“Sit on my face…”

Charlotte Rose

The Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) is the not so new UK regulator (quango) for on-demand programming and the reason for its existence can be traced back to how the UK.gov decided to implement the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive. As always if there is an easy way to do something and a hard way, UK.gov will take the latter approach and thus ATVOD was born.

Although it initially set its sights on the MSM, in particular the pockets and the websites of dead tree press, ATVOD has found much easier prey in the form of online adult entertainment and restricting access to it in the name of protecting the children. HighLowlights including pushing for bans on payments to non-UK-based websites and lobbying for laws to increase the age-checking carried out by UK-based providers.

In a Statutory Instrument laid before parliament on November 6th 2014 and which came in to effect on December 1st, the Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey proposed that the content of UK-based video on demand (VOD) services should be held to the same standard as physical media as set down in the Video Recordings Act of 1984 (a response to the moral panic about so-called video nasties in the early 1980s).

Myles Jackman addresses the assembled crowd

In practice this means that only content that would be passed for an R18 certificate can be sold legally by VOD producers in the UK with some of the practices that this excludes being:

  • Fisting
  • Facesitting
  • Watersports (if another person is involved)
  • Heavy bondage
  • Discipline beyond a mild spanking

Many UK-based producers of adult content (which include Dominatrixes who film and sell video clips of their sessions) are, understandably, rather miffed at this change as it is likely to lead to the closure or relocation of those studios which produce the non-mainstream content that it is now illegal to sell.

One of them, Charlotte Rose, organised a protest (including facesitting) for yesterday in Old Palace Yard, across the road from the Palace of Westminster and I, as someone who is an occasional consumer of video material covered by this change in the law, went along to it (and took some photographs – including the ones you see here).

Face Sitting VI

The protest took a while to get going with things not formally getting under way until almost 30 mins after the advertised start time. As well as Charlotte, speakers included obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman and Jerry Barnett of Sex and Censorship. The main point made by both Jerry and Myles was that this is not just about porn but rather the ever tightening restrictions in the UK on the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression – of which clamping down on pornography is but one strand. The recent attempts within the UK to impose the ‘Swedish Model’ (successful only in NI so far) of banning the purchasing of sexual services are another and I have no doubt that UK readers of this blog can call to mind other things.

Charlotte says that she wants this to be just the start. Time will tell if that is anything other than wishful thinking.

15 Comments

  1. Freedom must include the freedom to do things that I do not like – as long as they are not aggressions.

    I am stuffy middle aged man (indeed I am older than my official years – much older), the world of this post is not my world. But if I do not support the freedom of these young persons I am a hypocrite. And government attacks on things that do not involve me will evolve into government attacks on things that do involve me.

    Alas the United Kingdom has no First Amendment – just as we have no Second Amendment.

    Few places do have these things – and even the places that do have them will not stand if no one defends these principles.

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    1. Well said, Paul, though I am a little surprised you’re not into bondage….

      There is no doubt that state sponsored hypocrites will always try to censor what others watch and, in the past, they have always been successful. The only hope for the future is that the technical difficulties in controlling the internet mean that, thus far, imposing censorship and intellectual property protection have proved impossible.

      Let’s hope the techies can keep it that way.

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    1. Brussels only said that VOD services should be regulated and that adult entertainment should not ‘available in such a way that minors will not normally hear or see them’. It is UK.gov rules that ban the selling of such material (whether VHS/DVD/VOD) in the UK by UK producers.

      Blaming the EU is fashionable but it is national governments who choose how to implement EU rules and the UK civil service has a habit of going further than necessary by gold plating those rules (possibly knowing that if the words EU are used then the knee-jerk blame will fall there).

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  2. On a related topic,

    Talking about breastfeeding in public, I got nostalgic about a childhood Japanese song called, “lots of boobs”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNJQN1kspR0
    I looked it up on you tube, and it was censored. (??!) It asked me to sign into my Google account to verify my age. Do I need to be be over 18 (or under 5) to watch it?
    I don;t know if that was a hoax of some kind? You tube doesn’t ask me that anymore, I can watch it without any trouble this time round. Weird.

    As with any regulation / censorship, Where do you draw the line? For the Many Boobs video, how on earth can such an innocent children’s song about how wonderful mum’s boobs are be seen as some sort of obscenity to be regulated? (If that was the case)

    I find the whole obsession with criminalizing sex obscene.
    One of the weirdest laws I’ve come across in the UK is how siblings of the opposite sex over the age of 10 can’t share a bedroom. http://www.ask.com/government-politics/laws-u-k-siblings-sharing-bedroom-41d1d69a5864a28e
    Who would ever think of siblings having sex? whoever came up with this law is sick.

    Another example, the Polish case where they dismissed a plan to install Winnie the Pooh mascot in a playground because he had “dubious sexuality”!! Where the heck does sex come into the playground?

    Sickness can be in the eye of the beholder.

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    1. In the, supposedly prudish, Victorian period – breast feeding was not considered horrific.

      Still misunderstandings of the Victorians are common – and started at the time. For example Queen Victoria was being shown round the great museum by Napoleon III. The lady noticed that potted palms (and so on) had been put in strategic places covering the private parts in paintings and statues – after all a person from BRITAIN was coming round (they would be shocked or angered……).

      Queen Victoria asked Napoleon III about it – and received a confused response, whereupon Victoria asked the Emperor “do you know how many children I have?”

      As for the Japanese cartoon – now I understand the Japanese general election.

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      1. Funny, “do you know how many children I have”!

        The Japanese general election ?? The cartoon video was made in the 80s meant for children, I think its innocent and sweet. Got nothing to do with the mentality of the adult population.
        As for the people who voted for LDP,.. I fear Japan’s slipping down the drain…. we do have suicidal tendencies.

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      2. I love that story, but I couldn’t remember who the Potentate was. Napoleon III? Ah! Thanks.

        I came to the conclusion a thousand years ago that our age is far more obsessed with sex than the Victorians ever were.

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    2. Winnie-the-Pooh has “dubious sexuality”? I wasn’t aware that he had ANY s*x, although we do refer to him as “he.” If you can’t say that X’s sex is unknown or immaterial, and simultaneously you must say whether X is male, female, bisexual, transgendered, cisgendered, blah blah blah in order to adopt the correct classification of X as Oppressor or Opressed, well,

      “A fine mess you’ve got us in now, Ollie!”

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    3. As an example of this sort of thing, did you know that Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Hendricks (If I have the name right–Abe’s best friend and law partner) shared a bed???

      Horrors! Lincoln was a homo!!!!

      Somebody with more sense came along and said Ohforgoodnesssake’s, in those days it was common for men to share a bed, or women to share a bed. Not homosexuality; practical solution to the problem of not enough beds (for reasons of $ or space) to go around.

      Ugliness is often in the eye of the beholder.

      Here’s another. In my day, kids often enough slept with their parents, both or just one, and irrespective of the gender of either. I did, my brother did, and our daughter did.

      Heh…when she was a toddler and still in didies, she used to climb out of her bed at 6 a.m. and toddle into our room and climb over me and sit on her father’s face. She thought that was hilarious. I thought the man was a saint for not strangling her. (Me too, as the climbee.) LOLOL

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