Watching the bed-hopping antics of the 'Jersey Shore' cast, one would think they have a protective bubble to keep them safe from STDs. They don't, but if they happen to pick up a little transmittable nastiness during the filming of the show, MTV has a clause in their contracts that keeps the network safe from being blamed.

Veteran entertainment journalist Seth Kaufman just published 'The King of Pain,' a novel about the sometimes seedy world of reality television. In the book, he refers to a "VD clause" in which cast members of a show agree not to hold producers responsible for any STDs they may catch while shooting.

And as Kaufman told the New York Daily News, that wasn't just something he dreamed up.

"What I’m told is that it’s pretty standard for reality shows," Kaufman says of the clause. He even shared the portion of the 'Jersey Shore' contract (passed to him from an insider) that mentions it:

Producer hereby informs me, and I acknowledge and accept, that the other participants have not been screened for any diseases, sicknesses or other health conditions (and specifically have not been tested for any sexually transmitted diseases) and I assume all risks of interacting with the other participants, including any consensual contact.

For the record, MTV didn't respond to requests for comment. But Kaufman's revelation didn't tell us anything we didn't already know -- namely, that the 'Jersey Shore' stars may very well be little more than tan, drunken petri dishes of things we'd really rather not know about.