Person

The sex acts being officially banned from UK porn

Posted by in offbeat
              
istock-501464604.jpg
Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A list of sexual acts have been banned from UK pornography for being offensive, obscene or potentially 'life endangering'.

On Tuesday evening MPs did not oppose the third reading of the Digital Economy Bill, bringing it well on its way to becoming law.

The bill, once enacted, will see multiple sex acts banned from pornography, and also force consumers to request access to porn by signing up to an age verification programme.

The verification programme has been criticised for its implementation, which some argue would inevitably lead to a register of viewing habits of users.

Following the unopposed reading in the House of Commons, it will now go to the House of Lords.

Banned acts

Specifically, websites will not be banned from hosting the material, but banned from showing them to anyone in the UK.

Some pornography already does self-censorship, such as xHamster which prompts users searching for 'rape' videos on their website to get psychological treatment.

A clause of the Digital Economy Bill applies the rules of the Audio Visual Media Services Regulations 2014 decree to online porn.

This means that video-on-demand porn must adhere to the same rules that govern porn available from a licensed sex shop.

These are governed by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)

The BBFC been deemed some sex acts as "content that is not acceptable" for reasons of obscenity, or for being potentially 'life endangering'.

The restrictions mean that in practice the following acts are banned.

  • Spanking
  • Caning
  • Aggressive whipping
  • Penetration by any object "associated with violence"
  • Physical or verbal abuse (regardless if consensual)
  • Urolagnia (known as "water sports")
  • Role-playing as non-adults
  • Physical restraint
  • Humiliation
  • Female ejaculation
  • Strangulation
  • Face sitting
  • Fisting

Criminal and illegal acts banned by other legislation are banned from pornography, as a matter of course.

Under its letters of designation the BBFC may not classify anything that may breach the law.

A BBFC spokesperson told indy100 that while there is not a formal 'list of rules', the BBFC has statutory obligations to consider harm when it classified any content including 18 and R18 rated sex works.

The spokesperson explained that the BBFC refuses classify pornographic works that:

 Depict and encourage rape, including gang rape; depict non-consensual violent abuse against women; promote an interest in incestuous behaviour; promote an interest in sex with children; and bestiality. The Digital Economy Bill defines this type of unclassifiable material as 'prohibited'.

In 2015 12 per cent (18 of 152) works cut by ther BBFC were compulsory cuts under the Obscene Publications Act.

 

Unsatisfactory

The bill is all pervasive in some areas, and surprisingly lax in others. Critics from the right such as former culture secretary John Whittingdale have complained that it fails to cover pornography that goes unregulated through social media sites such as Twitter.

The porn clauses are not the only controversial parts of this bill. The proposed law will 'crack down' on online ticket hawkers, and also transfer the cost of free TV licenses to the over 75s to the BBC.

The minister responsible for the bill Matthew Hancock has said it is "not a utopia, but a very important step", and recognises the inefficacy of many of the porn clauses.


More: Every British swear word has been officially ranked in order of offensiveness

More: This Tory MP has delivered a speech while staring at the words 'c*** gobbler'

More: A Japanese porn star has revealed the horrific extent of abuse she suffered​

Keep scrolling for next article