The new UK porn legislation will turn erotic film into boring, unrealistic male fantasy

Prohibiting something doesn't make it unattainable, it only makes it more desirable

Today, pornography in the UK has been quietly censored, with a long list of acts now banned from film. As an erotic film maker, I'm saddened by what I hear, not only because my fellow producers will suffer as businesses, but because what is most apparent is the enforced restriction on what appears to be acts from which women derive pleasure.

Porn and adult film has always been a very male dominated industry - we need more women in porn as it is -  but it seems that we are now back in an era of Victorian morality. The suppression of sexuality in the UK is not a new development, but recently it appeared that we were making some progress. The last year, for example, has seen a huge increase in women speaking out more freely about their sexuality. Suddenly, we're seeing more female porn producers, and more adult film created specifically for women. So it should come as little surprise to me, knowing the struggle that we have had to break porn away from the masculine industry and regulation, that these same women are now being oppressed.

It's 2014, and we need to acknowledge that sexuality is key to human nature, whether that be the so-called "normal sex" as we imagine it, or kinkier desires.

The fact is that porn does need to change, and on a big scale. But this legislation is not a step in the right direction. It has been put in place because of a supposed need to safeguard children, but prohibiting something doesn't make it unattainable, it only makes it more desirable.

Teenagers will watch pornography probably before they've even had their first sexual encounter. Rather than denying them access to porn completely, which simply doesn't work when it is so endlessly available online, or limiting what they can see, therefore limiting what they perceive as “normal”, we should be educating them better. Is it correct to teach our children that certain sexual acts are wrong and others not? When a lot of these "R18 rules" are targeted at censoring female pleasure – female ejaculation is one of the banned activities - doesn’t that perpetuate the poor gender education our children are already receiving? We should be teaching them about the importance of female pleasure, not censoring it.

With this legislation, the UK is in danger of finding itself back in an age where porn is simply the boring, unrealistic, male fantasy of bimbos eagerly pleasing men as if it is their duty, where women are submissive and lack ownership of their sexuality. Women in the industry will now fear the loss of their livelihoods as well as their sexual independence.

In the industry, the thought is that many of these "rules" make no sense. How could female ejaculation possibly be any more "dangerous" than male ejaculation? This is utterly demeaning.

We need to rethink what is offensive or dangerous and what is, in fact, normal human nature, and remember that it’s more important to educate than regulate.

Erika is an award-winning erotic film director

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