Proposed porn ban seeks to censor women’s pleasure

Among the other junk that happened in November 2016, legislation was considered by parliament that would regulate the world of online porn. And by regulate I mean ban a number of selected “non-conventional” sexual acts.

I get it: let’s all cough loudly, look the other way and pretend this has nothing to do with us. Porn? Haven’t seen that since I was a horny prepubescent teenager, obviously. Coughs again.

The problem is, however, is that it does have something to do with us. This ban includes sex acts that could be considered controversial and leaves us wondering what future generations will learn about sex and the roles they can play within it. Do we really want sixteen-year-olds growing up and watching porn, not only thinking their genitals have to be nine inches long with not have a pube in sight but with warped ideas and expectations of female ejaculation?

The censorship could include, but isn’t limited to, the following acts:

  • Spanking
  • Caning
  • Aggressive whipping
  • Penetration by any object associated with violence
  • Physical or verbal abuse (regardless of if consensual)
  • Urolagnia (known as “water sports”)
  • Role-playing as non-adults
  • Physical restraint
  • Humiliation
  • Female ejaculation
  • Strangulation
  • Face sitting
  • Fisting
  • In a society where the word porn is almost on the same level as saying Voldemort, this bill moves to condone misogynistic restrictions upon our sexual freedom. The ban focuses on sexual acts that are deemed “violent” even when consensual, which will perhaps lead to prejudice on certain fetishes in the future. It includes the decision to ban female ejaculation but not male cum shots or cream pies — i.e. when a man ejaculates on a specific body part, normally the face. I’m not going to lie, I had to Google ‘cream pie’ and I was faced with both tasty looking desserts and pretty disturbing definitions from Urban Dictionary. Anyway, I digress.

    The ban looks to favour the pleasure of a man and disregards those of a woman. So what can we do about it? Lead by example. Here’s what a few millennials (I hate that term) had to say about their own experiences and thoughts on the proposed ban.

    Sam Creamer, 23

    I think that the list of sexual acts to be banned in porn is the first step on a slippery slope in which the government begins to slowly dictate what people can and can’t consume on the internet. If they start with porn they’ll eventually move towards censoring things like political ideologies, WikiLeaks, independent news sources and so on. One thing that isn’t on the list but is included in the bill is the umbrella term “non-conventional sex acts”. Does this mean anal sex with a woman or two men together, or two women together? Even oral sex could be considered “non-conventional” from a purely scientific basis.

    From a scientific point of view the purpose of sexual intercourse is for a man to come inside a woman, so technically speaking that makes body cumshots unconventional, too. If you are later caught breaking the law by viewing this content are you allegedly guilty of a sex crime? If you are, does this mean you are required to be on the sex offender’s register?

    Thalia Kemp, 22

    I am personally very anti-pornography, as I don’t agree with the way women are treated within the industry. It makes me angry to think that young boys might watch this and will then think that treating women in this animalistic way is both normal and acceptable. I’m pleased that a lot of these are on the list such as spanking, whipping, caning, abuse, humiliation, fisting, and strangulation – all of which can be very violent and disturbing.

    Young people who are particularly exposed to this type of pornography may be easily led to think that it looks interesting and wish to try it out for themselves. Things like strangulation could lead to someone passing out or even accidental death in extreme cases. Role-playing as non-adults within porn could encourage paedophiles to act on their fantasies and put a child at risk. If porn were not so much about control, power, and humiliation I do not think so many people would have a problem with others indulging in it.

    Shayra Melendez, 30

    I’m a little surprised at some of the acts included in the ban. Spanking as an example – what’s wrong with that? I thought everyone liked being spanked. I do understand the ban on role-playing as non-adults but I am on the fence on this, while I understand that paedophiles have urges (they are sick) I would much rather they get their pleasure by seeing an adult pretending to be a child performing sexual acts than an actual child being abused. I don’t want to assume that everyone who enjoys role playing as a non-adult is a paedophile but I’m being honest, it’s the first thing that comes to mind.

    I saw a video once where two men broke into a woman’s home (a porn with pretty good acting and an actual plot) and the woman is, of course, portraying someone who has always fantasised about being raped. I think it’s dangerous to give anyone the idea that women feel that way. Another video showing abuse made me really sad, this woman was hit in the face and being gagged by a penis made her throw up multiple times. I understand that different things turn on different people but I saw that video and I felt so sad for her.

    I think people have a hard time talking about porn because it’s association with masturbating and masturbation is sometimes still seen as shameful. I will never understand it. I had an argument with my son’s grandmother a few years back because he would always touch his penis and she, of course, felt like I should punish him and I was like “No way! Absolutely not. Who am I to tell him what he can do with his own body?”

    I did have a talk with him — I explained that he should not be ashamed, that it’s normal for him to want to touch himself but that he should do so during his alone time. That didn’t sit well with his conservative other half of the family but I just can’t imagine ever making anyone feel ashamed about pleasing themselves.

    I think what’s even more surprising is the fact that I cannot even speak about masturbation to my partners. I am currently dating someone who identifies as asexual, I am whatever the complete opposite of what asexual is. She grew up in a home where sex talk was a no-no, and even as an adult, I can see how uncomfortable it makes her when I talk about it.


    Opinions on the sexual acts ban differ from person to person based on their own experiences, and although it is clear that some form of regulation is very much needed in pornography, it becomes difficult to find a balance between guidelines for protection and mere violation of sexual freedom.

    People are definitely more experimental in their bedroom antics these days — take this article in Cosmopolitan magazine about a man who was “pegged” (anal sex where a woman wears a strap-on and assumes a dominant position over the man) and how it led him to this great realisation of why women find it so difficult to open up to a man during sex. Literally and emotionally.

    Sex is a personal journey that is constantly evolving and banning these acts in pornography now won’t stop couples from experimenting. At the very least, those in charge of the pornography industry should be looking to make their content more realistic so that viewers can get an accurate portrayal of positions and fantasies they’d like to try in a safe and secure manner.

    The sexual acts that have been chosen for banning in pornography don’t seem very thought-out at all. In my head all I can imagine is a very prudish old man writing a list with a quill and ink: “Female ejaculation?” he laughs, the deep booming sound almost blowing out the candlelight and echoing off of the heavily-tapestried walls. “Whatever FOR!?”

    This is an opinion piece that expresses views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of It Equals.

    Kiran

    Kiran is a film and art enthusiast who believes that creative expression is key to personal wellbeing. She enjoys writing culture pieces and features on minority groups, as well as reportage on mental health and sex.