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"Non-Conventional" Sex Acts To Be Banned From UK Porn

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Photo: Rockie Nolan
Porn fans in the UK could soon be banned from viewing a whole host of so-called "non-conventional" sex acts online, under a proposed new law currently going through parliament.

Under a clause in the government's Digital Economy Bill, anything that wouldn't be allowed on a commercially available DVD would be banned.

Internet service providers would be forced to block sites hosting a large range of adult content, and mainstream porn sites would have to block whole sections for UK audiences, reported The Guardian.

Shockingly, porn that features female ejaculation – but not male – and menstrual blood looks likely to be banned, as well as spanking, whipping or caning that leaves marks, and sex acts involving urination and sex in public.
This is despite the fact it's legal for consenting over-16s to perform these acts, and for adults to film, distribute and watch them in the vast majority of other liberal countries.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), which is responsible for classifying and censoring films, doesn't have a definitive list of forbidden sex acts, but adult film producers who have worked with the regulator say they've been forced to cut almost all non-conventional sex acts from their films.

Another such act is the "four-finger rule", which restricts the number of fingers that can be placed into an opening on film, The Independent reported.

The proposals wouldn't ban porn sites from hosting these sex acts, but it would be illegal for them to make the content available to UK users.

Free speech campaigners said the ban would mark an invasion into people's sex lives. Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of campaign group Index on Censorship, said: “It should not be the business of government to regulate what kinds of consensual adult sex can be viewed by adults,” The Guardian reported.

Jerry Barnett, a free speech campaigner and author of Porn Panic!, a book about porn censorship in the UK, called many of the guidelines "inexplicable" and said the ban on female ejaculation was "particularly strange".

Others argued it was ridiculous to be regulating material showing acts that aren't even criminal. “If we are regulating things like menstrual blood or urination, that’s detracting from a focus on what I think is really the harmful material, and that would be material around child sexual abuse, but also around sexual violence,” Professor Clare McGlynn, an expert on pornography laws at Durham University and co-founder of the Centre for Gender Equal Media, told The Guardian.

Pandora Blake, who runs a website specialising in spanking videos, argued that the law would restrict the expression of people like her with "marginalised sexualities", particularly considering such fetishes aren't "harmful to society".

A government spokesperson said point of the law is to "protect children with the same safeguards online as as they have offline", and that the BBFC wasn't being asked to "police the internet".

Also contained within the digital economy bill are strict age verification checks, which would require porn sites to check whether its users are over 18.
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