Porn performers talk about the UK porn laws

Posted at 12:32 on 7 Aug 2016 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: Alex Reynolds, Ariel Anderssen, ATVOD, AVMS regulations, BBFC, censorship, classification, documentary, Jilly Boyd, Nimue Allen, Ofcom, Pandora Blake, Paul Kennedy, porn law, Rosie Bottomley, Sarah, sponsored caning, Vincent Brennan

I made this documentary about the UK porn laws about a year ago, using interviews that were shot as part of my sponsored caning fundraiser to raise money for Backlash, the non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting for sexual freedom in the UK. In case you weren't following at the time, this protest project was intended to help fund them to provide legal support to producers affected by the AVMS regulations, which had recently criminalised the depiction of a whole slew of consensual fetish activities in online porn. Myself and nine other spanking enthusiasts volunteered to take one hard cane stroke per £10 raised, to a maximum of 50 strokes per person. We made a colossal £3836 in total, which was donated in its entirety to Backlash.

Each of the ten sponsored canings was filmed and released under Creative Commons - you can view them for free at Dreams of Spanking. We shot an interview with each participant before the caning itself, giving them the opportunity to talk about porn criminalisation, censorship, and why they cared about the UK legislation enough to put their bottoms on the line to help fight it. It amused me no end that when ATVOD were investigating my site, they had to sit through these interviews and listen to lots of well-articulated criticism about themselves before getting to watch the free caning scenes that they were so incensed about.

In the autumn, after Dreams of Spanking had been forced offline by ATVOD's ruling against us, I created this documentary from the ten interviews connected with the sponsored caning fundraiser. I wanted to publish it sooner, but first I held it back so I could offer La Fête du Slip festival a "world premiere" if they chose to screen it. Once I learned they weren't interested, with perfectly inconvenient timing, I couldn't publish it myself because YouTube restricted my account after deeming one of my carefully-censored trailers too explicit for their T&C, and limited my uploads to videos 15 minutes long or less. This documentary is 17 minutes long, and I couldn't find a satisfactory way of splitting it in two, so I decided to wait. 

This week the Youtube ban was lifted, so I've finally been able to publish the documentary. However, one aspect of it is now sadly out of date. In January 2016 ATVOD, the unelected quango contracted to enforce the new regulations, was folded by the UK Government. However, the porn laws that were introduced in December 2014 remain unchanged, and the impact is just as bad as ever. The only difference is that the laws are now enforced by government media regulator Ofcom, rather than ATVOD. 

I'm sad I didn't get to post this when it was more current, but I think it's still worth viewing. The points made about censorship and freedom of speech are just as true now as they were a year ago, and I fear will remain so for a while to come.

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