When It Comes to Health Care, Are Porn Stars Getting Screwed?

peep show.jpg
Kevin Dooley

By Bethany St. James

No matter how you look at it, sex is a risky business. It's also been the subject of innumerable political debates in a veritable cornucopia of topics. In recent months, the use of condoms in porn has been one of the most hot button debate topics within the sex industry. For those that haven't cared or haven't heard, new legislation was put into place mandating that adult performers be required to use condoms. However, there seems to be a new issue on the horizon for those involved in the political side of pornography.

Yesterday, a cute little piece published in The Huffington Post was brought to my attention. It was written by porn newcomer Amber Peach. Although I was not familiar with Ms. Peach, I found her subject matter interesting and quite amusing. In the article, Amber explains that most performers are making less than $30,000 a year. Long gone are the days of "porn stars" and high dollar contracts with production companies. The reason for that is no secret, at least to those who have lived and worked within the sex industry for the past 30 years. The entire adult entertainment industry is in trouble.

The impact made by the Internet and our failing economy have shown an almost incomprehensible increase in the amount of young men and women willing to do anything for just a few bucks and a little bit of attention. The porn industry has become oversaturated with "new talent" and wannabe producers, both of whom are expecting to get famous, rich, and to do it quickly. But they are in for a big surprise. Escort services, web cams sites, and cheap Internet porn have made it nearly impossible for even porn's mega stars to make ends meet. In fact, many high-end porn performers have recently announced their retirement, including powerhouses Jenna Haze and Dylan Ryder, who have dominated the industry for many years.

In her article, "Will Porn Stars Get the Shaft From Obamacare?" the writer states that under current health care provisions, adult performers are considered to have a "pre-existing condition," deeming them a high risk and sometimes ineligible for health insurance. She insinuates that under Obamacare, porn "stars" may now have the chance to finally get the health care they have been so wrongly denied. The fact is that having unprotected sex is risky. Why shouldn't health insurance companies take that into consideration?

Most insurance companies will, as Ms. Peach states, allow a performer to pay a high-risk fee that can sometimes "bring their health insurance rate to $500 a month or higher. They would then be paying 20 percent of their monthly salary to cover their health care." My answer is this: Welcome to the real world. Anyone with a high-risk occupation needs to take those factors into consideration when choosing a career path.

I find it ironic that Nicki Hunter, one of the performers mentioned in the article is actually a very outspoken advocate of unprotected sex in porn. I was engaged in a fairly heated debate with Ms. Hunter live on Playboy's Night Calls some months back regarding her disdain for condoms. Although my heart goes out to anyone who suffers with a severe health issue, my opinion remains unchanged. If someone engages in risky behavior, they should expect to pay a higher premium. They have no grounds to complain about being refused health insurance. Common sense dictates that the risk should never be greater than the reward. The use of a condom can save your life. Period.

As a legal prostitute in Nevada, I was tested every week and bound by federal law to use protection. My health insurance company knew exactly what I did for a living and had no problem insuring me because I was doing my job in the safest and most legal fashion possible. The fact is that if being an adult entertainer is your long-term career goal, you may want to refocus your energies. I agree that health insurance should be available to those who need it and are willing to do their part to obtain it. However, if you are knowingly putting yourself in harm's way and expecting to be insured in the same manner as a school teacher or anyone else, you are delusional. In this instance, different strokes on different folks without precaution may inhibit your ability to get insured. You need to take that into consideration before proudly penning Pornographic Actress on your application. There are plenty of professions where you can make $30,000 a year without putting your life at risk. Wrap it up or stop complaining. It's simple.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

My Voice Nation Help
haad license
haad license

The option a number of top quality helath care devices has totally changed the property wellness medical services market. It has also made life much easier and more relaxed. The cost has also decreased a lot. In the past, these products were too costly. 

Now Trending

From the Vault


San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.