From the land of tea and crumpets comes a head-scratchingly conservative ruling on porn: as of this week, spanking, fisting, watersports, female ejaculation, and facesitting are officially banned in the UK.
British BDSM fans, fear not: you'll still be able to watch your favorite stuff, as long as it's produced elsewhere—the new legislation, called Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, applies only to smut that's produced in-country. The list of banned acts, via the Independent:
Penetration by any object "associated with violence"
Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of if consensual)
Urolagnia (known as "water sports")
The final three listed fall under acts the BBFC views as potentially "life-endangering".
Porn sold on DVD was already required to meet the puzzling standards laid out by the British Board of Film Censors, but the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 brings video-on-demand online porn (that's "online porn you still pay for, essentially," Vice says) under the same microscope.
Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, who performs feminist-centric dominatrix porn as Ms Tytania—one clip involves "men being forced to recite radical feminist writing from the 1960s," Vice writes—called the new rules "absurd and surreal":
"The new legislation is absurd and surreal," says Urrutia. "I mean, why ban facesitting? What's so dangerous about it? It's a harmless activity that most femdom performers, myself included, do fully dressed anyway. Its power is symbolic: woman on top, unattainable.
"While mainstream porn will be peddled without fear by the large studios – often owned by the same media moguls who denounce the 'sexualisation' of our culture – more niche, less clichéd sexual interests will disappear. It's the corporate shopping chain crushing independent shops on the high street by piling it high and marketing it to the dumbest common denominator."