Britain Ties Up Pornographers In Red Tape

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 3 2014 @ 1:37pm

Mistresses And Fetishists Gather At Annual DomCon Convention

Christopher Hooton enumerates the sex acts recently banished from British porn:

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 requires that video-on-demand (VoD) online porn now adhere to the same guidelines laid out for DVD sex shop-type porn by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC). Seemingly arbitrarily deciding what is nice sex and what is not nice sex, the board’s ruling on ‘content that is not acceptable’ (p.23) effectively bans the following acts from being depicted by British pornography producers:



Aggressive whipping

Penetration by any object “associated with violence”

Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of  if consensual)

Urolagnia (known as “water sports”)

Role-playing as non-adults

Physical restraint


Female ejaculation




The final three listed fall under acts the BBFC views as potentially “life-endangering”.

Hooton adds that the amendment “seems to take issue with acts from which women more traditionally derive pleasure than men.” Erika Lust makes that point even more adamantly:

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.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown offers a more general objection:

Both regulations disproportionately affect smaller, independent porn producers and websites. As Vice’s Frankie Mullin points out, the new censorship rules will have less effect on large porn producers and mainstream sites, “which tend to favour the strip, blowjob, fuck, cum-all-over-a-woman’s-face formula, but the UK’s smaller, independent producers,” specifically fetish producers. These include people like Ms Tytania, who makes feminist-tinged dominatrix porn, and pretty much anybody else whose products deviate from normative sexual practices. The rules really are a crazy infringement on freedom of artistic expression, not solely a commercial setback for someone who runs subscription rough-sex sites (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

And Jessica Roy alludes to the wide range of acts that list left off:

The ban doesn’t mean U.K. porn connoisseurs can’t watch porn that includes stuff like spanking, but simply that porn filmed in the U.K. can’t include those acts. Sounds like U.K. freaks will have to settle for some good ol’ fashioned Japanese tentacle porn.

(Photo: A participant called SgChill is bound in rope at a dungeon party during the domination convention, DomConLA, in the early morning hours of May 11, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. By David McNew/Getty Images)