by Ian Jade
Do not criminalise recordings of “consensual non-consent”
Responsible department: Ministry of Justice
In January, the Government intends to make the possession of images depicting certain types of legal, consensual sex a criminal act, punishable by up to 3 years in prison.
This is because, although both people who are engaging in sex have consented to do so, they have chosen to pretend that one of them has little or no choice in the matter, for the duration of the scene.
This is known as acting.
We believe that it should remain legal to watch and possess recordings showing scenes which simulate this kind of coercion, just as it will remain legal to watch films depicting simulations of theft, affray, kidnapping, dangerous driving, murder, alien invasion and other criminal activities, whether that be for entertainment or education.
[In addition, scenes depicting coercive sex in mainstream cinema would be treated as pornographic, when removed from the surrounding material. This is frequently done in order to study, comment on or satirise a work which in its entirity would be acceptable under the BBFC guidelines. We therefore further oppose the criminalising and retrospective censorship of similar, existing works, in whole or in part.]
The damage done by criminalising this kind of sexual expression would be difficult to publicly measure, dealing as it does with dark, intimate fantasies, but many people – women and men – enjoy participating in and watching it. To call them criminals for wishing to explore their own sexuality safely, through images, rather than in person, would surely stigmatise and harm them.
(If you do want changes, for goodness’ sake, SUGGEST them! I’m not psychic…)
23.00 – [EDIT to include para on mainstream cinema]
23.30 – [EDIT to remove emphasis capitals]
23.30 – [EDIT to reword para on cinema – thanks, Molly!]