The new online porn regulations and how they disproportionately affect women

Content note: this post discusses consensual BDSM

Today, new regulations have come into force which bans vast swathes of online porn. Fisting’s on the list, obviously, because someone at the CPS has an enormous fetish for showing juries fisting porn. So is hard impact play, simulated non-consent, urination, facesitting, and female ejaculation, among other things. The justification is that this is an attempt to bring online video under the same regulations as would apply to porn DVDs.

Which is all very well and good until you notice that these regulations are ridiculous when applied to porn DVDs too.

If we look at the list again, we see some strange things. It’s worth noting that facefucking–an activity which, when shown in porn often involves a man putting his penis in a woman’s mouth hard and fast (so basically, exactly how it sounds)–a staple of mainstream heterosexual (and often deeply misogynistic) porn isn’t on the list. It’s fine to be there on DVDs, and it’s fine online. Meanwhile, facesitting–which usually involves a woman sitting on a man’s face–is banned. So, a representation of female dominance is banned, while a representation of male dominance is perfectly legal.

Furthermore, the new guidelines explicitly say that actual consent of the performers is immaterial. What matters is how it appears. I’ve written before about the major concerns I have when dismissing real consent in porn. The consent of all involved should be a central concern, but once again, it isn’t.

It’s been pointed out that a lot of people who were, until recently, doing pretty well in the online marketplace, are femdoms, dominatrixes and dommes. These women have been independently producing their own porn, and profiting from this work, without having to rely on the male-ruled world of the mainstream porn industry and porn production. What this legislation does is strip businesswomen of their livelihood, while letting the men get on with making their commercial ventures.

If this doesn’t convince you that these guidelines are terrible, note that even female pleasure is banned under these new regulations. Female ejaculation is banned, because it is considered indistinct from urination: something anyone who has ever squirted will laugh out of town.

So, ultimately, what these new regulations have done is rip away a space for women to express alternatives to the models of sexuality we are sold, and replace all this with what a bunch of men behind closed doors have decided it’s appropriate for us to see. Unsurprisingly, what they don’t want us to be looking at or producing is us stepping out of our patriarchy-approved gender roles and onto a pair of stretched-out balls.

Update: Myles Jackman has provided a full list of what’s allowed and what isn’t. It’s worse than I thought! For example, swallowing semen is allowed, but swallowing or consuming ejaculate from a vulva isn’t!!!!!!!!!!!!!


6 responses to “The new online porn regulations and how they disproportionately affect women

  • syrens

    Reblogged this on syrens and commented:
    New UK regulations of online porn disproportionately affect women. This isn’t surprising. Most laws enacted to regulate human sexuality are enacted to control ours.

  • Rilian Sharp

    thaank yoou for the content warning, it makes it a lot easier for me : )

  • Skeggjold

    Wow I’m so conflicted on this. Parts of me want equality firmly and fairly and other parts of me want total ban. I watch porn but some of it really does offend me. Face fucking for example is something I think the world can do without. I have read on the damage it does to the actresses. To that to censor or ban I feel is not right but it makes feel like I’m endorsing pimps and other predators to legally prey upon young women. Yes they do prey upon them and destroy them physiologically for life. Yuck …..

  • Jonathan Kent

    Insane and unsupportable. An effective way to challenge this would be for a group of women film makers to make a video that broke all of these rules and have it prosecuted. The regulators might win but they’d never recover from the ridicule.

  • nigelthedragon

    Well if they need to go on such an epic banfest, why not ban ALL porn? Why just leave the misogynistic stuff? It only makes their women-hating behavior look PAINFULLY obvious!
    I guess now no-one has the right to whine when their girlfriend won’t let them look at porn simply because she doesn’t like it. No crap Sherlock! Now there is NOTHING for women TO LIKE in porn!
    Yet another reason to put me off this ‘industry’ even more. It was severely misogynistic before they started banning everything anyway.😦

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