The R18 Story, the legalisation of hardcore: Chapter 3: Winter 1998
There seems to be a general buzz in the air that snippets of hardcore porn will soon be back in the video racks of licensed sex shops. Although I have not read an official announcement from the Government, police or the BBFC, but it
appears that the porn industry is gearing up for a relaxation in the R18 guidelines.
This month's Video World carries a story about the filming of a big budget British hardcore video, Dreamscape , [unfounded
rumour] which is intended to capitalise on the expected liberalisation of guidelines. The article also carries other indications of impending changes. Owners of sex shops have apparently been confidentially told that they will be able to start selling
hard core porn legally within the next few months. Video World reckon that:
New Labour are only too aware of the tide of public opinion that's in favour of
conventional, non-violent porno movies being made available in sex shops.
Perhaps a more convincing indicator is the care with which regulators are talking about sex these days. Every last one of them continues to point out that public attitudes are shifting towards the liberalisation of their attitudes towards porn. I noted
that Robin Duval, being interviewed on last night's Newsnight, was very careful to agree with this thesis whilst moving rapidly on to say that his problems are with sexual violence.
The previous attempt to liberalise porn
videos faltered due to a lack of consensus between the censors, Government, police and customs. Whatever is happening this time round, I guess that it will at least have agreement amongst these organisations. When investigating the Makin' Whoopee appeal last Summer I stumbled upon the fact that these organisations were all having a get together on the subject last November. Ever since this time, the rumours of liberalisation have abounded.
Well it all sounds promising to me but I fear that typically British compromise will ensure that the whole thing becomes a farce... unappealing hardcore snippets all over again. Still it's a start. (maybe!)