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Age verification: new definition of "commercial" sites

Posted at 21:10 on 11 Oct 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Circumstances in which pornographic material is to be regarded as being made available on a commercial basis

The latest (and, I think, final) update to the Digital Economy Act has been laid in draft for approval: a Statutory Instrument defining the scope of "making pornographic material on a commercial basis". In the Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018, the Government specify in more detail which websites will have to comply with age verification:

  • Only websites where at least 33% of the content is pornographic material;
  • And only if the website is marketed as a pornographic website.

If your website is not "marketed as an internet site... by means of which pornographic material is made available to persons in the United Kingdom" (ie it's not advertised as being a porn site) and if "pornographic material makes up less than one-third of the content", the website is exempt from age verification and does not have to comply.

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Tags: age verification, BBFC, DCMS, Digital Economy Act, in the news, politics, porn, sex worker rights

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Consent workshop in London - Getting and Giving What We Want

Posted at 17:00 on 15 Sep 2018 by Pandora / Blake

This is something I've been wanting to do for a really long time, and I'm thrilled that it's finally happening.

I'm facilitating a new workshop in London - Getting and Giving What We Want. I've developed this workshop with my co-facilitator Felix. So far we've run it a couple of times at little festivals and got a really good response. This will be our first time running it in London. It's happening at 7pm on Tuesday 2 October - just in time for the London Fetish Weekend - at the Apple Tree in Clerkenwell, a fab new LGBT venue that has just opened.

We will explore consent, boundaries, and ways to sensitively communicate with other people to create the best experiences possible. 

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Tags: consent, events, London, Workshops

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BDSM Ethics and Practice, and other training for the BBFC

Posted at 17:00 on 14 Sep 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Last week I was invited to visit the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and deliver a half day of training. This was something of a coup. Three years ago, my ethical porn website had just been closed down by the previous online porn regulator, due to my films contravening guidelines maintained by the BBFC. Now, the new online porn regulator were asking me to come and deliver an expert briefing to their compliance team about BDSM, its ethics and practice, and my recommendations regarding the way BDSM films are regulated.

It was an amazing opportunity to meet the people making decisions that affects filmmakers like me, talk to them about the issues, and create a shared context. I was excited to have the chance to share my knowledge and experience to help the team's understanding as they make classification recommendations on BDSM content.

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Tags: age verification, BBFC, BDSM, consent, ethics

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Porn star Misha Mayfair and activist Pandora Blake warn adults about age verification

Posted at 10:16 on 10 Sep 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Porn star Misha Mayfair and activist Pandora Blake present Curtains for Privacy: a safe-for-work satirical sexual exposé of the privacy risks presented by Government’s new age verification rules.

Mayfair and Blake appear in the viral video, released by ResistAV today, draped naked in net curtains as they warn of the risk of UK adults being outed under the Digital Economy Act 2017’s age verification requirements, with the punch line: “It’ll be curtains for personal privacy”.

The video heralds the launch of a crowd funding campaign on the CrowdJustice platform, to raise legal fees to challenge the age verification régime, designed by obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman.

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Tags: age verification, Backlash, Misha Mayfair, Myles Jackman, press release, privacy, ResistAV

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Meet Lana Moon

Posted at 17:39 on 22 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I mentioned a little while ago that I was introducing a friend to the world of spanking for the first time. I'm delighted to say that she's taking to it just as well as I thought she would! It's my great pleasure to introduce her properly: meet Lana Moon.

London spanking switch Lana Moon

Lana and I have known each other for a long time, and love playing together. She's always been very eager to explore spanking, but for various reasons hasn't had many people to try it with before. Hopefully that’s about to change!

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Tags: Lana Moon, photos, sessions, spanking

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On white dreads and cultural appropriation

Posted at 17:00 on 13 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Yesterday I retweeted a tweet about white people wearing dreadlocks. Specifically, it was from a sex worker of colour addressing white sex workers who accessorise their look with locks.

The tweet called this out as cultural appropriation, and I retweeted it in solidarity with the anti-racist sentiment it expressed. Unfortunately this seems to have triggered several defensive responses from white people - including some surprising hostility.

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Tags: anti-racism, Black hair, cultural appropriation, dreadlocks, racism, white supremacy

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Content roundup #1

Posted at 22:12 on 6 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Hello friends! If you follow my Twitter you'll know that I regularly post articles, pictures and videos around the place, and it's high time I started gathering it together on my blog each week to make it easier to find.

I'm writing my first book at the moment, and made big progress last week, writing 8000 words which brings me up to 20 000 in total - a fifth of the way towards my goal! If I can sustain this pace, the first draft will be finished in three months. I'm setting myself a grounded deadline of the end of the year, and I'm excited. It's taken me a while to gear up and get into flow with writing, but now I'm there, I don't want to stop.

Still, I've managed to lift my nose out of my manuscript long enough to post some content on my Patreon and fan club.

Keep reading »

Tags: book, content roundup, IWantFanClub, Patreon

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Welcome to the Mystic Hole

Posted at 11:02 on 4 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I'm honoured to have been asked to chair a panel after Queenie Bon Bon's next London performance, Welcome to the Mystic Hole.

Part comedy, part lecture, part consciousness-raising story-telling, 'Welcome to the Mystic Hole' is an exploration of one sex worker’s lived experience with the world of the body. How do we navigate the world when we feel our body is failing us? What do we store in the body and what do we release? How do we clean it off the rug? What shame do we hold when trying to give a nice rim job while one’s sweet hound watches? And why can’t we all be adult about adult industries? Inspiring, intriguing, tender and true, Queenie Bon Bon is your curious guide on an exploration of embodiment, and will take you deep within the wondrous wonders of the unique vessels we travel in.

Queenie is a dear friend, and her work is amazing - so fresh, real and fierce. I've seen her perform twice before and each time she makes me laugh, cry and rage against whorephobia. Her last performance in London introduced me to the English Collective of Prostitutes - one of their members stood up to speak about the need for decriminalisation, and distribute #pledgedecrim flyers. 

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Tags: English Collective of Prostitutes, events, panels, public speaking, Queenie Bon Bon, sex work, sex worker's rights, talks

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Radio AvA's 26th show: today, Fri 3rd August @ 6pm on www.radioava.org

Posted at 10:19 on 3 Aug 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Radio AvA: Sex Workers Radio

A show full of spritz from tropical London, with dispatches from Amsterdam and Bogotá.

On our bubbly list:

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Tags: politics, Radio AvA, sex work, sex worker's rights

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Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity at Housmans

Posted at 10:29 on 25 Jul 2018 by Pandora / Blake

I recently chaired a panel at Housman's Radical Booksellers in Kings Cross, discussing Feminism, Sexuality & Obscenity. This was a bittersweet opportunity. The event had been devised by journalist and author Catherine Scott, author of Thinking Kink: The Collision of BDSM, Feminism and Popular Culture. Catherine had just finish her second book, To Deprave and Corrupt: Obscenity Battles in British Law and Culture

Catherine organised this panel to bring together feminist thinkers, sex workers and activists, to discuss the issues facing women around sex and obscenity today. It was with great sadness that I learned that Catherine suddenly passed away a couple of weeks before the event.

Her friends knew how much she had been looking forward to the panel, and how much it meant to her. They felt that these were important issues that deserved a platform, and they wanted to honour her memory by making sure it went ahead.

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Tags: Catherine Scott, censorship, feminism, gender politics, Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, law, obscenity, politics, porn, Zak Jane Keir

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