U.K. Revises Obscenity Laws to Allow Fisting, Squirting, BDSM

By on February 1, 2019
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London, UK – The British Board of Film Classification confirmed that it has revised its own R18 standards in line with the new CPS guidance issued today. The BBFC is the new age-verification regulator for online adult content. AV controls are slated to begin in the spring.

Fisting, watersports, BDSM and squirting porn are now effectively legal to distribute in the country.

The move by the CPS comes after years of work by campaigners, such as “Obscenity Lawyer” Myles Jackman, who fought for the draconian rules to be abolished.

“This is landmark moment for the adult industry in the U.K. and globally as, by embedding the concept of ‘full and freely exercised consent’ in English law, porn producers can produce and distribute content of activities which are legal to perform in the U.K., such as watersports, fisting, squirting, certain types of BDSM, for the first time,” the London-based Jackman said.

“In principle, anything which is legal to consent to doing is now legal to consent to distribute images of, providing the likely audience is over the age of 18. The law has finally caught up with social standards.”

Jackman, the only lawyer in the U.K. who specializes in obscenity law and sexual freedoms, was the defense solicitor in the landmark Michael Peacock and Simon Walsh obscenity trials in the U.K. In the latter trial he was the first acting solicitor allowed to live tweet from a British trial.

Jackman also acts as legal director for the London-based Open Rights Group, a group that focuses on preserving digital rights and freedoms.

A CPS spokesperson said the change to the Obscene Publications Act followed a public consultation.

“It is not for the CPS to decide what is considered good taste or objectionable,” the CPS spokesperson said. “We do not propose to bring charges based on material that depicts consensual and legal activity between adults, where no serious harm is caused and the likely audience is over the age of 18.

“The CPS will, however, continue to robustly apply the law to anything which crosses the line into criminal conduct and serious harm.”

Later in the day, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) confirmed in a statement to the BBC that it has revised its own R18 standards in line with the new CPS guidance. The BBFC is the new age-verification regulator for online adult content. AV controls are slated to begin in the spring.

The BBFC said: “Because the Obscene Publications Act does not define what types of material are likely to be considered obscene, we rely upon guidance from the CPS as to what classes of material they consider likely to be suitable for prosecution.”

“We are aware that the CPS have updated their guidance on obscene publications today and we have now adjusted our own internal policies to reflect that revised guidance.”

The new regulations on obscene publications can be seen here on the CPS website, which was revised today.

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