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Going Bareback – How do porn stars choose?

by Beth Divine 25 Aug 2018

Using a condom during casual sex is only sensible. Condoms prevent unwanted pregnancies, and stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, and are widely acknowledged to be a sensible precaution in today’s world of hook-up sex and online dating apps. However, porn stars often don’t use condoms, despite a brief period in the early nineties when almost all porn featured a well-wrapped cock rather than a naked one. How do porn stars decide if they are going to insist on condom use or otherwise, and why do they make the decisions they do?

An advantage of not using a condom in a sex scene is that it looks better. A condom is a literal barrier between the skin, and to a watcher, vicariously living through the scene with the two (or more) participants, it can be a major turn-off. From a purely filmic sense, as well, condoms are awkward, looking out of place and intrusive.

Also, when should the condom be put on? Should both parties help, making it part of the action, or should filming stop while he pops one on, and then resume, with the sudden addition of a condom expected to pass without comment?

Condom use is not always the best way to ensure safety – sexually transmitted diseases are not only found in the genital area and oral sex, kissing and any form of touching, should there be broken skin on either party, could result in an infection or illness being passed on. Cum shorts are very popular in porn, and facials, in which the male star comes onto the female star’s face can result in his bodily fluids going into her eyes, mouth and nose – all areas where the skin is thin and mucous membranes are present. This means that even if the male star has worn a condom, he can pass infections onto the woman or women also featuring in the clip.

As mentioned above, viewers prefer to see bare flesh in porn shoots. Porn is sexual fantasy and viewers get off on watching the footage and imagining themselves part of the scene. The insertion of a condom, and the necessary delays while it is put on, can kill the fantasy stone dead. In the nineties, there was much talk about enforcing the use of condoms in all pornographic films, but porn industries leaders managed to persuade legislators to hold off, and were able to prove the fact that the use of condoms would cost them business – perhaps even putting the whole industry at risk of bankruptcy.

Porn stars get around the condom dilemma in a manner that puts world leaders and governments to shame: there is an industry-wide agreement that all adult entertainment stars will go for testing every week or fourteen days, and no one expects to get work without proof of that testing showing an all clear.*

*There are some exceptions to the ‘Leave Johnny at home’ mentality – gay and bi porn being amongst them.