Entries in Pornography (8)


Porn Actor Tests Positive for Syphilis

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A porn actor's positive syphilis test has prompted an industry-wide moratorium on adult film production.

The Free Speech Coalition, a porn industry trade group, has asked movie producers to suspend work on X-rated films and videos while actors get tested and treated for the sexually-transmitted bacterial infection.

"I always appreciate how our industry comes together in a time of need," Diane Duke, the group's executive director, said in a statement. "Clearly our industry's priority is the health and well-being of our performers."

Doctors from the coalition's Adult Production Health and Safety Services will test all porn performers for syphilis using the rapid plasma reagin test -- a screening test that spots infection-induced antibodies. They will also administer prophylactic antibiotics to protect uninfected performers from the disease.

"Once the performer receives antibiotics, he or she will be available to work within 10 days," the coalition said in a statement, adding that several porn production companies have offered to cover the cost of syphilis testing and treatment.

The decision on when to lift the production moratorium will be made "as more information is revealed," according to the coalition.

The signs and symptoms of syphilis -- from painless sores on the genitals or mouth to skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes -- can take years to emerge, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And if left untreated, the disease can lead to numbness, paralysis, blindness, dementia, and even death.

While less common than Chlamydia and gonorrhea, syphilis cases are on the rise in California. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of syphilis cases jumped 18 percent, according to data from the state Department of Public Health obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The syphilis scare comes less than a year after a porn actor's positive HIV test halted adult film production, prompting calls for mandatory condom use in X-rated shoots.

"There really cannot be an argument over the fact that these performers would be far safer if they used condoms," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told ABC News at the time.

Subsequent testing revealed the HIV test result was a false positive. Nevertheless, the foundation plans to highlight the syphilis incident on a Nov. 6 ballot measure mandating condom use in L.A. porn production, according to a statement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mom Sues After Breastfeeding Video Used in Porn Clip

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A suburban New Jersey woman thought she was contributing to an educational video on breastfeeding only to learn, months later, that someone apparently stole footage of her and her newborn daughter and incorporated it into a pornographic video that was attracting thousands of hits on YouTube and elsewhere.

Now MaryAnn Sahoury, 35, worries that the stigma of being associated with Internet pornography will shadow both her and her daughter -- referred to in legal documents as A.S. -- for the rest of their lives.

"A.S. is not even two (2) years old. She will be faced with continuing damage as she engages in elementary school, middle school, high school and then college. This may haunt her for years to come because what has occurred can never entirely be removed from the Internet," according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against Meredith Corp., the Iowa-based media and marketing giant that filmed Sahoury and her daughter.

Sahoury has sued Meredith Corp. for fraud, misrepresentation and negligence in connection with a video that Meredith said was stolen from its website and misused. In an opinion issued last week, a federal judge wrote that Sahoury's lawsuit could move forward despite Meredith Corp.'s argument that a release form signed by Sahoury allowed Meredith to use her and her daughter's names, and freed Meredith from "any and all claims."

Shortly after her daughter was born on Dec. 9, 2009, Sahoury was recruited to be a part of a breastfeeding educational video by her lactation consultant, who had been engaged by Parent TV, a Meredith Corp. brand.

After some initial trepidation, Sahoury agreed to participate, without compensation, "because she felt her own personal experience would be insightful and helpful to other first-time mothers who are considering breastfeeding," according to the complaint filed in federal court last year.

Sahoury and her daughter were videotaped at the lactation consultant's New Jersey home in January 2010. During the taping, Sahoury demonstrated how she breastfed her daughter and answered a series of questions. Sahoury has alleged that the woman in charge of the video production said that neither Sahoury's nor her daughter's name would be disclosed in the video. Sahoury said she was told the video would be shown on a Parent TV website and on cable television.

After taping was completed and Sahoury was about to leave, the woman in charge asked her to sign a release, according to the complaint. Sahoury has conceded that she signed the release without reviewing it. In her complaint, Sahoury claims that she believed the release simply confirmed what she was told the morning before shooting began.

In July 2010, Sahoury, a former public relations company employee, did a Google search of her name and was mortified by what she found: multiple links to a video that combined the footage of her breastfeeding her daughter with pornographic footage of a woman who looked like Sahoury.

Sahoury "was mortified and shocked to learn that the defendants filmed, edited and produced the breastfeeding video using M.S's first and last name, contrary to the representations made to M.S. before the video shoot," according to the complaint. "Had the defendants not used M.S.'s last name, the creator of the pornographic video would not have been able to link up the breastfeeding video and the pornographic video with M.S. and A.S., connecting both of them to pornography."

Sahoury did not immediately return calls from ABC News seeking comment from her.

In a motion to dismiss Sahoury's lawsuit, Meredith said that "a rogue faceless person named 'Nizarddd'" stole the breastfeeding video off Meredith's website and posted it to pornography-related sites.

In a statement, the company said it was "appalled that someone would misuse a video meant to help new mothers."

After finding the video online, Sahoury and her lactation consultant contacted Meredith. It was her lactation consultant, Sahoury said, who first determined that someone going by the Internet handle "Nizarddd" had posted the video.

A recent Internet search of the name "Nizarddd" yielded a profile on the photo-sharing site flickr that included galleries of photos of women nursing, as well as one gallery labeled "tits," showing well-endowed women in cleavage-baring outfits. A post on the site by "nizarddd" included three links to videos of women nursing and using breast pumps -- parts of the videos appeared to be slowed down from their original speeds -- and a link to a "nizarddd1" YouTube channel. Clicking on the channel link leads to a message from YouTube advising that the account "has been suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy on nudity or sexual content."

In her complaint, Sahoury said Meredith at first "exhibited a sense of urgency" in helping her, but by August 2010, its interested had waned.

In a statement, Meredith defended its efforts to help Sahoury.

"Meredith took immediate and substantial action when made aware of the situation, and we have gone above and beyond any contractual responsibilities, expending a substantial amount of time and money," the company said. "We have hired leading law firms to file take-down demands, and retained top Internet specialists to both clear online caches and create positive references. We are confident that the steps we have taken are helping to mitigate the issue. We are continuing these good-faith efforts even after Ms. Sahoury filed her lawsuit."

Despite the efforts of Internet experts, links associating Sahoury and her daughter with pornography continue to pop up online, Sahoury has alleged. "Nizarrrd" also sent Sahoury a friend request on Facebook, prompting Sahoury to delete her Facebook account.

As a result of the Internet video, Sahoury has experienced panic attacks, vomiting and depression, according to the lawsuit.

"Having been told that this will never completely go away has only made matters worse," the complaint said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Plagued by Porn-Induced Headaches

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI, India) -- A man plagued by porn-induced headaches has to take painkillers 30 minutes before watching the X-rated movies, according to a case study. The unnamed "unmarried male software professional," 24, complained of "severe, exploding" headaches that developed gradually and peaked 10 minutes into the sexy scenes.

"Progressively, he started to refrain from viewing videos as a means of avoiding headaches," researchers from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in New Delhi, India, wrote in the case study published in the June issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior.

The cause of the man's ill-timed headaches, triggered only by porn and not by sex or masturbation, is unclear.

"This guy is interesting because he's just watching porn and not actually having sex," said Dawn Buse, associate professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of behavioral medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center in New York. "But he probably still gets aroused and excited, which may be even worse than having sex because there's no release."

Buse said about one percent of the population -- mostly males -- gets headaches associated with sexual activity. But even arousal can cause changes in muscle tension, nerve sensitivity and blood flow in the brain that boost the perception of pain, she said.

"It makes sense," she said. "There's definitely blood pumping through his head and his body."

Like exercise-induced headaches, sex headaches are nothing more than a nuisance, easily negated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Buse said. But in rare cases, the pain can signal something more serious, like a brain tumor or an aneurysm.

"If someone has a stiff neck, dizziness or confusion along with the pain, they should talk to a doctor," Buse said.

The man, ready to abandon his porn-watching ways, was instead advised to take 400 milligrams of ibuprofen and 500 milligrams of acetaminophen 30 minutes in advance, to which, according to the study, "he reported significant pain relief."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is the Internet Driving Porn Addiction Among School-Aged Kids?

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nathan Haug is an upstanding high school student, on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout.  He has a high GPA, serves on the student council and swims competitively.  But Haug had a secret he kept hidden from his family and friends during his early teen years -- he suffered from an addiction to online pornography.

This 17-year-old from Alpine, Utah, is one of eight children, and one of the oldest still living at home.  He said his habit of looking at pornography on the Internet started when he was around 12 or 13 years old.

"It was kind of there, uninterrupted," he said.  "I became almost numb to it.  It became such a part of, pretty much my daily routine.  It was automatic."

And Haug is far from alone.  There is still little research on how many U.S. kids are addicted to online pornography, but a University of New Hampshire study reports exposure begins young -- for some, as young as 8 years old.

Of course, pornography isn't new.  But it's a quantum leap from a world where pornography came in magazines and on tape, to where it's available on our smartphones and tablets -- or at the click of a mouse.

The warning signs for those who become addicted may include depression, poor school performance, self-isolation and lying.

While the American Psychological Association has not yet classified pornography as a listed addiction, some professionals working in the field are treating it as such.  Psychotherapist Matt Bulkley in Saint George, Utah, treats teenagers exclusively, some of whom have committed sexual offenses and some who are just hooked.

"A lot of times the pornography becomes a coping style," Bulkley said.  "It becomes a way that they deal with negative emotions in their life, pornography provides a euphoria.  It provides a high, of sorts."

Bulkley estimated that in the next five to 10 years, as the next generation moves into adolescence, online pornography addiction will become an epidemic.

Some studies show that seven out of 10 teens have been accidentally exposed to pornography online.  Boys are more likely to view it, but more girls are getting hooked too.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Teens as Young as 14 Engaging in Group Sex, Study Finds

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A study of girls at Massachusetts health clinics found that one in 13 said they had participated in group sex -- and that the behavior was strongly associated with pornography and child abuse.

Although the study, published by the Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of New York Academy of Medicine, is a small one, the researchers said it offers a window into a risky sex behavior that has so far been given little legitimacy.

More than half of the girls who reported experiencing group sex said they had been coerced into doing so, according to the study.  Many admitted they had been "liquored up" on alcohol and drugs, often against their will.

The average age of the first group-sex experience was 15.6, according to the study, and for most, it was a one-time experience.

"I am really incredulous that this has not had more study and attention," said Emily Rothman, lead author at Boston University School of Public Health.

"The take-home message is that both consensual and non-consensual group sex is happening among youth -- and pediatricians, health organizations and rape crisis centers need to be prepared to talk about and provide the education to address it," she said.

Rothman interviewed 328 females between the ages of 14 and 20 who had used a community or school-based health center to see if they had ever had sex with multiple partners.

These girls had sought help at the clinics for a variety of reasons from strep throats to sprained ankles, not just for reproductive care.

An estimated 7.3 percent of the teens said they had experienced what researchers called "multi-person sex" -- an experience that could have ranged from a gang rape to a sex party.

"I think one of the things going on here is that boyfriends or sex partners are forcing their female partners to watch porn and also then coercing them," Rothman said. "Whether that is through peer pressure or doing things they see in the porn, we don"t know."

Those girls were also five times more likely than those who did not have group sex to have watched pornography in the last month.

In those who said they had group sex, 45 percent reported having sex without a condom in a recent encounter.  They also were more likely to smoke cigarettes, have been a victim of dating violence or had a sexually transmitted disease diagnosis.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Positive HIV Test Prompts Porn Industry Shutdown

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- A porn actor's positive HIV test, which prompted a temporary shutdown of Los Angeles' billion-dollar adult film industry Monday night, has reignited the debate over mandatory condom use in X-rated productions.

The HIV scare comes less than one month after the launch of a new online sexual health database aimed at preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among porn actors through mandatory testing. To be listed in the database -- a requisite for getting work -- porn actors must get tested every 30 days and present a clean bill of health. But critics say routine testing does not prevent STDs from creeping in.

"Testing is not a substitute for condom use, and it never will be," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles. "No test can detect HIV from the moment of infection. There will always be a window period," which might not reflect recent infection.

The Free Speech Coalition, the industry trade group behind the database, announced the positive HIV test and requested the voluntary production moratorium Monday. A spokeswoman did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The positive test results will be confirmed by more sensitive testing methods, but details of the case, including the performer's name, age and sex, will not be released. It is also unclear how many sexual partners might be at risk.

"The average American male has seven female sexual partners in a lifetime. But it's possible for a male to have seven sexual partners in a single day on porn movie set," said Weinstein. "Because this is a network that's kind of inbred, the spread of disease could be exponential."

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is pushing for mandatory condom use in the making of adult films -- a move that's met with strong resistance from the industry itself.

The online database, launched Aug. 2, lists pornography performers who are free of sexually transmitted diseases and available for work. It replaced an earlier version operated by AIM Medical Associates that was shut down in May after the site was hacked and performers' private medical information was leaked online. It's unclear whether a lapse in STD testing between May and August contributed to the new case.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is lobbying for a measure on L.A.'s June 2012 ballot that would mandate condom use in porn productions that seek city film permits.

"This is a tragedy, and we don't want to see one more person become infected with HIV or any other disease," Weinstein said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sexual Health Database Protects Porn Stars' Privacy

Comstock/Thinkstock(CANOGA PARK, Calif) -- The Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult entertainment industry, has launched an online database that lists pornography performers who are sexually-transmitted disease-free and available for work.

The database, called Adult Production Health & Safety Services, is accessible only by producers, performers and their agents. It replaces a database operated by AIM Medical Associates, which was shut down in May after the site was hacked and performers' private medical information was leaked online.

Proponents say the new database will safeguard performers' sexual health as well as their privacy. But critics say it promotes unsafe sex.
"I think the message is going out to people, particularly young people, that the only kind sex that's hot is unsafe," said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Los Angeles. Weinstein's organization has lobbied for mandatory condom use in adult films despite pushback from performers who favor mandatory routine testing.

But performers say the database, requiring a negative STD test every 30 days for a listing, gives them the information they need to protect themselves.

Some production companies, however, won't hire performers that insist on condoms because consumers won't buy the product. They worry that mandating condom use would drive the industry underground and make it less safe.

For Nina Hartley, a performer of 27 years, and a sex expert with a degree in nursing, condoms make on-set sex uncomfortable and, she argues, more dangerous. But off-set it's a different story.

"I would say it's different in a civilian population," said Hartley. "But public health is not served by forcing a small group of professionals to use condoms instead of being tested."

Hartley has strong words for those who say pornography without condoms promotes unsafe sex.
"It's not the job of adult entertainers to be educating people about safe sex practices," she said, adding that the "ignorance-based abstinence-only model of sexual education" does little to promote safe sex either.

Copyright ABC News Radio


Porn Addicts Find Treatment Online

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Porn is a powerful draw, for some an overpowering attraction. It has also always been a big money maker, and now, a British-based company,, has launched a for-pay porn addiction hot line.

The 24-hour counseling website was launched as a way to treat porn addicts through an anonymous, Internet-based self-help regimen program. The site's creators hope it will contribute to the recovery of millions of porn addicts around the cybersphere, and some experts say it could act as a good model for porn addiction counseling in the U.S.

"It's obvious to us that Internet-based addiction has become increasingly prevalent over the years," said Faye Blackwell, one of the site's three resident counseling experts. "This addiction carries extra baggage. People are embarrassed and guilt-ridden, and there aren't many places that they can go to talk about it."

Since the site launched eight weeks ago, Blackwell said there have been an "enormous amount of people" who have inquired about the site. In the past week, she estimated that 200 to 300 people have shown interest in joining the program.

Blackwell and colleagues wanted to make the program easy and accessible. After logging on to the site and paying the program fee, members receive a 5-step therapy packet, along with downloadable audio files and access to a secure online forum community. More expensive program packages include "accountability software," which allows therapists to monitor the members' porn use, and telephone counseling sessions with one of the site's addiction counselors. Treatment packages range from $145 to $565 depending on the services purchased.

Terry Gatewood, an addiction specialist at the Sexual Recovery Institute, said that the online site covers several important steps a porn addict must face, including education about the addiction and necessary changes and ultimate ways of moving past the disease.

"There is a grieving process that comes with overcoming addiction," said Gatewood. "It's going to be painful and depressing. It's like a best friend who has been holding the deepest secrets, and now they have to get through life without that best friend."

Porn addiction is much like any other addiction; here, X-rated material is used as a means to escape the stresses of daily life. While experts say there is no definitive moment that indicates an addiction to pornography, excessive use that interferes with daily life and relationships is often sign of an addiction. And, just like drugs, if a person needs more and more to get the desired high, this can also be a sign of a growing addiction.

The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health estimates that 3 to 5 percent of the U.S. population suffers from some sort of sexual compulsion disorder.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio