Skin Flicks Without the Skin: Why Government Mandated Condom Use in Adult Films is a Violation of the First Amendment

Sbardellati, Elizabeth | October 1, 2013

The filming of sexual acts for publication is legal in California, which has led to the development of a robust adult film industry in Southern California, particularly in the Los Angeles area. Recently, regulations have been proposed that would require actors in pornographic films to wear condoms. This comment examines legal objections to “The County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act” and CalOSHA’s assertion that California law requires the use of prophylactics in adult films. It argues that sexual expression in these adult films is protected under the First Amendment, although it may still be subject to government regulation. The mandate that actors wear condoms or use other prophylactic devices is unconstitutional because it cannot satisfy the standard laid out in United States v. O’Brien.