You’ve probably heard about the new acts of censorship that went into effect Tuesday (December 1, 2014) in the UK. Part of the pornocalypse, these latest porn regulations were made via an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act. If you want the facts, get them from Myles Jackman. Jackman is a lawyer in the UK ~ the only solicitor in the country specializing in sexual liberties and obscenity law ~ and he’s written a factual, and scathing, review of the regulations here. (You can follow him on Twitter @ObscenityLawyer.)
While this new legislation is squarely aimed at UK producers of adult films (meaning consumers will not be prosecuted for viewing it), folks ought to be aware of just how this will affect them.
Those of us in the US who have long claimed that the best fetish stuff came from the UK (We’d always say, “It may be banned in Boston, but we can get it in Britain!”) surely know that pinching the UK porn producers will put an end to the stuff we love. But it’s worse than that.
It’s not just that the kinky fetish BDSM stuff’s been banned, but virtually anything to do with female power and pleasure as well. Even female orgasm. For while male orgasms are allowed ~ to both be seen and swallowed, female ejaculation, i.e. squirting, is not to be “consumed or put onto a body”. A guy can give a girl a good face-fucking; but femdom face-sitting is relatively banned as it can only be done “without breathing restriction” i.e. leaving airways open at all times. (Having participated in both, I can tell you which is more likely to restrict breathing and be dangerous ~ and it ain’t the face sitting.) And the rules about fisting certainly make it clear that they don’t understand what a fist is: you can’t insert all five fingers past the last knuckle. …Oh well, that only makes me squirt anyway ~ and that would land onto a body somehow.
The result, as you can clearly see, is a very sexist set of regulations.
Once again, Erika Lust says it best:
With this legislation, the UK is in danger of finding itself back in an age where porn is simply the boring, unrealistic, male fantasy of bimbos eagerly pleasing men as if it is their duty, where women are submissive and lack ownership of their sexuality. Women in the industry will now fear the loss of their livelihoods as well as their sexual independence.
In the industry, the thought is that many of these “rules” make no sense. How could female ejaculation possibly be any more “dangerous” than male ejaculation? This is utterly demeaning.
We need to rethink what is offensive or dangerous and what is, in fact, normal human nature, and remember that it’s more important to educate than regulate.
That point about education is key. Didn’t we learn anything from prohibition attempts? Don’t we have common sense any more? Sephy Hallow provides wise advise:
[W]e need to open up the debate, and be honest with ourselves. When I say it’s up to the grown ups to offer guidance to young people about sex and the web, I don’t just mean parents and teachers: I mean it’s up to all of us to shape the debate, decide how best we can balance the need to protect children and deny censorship, and provide that safe platform for children without limiting regular access to content for adult consumers. After all, if we can’t talk to other adults in an honest manner about our sexuality and its online expression, what chance have we got in educating young people about sex and the internet?
This is all about judgement, prejudice, shame, control, and freedom. (Isn’t censorship always?)
(Video by @RubyLunaMay of Alchemy-Eros.)
Our friends at Cliterati have also provided a nifty 10 point round-up of why the new regulations must end. That includes more about the kink and LGBTQ communities, so you probably want to read that too.
And then you can sign the petition to repeal the legislation if you’d like. There you’ll see this censorship in an economic light (and for the foolish factors).
Related: A selection of irrational porn laws from around the world & Mad magazine’s parody of Born In The USA, Porn In The USA.
Image via The Poke.