Let’s Talk About The Cost of Performer STD Testing

This month marks the 6th year anniversary of LA Direct Model’s policy of subsidizing performers tests. This is a big deal because they are the only agency doing this. I really have to give Derek Hay credit for this. It’s innovative and still, after all these years, no other agency is doing it to help their girls.

LA Direct Models

Simply put, when a director calls to book one of his girls, Derek Hay charges them a $20 testing subsidy fee, of which he pays the girl to help them defray the cost of their required bi-weekly STD tests.

A few months ago, another author looked into the cost of the test. It works out to be $165 for CET ($155 at TTS) every 2 weeks. That means that just to be able to show up on set a girl must pay $330 a month.

Recently industry insiders began talking on XBIZ, about why health insurance doesn’t cover the cost of performer tests. Turns out the answer is a little complicated. First and foremost there are the added administrative fees, of which no insurance would ever pay for. I’m not sure if these admin fees are PASS related or TTS/CET related. And if they are TTS/CET related, I understand everyone needs to make a profit, the whole point of being in business is to make a profit. But if in fact, these fees are FFS/PASS related, then I’m not okay with that. We were always told the PASS system would not ever cost the performers anything. If in fact, they are collecting fees there needs to be some serious oversight in this area.

Another problem with insurance covering our test costs is the fact that bi-weekly testing isn’t deemed medically necessary.  Your doctor might be able to argue the need for monthly tests beacuse of a high level of sexual activity. But it’s highly unlikely insurance companies will go for STD tests every two weeks.

If you had a doctor to order the tests, then from what I understand, yes, insurance would cover these costs. However, they will only cover the actual cost of the test, now the added “administrative” fees.

I only found out about these extra fees by accident. A few years ago a porn star went into a TTS location and got tested. She didn’t mention that she was a porn star. The performer panel ended up costing something like $20 cheaper. Later she was told that test “didn’t count”. Why? Because it wasn’t ordered in the right way, even though it was the EXACT same test. The only thing different between the test she got and the one normally porn stars take is the extra $20 she wasn’t charged.

So back at XBIZ, another agent started talking about how companies like Mindgeek and Gamma should cover the entire cost of testing.

Seriously? It’s their sole responsibility to cover testing for the entire industry? REALLY?! What about Wicked Pictures or any of the other countless production companies?

Sure Mindgeek and Gamma should help pay for the tests, but so should every other producer. Why is it their sole responsibility to cover the cost?

Mindgeek pays I think something like $10,000 – $20,000 a month to the FSC, of which the FSC then splits up and sends out as reimbursements each month, to help porn stars cover the cost of testing. That’s in addition to their initial $120,000 donation to set it all up in the first place.

As far as I know, people like Brad Armstrong and Axel Braun of Wicked Pictures don’t pay a dime into the performer subsidy fund. What about Mike Quasar or Zero Tolerance? They don’t pay dick either.

The FSC “Performer Subsidy Fund” was initiated in 2012 and paid out $120,000 in donations made by Mindgeek directly to performers in 2017. According to the FSC 100% of the funds contributed to the PSF are divided into equal portions, and dispersed to each enrolled performer based on the number of times they tested through PASS during that month. Performers are paid per the number of times tested. If a performer tests twice in one month he/she will receive a subsidy for two tests. The amount will vary from month to month, depending on how many performers tested each month, how often, and how many requested subsidies.

Going back to what got me started on this post, LA Direct Models is the only talent agency that charges producers a $20 testing fee. This $20 per scene may not seem like much but over time it helps. If a girl works 10 times in a month, she’ll be paid $200 to help cover the cost of her bi-weekly tests. The more you work, the more this helps a performer. So why aren’t every agency doing this?

Every agent was invited to take part in this.

Every agent turned it down because they didn’t want to piss off producers.

Yes, this includes OC Modeling, Spiegler, Ideal Image Models, VIP Connect, Matrix Models, etc.

An agent should look out for the welfare of his performers and it is for this year I wanted to take a moment and say congrats to Derek Hay of LA Direct Models. For the last 6 years, you stood your ground and collected that $20 performer subsidy. Testing is expensive and so far not many are willing to do anything about it.






511350cookie-checkLet’s Talk About The Cost of Performer STD Testing

Let’s Talk About The Cost of Performer STD Testing

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8 Responses

  1. I agree that testing should not have to be paid for by talent. Producers should have to pay into a fund at a rate to be determined every time they cast a performer in a sexual role to access VD test information on a database. Agents should participate in making sure producers pay their fee for use of their client’s VD tests. At this point showing a paper VD test would be unnecessary because all of the information would be on the database. I agree that all agents should be charging all producers the $20 VD test fee per client that they send on a job for sexual performance in the meantime. Actually, it should probably be increased to $30 or $35 per performer, per scene (I could live with per performing day) in a sex role. At that point, if a performer works ten times per month their tests are pretty much reimbursed.

    The biggest issue with testing fees is when performers do a “content trade” where no money changes hands. One, who would be the producer in a mutually agreed scene where no money changes hands. Two, if both people in this content trade are equal partners do they both pay? There are at least ten performers doing content trades (I would guess closer to 15-16 from what I have read, out of current performers I think Bailey Rayne is the best known of performers that content trade, Kelli has discussed the practice once or twice IIRC but she is not a current performer and it is possible that she has never performed in this industry — with nom de porn names used routinely I can’t definitively say without her telling us), I would be interested in reading Kelli’s take on this and her estimate of the number of performers that do content trade scenes with each other in the industry so this is a small but not insignificant issue. Does the industry exempt those not exchanging money for a scene or does the industry testing organization that would be created for this make them pay, too?

  2. Six years now I’ve been explaining how an effective shared costing model would and more importantly could work to everyone’s advantage.

    Tests are prorated by access.

    Each time a test is verified an access code is generated.. At the end of the valid test dates the cost is shared equally per access code generated.

    Performer pays portion for content trades (unless fee charged to copyright holder)
    Agent pays a portion for for each non content producer ‘client’
    Content producer pays portion for each paid scene.

    Obvious advantage is lower cost to performer. Less obvious advantages

    * producers ability to use access codes to appease OSHA and prove workplace safety at a minimal cost.

    * pass a portion of cost on to non-content clients booked via agent.

    *increased performer privacy. That’s a big deal!!! Instead of the current system with green checks and scarlet X available to any and everyone with access to PASS that info would only be given to users willing to pay for access.

    Add in this method opens door to performers to offer or ask for added HIV antibody test without opening can of worms the green check/scarlet X system presents.

  3. Yes, Hop. I test every three months along with the other necessary blood testing. Do you test regularly considering you have contact with about 60 other porn chicks every quarter?

  4. I wasn’t even thinking of the “non-producer clients”, Lurk. To my understanding most agents don’t involve themselves in their talent’s escorting (which would explain the reason for the “non-producer client” comment). I suppose theoretically an arrangement could be made with any TLC or Eros type sites remaining after SESTA/FOSTA that refer/arrange escorting gigs but because of the illegality of that business IMO we don’t have a snowball’s chance in the Lake of Fire of that happening. For that business clients and escorts will likely have to continue using paper tests (if the escorting performer chooses to), probably necessitating two tests every 14 days instead of one — one paid by the escorting performer, the other through incremental billing of producers. For the record I have never had to show a VD test to any prostitutes I have fucked but that was two decades ago and I found them in the Yellow Pages or on a seedy street corner.

  5. I have 2 points
    why should a producer pay an extra $20 when he’s already paying the agency $100+ as well as $1,000+ to the model?
    Why not shoot condom only and test every 30 days using insurance?

  6. Porn performers have also said that condoms are a no go. At least 30 porn performers have said that the peculiarities of porn sex cause condoms to irritate the vagina — increasing the risk of VD if a condom breaks. The loss of 30 porn performers over this would decimate the industry.

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