Melon Farmers Original Version

UK Sex Sells News

2012 April-June

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Erotic Award Winner 2012...

Fashion: Monsterlune

Link Here30th June 2012


Winner: Monsterlune (France)

Monsterlune is the brainchild of Estelle Riviere, an outstanding costumier, artist and seamstress who resides in North London. Her outfits are dramatic animalistic and mysterious, often using masks and a delightful combination of the grotesque with the delicate.

Runner Up: Am Statik (UK)

Absolutely amazing rubber clothing, intricate and unique, arriving just when we thought we'd seen it all and nothing new could ever be made in rubber! Created by Amy Day, each garment is dynamic in its colours, details and contours, and is totally desirable clothing for both those curious or those immersed in the scene.

Runner Up: Second Coming (UK)

D. is a historic and much-loved figure on London's Vintage and Fetish/ Sexy clothing scene, who sells her recycled clothes at fetish markets and festivals. D says she gains pleasure from seeing people being transformed by the clothing she sells them, because the transformation is more than skin deep. D. creates something sexy in the demure, something alluring to all in extreme fetish clothing, and produces kinkiness in the very ordinary.



Dancers Information...

Personal Safety, Tax awareness, Self employment Info, and Top Tips for working in strip pubs and lap dancing clubs

Link Here29th June 2012

This resource is the result of a two year research project, The Regulatory Dance ,  looking at working conditions in the strip and lap dancing industry, based at the University of Leeds from 2010-2012 by Dr Teela Sanders, Dr Kate Hardy and Rosie Campbell.

This information is written for dancers and mainly by dancers as consulting with women who work in the industry has been at the heart of the research. We have also spent a lot of time working with Local Authority Licensing Committees to get dancer welfare and working conditions on the agenda in terms of the licensing process.

The safety information was written in partnership with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, whilst we wrote the tax awareness information in association with HM Revenue & Customs.




Ten Lords a Leaping...

Inevitable 'outrage' about lap dancing in up market Ampthill

Link Here26th June 2012
Full story: Lap Dancing in Bedfordshire...Nutters get wound up in Ampthill

Plans for a lap dancing club in the affluent market town of Ampthill have caused the inevitable 'outrage' among residents.

Lord John Shayler submitted the application on June 15 to Central Bedfordshire Council for a Sexual Entertainment Licence in Church Street.

Shayler who had previously ran a cafe and restaurant at the location said he's hoping to bring a Coyote Ugly vibe to town. Shayler said:

Like Walt Disney I want to create that Disney World bubble where people turn up miserable and leave with a smile on their face. I want to bring a bit of magic to people's lives. The residents of Ampthill are all prepared to haul me over the coals before they've even heard my plans.

It's something I've been considering for 18 months and anyone who asked me what I'm doing with the place in that time would have heard me say 'I'm opening up a lap dancing club' but it will be more like Coyote Ugly.

There aren't going to be naked woman walking around Market Square. Anything like that will be in the basement of the club and you would have to pay for the privilege. I'm not opening this for the people of Ampthill I'm opening it for me.

Residents have until July 14 to give their representation to the council regarding the application. Ten or so objections have been submitted so far.



ETO Award Winners 2012...

UK's adult trade association announce their award winners

Link Here25th June 2012

ETO or Erotic Trade Only is the trade magazine for the UK adult trade, particularly areas associated with sex shops and their products. The ETO Awards are voted for by the members of the UK adult trade.

Congratulations to:

Services to the Industry: Tim Hemming.
Best Sales Team: ABS Holdings

Best Online Resource: [beating Melon Farmers]
Best Online Retailer:
Most Innovative Retailer: Sh!
Best Individual Store: Nice 'n' Naughty in Brighton
Best Erotic Books Brand: Xcite Books
Best Retail Chain: Ann Summers.

Best Lingerie Distributor: Kevco Wholesale.
Best Gay Interest Distributor: Mister B.
Best Overseas Distributor: Orion.
Best Pleasure Product Distributor: Planet Earth.
Best R18 DVD Distributor: ABS Holdings.

Best Lingerie Brand: Seven Til Midnight.
Best consumable Brand: ID Lube.
Most Innovative Brand: Fetish Fantasy
Best Pleasure Product Brand: Rocks Off.
Best Film Brand: Harmony.
Best New Product Range: Leaf
Best Product Marketing: Fetish Fantasy
Best Product Packaging: Lelo
Best Consumable: ID Glide
Best Male Product: Hands Solo
Best Female Product: Studio Mascara Ward



Erotic Award Winner 2012...

Event/Club: Club S.O.P

Link Here24th June 2012


Winner: Club S.O.P (UK)

Club Sop opened in London in 1999, originally using the name PIS. It's a non-dress-code club for gay men who enjoy water sports. It immediately became popular, and gained much attention --- so much so that it was closed down by the local council. After a short break, they opened again using the name S.O.P and, even though they have had to move venues continuously, they now regularly meet, twice a week, for friendly, splashy fun. Adam, the founder, is hoping to start a mixed night along the same lines, somewhere, sometime soon!

Runner Up: Burlesque (UK)

An erotic charity event committed to raising funds for The Albert Kennedy Trust, which helps homeless and unsupported LGBT teens. The show is put on by a collection of beautiful and clever volunteers who love having fun on stage and baring it all! Barelesque events are run by the driven team of Chantal Younis, Honey Schnapps, Alison Brumfitt and Ana Morphic --- whose idea was to move away from standard beauty conventions and instead get their kit off and produce something that is playful, intelligent, gender twisting and hot!

Runner Up: The Seeing Red Project (UK)

The Seeing Red Project is an ongoing, semi regular art project exploring menstruation, connection and sensuality. Started in April 2009 by Anna Gibson and Johanna Samuelson, they use intense and beautiful photos to arrest their readers and recently began performing their prococative work live at events. Debuting at Pulp Wotever for Wotever World, on stage they celebrate femininity, incorporate their favourite medium, photography, and they shock with play in sex and the intimacy of sharing, receiving and reveling in menstrual blood.



Update: The Daily Mail Recommends...

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James and a whole genre of BDSM erotica

Link Here21st June 2012
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey...BDSM book scores an international hit

The blockbuster success of Fifty Shades of Grey has opened the doors for erotic fiction - and sparked a boom in so-called mummy porn .

The temperature-raising trilogy by British writer EL James has sold more than half a million copies in the UK alone - and topped the New York bestsellers list. James currently holds the top three spots in the prestigious Sunday Times bestsellers for paperback fiction and has sold an estimated ten million copies worldwide.

Experts believe her success has dragged erotic fiction, once the domain of the backstreet bookstore only, firmly into the mainstream.

Matthew Curry, of Britain's biggest online sex toy retailer, explained:

Fifty Shades of Grey, and its sequels, which describe a wide number of sexual activities in quite some detail, have piqued the interest of UK readers who want to push their bedroom play further.

Not only has Lovehoney seen nearly a 400 per cent increase in sales of erotic fiction, but an increase in the sales of blindfolds, restraints, and intimately revealing lingerie as turned-on couples recreate some of the book's steamy chapters.'



Ben Dover Nominated as an Internet Villain...

ISP Association nominates its internet heroes and villains for the year. And some of the heroes are worse than the villains

Link Here 20th June 2012

The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has announced the list of finalists for the title of Internet Hero and Internet Villain at the 2012 ISPA Awards.

Internet Hero Finalists

  • Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) for bringing high speed internet into remote rural communities, setting an example for others to follow
  • Ofcom -- for its independent assessment of the website blocking measures in the DEA, which they found to be neither practical nor desirable and trivial to circumvent
  • Reg Bailey -- for his government review into childhood sexualisation which found that giving parents and carers an active choice over what content is suitable for children and young people is preferable to default content filtering
  • Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP -- for recognising, at the London Cyber Conference, that the future internet must be without government control or censorship where innovation and competition flourish and investment and enterprise are rewarded
  • Court of Justice of the European Union -- for its verdict on the Scarlet-Sabam case, which found that an injunction requiring a complicated and costly filter for copyright infringing material would not strike a fair balance between the right to protect intellectual property and the right to conduct business

Internet Villain Finalists

  • The International Telecommunications Union -- for its internet governance land-grab which could lead to a less open and free internet, controlled by governments in a top-down manner
  • Karel De Gucht and Directorate-General Trade -- for pushing IPR enforcement standards through ACTA and disregarding the concerns from EU citizens and European Parliament in relation to the threats against fundamental rights
  • U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith -- for introducing SOPA: an ill-thought out, draconian piece of legislation that would have stifled innovation and free speech online
  • Goldeneye International (Associated with Ben Dover) -- for following in the dubious footsteps of previous speculative invoicing, by demanding 700 in damages from account holders who had allegedly downloaded copyright infringing material, relying solely on IP matching and claiming that bill payers were liable for any infringement



Update: Fair Play...

Leeds grants lap dancing licences to all 7 clubs applying

Link Here17th June 2012
Full story: Lap Dancing in Leeds...Nutters and moralists on Len' case

Leeds Council received seven applications for sexual entertainment venue licences and following a week of hearings the licensing sub-committee decided to grant all of them subject to some conditions.

Lap dancing clubs given licences were Liberte, Deep Blue, Purple Door, Red Leopard, Wildcats, Black Diamond, and Silks in the Dark.

Hours of opening will be set at 10pm to 4am between Monday and Thursday and 10pm until 5am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Objectors including councillors, MPs and religious leaders called on the committee to refuse all the applications and set a nil limit for the future, or significantly reduce the number allowed to operate in the city.

But Councillor Suzi Armitage, sub-committee chairman, told the Yorkshire Evening Post that in hearing all the applications members had sought to be fair to the clubs while taking the objectors' views into account.out.



Update on Censorship...

Jerry Barnett, chairman of the Adult Industry Trade Association, speaks of how censorship is having a negative effect on the adult economy

Link Here16th June 2012

Jerry Barnett speaks of three main areas of censorship affecting the adult industry:


Over recent years I have attempted to track regulations that may affect the UK adult industry. ATVOD's rule 11, which specifies that web sites are responsible for age-verifying users before any hardcore still or moving images can be displayed, is a source of major concern.

I have made representations to ATVOD that this regulation is punitive to UK businesses as it is not possible for a web site to implement such a mechanism without losing the bulk of its customers. Furthermore, since this only applies to businesses based in the UK, it has no effect on availability of adult content anyway -- this regulation seems to be designed solely to drive UK adult businesses either offshore, or out of business.

ATVOD's response to this has not been sympathetic -- they repeat the mantra that they are protecting children while ignoring the simple fact that these rules do nothing to reduce the availability of easily accessible adult content. My position is that the right approach to this is for the industry to use proper labeling technologies and ensure that parents are empowered and educated in how to block adult content if they so wish. Driving the UK adult industry out of existence would simply destroy the chance of any self-regulation.

I am currently taking legal advice on whether these regulations can be challenged and feel there are several grounds on which to challenge them.

2) Internet filtering

Claire Perry MP (backed by the Daily Mail) is pushing for the ISPs to filter out adult content at the connection level. I'm strongly opposed to this approach for several reasons -- as are a number of free speech organisations, not to mention Google. I have met with some anti-censorship organisations that are opposing the filter and will continue to meet with more. It appears an alliance against the plans is building.

There are several problems with network-level filtering:

Do we trust the government to decide what is adult ? The experience in other online censorship exercise shows that the list of blocked sites will grow over time. The filter in Australia was extended to cover all sorts of material that the religious right objected to. We know that many people who legally enjoy adult content would not switch off the filter (for a variety of reasons -- confidentiality, embarrassment, etc.) The filter would be easy to get around. It's likely that teenagers would find out how to avoid it while their parents are left with a false sense of security. It takes control out of the hands of parents and puts it into the hands of a nanny state that makes moral decisions about what adults and teenagers should choose to look at.

3) Obscenity

The Michael Peacock obscenity trial, in which he was found not guilty, seems to have undermined the case for obscenity prosecutions and for certain censorship decisions taken by the BBFC. However, the CPS and BBFC have stated that despite losing the prosecution the guidelines remain the same.

There is an opportunity to challenge the BBFC and CPS guidelines and it is likely that lawyers will take up this opportunity later this year. I believe this will be beneficial both for the industry and for free speech, and will be supporting this action.



Update: Tired Old Excuses...

District Council overrules Newmarket Town Council and licenses trouble free lap dancing club

Link Here14th June 2012

A lap dancing club has won the right to stay open in Newmarket High Street despite moralist opposition from the town council.

Town councillors and some residents had no specific arguments against Heaven Club so trotted out the usual vague bollox about being close to churches, homes and a play area, and was 'inappropriate' in its location, at a 'gateway' to the town.

But the club which has been operating for 6 years was awarded the licence required by new guidelines at Forest Heath District Council's licensing committee.

Cllr Rachel Hood, who spoke for the town council, claimed the club was garish and did not comply with Forest Heath's new rules. The fact that the club had been operating without trouble for 6 years was brushed off as just an inconvenient nuisance. She spouted:

It does not actually matter what this club has been doing for the last six years, what matters is looking at this establishment and licensing afresh.

Solicitor Clare Eames, representing Heaven, said:

It has not been the cause of crime, anti-social behaviour or complaints for six years. The police are content with the application and do not seek to object to it. It employs a number of people in the locality and it caters for a local trade.

She added that the club was part-way down the High Street, not at a 'gateway' to the town, and that churches had not objected, and both they and the play area were not open at the same time as the club anyway.

But the town council has not conceded their moral battle. The council will discuss the issue again if 200 signatures are gathered in a petition. And town councillors are out on the streets trying to get people to sign up.



Sharing Letters...

Ben Dover gets court approval for letters to file sharers claiming settlement for damages

Link Here1st June 2012

O2 customers suspected of illegally sharing pornographic films made by Ben Dover Productions will begin receiving letters from the film-maker shortly.

The firm won a court order in March forcing O2 to pass on details of the owners of 9,124 IP addresses linked to illegal downloads.

The High Court has now approved the text of the message that will be sent.

Julian Becker, the commercial director of the firm which is registered at Companies House as Golden Eye International said:

In our first letter we seek to find out more information regarding evidence of an infringement of our copyright. Depending on the response to our letters we will then decide our next action.

It is understood that recipients will be told what to do to negotiate a settlement, and will be warned that if they do not respond they could be found liable. They will be given 28 days to reply after the judge said that a 14 day limit requested by Ben Dover was unreasonable . The firm was also told it could not specify compensation of 700 but should individually negotiate a settlement sum with each defendant. The judge added that a threat to tell users it would ask the ISP to slow down or terminate your internet connection if they did not comply was unjustified.



Updated: Small Town Thinking...

New Quay policeman claims that rapes and sex assaults in Newquay can be blamed on lap dancing clubs

Link Here26th May 2012

In a bollox sounding claim, Newquay police chief claims that lap dancing clubs encourage rape and sexual assaults.

Inspector Ian Drummond-Smith made the claim in his official letter of objection to an application to open a new strip club in the town's Bank Street. He claimed that lap dancing clubs have contributed to fourteen rapes and 34 sexual assaults in the last two years.

Police figures quoted by Insp Drummond-Smith show there were 69 reported sex crimes within a mile radius of the club between January 2010 and February this year, which also included 15 cases of indecent exposure and six other sexual offences. Five of the rapes and 16 sexual assaults were committed within half a mile.

If the police case is based purely on proximity to clubs then it is clearly bollox. More or less the entire town is located within a mile of Bank Street and the half mile radius covers the entire town centre. Perhaps the large amount of pubs and clubs for young people may have something to do with it too.

He seems to have made a leap of faith in jumping from proximity figures to anything causal. He weakly pontificated:

It is of concern that sexual entertainment would take place in such proximity to dwellings and vulnerable persons, and those leaving the premises, having been subject to highly sexualised performances, may be at greater risk of committing sexual offences. The combination of factors above, in particular the vulnerable groups identified, have contributed to the sex crimes.

Cornwall Council's licensing committee is due to decide today on an application for a Sexual Entertainment Venue permit for Kiss Gentlemen's Club, formerly known as Halos. There is already one lap dancing club, Wild Cherry, operating in New Quay.

Lyndon Harrison, chairman of the Newquay Association of Licenced Premises, backed the application, saying It's down to what Newquay needs to compete in today's tourism market. Harrison, who is also chairman of the Newquay Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, dismissed claims that strip clubs were linked to an increase in crime as absolute rubbish .

Update: Application Rejected without Meaningful Reason

26th May 2012. See  article from

Cornwall Council have now banned the Kiss Gentleman's Club in Newquay, at a special meeting of the Licensing Committee.

In a statement, Cornwall Council elected not to provide any meanigful reasons for the ban and spouted a bit of bullshit in a statement:

The committee voted to refuse the application on the ground that the grant of the licence would be inappropriate having regard to the character of the relevant locality and the use to which any premises in the vicinity are put.

However applicant Jane Hawkey who submitted the application will be sent a full list of the reasons for the rejection.

Tracy Earnshaw, who represents a Newquay nutters' group, said she was ecstatic with the decision.



Offsite Comment: The Quest for the Holy Grail of Politically Correct Porn...

Link Here 26th May 2012
Philosopher Alain de Botton plans to launch the Better Porn campaign and website promoting pornography in which sexual desire would be invited to support, rather than permitted to undermine, our higher values

See article from



Update: Wildcats vs Moral Extremists...

Lap dancers protest against proposed restrictions in Leeds

Link Here25th May 2012
Full story: Lap Dancing in Leeds...Nutters and moralists on Len' case

Dancers from Leeds lap dancing club Wildcats, gathered to protest against license changes that jeopardises their jobs.

The dancers along with operations director of Wildcats, Hamed Nejad, were making a stand against the proposed licensing restrictions that could see seven clubs in the city closing down. Nejad said:

We are all deeply concerned about the potential outcomes of the license review. The livelihoods of hundreds of people are at risk and it seems in the hands of some lobby groups with extreme views.

There are thousands of people, men and women, who enjoy visiting clubs across Leeds every week and it would be great if they made their voices heard in this debate.



ETO Adult Industry Awards...

The Melon Farmers are proud to be nominated for Best Online Resource

Link Here21st May 2012

Erotic Trade Only is the UK adult industry trade magazine. The annual ETO Trade Show held at Birmingham NEC also hosts the ETO Awards. This year the show will be held on the 24th and 25th June. Voting is open now for ETO readers.

The Melon Farmers are proud to have been nominated in the category of Best Online Resource. The list of nominees for this award is:

Other award nominees to follow.


17th May   

Update: Inappropriate Bollox...

Newmarket Council spouts the usual bollox about the location of an established lap dancing club
Link Here

A lap dancing club's bid for a new sex entertainment venue licence should be rejected claim councillors, supposedly because it is too close to churches and a children's play area.

Heaven Gentlemen's Club opened under the previous licensing regime and will have to close if it is banned by the council.

The club has applied for the licence, which costs 2,572 for the first year and 1,262 a year thereafter, in accordance with the sex establishment policy of Forest Heath District Council.

In a letter to Forest Heath District Council's licensing officer, the town council said:

These premises are located at the start of Newmarket High Street which is the centrepiece of Newmarket town.

It is wholly inappropriate and unacceptable to place a sex establishment at 109 High Street which is at the gateway to Newmarket High Street.

It said the club is close to three places of religious worship and it is 32 metres from the nearest block of flats.

The district council will decide on the application at a later date.


17th May   

Update: Obscene Lack of Perspective...

Wasting tax payers money pursuing small income from selling uncertificated DVDs
Link Here

A newsagent jailed for 11 months for selling uncertificated films is contesting the amount being extorted under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

It was estimated when he was sentenced that Ronald Smart had made 20,000 out of a small mail order operation.

However, that figure was disputed at the time by his solicitor. Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court heard that talks were still ongoing to try to resolve the situation.

Smart was sentenced in July last year after he admitted distributing the material from Barry Smart newsagents in Castle Douglas between February 2005 and November 2007.

Investigations under the Proceeds of Crime Act have been going on for more than a year and Sheriff Shirley Foran was told that meetings were being held to try and resolve the position.

Action under the Act was continued for two weeks at Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court.


15th May

 Offsite Article Dancers Speak Out...

Link Here
Full story: Lap Dancing in London...Predictable nutter outrage throughout London
Report from public meeting re council ban on lap dancing and stripping in Tower Hamlets

See article from


12th May   

Stripping Out the Bollox...

So much for the Lilith report that claimed Camden strip clubs attract crime
Link Here

In 2003, a report was released by Lilith Research and Development, a subsidiary project of Eaves Women's Aid, a London women's housing agency [and active campaign against adult entertainment].

The report examined the phenomenon of lap-dancing clubs in the north London borough of Camden and its effects on crime rates from the late 1990s onward. One conclusion that received considerable attention was the statement that following the introduction of lap-dancing clubs, rape in Camden rose by 50%.

In 2009, corrections to the statistics were reported in the Guardian stating that the change between 1999 and 2002 was a somewhat lower increase of 33%. It still however implies evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship between lap dancing clubs and rape. The uncorrected claims that rapes rose by50% after lap dancing clubs opened and that Camden's incidence of rape is three time the national average are still reported in national and international media.

But Dr Magnanti's paper, The impact of adult entertainment on rape statistics in Camden:a re-analysis , found:

This paper presents a broader analysis of the impact of lap-dancing clubs by calculating accurate rates of incidence, analysing statistics from a longer time period, and comparing the results with crime rates in neighbouring boroughs of London. The rate of rape in Camden is lower than that in comparable boroughs, including ones with no such clubs. The overall trend for London boroughs, while higher than the national average, shows a decrease where national statistics are on the increase.

Now further evidence has been made available that suggests that Lilith conclusions re increased crime near strip clubs are bollox.

A Freedom Of Information request presumably to Camden Council was made by a group called Community Safety who wanted it as part of a response to the Licensing Departments consultation on sex establishments in Camden.

This resulted in a summary of the results of an unpublished report. The original report examined crime near nine lap dancing clubs in Camden Borough. The summary reveals:

Three years worth of data (1 June 2008 - 31 May 2011) was collated of 'all reported crime within 40 metres, and 10 metres of each club. The clubs are listed below:

  • City Burlesque
  • Parkers
  • Red Rooms
  • Secrets, Eversholt Street
  • Secrets, Finchley Road
  • Secrets, Gray's Inn Road
  • Secrets, Parker Street
  • Spearmint Rhino
  • The Griffin

The report attempts to determine whether crime around these venues is in any way excessive, or exceptionally different from what would be expected of any other night-time economy venue in Camden.

10 metre buffer zone

  • The results showed an overall low level of offences with no obvious seasonality.
  • Of all crime types other theft was considerably higher than other type of crime.
  • Most offences occurred in the early hours of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • There is not an exceptional amount of crime around these venues at the 10 metre buffer level. The type of crime that is apparent mirrors what would be expected in any other night-time economy venue.

40 metre buffer zone

  • The results showed an overall low level of offences with no obvious seasonality.
  • Of all crime types other theft was considerably higher than other type of crime.
  • Most offences occurred on Friday evening and early Saturday morning.
  • As with the 10 metre buffer zone, there is no evidence when examining the 40 metre buffer zone of excessive levels of crime. Once again, the majority of crimes are other theft which is consistent with night-time economy venues.


There is no statistical evidence for a specific crime problem around lap-dancing clubs in Camden


7th May   

The Kings of Soho...

Rival biopics of Paul Raymond both with the same name
Link Here

Paul Raymond, the late Soho property mogul, publisher and strip club founder is now the subject of two upcoming biopics.

Both projects are currently titled King of Soho , the name given to Raymond by the press during the 70s when he invested his adult entertainment earnings in real estate, purchasing numerous properties in London's Soho neighborhood.

Michael Winterbottom is directing the Revolution Films biopic that is now in production with Steve Coogan and Anna Friel.

Howard Raymond, meanwhile, has not only announced plans to produce his own King of Soho movie with Wolf Studio producing, but has trademarked the title as intellectual property.

Update: My King is More Important then Your King

8th July 2012. See  article from

A film starring Steve Coogan as porn baron Paul Raymond will have to change its name, after a legal battle with the late tycoon's family. Filming has already finished on The King of Soho , directed by Michael Winterbottom. But the Channel 4-backed biopic has agreed to find a new title after a challenge from Raymond's son, Howard.

Howard Raymond said he had registered The King of Soho as a trademark more than two years ago for his own project, which will star War Horse actor Tom Hiddleston as the porn baron.


5th May   

Update: I Candy...

Accrington lap dancing club finds that Job Centre wont take job adverts for the club
Link Here
Full story: Lap Dancing in the North West...Moralists around Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle

The manager of a lap dancing club in Accrington claims she is the victim of political correctness and discrimination after the Jobcentre refused to allow her to advertise for dancers.

Kate Hartley is to launch iCandy in Blackburn Road on May 31, with the help of 45 new members of staff. But Hartley  said she had hit a wall in the recruitment process after being told she could not advertise vacancies for lap dancers, bar staff, waiting on staff and doorman.

When contacted by the Lancashire Telegraph, the Jobcentre said its policy was not to advertise for lap dancers, but it was now considering whether the other positions were suitable for display in its branches.

Hartley said:

I think the Jobcentre's attitude is absolutely crazy in the current economic climate. The Jobcentre should want to help us employ local people. It's political correctness gone mad. They told me they would not be able to advertise my jobs as people will be intimidated.

That's discrimination. If people are mature enough to get a job they are mature enough to walk passed an advert they do not wish to apply for.

A Jobcentre spokesman said:

People who are desperately looking for work shouldn't be put in an environment where they're exposed to these types of jobs and could feel under pressure to work in the sex industry.

Update: Opening Night

13th July 2012. See  article from

iCandy, will be launched on Friday 13th July 2012 despite opposition from residents and recruitment agencies, a lack of dancers and a 1,500-signature petition against the club.

The manager of the club, Kate Hartley, said: We are aware a lot of people are against us but we are hoping for best.


3rd May   

Updated: Bellissima...

A round of applause for the nutter calling for the ban of a Swansea lap dancing club on grounds of being opposite a burger bar
Link Here

A bid to open Bellissima lap dancing club next to a city centre Baptist chapel is to be considered by Swansea Council.

Swansea University women's officer Eleri Jones has objected to Thomas-Bellis Entertainment Ltd's licence application saying:

Lap dancing clubs fuel a sexist culture in which it's increasingly acceptable to treat women as sex objects, not people.

And Swansea teacher Rachelle Bright said in a letter of objection:

While this type of 'entertainment' is wrong on so many levels, including the degeneration of women into mere objects, what I am most horrified by is the location of the lap dancing club.

Opposite a youth-themed burger bar, Eddie's Rockets, within eyeshot of the Vue Cinema, on a thoroughfare that links Swansea Museum and the Waterfront Museum into town, as well as being a short stroll from the LC leisure facilities!

Swansea West AM Julie James and Gower AM Edwina Hart have also submitted written objections and about 800 people have signed petitions against plans for the club.

But a spokesman for club said there would be no external advertising, only open 10pm until 4am with security staff and a challenge 25 entry policy.

Update: To have the effrontery to put it next door to my church ...

27th April 2012. See  article from

The minister of York Place Baptist Church, Haydn Dennis, said there had been tremendous support from the public to oppose the club and 1,026 people had signed his petition so far.

In an interview with BBC Wales he said:

To have the effrontery to put it next door to my church -- how much more brazen can you get?

Update: Nutters on tenterhooks

28th April 2012. See  article from

Swansea council is refusing to say whether or not it has given a licence for a strip club in York Street, Swansea.

The council's licensing committee made its decision on Wednesday, but the council says it will not be made public until the finer detail is worked out. A determination will be issued in due course.

The minister of the York Place Baptist Church - which is next door to the proposed club - the Reverend Haydn Dennis, called the situation a disgrace .

We are all on tenterhooks. We just don't know. It is a very unsatisfactory situation,

Update: Licence granted with repressive conditions and a threat that lap dancing would break lease conditions anyway

3rd May 2012. See  article from

Women's rights nutters have ludicrously claimed that Swansea councillors don't value female citizens in the city after granting a sexual entertainment venue licence.

Councillor Keith Marsh, chair of Swansea Council's Licensing Committee, said:

The committee decided after a lengthy and searching discussion to vote in favour of the applicant and grant the licence.

63 conditions have been imposed, some of which were specifically designed to protect the interests of female performers at the venue following representations by feminist groups of their concerns. It is considered those concerns have been adequately addressed.

Marsh said the conditions included rules that no dancer shall perform any sexually explicit or lewd act, there shall be no tableside dancing, no lap-dancing, no peep shows and there shall be no live sex shows. The licence agreement also stated there shall be a minimum distance of one metre between dancers and seated customers in the club.

Also the council claims that the club will not be able to offer sexual entertainment as the local authority is the landlord of the building and to do so would be a breach of the terms of the lease on the premises. However it is also reported that the lease arrangement for the venue is not quite as straightforward as the council states.

But this compromise didn't seem to impress the absolutist moralists from Swansea Feminist Network and the church.

Swansea Feminist Network chair Adele Jones said:

We think that (the decision to grant the licence) demonstrates the licensing committee didn't take any notice of the evidence that we submitted. By doing it (granting the licence) they have demonstrated that they don't value the female citizens of Swansea. The fact that they granted it is enough for us to say we will carry on protesting against it.

While we think it is a good thing they can't use these premises it indicates should they make another application the committee would go ahead and grant a licence.

York Place Baptist Chapel pastor Haydn Dennis said:

As far as the church is concerned it is a partial victory but I'm not going to be happy until we get the absolute news from the council that the application is dead and buried.


2nd May

 Offsite Comment: My lap dancing position...

Link Here
A rare supportive opinion piece from the Yorkshire Evening Post. By Rod McPhee

See article from


1st May   

Update: MP Red Faced over Red Velvet...

Lap dancing club licensed in the locale of the MP who initiated the recent repressive law against lap dancing
Link Here

A lap dancing club in north Durham has been granted a sexual entertainment licence. The decision means that Red Velvet in Consett will stay open.

But the statutory licensing sub committee of Durham County Council granted the application to Sukhdev Singh Gill, whose lawyer, Richard Arnot said:

While we understand a lot of people oppose what it is done in the premises, the reality is that a lot of people support it and if they did not it would not survive.

The campaign to stop the club by nutters, who objected on moral grounds, was revived after new legislation following a campaign by Durham City MP, Roberta Blackman-Woods.

The authority received nine legitimate objections, including one from Durham Constabulary, to the licence application, and a petition with 443 names in opposition.

After the hearing the town MP Pat Glass whinged:

It is an absolutely appalling decision and I wonder what it is you have to do get a licence turned down.

It is a very bad decision for Consett and it reflects very badly on Durham County Council. People will be justifiably angry.


29th April   

An Expensive Court Victory?...

Lap dancers may now be considered as employed rather than self employed. So who's going to cough up the extra 14% to the tax man. 14 grand in this case
Link Here

A lap dancer has won the right to be considered an employee in a decision that could affect thousands of performers in the industry.

Nadine Quashie, 28, who earned in excess of 100,000 working at two Stringfellows clubs over more than a year, brought a legal challenge after being sacked for alleged drugs offences.

Her initial claim for unfair dismissal was rejected on the grounds that she was self employed. But today the Employment Appeal Tribunal found in her favour.

Today the appeal judge sent the case back to the Employment Tribunal to consider her case for unfair dismissal.

Update: Appeal

13th August 2012. From

Stringfellow's has been given leave to appeal an earlier decision regarding the employment status of Nadine Quashie who is trying to sue for unfair dismissal although she was never actually employed by the club.


25th April

The networking and support site for proud sex workers and their allies is now open
Link Here

This site is for anyone who works in the sex industry - from escorts, porn stars, adult TV staff, sex shop assistants to sex academics, sex researchers and sex journalists - to network and find support. We live in a hostile time against our industries and this site is meant as a place for us to meet new people and share our thoughts about our work.

We also welcome anyone outside of the industries who supports us too...

This site is also the one-stop-shop for anyone researching the sex industry - students, journalists, policy makers, researchers as well as interested members of the public - to read up on, and access all of the major research and readings - as well as relevant media - on the issues related to sex work and its major contributors.

We also run public campaigns fighting for the rights of all sex workers to be able to enjoy equal employment rights and a fair representation in society and the media.

So come on in, membership is free! We welcome you to join us as we tell the world We Consent!


25th April   

Update: Making the Mayor Very Very Angry...

Leamington grants licence for Amara lap dancing club
Link Here

Nutters in Leamington Old Town have been left 'stunned' by the council's decision to grant the Amara club a sexual entertainment licence seven nights a week.

50 letters of objection had been lodged by neighbouring residents. The licence allows adult entertainment such as lap-dancing between 11pm and 3am Sunday and Thursday and from 11pm until 4am Friday and Saturday.

The council said it had noted the premises was well run, entertainers would be subject to strict working conditions and customers would be required to obey a strict set of rules. The council also accepted the applicant's submission that there would be little or no effect on businesses, schools and places of worship in the area due to their opening hours not coinciding with the proposed hours for Amara.

The council committee, summing up its decision, wrote:

No objection was received by any of the relevant statutory bodies, including Warwickshire Police or children's services. Furthermore, while we note the proximity of the premises to the residential properties in Tower Street, the committee did not consider Tower Street would constitute a residential area.

Leamington mayor, coun Alan Wilkinson, told the Observer he was very very angry at the decision.


21st April   

How Much More Bankrupt Do They Want to Make Britain?...

Councils campaign for more powers to suffocate businesses that customers enjoy, citing lap dancing, betting and takeaways
Link Here

Council chiefs ludicrously claim that clusters of shops that they consider as vices undermine their [failed] efforts to revive town centres

They claim clustered outlets damage efforts to attract shoppers and rejuvenate struggling town centres and call for more bookshops, restaurants and butchers to set up instead.

[But it is more likely that their politically correct and health & safety policies have imposed so much restriction and red tape that it has smothered any chance of 'nice' businesses being able to make an adequate profit. And so we are just left with a small subset of businesses that can survive within the council and government constraints].

Research from the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents town halls, called for greater powers from Whitehall to tackle the problem.

The LGA's environment board vice-chairman Clyde Loakes spewed:

The general public are less likely to shop on high streets with clustering, while businesses may be less willing to set up on roads with clusters of unsavoury takeaways and raunchy sex shows. Town halls and local people are calling on the government to reform the tools available to councils to make local planning decisions that can prevent unwelcome clustering hitting economic growth.

The study found 76% of council officers who answered its survey blamed strip clubs for undermining the vibrancy of high streets, while 69% also accused betting shops and 45% said groupings of takeaways hit economic growth.

Offsite Comment: The New Puritans

21st April 2012. See  article from by Oliver Cross

Members of the Local Government Association are probably natural new-puritans, being sober-minded types with a mission to organise people, so the very mention of gambling and nudity is likely to bring on pursed lips and tutting.

But modern puritans, not having the word of God to fall back on, have to rely on surveys -- they're the new Truth. Surveys can be easily manipulated and don't have to be published if they reach the wrong conclusions. They provide the new puritans with all the ammunition they need.

...Read the full article


19th April   

The Australian Sex Party...

A party doing very well down under
Link Here

If Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is worried by his party's poor showing in the polls, he might be advised to take some tips from another fairly liberal leader currently doing rather better down under.

Two weeks ago, Fiona Patten, convenor of the Australian Sex Party, celebrated her party's breakthrough into double digits, when they scored 10% of the vote in a Victoria state contest. This is approximately 2% better than polls are currently placing the UK's Lib Dems!

Fiona is in the UK this weekend delivering a keynote address to an academic conference, Onscenity, which is dedicated to exploring the new visibility of sex in commerce, culture and everyday life.

Her message is simple: small parties can make a difference. They need to make a difference. Fiona explains:

Proportional representation and very similar showing by the two main parties means that the Australian parliament has been hijacked by the religious right.

With just a small proportion of the votes, and rarely more than one or two seats nationally, parties with a religious or family values agenda have stalled a great deal of social reform in both major parties.

Our clear objective, in the Australian Sex Party, is to use the same system to give voice to the vast majority of Australian men and women who believe in allowing adults to be adults, and are sick and tired of being lectured to by a nanny legislature.

As a former sex worker and Chief Executive of the Eros adult trade association, Fiona is no stranger to controversy. However, her commitment to political change is serious, and despite adding a slight edge to Australian politics, the Sex Party's agenda is equally serious and unlikely to look out of place in many European states.

Their policies include a commitment to sex education in schools, as well as advocating a range of rights for women and members of other minority groups which are now taken for granted in most western nations.


17th April   

Update: I Candy...

Lap dancing club obtains planning permission in Accrington
Link Here
Full story: Lap Dancing in the North West...Moralists around Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle

A lap dancing club is to open in the Accrington town centre after councillors granted planning permission. The bar had already obtained a Sexual Entertainment licence.

The I Candy club, which is set to open on Blackburn Street will be the first of its kind in the Lancashire town.

Hundreds of people signed a petition against the club claiming it would have a detrimental impact on the town centre.

Hyndburn Borough Council planning committee approved the application saying: Members of the planning committee considered the planning application against all representations received as well as relevant development plan and national planning policies.


13th April   

Updated: Acting Safe...

AITA, UK adult trade association make an announcement about a possible HIV case involving a porn performer
Link Here

Trade body AITA is calling on all UK porn producers and performers to suspend all shoots immediately following reports that a performer has had an initial positive test for HIV.

The news was initially broken in an email from Adult Industry Resources which emphasised that it was a preliminary result which could still turn out to be a false alarm. The mail did not name the person but it said that the relevant NHS clinic would be contacting those who may be at risk through having worked with the person.

The content of the email was discussed on industry forums and Twitter and AITA has now issued the following statement:

AITA has heard this morning that a UK adult performer has had an initial positive test for HIV. This person is having a second test today to confirm. We call on producers and performers to do as follows:

1) Please suspend all shoots IMMEDIATELY, pending the results from the second test. Your health, the health of others and the potential future of your livelihood are all at stake.

2) If the result of the second test is positive, all shooting should be suspended while all performers are re-tested, particularly those performers who have worked directly or indirectly with the performer concerned.

3) All performers should use condoms with sexual partners while this process takes place to avoid any risk of further spread.

AITA will be working to get the full information on the situation and advise as we have the facts.

Update: Stand Down

13th April 2012. See  article from

Trade body AITA has confirmed that the UK adult performer who initially tested positive for HIV has undertaken a second test with negative HIV results. The performer is therefore clear of HIV and other sexual diseases and the industry-wide suspension on shooting has been lifted.


12th April

 Offsite Article: In the Lap of Necessity...

Link Here
The UK strip club industry is surviving the downturn, but only after women are being paid less to perform

See article from


8th April   

Update: Islington Clears Gay Bar of Needing Sex Entertainment Licence...

Confirming the intricate web of PC bollox that adult entertainment is fine for gay guys but abhorrent for straight guys
Link Here
Full story: Lap Dancing in London...Predictable nutter outrage throughout London

A pioneering gay bar and the last gay venue left in the borough of Islington was set for a 14,000 licensing tax bill. Central Station in Wharfdale Road appealed against the ruling that it needs a sex establishment licence at a Town Hall hearing.

Owner Duncan Irvine says it has been caught up in the government's crackdown on pole dancing and lap dancing clubs and that while there is sexual contact at some of its club nights, this is not the same as striptease entertainment, which it no longer provides.

The bar hosts club nights iincluding fetish clubs such as bondage nights, a club for naked men and a club for foot fetishists. I don't deny that there is sexual contact at some of these clubs, but it is not in the same order as paid-for entertainment, he claimed. He added that the club nights are run by outside organisations who are independent of the bar.

And Islington's licensing committee duly decided that the bar didn't need a licence after all.

Irvine said:

It's a huge weight off my mind because it's something we have been really worried about. It's a lot of money to pay for nothing extra.

We wouldn't have had to close if forced to pay for a licence -- desperate times call for desperate measures and we would have found a way.


7th April   

Extract: Halved Sums...

Stringfellows and Ann Summers post reports of halved profits
Link Here

The austerity sweeping the country is taking a toll on Britain's sex industry.

The Latest accounts for Stringfellow Restaurants relating to Stringfellow's lap dancing venues show pre-tax profit fell to 480,096 for 2011 from 702,811 but with sales rising to 9.4m from 8.7m.

Meanwhile privately owned Ann Summers, controlled by pleasure entrepreneur David Gold, said it was forced to launch new value ranges in an attempt to beat the downturn. It said the tough trading climate had forced it to slash prices and splash out on costly promotions to compete with cut price rivals. Cheap websites offering discounted bras and knickers, along with less racy alternatives hawked by the big supermarket giants, hurt Ann Summers.

This caused profits at the Surrey-based business to also almost halve. Pre-tax annual profits fell to 2.7m from 5.7m while sales also fell to 115m from 118m, latest accounts reveal.

...Read the full article


7th April   

Update: Leamington Moralists...

Lap dancing club again refused a licence
Link Here

Shades nightclub in Leamington Old Town applied again to get permission for a sex establishment licence .

Last June the former lap-dancing venue was refused permission for the licence by Warwick District Council - citing bollox about the possible negative effect it could have on the area.

Under the Policing and Crime Act 2009, no business is allowed to re-apply for a licence within a year but a fortnight ago bosses of Shades did file a new application. A council licensing spokesman explained: They believe there to be a possible loophole in so far as an individual can re-apply, rather than the business, and the council will have to decide if that is permitted.

Leamington mayor Alan Wilkinson, also a town councillor, told The Observer: I am disappointed another application has gone in. It would really bring the down the tone of an area we are trying to clear up.

But the venue has now been refused license for the second time. The council's regulatory committee cited the same bollox reasons, that it was somehow due to the negative effect the authority felt it would have on the area.

A council licensing spokesman spewed to the Observer: It has nothing to do with the nature of the sexual entertainment industry, or to do with how this club has been run, it is due to its location, which is felt that such activities are inappropriate for. There is no right of appeal against this refusal.


4th April   

Erotica 2012 Cancelled...

Major London adult fair cancelled
Link Here

Erotica 2012 has been cancelled following an in-depth review of the market by the show organisers. The adult lifestyle consumer event will return in 2013 with a new generation format, possibly in a different venue and at an earlier time of year.

The cost of a tenancy at London's Olympia rises every year in line with the Retail Price Index and Erotica's Savvas Christodoulou told ETO that it would have been difficult to run Erotica 2012 without either increasing the price of entry tickets or charging exhibitors significantly more than they had paid previously.

Erotica is one of the best-known consumer events in the UK, reportedly chalking up more visitors than the Ideal Home Show at its peak. It has been staged annually at London's Olympia for the last 17 years.

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