Should porn have a 'code of conduct'?

The government should create an "ethical code of conduct" for pornography to protect participants and viewers of sexually explicit content, a controversial BBC Radio 4 documentary will suggest.

In Can Porn Be Ethical? on tonight, Nichi Hodgson (pictured below) a former dominatrix who writes about the sex industry, suggests that the watching and making of pornography could be policed by a "kitemark" which would safeguard standards and best practices.

The code, which could be backed by legislation, would cover pay and hours for porn actors, making sure participants are happy with the activities they're taking part in, the setting of strict consensual boundaries, the verification of ages, health checks and rules on how the images will be distributed.

"It would be good for society to at least explore an ethical code of conduct for pornography," said Hodgson, who talks to actors about practices that bother them, and visits a so-called "feminist porn" shoot in Brighton for the documentary.

The programme contains a discussion over whether female ejaculation should have been among the acts which can no longer be depicted. A change in the law last year requires that video-on-demand online porn must now adhere to the guidelines for DVD releases by the British Board of Film Censors, ruling out "spanking" and "aggressive whipping".

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