The UK Bans Certain Sex Acts in Porn

Handcuffs, a.k.a. "physical restraint" (Fleshlight)

Handcuffs, a.k.a. “physical restraint” (Fleshlight)

Earlier this month, the United Kingdom enacted a ban on certain sex acts in porn. The ban amends the 2003 Communications Act, which previously sketched in “unacceptable” acts as ones associated with violence and abuse.

Now, the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) has narrowed down their lists of “good” and “bad” sexual acts to very specific, fetish-focused ones. Per “The Independent:”

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).

The acts listed under “content that is not acceptable” includes a variety of BDSM-related activities, age-play, and female ejaculation. Almost all of the sex acts listed are included under the BBFC’s “Restricted 18” rating, which means that the films can only be shown at licensed adult cinemas and sex shops.

Now this only applies to porn made within the UK, and porn made outside its bounds is totally fair game to have any of these “unacceptable” acts. I have to wonder if this will lead to a rise in Brits importing their porn to see these now-illicit acts. Now foreign porn production houses can get themselves piece of that hardcore caning action:

Pornhub's UK Banned Porn Content Table (The Independent)

Pornhub’s UK Banned Porn Content Table (The Independent)

(Side note: I’d love to know how these nine acts were agreed upon. And how female ejaculation made its way in. It doesn’t seem to fit with the overall theme of violence and pain the rest of the entries have. Seriously, what’s up with that?!)

The UK has had a long, uncomfortable history attempting to regulate porn. (Robert Rosen’s “Independent” article provides some enlightening historical context.) The country only legalized hardcore porn in 2000, about 30 years after the rest of the Western world. And you’d be considered a criminal for possessing “non-realistic sexual images of a minor,” or, in popular parlance, cartoon porn.

This ruling certainly changes the game for British porn producers and consumers, so it’ll be interesting to watch how its landscape changes over time. Who knows, Britain could, at some point, enact a law dictating that only a certain amount of porn can be imported at any given time. After all, Pelchat’s amendment worked for French radio.

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