder than ever to make us strong. And we wish to thank those who keep us home, keep us apart, and keep us safe. So thank you everyone in the adult film industry who are not only stepping up in the present, they are preparing to teach other entertainment industries how to meet the challenges of moving forward in a post flattened curve world. 

Source - As Hollywood tries to figure out how to resume production of movies and TV shows in the coronavirus era, one sector may be better prepared than others to deal with the challenges. 

The porn industry in Los Angeles came up with its own testing system and database in the 1990s to protect actors during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

Now it is using that system to develop protocols for making adult entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“When we first starting talking about COVID, we felt very well prepared because we have a whole history of testing within the industry as well as contact tracing and production shut-downs,” said Mike Stabile, spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the U.S. adult entertainment industry. 

“This is obviously a different type of virus, this is a different type of threat, but we understood in general how it would work and what we’d need to do in order to protect ourselves,” he said. ...

Porn star Sharon Mitchell, who is now a physician, created a system now known as PASS (Performer Availability Scheduling Services), in which porn actors are required to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases every 14 days. The results are entered into a database which informs producers and directors who is clean and available for work. ...

Stabile said the coronavirus, which is more easily transmitted, is a more complex problem but that the porn industry was open to working with mainstream Hollywood studios to share its expertise. 

“The challenges for sports, for Hollywood and the porn industry are all different but in reality, we each have things we can learn from each other,” Stabile said. 

That is more than helpful, it's hopeful. Inspirational. If you lived through the AIDS epidemic of the late 1980s and early 90s, you'll remember that this was supposed to be a death knell for the good men and women of the adult film industry. It was being portrayed in some corners as real Wrath of God stuff, a Biblical plague sent here as retribution for their sinful ways. And the whole industry was expected to collapse until a cure was found. And without one, future generations would have nothing to rely on but the pre-epidemic VHS tapes, with their grainy quality, 4:3 aspect ratio, tinny audio and questionable choices of mustaches and hygiene. If you've grown up in a world of abundant, HD, widescreen porn, you have the people like Dr. Sharon Mitchell to thank for it.

I'm a writer, not an epidemiologist. So I always defer to the experts on these issues. So yes, sports and Hollywood are facing a different sort of challenge. That's the nature of challenges; they're always different, otherwise they wouldn't be challenges. But the point is, when faced with a 5-alarm crisis that threatened to ruin their livelihoods, the porn folks found a way. And so can sports and so can Hollywood. We don't have to be faced with a future where the next phase of Marvel movies will all be done via Zoom or the next RomCom will be two people who are all wrong for each other but somehow realize they're soulmates will only one actor and one actress who'll stay on opposite sides of a room. Super Bowl LX won't have to be played on an island in the Pacific last used to test nukes. Any more than porn had to degenerate into holding hands and deep conversations. They figured it out and they've been exchanging all the fluids on camera ever since. Safely.

So while all the task forces and all the elected officials can keep trying, eventually I think we'll all come around to realizing the real experts who can lead us out of this mess into a brave new world are the porn people.