It was Conservative MP and former minister John Whittingdale who introduced the bill. But now, the BBC is reporting that
he's worried it might not actually work. He told Parliament:
One of the main ways in which young people are now exposed to pornography is through social media such as Twitter, and I do not really see that the bill will do anything to stop that happening.
This gets neatly at a key problem with the porn filter: The internet is not neatly divided into pornography and non-pornography. As I wrote last week , it's technically simple to block dedicated fetish websites. But plenty of sites mix porn with
non-pornographic content, or include both conventional and non-conventional material -- raising serious questions as to how the filter could ever work in practice.
When you legislate at break-neck speed, and fail to consult, things will go wrong. This is absolutely the case with Age Verification (AV) in the Digital Economy Bill, which now seems set to include website blocking to bolster use of AV technologies. This
is likely to lead to high risks of credit card fraud and privacy abuse.
Currently the BBFC are pinning their hopes on being able to specify some kind of privacy and safety standard through their ability to regulate arrangements that deliver age verified material. Sites must deliver pornographic material:
in a way that secures that, at any given time, the material is not normally accessible by persons under the age of 18
The regulator can issue then guidance for:
types of arrangements for making pornographic material available that the regulator will treat as complying
The claim is that this mechanism allows the guidance to specify what kind of AV is private and secure.
However, if the BBFC are told to block non-compliant websites, in practice they will have to accept any system that websites use that verifies age. To do otherwise would be highly unfair: why should a site with legal material, that uses their own
AV system, end up blocked by the BBFC?
This will especially apply to systems that require registration / credit card tests. There are plenty of paysites already of course. These are not privacy friendly, as they strongly identify the user to the website - and they have to do this to minimise
fraudulent payment card transactions. That's alright as a matter of choice of course, but dangerous when it is done purely as a means of age verification.
If asking for credit card details becomes common or permissible, and a credible ask in the minds of UK citizens, then the government will have created a gold mine for criminals to operate scam porn sites targeted at the UK, inviting people to supply
their credit cards to scam sites for Age Verification . In fact you could see this being extended to all manner of sites that a criminal could claim were blocked until you prove you're over 18 .
verified by visa fraud
Once credit card details are harvested, in return for some minimal/copyright infringing porn access at a scam porn site, then criminals can of course resell them for fraud. Another easy to understand example of a criminal abusing this system is that you
could see criminals typo-squatting on relevant domain names such as youporm.com and asking for a credit card to gain access. Anything that normalises the entry of credit card details into pages where the user isn't making a payment will increase the
fraudulent use of such cards. And if a website is validating credit cards to prove age, but not verifying them, then the internationally agreed standards to protect credit card data are unlikely to apply to them.
Website blocking makes these scams more likely because the BBFC is likely to have to sacrifice control of the AV systems that are permissible, and a diversity of AV systems makes it hard for users to understand what is safe to do. During the committee
stage of the Digital Economy Bill, we argued that the AV regulator should be highly specific about the privacy and anonymity protections, alongside the cyber security consequences. We argued for a single system with perhaps multiple providers, that would
be verifiable and trusted. The government on the other hand believes that market-led solutions should be allowed to proliferate. This makes it hard for users to know which are safe or genuine.
If website blocking becomes part of the enforcement armoury, then websites that employ unsafe but effective, or novel and unknown, AV systems will be able to argue that they should not be blocked. The BBFC is likely to have to err on the side of caution
- it would be an extreme step to block an age-verifying website just because it hadn't employed an approved system.
The amount of website blocking that takes place will add to the scamming problem and open up new opportunities for innovative criminals. The BBFC seems to be set to have an administrative power to order ISPs to block. If this is the case, the
policy would appear to be designed to block many websites, rather than a small number. The more blocking of sites that users encounter, the more they will get used to the idea that age verification is in use for pornography or anything that could
possibly be perceived as age-restricted, and therefore trust the systems they are presented with. If this system is not always the same, but varies wildly, then there are plenty of opportunities for scams and criminal compromise of poorly-run Age
Security and privacy problems can be minimised, but are very, very hard to avoid if the government goes down the website blocking route. What MPs need to know right now is that they are moving too fast to predict the scale of the problems they are
The 22nd Sexual Freedom Awards
Monday 14th November 2016
Doors open: 6.30 Show times: 7.30 to 11 pm
The Sexual Freedom Awards promote excellence in erotic performance and sexual services and celebrate pioneers in the field of sexuality. The proceeds of the Awards ceremony are used to fund the work of the Outsiders Trust -- a charity, which supports
disabled people to find partners. Nominations for the Awards are accepted for individuals, services and organisations. Nominations are now open for 2016.
The Sexual Freedom Awards evolved out of the international Erotic Awards, which were run by Tuppy Owens in London once a year from 1994-2013. The Awards were famous for their Golden Flying Penis Trophies, hand carved for the event in Bali. This trophy
will be presented on the night to the winners.
Activist of the Year SCOT-PEP - Scottish Prostitutes' Education Project
SCOT-PEP are a sex worker-led charity that advocates for the safety, rights and health of everyone who sells sex in Scotland. They made history last year by bringing their decriminalisation Bill to the Scottish Parliament.
Ally of the Year Georgina Perry
Georgina Perry is a principled advocate delivering pioneering NHS services to some of the most marginalised sex workers in the UK. Georgina took over a small NHS sexual health service for sex workers 13 years ago and turned it into one of the largest and
most effective in Europe, regularly supporting around 2000 sex workers across three East London boroughs.
Event of the Year RIP Shoreditch
RIP Shoreditch was a New Orleans-style jazz funeral procession and wake organised by the East London Strippers Collective (ELSC) to commemorate the closure of The White Horse, an independently-run pub open for 38 years, which provided a family
environment for many of the dancers who worked there. Over the decades it was home to some of the most vibrant and brilliant striptease performers in the world and nurtured the talents of award winning pole dancers.
Performer of the Year Danny Ash
Danny Ash is a multi-skilled showman, aerialist, stripper, boylesquer, dragster, comedian and clown. He is a London based Cabaret and Circus performer and over the last 5 acts has been touring a range of acts that mix circus, comedy, stripping,
burlesque, stand-up, clowning and mime and toy with gender, stereotypes, the outlandish and the queer.
Pioneer of the Year Ellen Heed !
Ellen Heed has been educating students and clients about how to attain radiant health worldwide since the turn of the millennia. Using keen perceptual skills to accurately assess the needs of her clients, Ellen connects the dots and facilitates
successful outcomes for health issues ranging from chronic pain and sexual dysfunction to emotional stagnation and nutritional imbalances.
Publicist of the Year Conner Habib
Conner Habib is an author, lecturer, activist, and porn performer. His essays and articles have appeared in The Stranger, Salon, Vice, Slate, The Advocate, and many other magazines and anthologies. In over eight years, he has appeared in nearly 200 adult
scenes; and from 2014- 2016, served as the Vice President of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC); a nonprofit which works to improve quality of life, experiences, wages, and safety of current and future adult performers.
Sex Worker of the Year Saul Isbister
Saul has been an out and proud sex worker and human rights activist for over 25 years in New Zealand and Australia. As a staunch defender of decriminalisation, Saul has played a key role in representing the interests of private sex workers and the
broader sex industry in negotiations with all levels of government in New South Wales. He has written widely on sex work, is frequently invited to present at conferences and is often interviewed for TV, print and radio.
These brave and daring, average men are breaking taboos of what 'male strippers' look like. These blokes are more at home with a cuppa tea than a waxing regime but with their humour and open heartedness, their stage performance striptease embraces what
'real men' look like, in all their many guises.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Barbara Carrellas has done a whole lot of pioneering work in sexuality, beginning with the AIDS crisis in New York in the 1980s. She founded the Urban TantraÂ® Professional Training Program, which has been and continues to be, a huge support and
great inspiration for hundreds of sex workers and educators of all kinds.
Joseph Kramer is the foremost teacher of erotic massage in the world. In 1984, he founded the Body Electric School in Oakland, California, where he trained thousands of professional massage therapists, erotic bodyworkers and somatic educators. In
1992, he started the Erospirit Research Institute, a think tank exploring the connection between spirituality and sexuality where he produced the ground-breaking 12-volume Gay Sex Wisdom series on audio cassette and VHS. In 1999, he founded The New
School of Erotic Touch.
Kenneth Ray Stubbs could be called the originator of erotic massage as we know it in the twentieth century West. He started teaching erotic massage in San Francisco the 1970s where he developed his unique 5-7-hour nurturing ceremony of guided
meditation, bathing, feeding, and massage.
The Canadian Parliament has unanimously agreed a motion calling on the Commons Standing Committee on Health to
examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent and degrading sexually explicit material on children, women and men.
Kamal Khera, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of health, announced the government's full support for the motion.
Northern Alberta MP Arnold Viersen, the driving force behind the motion told the religious website, LifeSiteNews, loath to raise the issue of internet censorship and that oncentrating on the health implications was a good way to ensure all-party
support and also to stress public education rather than legal restrictions. Ultimately, he wants the same kind of widespread condemnation of pornography that has already occurred with smoking. Rather than offering any evidence of harm, he is rather
hoping for something to crop up in the future. He said:
Gradually the scientific evidence became known about smoking's impact on the heart and the lungs. Now that kind of information about the health impact of pornography on the user is also being discovered.
When pornography's harms become thoroughly exposed, he hopes that Internet providers will restrict porn use voluntarily.
In Canada, sexually explicit websites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined, with PornHub, the largest free site, alone receiving over 21 billion visits in 2015. Thirty-five percent of all Internet downloads are sexually
explicit. Globally, this sexually explicit material is a $97 billion industry.
With all that porn being used and so little evidence of tangible harm, one wonders what the MPs are hoping to discover. Perhaps they should examine the public health effects of the ease of access and viewing of online violent religious material on
children, women and men. The murder and violence caused by religion is far more widespread and apparent than any moralistic hopes that there may be a few moral downsides to porn.
In the Digital Economy Bill, the Government wants erotica and pornography websites to make sure their users are over 18. This could threaten our privacy by collecting data on everyone in the UK who visits erotica and pornography sites. Making sure all
porn sites go along with it is unworkable. So a group of MPs want Internet Service Providers to block websites that don't comply. Sign our petition to say no to censorship of legal content.
MPs are putting pressure on the Government to add measures to the Bill that would force Internet Service Providers to block erotica and pornography websites that don't verify the age of their users.
This equates to censorship of legal content - potentially affecting tens of thousands of websites and millions of people.
Blocking websites is a disproportionate, technical response to a complex, social issue. The UK's children need education, not censorship, to keep them safe.
Newspapers have been asking local councils how many businesses are licensed as sex shops, cinemas or entertainment venues.
The Birmingham Mail reveals that councils in England and Wales said that there were 391 licensed sex establishments in operation. This included 212 venues registered as sex shops, 176 sexual entertainment venues and 12 sex cinemas as well as six where
the type of licence held was not made clear. Only 12 venues across England and Wales are licensed as sex cinemas.
And the Mail narrowed this down for a few mainly local examples.
Birmingham City Council has granted 16 licenses.
Wolverhampton has 7
Westminster is home to 30 sex establishments, the most for a single council.
A licencee of the 2 Pigs pub in Cheltenham has applied for a sexual entertainment licence for four race meetings at Cheltenham,
including next year's Festival. Licencee Kim Binding said the lap-dancing had happened at the 2 Pigs before, but the company organising the entertainment, Red Apple Associates Ltd, had used five different venues, presumably to invoke the occasional event
exception to licensing requirements. Now, if the licence was successful, they would just use the 2 Pigs, in Church Street in the town centre. Kim said:
There will be no extra lap dancing in Cheltenham, it's just that it will be under one roof. It is just myself and my husband. It is a small business and it is a way of making a living out of Race Week.
Kim said the sexual entertainment licence, which they have applied to Cheltenham Borough Council, for, would only cover racing times. During the National Hunt Festival in March, the venue would want to provide sexual entertainment from 5pm to 5am. Kim
said this was because of the times people were leaving the racecourse.
The application has been attacked by moral campaigners Chel Fems, Cheltenham Guardians and the deputy mayor of Cheltenham.
Terry Howard of Cheltenham Guardians: moralised:
Cheltenham Guardians has a duty to the public that we serve so with this in mind we shall be submitting a formal objection to the application. The High Street is frequented by many young students, many of whom are yet to experience a race occasion.
Whilst the races are good for the local economy I feel that sexual entertainment should not be a default bolt-on. It has no place in Cheltenham.
Jo Bartosch, chair of feminist group Chelt Fems, said her objection wasn't moralistic but moralised anyway:
We should be clear, our main objection to lap-dancing from 5pm at The Two Pigs isn't moralistic pearl-clutching...RATHER... it's that the idea that women's sexuality can be bought is demeaning to us all.
I know that I am not alone in feeling a palpable sense of threat when I walk through the town during race week. The right of men to pay women to feign sexual interest in them should not be prioritised above the women's right to feel safe in Cheltenham. I
want to remind the council that they have a duty to uphold gender equality, and should they grant this licence it is very probable that they will be in breach of this.
Scientists and robotics experts will gather in London to discuss how humans will incorporate artificial intelligence into their sex lives.
Banned in Malaysia, the 2nd International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots will be hosted by Goldsmiths University, and will gather top scientists in the fields of robotics and human-computer interaction.
Dr. Kate Devlin, event host, told the Daily Mirror:
I think robots could become our lovers in the future. Does love have to be reciprocated in order to be valid?
Our research aims to carve a new narrative, moving away from sex robots purely defined as machines used as sex objects, as substitutes for human partners, made by men, for men, she said. A machine is a blank slate -- it is what we make of it. Why should
a sex robot be binary? What about the potential for therapy? It's time for new approaches to artificial sexuality.
Open to the public, the conference will be held December 19-20.
A flagship London West End lap dancing club is in trouble with the local council for offering a little too much fun.
Platinum Lace at Trocadero just off Leicester Square boasts on its website of entertaining the likes of Pixie Lott, Professor Green, Snoop Dogg, David Haye and a host of Premier League footballers.
It hit the headlines earlier this year after a video emerged of two of its dancers encouraging customers to fondle them. And this week, the miserable bosses at Westminster City Council have announced a course of action.
The Council will put questions about their enforcement action in a public consultation and have now confirmed the venue had its licence temporarily extended ahead of the results of the consultation. When the public have had their say, the
council's licensing committee will re-visit the application and decided whether consultation to close the club down or not.
An undercover investigation into practices at the club revealed a number of the dancers openly breaking the council regulations, including two dancers called Mindy and Carla , who were covertly filmed allowing customers to grope them in VIP
booths. Further footage, shot in December, shows a blonde dancer called Mindy also placing a customer's hands all over her body at the London venue.
A team of officers from Westminster City Council reviewed video evidence and spoke with club bosses after the evidence surfaced earlier this year.
Sex crime in Northern Ireland has risen by about 60% in the last six years. The number of reported rapes has reached an
all-time high, including cases of stranger rapes which have doubled in the last 12 months.
Chief Constable George Hamilton noted that the number of offences investigated by the Rape Crime Unit topped 600 in 2014/15 - up 24% on the previous year; More than 4,700 child abuse referrals were up 23%; And child sex crime, including peer-on-peer
offending, is also on the rise.
Hamilton revealed the figures in a written question from the Policing Board. Hamilton goes on to explore some of the reasons for the increase and commented:
Advances in global technology mean that the use and popularity of social media and internet sites has risen at an unprecedented rate over the last 10 years, he adds.
It is difficult to determine what causes sexual violence. A number of recent studies are looking at the possibility of whether interest in extreme pornography might be a factor.
As an illustration, the PSNI have recently dealt with a case where a 16-year-old male claimed to have watched extreme pornography online and believed this to be normal and acceptable behaviour and went on to offend against his partner.
However a Belfast academic has said there is no evidence to link the viewing of pornography, violent or otherwise, with Northern Ireland's soaring level of sex crime. Dr Graham Ellison of Queen's University's School of Law claimed that some academic
studies actually suggest that exposure to pornography can even lead to a decrease in sexual offending.
Dr Ellison was reacting to coverage in the Belfast Telegraph after Chief Constable George Hamilton referred to research into whether extreme pornography was linked to sexual violence. In a letter published in the Belfast Telegraph, the criminologist
The assertion that watching pornography (whether violent or not) is responsible for a quantitative increase in sexual offences is rather spurious, particularly since no sources were cited to substantiate the remark.
However, there is now a huge volume of data from a range of clinical and social scientific studies to suggest that pornography has either no effect on a person's behaviour, or that its effects are inconclusive.
Some studies actually suggest that exposure to pornography can even lead to a decrease in sexual offending. Just because 'common sense' tells us that something might be true does not actually mean that it is true.
Middlesbrough Council has rejected proposals to open a new lap dancing club in the town centre.
Developers hoped to open the new venue, named Richmonds, near the train station in what would have been Middlesbrough's first strip club for six years. The plan was to redevelop the old Slam! night club on Exchange Square.
But the council decided to ban the club even though there was only one public objection. A few bollox claims were used to supposedly justify the decisions. Labour's Teresa Higgins spouted:
We felt that it was not right for that area. A lot of students walk in that area and it is a walkway for the train station.
There is currently one other lap dancing bar in Teesside, Angels, in Redcar .
The LibDems have published a discussion paper to debate policy on the decriminalisation of sex work. It will be debated at the up coming party conference and beyond. The paper also touches on the subject of the legality of porn:
In addition to public discussions of the legalities surrounding prostitution, there has also been an increase in concerns related to access to pornography, the types of pornography available, and the oversexualisation of culture as a whole. The
Conservative government has pushed to implement a porn filter which would require UK internet users to input a credit card number before accessing otherwise free porn hosted outside the UK. This is designed to prevent children from corning across
porn by accident, although data supporting this aim is weak. Liberal Democrat conference has previously voted heavily against implementing a porn filter -- this group agrees with the position of conference on this issue.
Similarly, relatively recent laws on extreme porn and video on demand services have led to some pornographic websites, particularly those featuring consensual BDSM scenes, being shut down.
A number of high profile oases prosecuted under extreme porn laws have tailed to result in conviction - for instance, R v Walsh  where a man had video and images of acts he himself had performed, and R v Holland  a man who had been sent a
WhatsApp pornographic video purporting to be of a tiger and a woman engaged in a sex act but which turned out to be a man dressed as a tiger - a fact that was only uncovered in the courtroom. These laws not only cover scenes where so damage was caused,
but also hentai and anime pornography where no real people are involved at all.
The paper then suggests questions for discussion:
What role (if any) do you think the state should play in regulating pornography That is made by consenting adults?
Should there be limits placed on the sexual behaviour of consenting pornography actors when this does not result in permanent harm?
Do you support a porn fitter - a filter on websites accessed from the UK that would require users to enter a credit card number to prove they are aged over 18 before being able to access pornography?
Has can the internet be made safer for those for whom pomography is not intended?
The Open Rights Group has been keeping a careful eye on the Digital Economy Bill currently being debated in Parliament.
Age verification for online pornography
Compulsory age verification poses serious privacy concerns
that are not addressed within the Bill. Commercial pornographic websites may collect the exact identity details of their users, creating clear commercial opportunities for themselves.
Data collection creates inherent risks of data breaches and the lack of safeguards within the Bill creates opportunities for 'Ashley Madison' style data leaks revealing personal sexual preferences; since privacy protections are entirely absent from the
Amateur and smaller commercial websites will be unduly burdened by the Bill. Imposing the cost of age verification on them will make their existence as free and commercial entities untenable. This may also adversely affect sexual minorities by denying
them the means to freely express their sexuality.
While the Bill lacks proposals for blocking websites that do not comply for good reasons, it is proposed that payment providers will also be responsible for enforcement: hardly a bullet-proof solution. Meanwhile, online pornography will still be
available to those under 18, without age verification, elsewhere on the Internet.
It is concerning that these age verification solutions have arisen from the government's collaboration with pornographic producers who would themselves be able to raise additional revenue from the data collection itself. The Bill needs to reflect a clear
separation of commercial interests and child protection objectives.
The role of the age verification regulator needs to be defined in more detail on the face of the Bill. Such a regulatory body may lack expertise in aspects of age verification. Thus, without clearly defined duties (such as the protection and maintenance
of privacy) there is a significant risk that they will adopt superficial solutions to address complex issues.
Child protection should also be addressed from alternative perspectives. Children and young adults should receive effective education and guidance, whilst carers should be encouraged to provide protections suitable to a specific child. Such an approach
is more likely to succeed without imposing significant costs, restrictions or risks on a large number of adults.
If you're confused about porn laws, you aren't the only one. Technological developments and changing societal attitudes have left UK legislation dated, contradictory and just plain confusing. By Kink Craft
Over 25 people spoke at a council licensing hearing to object to the Villa Mercedes strip club application on Suffolk Road in
The application in general received 180 objections and one supporting letter.
But in a dramatic twist, the applicant, Rockwave Leisure, who was represented by the venue's would be manager Andreas Baskoutas, said through his solicitor he had listened carefully to objections and was withdrawing the application. The news was met with
claps and cheers in the council chamber.
At present York has one licensed sex shop and two sexual entertainment venues requiring a licence t operate as a lap dancing
The council has just drafted the Licensing of Sex Establishments Policy after a year of research. A working party involving councillors, council officers and police visited York's two lap dancing clubs to see how they operate and talk to the managers and
the dancers. They also held a public consultation to gauge residents' views on these establishments.
Of the 325 responses, 39% felt it was not acceptable to have lap dancing clubs anywhere in York, while 55% had no issues with them being located here. The survey found that the city centre ( 53% ) and busy late night economy areas ( 54% ) were
considered the most acceptable locations for the clubs. Residential areas were considered unacceptable locations for 61% of those who responded.
The new policy also includes new rules such as:
There will be at least one female member of staff authorised to be responsible for the safety and welfare of the dancers. This staff member must on the premises at all times when licensable activities are taking place
Throughout the lap or table dance customers will remain seated and fully clothed, with their hands clearly visible, either resting on the arms of the chair/sofa or on the seat cushion, or customers must be asked to sit on their hands.
The new policy will be further discussed at the gambling, licensing and regulatory committee on Tuesday, September 13.
Sat 16th to Sat 30th July 2016
The White Horse
After 38 years in business, The White Horse is sad to be closing its doors. To mark this momentous end of an era, they've decided to go out in style.
Some of the most talented dancers in the UK have worked the stage of The White Horse, which has been a practise ground for award-winning pole dancers such as Felicity Logan and Millie Robson. Throughout the final month of shows, some White Horse legends
will be back for guest shifts and performances. Stacey Clare, Edie Lamort, Ima Doll and gang will be back to show off their skills on the pole, and get the place pumping for a final show down, alongside the regular White Horse honies, Christie, Zoe,
Foxy, Claudia, Nikki, Julia, Lily to name just a few.
On Saturday 30th a huge party to celebrate the years of craziness and fun will mark the final chapter in a long and illuminated history of striptease in East London. The night will be guest-list priority. It will be down to luck if there is room for
non-guestlist. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Many, many dancers and punters alike will be sad to see the pub go. Don't miss out on the last days of The White Horse, come and see some of the finest striptease in town !
Free entry. All dancers must be tipped min. £1 per stage show. Strictly over-18s only.
The reason for the closure is the same that faces many leaseholders in Shoreditch. Freeholders are squeezing their tenants with vast rent increases with a view to making as much as they can out of the floorspace they own and this is what happened here.
The White Horse was hit with a 400% rent increase and the owner, Sue Bristow made a business like decision. But most importantly Sue made sure everyone knew well in advance of the last day of trading.
A police raid at Leicester's Angels lap dancing club last year found CCTV footage showing
breaches of miserable council rules forbidding physical contact between the strippers and the customers. Strippers were recorded straddling and fondling punters.
In January of this year Leicester Council decided to revoke the club's sexual entertainment license. The owners of the club decided to initiate the appeal process.
However after a court hearing, and In the light of the CCTV evidence, the owners of the club have now withdrawn their appeal. And as a result of a court decision, the owners have been made to pay £15,500 in costs to the council for the time spent
preparing the council case.
The club is now unlicensed and can no longer operate as a lap dancing club.
A man who sold unclassified hardcore porn films has been fined more than £5,000 and ordered to wear an electronic tag.
Colin Lane pleaded guilty to 12 offences at Tottenham Magistrates Court on March 17.
He has also been placed under curfew from 8pm to 8am Friday to Sunday, for eight weeks starting from March 18.
On January 9, 2015, the council's trading standards team received an email from a member of the public, alleging an eBay seller, Taboo Films, based in Enfield, was selling unclassified adult films. Two videos were test purchased, and the BBFC confirmed
they were not classified.
Officers from the council raided the home of Lane on March 24, 2015, who was making DVD compilations of the films at the time.
Computer equipment used to copy pornographic films were seized, plus approximately 100 film reels and 400 DVDs.
The Government has published a document summarising responses to its proposals to mandate restrictive age validation requirements for porn websites. 48% of responses opposed the proposals whilst 44% agreed with the proposals. However the government made
clear that they will proceed with the proposed censorship law. The consultation document reads:
It is clear from our analysis of the consultation responses that this is an issue which tends to polarise opinion, with strongly held views on either side. Overall, there was a roughly even split between those supporting age verification (44%) and those
not in favour (48%). Responses from individuals made up the vast majority of those which were submitted via our online questionnaire (94%). Over half of the individuals were men, the majority of whom were between 18 and 34 years old.
Crucially, however, many of the key organisations we work with in the online child protection sphere children's charities, support and advice groups, the BBFC, internet service providers, and payment service firms and credit card companies indicated
their support for the proposals, and the overriding policy goal of protecting children online.
Over a quarter (26%) of the individuals who responded indicated that they are parents or carers, and 23% of individuals said that they work with children (in the education and health sectors, working in or with churches, in voluntary roles, mentoring,
and as researchers). In both groups, a majority supported the Government's approach.
Notably, pornography providers who responded to the consultation also stated their support for the protection of children online, and (with caveats) the introduction of age verification controls to protect children from content which is not appropriate
As was set out in our consultation, the Government's preferred approach to delivering this commitment is to establish a new law, requiring age verification (AV) controls for online pornography this was the manifesto commitment, and following
consideration of the consultation responses, remains the Government's intention.
To underpin this, we will also establish a new regulatory framework, and we will ensure a proportionate approach by enabling the regulator to act in a sufficiently flexible and targeted way.
Following analysis of the responses to the consultation, Government will now take several next steps. We will:
Bring forward legislation, in the Digital Economy Bill, to establish a new law requiring age verification for commercial pornographic websites and applications containing still and moving images, and a new regulatory framework to underpin it
Continue to work with payments firms and ancillary companies to ensure that the business models and profits of companies that do not comply with the new regulations can be undermined
Maintain ongoing engagement with pornography providers, age verification providers, and other parts of the industry, to ensure that the regulatory framework is targeted and proportionate, to achieve maximum impact and to enable compliance
Continue to work on broader internet safety issues, including work led by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), and raising awareness and resilience
And indeed the new censorship law is included in the Digital Economy Bill introduced on 5th July 2016. Section 3 outlines the setting up of an
internet porn censor and the remainder sets out website censorship options and financial penalties for contravening websites, their payment providers and advertisers.
The government is planning on passing the bill into law in spring 2017.
15 Internet pornography: requirement to prevent access by persons under the age of 18
16 Meaning of pornographic material
17 The age-verification regulator: designation and funding
18 Parliamentary procedure for designation of age-verification regulator
19 Age-verification regulator's power to require information
20 Enforcement of sections 15 and 19
21 Financial penalties
22 Age-verification regulator's power to give notice of contravention to payment service providers and ancillary service providers
23 Exercise of functions by the age-verification regulator
24 Requirements for notices given by regulator under this
The Erotic Trade Only (ETO) Awards are targeted at online and traditional sex shops and their products.
The 2016 ETO Awards were presented in Birmingham on Sunday June 12th. Over 270 guests attended the event. The winners of the main 29 awards of the evening were chosen by the readers of ETO magazine, and the editorial staff chose the final four, which
culminated in John Addy of Liquid Gold receiving the Editor's Award in recognition of the huge efforts he put into fighting the ban on aromas earlier this year. The winners were:
Best New Female Product: Doxy Die Cast Massager (Doxy)
Best New Male Product: Quickshot (Fleshlight)
Best New Couples Product: RO-Duet (Rocks-Off)
Most Innovative New Product: Jack Socket (ElectraStim)
Best New Product Range: King Cock (Pipedream)
Best New Lingerie Range: 2016/17 Collection (Dreamgirl)
Best New Playwear Range: Kink 2016 Collection (Leg Avenue)
Best Consumable: ID Glide (ID Lubricants)
Best Fetish Products Brand: Fetish Fantasy Series (Pipedream)
Best Pleasure Products Brand: Rocks-Off
Best Luxury Brand: Lelo
Most Innovative Brand: We-Vibe
Best Sexual Wellbeing Brand: System Jo
Best Consumable Brand: ID Lubricants
Best Lingerie Brand: Seven 'til Midnight
Best Playwear Brand: Kink (Leg Avenue)
Best Fetish Products Distributor: Mister B
Best Specialist Products Distributor: E-Stim Systems
Best Pleasure Products Distributor: ABS Holdings
Best International Distributor: Scala Playhouse
Best Lingerie Distributor: Kevco Wholesale
Best Retail Chain: Nice 'n' Naughty
Best Individual Store: Sh! Women's Erotic Emporium (Hoxton Square, London)
Best Specialist Retailer: Uberkinky
Best Online Retailer: Lovehoney
Best Erotic Author: Tabitha Rayne
Best Erotic Journalist: Girl On The Net
Best Store Manager: Tracey Whitmore (Vibez Adult Boutique, Aylesford)
Students sex workers and poll dancers should not be prevented by their universities unless their welfare is at risk
or they start missing lectures, according to a new report by Swansea University academics.
The authors of a study which suggested that one in 20 students was involved in the sex industry have called on universities to accept the practice and offer support rather than stigma.
Professor Tracey Sagar and Debbie Jones told the Cheltenham Science Festival that students selling sex was not going anywhere and claimed it was outdated to automatically assume prostitutes and other sex workers are victims.
Their 2015 report, The Student Sex Work Project , indicated that 5% of students, more than 100,000, are engaged in the sex industry, principally to fund their higher education or a better lifestyle at university.
The survey of 6,750 students also found that more male than female students were making money in sex-related occupations. Most were involved with indirect sex work, and the most popular activities for men included acting as a naked butler ,
stripping, erotic dancing and performing in porn films. For women, the most common occupations were selling sex online, erotic dancing, stripping, and selling sex on phone chat lines.
Perhaps some of the revelations of the report are not so surprising when considering that many of today's students will graduate with debts of approximately £50,000 including maintenance loans.
Of course John Whittingdale should be free to enjoy a relationship with whom he so chooses, but surely he shouldn't be denying freedoms to Brits to enjoy their own choice of adult fun.
Whittingdale's Department of Culture, Media and Sport is currently pushing through legislation to censor internet porn. (of course in the name of 'protecting the children'). Not to mention the fact that Whittingdale is on a personal crusade to bring the
BBC under the control of the government propaganda department.
The department's (just closed) consultation document
on proposals for internet censorship lists a number of alleged harms that have been linked to over-exposure to pornography. The DCMS states:
Many people worry that young people will come to expect their real life sexual experiences to mirror what they or their peers see in pornography, which often features ambiguous depictions of consent, submissive female stereotypes and unrealistic
i wonder if this statement should be updated a little
Many people worry that young people will come to expect their real life sexual experiences to mirror what their MPs or peers get up to, which often features ambiguous depictions of consent, dominating female stereotypes and unrealistic scenarios.
The 1970's porn star Mary Millington has been honoured with a blue plaque 36 years after her death.
She was one of the most successful women working in the sex industry in Britain and she later campaigned for the right to buy, sell and view pornography.
Despite her incredible success, which saw her named as one of the hottest British sex film stars of the 1970s, she killed herself at her Surrey mansion in 1979 at the age of 33 after battling depression and a drug addiction.
Mary's most famous soft porn film, Come Play With Me , played continuously for four years in old Moulin Cinema in London's Soho. The cinema, which has since been transformed into a cocktail bar, is the planned site of the blue plaque, which was
unveiled by Mary's ex boyfriend and porn baron David Sullivan.
A Labour mayoral candidate has promised to try to ban strip clubs from Bristol. Marvin Rees pledged to rid the city of sexual entertainment venues if he is elected, claiming they could feed into wider inequality.
But strippers took to social media to criticise him for trying to destroy the livelihood of hundreds of women , bandwagon jumping and criminalising women in the industry.
But stripper Esme Worrell branded his ideas as short-sighted and patronising . She said Rees should investigate the clubs himself to see how they are run:
I think a man storming in and telling us that he's going to ban our work ... it is patronising because why should somebody be telling me what I should be doing with my body?
In a consensual adult environment...you shouldn't be able to police other people's work choices, if they are legal.
Rees said his pledge was backed by the mayor's women's commission:
In the last election, all mayoral candidates supported a 'nil cap' on sexual entertainment venues. We've just listened to what women have said.
A real concern was whether the venues feed into wider inequalities that are faced by women. Is the price paid by wider Bristol very very high for this?
The UK's poppers manufacturers should be allowed to operate while the government reviews the product's legality, the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said:
Poppers have been around for decades,The evidence shows they don't pose any great risk to health, and that's why they have never been banned before.
Frankly they could have been made exempt from the new act without the need for a review, but the government didn't want to admit they had got it wrong. While there is a review ongoing, of course the legitimate businesses that produce poppers should be
allowed to continue to operate.
The government's psychoactive substances bill will come into force on 6 April, making poppers illegal in the UK. In response to calls to exempt the product from the bill in January, the government announced a review of the ban, which is expected to
report before the summer recess in July, leaving a window of around three months in which UK poppers manufacturers risk going bust.
Poppers is the name given to the chemicals alkyl nitrites, which, when sniffed, give the user a short, sharp head rush. The substance was first circulated as an angina medicine before emerging as a party drug on the gay scene in the 1970s.
Poppers are particularly, though not exclusively, used by gay and bisexual men to enhance sexual pleasure, as they relax the muscles and make it easier to have anal sex. They are sold for about £5 a bottle in most sex shops and some cornershops and are
available for anybody over the age of 16 to buy.
Offsite Article: The poppers ban...Will it criminalise gay users?
XBIZ, a US adult industry trade group, has announced it will no longer run its European show in London. The 2016 XBIZ Europe event will
take place in Berlin instead.
The show has taken place in London for the past five years, bringing together adult industry participants from around the world to talk business, regulation and politics. But the increasingly moralistic, censorious nature of the UK has forced XBIZ to
reconsider. As this blog has often pointed out, the UK stands almost alone in Europe in its determination to stamp out sexual expression. The UK's legitimate adult industry is virtually extinct, as operators have closed their doors or moved overseas.
This has resulted in job losses as well as tax losses for the exchequer. XBIZ CEO Alec Helmy explained:
... we didn't foresee just how unfriendly UK would become toward adult. From ATVOD (previous content police) fining adult webmasters for non-compliance and scaring many out of business to radical feminists picketing our venues and local media's negative
tone toward adult, the climate became more and more difficult as each year passed. And now with OFCOM (equivalent of FTC) taking full charge of content regulation, the general consensus is that things are going to get even bleaker.
As much as we've felt a sense of duty to empower the UK industry by returning each year, it's become too unwise for us to continue doing so.
So, we're packing up and relocating the conference to another one of Europe's top destinations for both business and pleasure, Berlin.
Jerry Barnett notes that the government's new porn censorship proposal is a lot wider than just Video on Demand and will require robust age verification for the likes of Google Image Search and Instagram
Miserable councillors in Leicester have refused a lap dancing license renewal over claims that
customers were having too much fun.
Angels, in New Park Street, off Braunstone Gate, could now face closure after having its application for a renewed sexual entertainment licence rejected by Leicester City Council because it strippers were touching and fondling customers in an intimate
and sexual manner.
Members of the council's licensing committee made the ruling after viewing CCTV footage obtained by police during a raid on the club on December 5.
Council licensing team manager Bobby Smiljanic whinged:
I was shown CCTV by the police which showed performers and members of the public clearly touching and fondling in an intimate and sexual manner.
She said the footage also showed strippers straddling customers - another forbidden practice.
The club is now considering appealing against the refusal at magistrates court. It has 21 days to lodge an appeal and can stay open until then and until any such hearing concludes.
One of London's favourite celebrity lap-dancing clubs is being investigated over a miserable claim some of its dancers are
offering too much fun by breaking repressive no touching laws.
Platinum Lace which is popular with high profile stars is being probed by Westminster City Council over claims of impropriety surrounding their glamorous lap dancers. A number of their girls have allegedly allowed themselves to be touched by male
customers in their VIP booths during dances which are offered at a minimum of £20 a time.
A spokeswoman for Westminster City Council confirmed that they were investigating the claims, saying: Our licensing team has reviewed the video evidence and will be contacting the venue to discuss.
Lap dancing clubs could be banned from Bournemouth in a repressive review of the borough's sexual entertainment
The possibility of strip clubs being moved out of town or to some sort of industrial estate was mooted during a council discussion on the venues.
Cllr Andrew Morgan, chairman of the licensing board, has asked council officers to examine relevant case law before the authority puts its ideas out to public consultation in the coming months. He said:
If we do decide zero is the right number for SEVs (Sexual Entertainment Venues) we need to have clear reasons why we are doing that or else we leave ourselves very vulnerable to challenge.
If zero is the number for the town centre -- is there any other part of the borough that we think would be suitable? Perhaps some sort of industrial estate or something out of town?
Morgan claimed that the authority was not taking a moral view ...BUT... that the changes would be made on the basis of considering the locality and how the borough is shaping up .
Less concern was expressed about discreet sex shops which are subject to strict regulations restricting what can be displayed outside. Moragan moralised:
What we want to avoid is children walking by saying 'mummy, what is that?' On the SEV side it might be harder for a parent to answer a question like that.