Thanks to a web of complicated tax issues, the improvement of travel and the ability to find good help almost anywhere, more and more movies have started filming outside of Los Angeles. The epidemic has even spread over the past decade or so to television. Now, startling new statistics are showing the porn community is fleeing too, though the reason behind that departure is very different.
Back in 2012, the fine people of Los Angeles went to the polls to vote on whether or not pornographic actors should be required by law to wear condoms while engaging in intercourse. I voted against “Measure B”, but many of my fellow residents did not. Consequently, it passed, and not surprisingly, porn production in Los Angeles has fallen drastically ever since. In fact, the inexact number being thrown around by observers is by about 90%.
According to Variety, there have only been a total of 20 pornographic permits issued by the County of Los Angeles since the beginning of 2014. Prior to Measure B taking effect, the County didn’t keep an exact total, but most estimate the 2011 figure to be around 480. So, just three years ago, more than 10 times as much adult content was being shot at any given time as is being shot now. That’s the difference between a genuine industry supporting real jobs and a niche community that can’t be relied on for regular work.
The reason why the general public would want people to wear condoms while having sex on camera is pretty obvious. Because of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, porn work can, in theory, be pretty dangerous and we want the best for our fellow human beings. Unfortunately, that whole wearing condoms thing directly comes into conflict with how most people prefer to consume their pornography. In short, people don’t seem to get off on condoms, and the porn industry has responded by going to places that are OK with showing that.
The fear for many is that these new places won’t regulate the industry as well as Los Angeles once did. The County requires everyone working in the porn industry to be tested for diseases every two weeks and doesn’t allow anyone to work who doesn’t pass. That law was enthusiastically embraced by the community. To this day, an overwhelming majority working in the industry argue it’s enough to prevent the spread of HIV, but voters didn’t see it that way.
According to The Los Angeles Times, much of the porn business has gone to nearby Ventura County, but with the State of California considering forcing condom usage everywhere, it’s entirely possible the whole community will pick up and move to Las Vegas in the very near future. Maybe that matters. Maybe it doesn’t. But for a city that has long prided itself on being the capital of the film world, porn’s exit is another sobering entertainment business loss.