To be supplied only in licensed sex shops to persons of not less than 18 years
category is a special and legally restricted classification primarily for explicit videos with clear views of real sex between consenting adults. Such videos may be supplied to adults only in licensed sex shops. 'R18' videos may not be supplied by mail
|Sex ||The following content is not acceptable:
- any material which is in breach of the criminal law including any material judged to be obscene under the current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act [Melon Farmers' comment: The BBFC previously published the obvious examples of
bestiality, necrophilia & defecation. The authorities also dubiously contend that fisting and urolagnia are also obscene. Urolagnia is defined as pissing during a sex scene. Pissing when not related to sex is acceptable and is in fact passed in R18s]
- material (including dialogue) likely to encourage an interest in sexually abusive material (eg paedophilia, incest, rape) which may include adults role-playing as non-adults.
- the portrayal of any sexual activity which involves lack of
consent (whether real or simulated). Any form of physical
restraint which prevents participants from indicating a withdrawal of consent
- the infliction of pain or physical harm, real or (in a sexual context) simulated. Some allowance may be
made for mild consensual activity. Penetration by any object likely to cause actual harm or associated with violence
- any sexual threats, humiliation or abuse which does not form part of a clearly consenting role-playing game. Strong abuse, even
if consensual, is unlikely to be acceptable.
These guidelines make no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual activity.
[Melon Farmers' comment: The BBFC previously confirmed that the following content was acceptable. They now hold that it is
sufficient to say that "clear views of real sex between consenting adults" are acceptable and have removed the following list from their guidelines. The Melon Farmers' believe that it is still useful to readers to continue to publish the list
of acceptable content
The following content, subject to the above, may be permitted:
- aroused genitalia
- oral-genital contact including kissing, licking and sucking
- penetration by finger,
penis, tongue, vibrator or dildo
- non-harmful fetish material
- group sexual activity
- ejaculation and semen]
The S&M genre is not prohibited in its entirety – some allowance is made for clearly consenting role-playing
games where it is clear that no one suffers any real injury or significant pain. However, such material may be given an ‘R18’ certificate rather than an ‘18’ even in the absence of explicit sex, depending on the detail and
treatment, on the grounds that its presence in general shops may offend public sensibilities. Focus on activities such as urination or bondage could confound public expectation at ‘18’ and/or encourage potentially harmful imitation on the
part of uninitiated viewers.
The Board's policy is that you can show enemas in 'R18' tapes.
However, you must not see any faecal matter being emitted and the fluid from the enema must not be released onto (or into) another person. This position is based on the latest advice from the police and the CPS. Their position is, in turn, based on a
number of recent cases in which enema tapes were found obscene by juries.
|Female Ejaculation |
responded to research on female ejaculation submitted to the BBFC by Feminists Against Censorship:
If I may clarify our position, the Board does not
in fact take any view on whether or not female ejaculation exists. As you admit in your letter this is a controversial and much-debated area with a range of views being taken amongst medical professionals. At the most basic level, however, the
Board is content that the pornographic tapes so far presented to us as examples of 'female ejaculation' are in fact nothing other than straightforward scenes of urination masquerading as 'female ejaculation'. This has been confirmed by a female
sexual health expert who the Board has consulted on a range of issues relating to videos intended for the 'R18' category.
Quite the opposite of attempting to confront the issue of female ejaculation in a reassuring, sympathetic or informative
light, the tapes in question appear to be nothing more than a cynical attempt on the part of porn distributors to get around the constraints imposed on urolagnia in sex tapes by the current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act. It is worth
noting that the kind of material that the Board has been cutting is regularly sold as 'orolagnia' in other European countries (France, Germany, Netherlands, etc) where there is no equivalent legal restriction on the use of urine in sex videos. Indeed,
although videos featuring urolagnia are very much in evidence on the continent, videos purporting to show 'female ejaculation' seem to be invisible. Perhaps female ejaculation is less exciting (or profitable) to pornographers and their viewers than
urination? Generally speaking sex videos of the type encountered at 'R18' neither seek to inform nor educate about female (or male) sexuality but merely offer graphic (and grossly distorted) views of sex for the arousal of viewers. Indeed, as you
acknowledge in your letter "much of the material [the Board] passes with an 'R18' certificate does not necessarily represent the sexual experiences of all women".
To conclude, the Board remains open minded about the issue of female
ejaculation but we have yet to be presented with any pornographic video that has convinced us - or our medical advisor - that it consists of anything other than an excuse to display scenes of urolagnia. Such scenes are regularly found obscene by juries
in the UK and therefore cannot be classified.
The BBFC routinely cut fisting as the authorities have defined fisting
to be obscene. They claim that juries regularly find such scenes to be obscene.
The BBFC define fisting as penetration with all five digits beyond the last knuckle
On police/CPS advice, the BBFC disallow scenes of hot wax dripping on genitals or the anus. There is no prohibition on less sensitive parts of the body.
Comment from beaunidl on The Melon Farmers'
Wrong ! Just watched Tarrant On TV , and at 10:22pm on 12 Oct 2006 there was a piece which clearly showed molten wax being dripped on the tip of a limp willy. The penis ended up coated with a wick in the end (a human candle). The
domatrix then lit the wick and the sub blew it out, on the 3rd or 4th attempt.
In particular the BBFC have a chip on
their shoulder about the word 'teen' in R18 titles.
The title of a work is likely to be seen by many members of the public who would never choose to watch the contents. It will be displayed on packaging and promotional material, and will appear on the
BBFC's website database. The potential for offence is therefore significantly greater than for language which appears in the body of the work itself, which is encountered only by those who have chosen to view the work in question. The degree of offence
likely to be caused will depend to some extent on how likely the public are to come across the title by accident.
In addition to considerations of 'offence', the BBFC is also concerned about titles which apparently promise illicit pleasures even
though the material itself is neither harmful nor illegal. In future, therefore, the BBFC may ask for changes to a title of a work if it falls into one of the following three categories:
- It suggests that sexual participants may be under 18 or that illegal sexual activity (eg incest, rape) is being depicted. Words such as 'schoolgirl', 'scout', 'teenager', 'very young' and 'child' are unlikely to be acceptable if the title has sexual
connotations unless the title as a whole makes it clear that the content is not concerned with the presentation of sex involving under-18s.
- It suggests that the content may be degrading, dehumanising or humiliating. Words such as 'bitch',
'whore' and 'slut' may be unacceptable if used in a context which appears to degrade women.
- It is likely to cause unusual offence to a significant proportion of those who are likely to come across it. The use of pornographic language in a title
is unlikely to be acceptable at 18. Particularly crude or explicit titles are unlikely to be acceptable even at R18.
|Mail Order |
Adverts for hardcore media
Offers to supply R18 material other than in a
licensed sex shop , a change of policy which will comes into effect on Wednesday 15th March 2006.
As you may be aware, the issue of mail order supplies of works classified R18 has been the subject of recent legal action and the matter is now
settled in domestic law. Following the outcome of the court action, the BBFC has taken legal advice regarding the use of classified video works as a means of promoting mail order supplies of ‘hardcore’ sex tapes.
Under the Video
Recordings Act 1984 it is illegal to offer to supply an 'R18' classified video work other than in a licensed sex shop. This prohibition includes offers to supply by mail order from websites based outside the UK: making the offer in the UK is an offence
in itself even if the supply would originate from abroad.
It is also illegal to offer to supply an unclassified video work unless that work is exempt from classification. Hardcore pornography is, by its nature, not exempt from classification.
Some video works include references to postal or website addresses and our legal advice is that we are entitled to cut these if they constitute part of an offer to supply R18 material or its equivalent (or stronger). Legal advice further suggests
that whether a reference to an address constitutes part of an illegal offer to supply will depend on both the nature of the reference and the nature of the video in which it appears.
The following policy will therefore apply to all works
submitted after 15th March 2006:
Sex works (18 or R18)
i) A simple website or postal address with no suggestion (verbal, text or
pictorial) that goods or services can be purchased from it (eg
will normally be passed uncut unless the title itself implies that goods can be purchased from the address (eg
“www.buystuffhere.com”) in which case (ii) applies.
ii) A website or postal address accompanied by a suggestion
(verbal, text or pictorial) that goods or services can be purchased from it (eg “Products are available in our online store www.productionhouse.com”) will normally be cut if a visit to the website reveals that it appears to be offering R18
material or its equivalent (or stronger) by mail order.
All other works
iii) A website or postal address with no suggestion that goods or services relating to R18 material or its equivalent (or stronger) can be purchased from it (eg
“mailorderdvds.com”) will normally be passed uncut.
iv) A website or postal address accompanied by a suggestion (verbal, text or pictorial) that goods or services relating to R18 material or its equivalent (or stronger) can be
purchased from it (eg “get hardcore sex at www.illegal supply.com”) will normally be cut if a visit to the website reveals that it appears to be offering R18 material or its equivalent (or
stronger) by mail order.
mail order” involves an offer to sell a tape, disc, chip or other storage device by means of the post or a parcel or courier service or similar. An offer to supply hardcore material by video-on-demand (streaming, downloads, etc) or other manner in
which no physical product changes hands does not count as mail order supply of a video work.