Saturday, March 22, 2003

Obscene Publications Act
The Obscene Publications Act has existed in some form since 1857, when it was applied to literature and in some cases to illicit lithographs. It has been updated a number of times since then to cover more contemporary forms of ‘obscene’ material. It’s most notable revision was in 1959 when the definition of ‘material likely to deprave or corrupt’ was first used. (In 1857 the definition was based on what a Father could read aloud in his own home, if the fellow felt he could not, then it was deemed obscene). Other amendments were made in 1964 and again in 1977 when erotic films were first included.

As with most Acts, most of it is legalese, numerous clauses of mumbo-jumbo for lawyers to argue over in the court room and consequently justify their inflated fees. The Act itself reads like a series of statements deliberately concocted to plug the many loopholes in the basic concept of censorship.

Given the abstract nature of obscenity it is clearly a difficult area to enshrine in law. What is obscene is, like beauty and quality, open to individual interpretation. Quite clearly Mary Whitehouse’s definition differs significantly from that of Mary Millington. But it is this antiquated Act that the BBFC still consider when classifying every film, video, DVD and trailer we see.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Why R18 movies are cut and what is removed

BBFC – What they censor
When the BBFC changed it’s stance on pornography in August 2001 it published a clear set of guidelines as to what could and couldn’t be seen. (A full version of these guidelines is available from the BBFC). Prior to this date explicit images were rarely passed, those which were usually either being part of rare experiments to test public reaction or justified at the standard 18 certificate by being presented in an educational context.

The 2001 guidelines are based upon a number of Acts passed by parliament; these include the Protection Of Children Act 1978, the Obscene Publications Act 1959, the Cinematograph Films (Animals Act) 1937, the Video Recordings Act 1984 as well as consultation during 1999/2000 to assess public opinion on what it was prepared to look at. These Acts, as well as the nation’s attitude, were all considered when compiling the 2001 guidelines. For more information on the Obscene Publications Act and the Video Recordings Act please see elsewhere on this site.

The new guidelines for the R18 certificate allowed; aroused genitalia, masturbation, oral genital contact including kissing, licking and sucking, penetration by finger, penis, tongue, vibrator or dildo, non-harmful fetish material, group sexual activity and ejaculation and semen. The guidelines make no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual activity.

The BBFC also stated what will not be passed. Perhaps unsurprisingly this list is significantly longer than the one of permitted material. There are four main categories that are not allowed; violence, abuse, degradation/humiliation and what are called ‘legal issues’. Analysis of what actually is being cut from pornographic films submitted for classification gives an insight in to how the guidelines are currently being interpreted.

Annual statistic released by the BBFC show that they are now cutting more films than ever before and that the duration of the cuts is getting longer. However this is being blamed on the amount of hardcore porn they are now classifying which stands at around 1000 films per year. In the past distributors would pre-cut films prior to sending them for classification, hoping for a quick pass, but nowadays distributors are simply passing the BBFC the original tapes and leaving the cut to them. When cuts are recommended this can mean that distributors actually cut more than the BBFC ask for, rather than snip out the offending material they simply delete the whole scene.

Between August 2001 and March 2003 approximately 1821 videos and DVD’s were classified R18, of those 240 (13%) have been cut in some way. The length of cut differs between 3 seconds and 95 minutes. In some cases distributors substitute other material for that which is deleted in order to preserve a reasonable running time and value for money for their customers. The unluckiest distributor of all is Queensway who, out of 45 titles submitted to date, have been forced to make cuts to 33 (73%).

What is being cut
Violence – any activity which restricts breathing or blood flow, any activity which seem to be causing distress, rape scenarios, any evidence of lack of consent, any restraint meaning consent cannot be withdrawn (e.g. ball gags), penetration by objects likely to cause harm or that are associated with violence (knives, guns etc), insertion of more than four fingers or a foot into the vagina or anus, or any activity which causes pain or physical discomfort (e.g. hot wax on skin).

Abuse – reference to, or depiction of, incestuous relationships, use of language such as teen, teeny or teenage which could encourage interest in underage sex, adult actors portraying or role-playing as children or reference to sexual development during childhood.

Degradation/humiliation – defecation, bestiality, necrophilia, urolagnia (peeing portrayed in a sexual context).

Legal issues – reference to illegal behaviour (e.g. underage sex), depictions of outdoor sex filmed in the UK.

Obviously many of the above subjects could fall into two or more categories, bestiality or necrophilia could perhaps fall into all four. I will explore in more detail the reasons behind some of these cuts being made in the following paragraphs.

Degradation, humiliation, violence and abuse
The principals which cause images of degradation and humiliation to be suppressed are mostly based on moral judgements, with these morals often based on the prudish stance of our Victorian forbearers. There are many individuals who get an immense sexual thrill out of being pissed on, spat on, shat on or verbally abused and equally those who are turned on by doing it or watching it. Where these images are produced in a consensual environment it is difficult to see what, other than simple moral prejudice, is forcing these activities to be cut. So far no distributors have submitted a film for consideration by the BBFC that depicts bestiality, necrophilia or defecation. Films have however been submitted that have had scenes of spitting and pissing removed.

There are those among society who enjoy more aggressive pleasures such as sadomasochism, corporal punishment or dangerous penetrative activities – where some form of violence can be actual rather than just implied. The BBFC guidelines state that some mild fetish material will be passed, but this falls well short of the mark that satisfies the tastes of many CP and S&M enthusiasts. It is this area the guidelines fail to make clear. There is a ‘grey area’ between violence and sexual behaviour which is politically not well understood and as a consequence the decision is to err on the safe side and remove material which involves violence of any kind. Until there is a better understanding of the links between sex and violence it seems unlikely that the BBFC will relax their attitude to such material. The irony is that these two themes appear alongside each other in many 18, 15 and even some 12 certificate films where it is not deemed to be a problem. So interestingly, it seems that it is the explicit portrayal of sexual imagery that is the unknown factor, that it is the sex, and not the violence, that the BBFC believe tips the viewer over the edge.

Practically any reference to children is cut on the grounds that it might encourage interest in the subject. This has led to a number of films with the word teen, teeny and teenage having their titles changes to something less referential. Incestuous relationships, straight or gay, are cut on the grounds of it being illegal in the case of heterosexuals and ‘likely’ to encourage unhealthy relationships between same sex siblings which could potentially infringe legal age of consent and become child abuse. Naturally this is a thorny area and rightly or wrongly any threat of it corrupting us is removed prior to our viewing.

It is occasionally stated that, on their arrest, violent or sex criminals had pornography in their home but usually no more is made of this other than prosecutions trying to make the owner look a little deviant or emotionally misguided. There are of course many millions of other porn owners who are not in the slightest bit deviant and have no intention of either molesting a nurse, sleeping with their siblings or exposing themselves in the park.

Pissing, female ejaculation and public nudity
Out of all the subjects likely to be cut peeing and nudity filmed externally in the UK seem the most ludicrous. There is legislation regarding public decency and indecent exposure which relates to situations where sexual activity is taking place outdoors or in public areas in the UK. This legislation prohibits such activity and therefore visual depictions of it are illegal. If a distributor/copywrite owner can provide assurance that the footage is filmed (or it is obvious) outside the UK, it is acceptable.

Peeing is removed from hardcore porn films if it is shown in a sexual context (urolagnia). If an actor is seen peeing onto their co-star this is considered to be a degrading act and consequently cut.

The fact that peeing is passed provided it is not urolagnia means that UK punters still get a chance to see it provided they buy the right tapes. Ben Dover has straddled the line as to what is permitted with two of his titles. In Royal Reamers 2 we are shown images of an actress breaking off her intercourse and dashing to the smallest room to empty her bladder. As she does this in the bath and not onto anyone it is passed, but Ben falls foul of the censor in Housewives Fantasies 2 when the star relieves herself directly above a willing Mario Pininfarina. Super-Mario seems to genuinely enjoy the experience and does not seem to be degraded or humiliated and yet the sequence is still trimmed. Whilst the guidelines are being interpreted in this way it is hard to conclude that the BBFC are exercising their power in a logical fashion or with any rational appreciation as to what the words they are interpreting actually mean.

The BBFC also fail to recognise female ejaculation as a physical process and consequently classify any scenes involving ‘squirting’ as being of urination. As ejaculation can only occur in a sexual scenario all depictions of this are bound to be cut. (The film Young Gushers is notorious as the most butchered R18 to date with an amazing 95 minutes and 15 seconds of cuts and substitutions). There has been much medical debate as to the reality of female ejaculation and as yet the BBFC remain unconvinced. This leaves us in the curiously sexist scenario of being able to watch a man shoot copious ropes of jizz out of the end of his penis whereas we cannot watch a woman perform the same function.

Is it a fair cut?
The problem with mass regulation of visual media is that the majority of us do not need to be regulated at all. As stable adults we are perfectly capable of making our own choices and interpreting what we see in a sensible and rational manner. Most of the cuts made by the BBFC are done so in order to protect those vulnerable members of the community who might be unduly influenced by images of violent or sexual behaviour. Where most adults could sit through hours of the most extreme viewing and be unaffected, there will always be those who will be, and sadly it is on their behalf that the BBFC are operating.

The BBFC often state that many of their decisions are ‘in line with the current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act’. It would seem that the current interpretation is a little heavy handed and although there is probably good reason to trim some material there is also no justification to cut other stuff especially that which falls into the more moral arena. Whether future interpretations could be more relaxed remains to be seen. I shall keep my fingers crossed and you updated via this website.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Tick Tock Review

Title Tick Tock (video)
Director Angie Dowling
Starring Crystal, Diamond, Rocky Bang Bang, El Capitano
Genre Lesbian
Score 5/10

This is a film aimed at a lesbian audience however on the front cover alongside banners like‘100% lesbian made’ and ‘real lesbians enjoying real sex’ is the caption ‘XXX hardcore girl-on-girl porn’ so we must presume that the distributors (if not the filmmakers) are hoping straight men and couples will buy it too. For this reason there is some expectation that there will be enough material contained within to satisfy most pornography fans… well, I’m not sure this will satisfy most lesbians let alone anyone else.

The box tells us that Tick Tock is a comedy set in a converted clock-house in London and revolves around the lives of seven women who live or work in the flats. This sets the scenario for the sex to play out in but I would advise taking the word ‘comedy’ very lightly. If this is comedy at all, it is the type of weird stuff that made Victor Borge a living for a number of years. This is comedy of the worst type, comedy without laughs.

The film starts promisingly enough and we are introduced to the keyboard soundtrack that will probably irritate you by the end. We also see some innovative speech bubble captioning (innovative for a porn film anyway) but this peters out all too quickly and once the action is underway, it doesn’t reoccur. The device is a clever one as it saves Angie Dowling having to direct her actors in dialog scenes and maybe given their ‘acting’ skills we are all the better for it. All the girls however are good looking and enthusiastic in their jobs.

The sex scenes in the film are intercut as we flick between three couple getting it on. Our eyes are essentially those of the female security guard, Big Bad Finn G’her (a name you would hope is an in joke for the cast as if it’s meant to be an amusing innuendo, it isn’t). Big Bad Finn sits at her desk watching the residents get jiggy on CCTV at the same time buzzing her clitorio with a vibrator.

For those of you who prefer more subtle porn this is the movie for you. There are virtually no close ups and in fact with only a few seconds of trimming this movie could easily have secured a regular 18 certificate.

Scene 1
Straight laced Angel receives a visit from denim clad, tattooed Rocky Bang Bang. The liaison is arranged by Angel’s flatmate Crystal. This detail is however immaterial as it is never mentioned again. The girls soon get it on and Angel gives Rocky what looks like a genuine orgasm after some vigorous dildoing. The eroticism of the scene is heightened by the fact that the pair hardly remove any clothing and what we see are snatched glimpses of their nakedness. Undoubtedly the best scene in the film.

Scene 2
While spying on her flatmates lusty embrace Crystal is grabbed by her own partner, the strap-on sporting, Diamond. It’s cellulite aplenty as the girls get nude and get rude. They both seem to enjoy the experience and retire to the bath for more frolicking and inexplicably to listen to sea shells (but no more nookie).

Scene 3
Unlike scene one this is titillation at it’s worst, it is reminiscent of feeble 70’s German softcore and a real pity as this scene has the two best characters in the movie. The boyish El Capitano, who dresses as a squaddie in combats and dogtags, beds Chastity who conversely is dressed in a sailor suit. The potential consequences of the coming together of our forces rivals, the competition, the aggressive rivalry, the need to demonstrate superiority are sadly squandered. What is presented is a lukewarm rub-around in a room lit by red and green lamps. However one does not create the subtlety of effect that Warhol did when lighting Grace Jones in Vamp by just using similarly coloured gels. The scene’s saving grace is some good thigh to fanny work which lifts it to just above irredeemable at least.

Scene 4
Ludicrously while staggering downstairs recovering from her previous filling Rocky Bang Bang is accosted by Angel again and virtually the same scene as before occurs. This time the dildo is replaced with fingers. Given the fact that the whole film is only 64 minutes long anyway, to run virtually the same scene again is an insult to your audience (who will have shelled out £20 for the privilege) regardless of how good it was 45 minutes earlier. Angie Dowling should be ashamed of her own lack of imagination. I guess you could say that by showing two almost identical scenes between the same two people that you are portraying the insatiability of lust and desire. Maybe there’s some truth in this and if the film was 40 minutes longer I could have palated it.

After this slap in the face you can hardly be bothered by the ending in which the feebly names Finn gets found out. Surprise me…

A brief history of the R18 category

A new category is born

In 1982 at the prompting of the Williams Committee report, the BBFC (British Board Of Film Censors as they were then known) introduced a new category of classification. It became necessary to create a category into which could go such titles that contained material more explicit that was allowed in the X certificate of the time. The grading applied to theatrical movies that could be shown only in licensed sex cinemas. Sex cinemas had to obtain a licence from the local council much as sex shops do today. Previous to this a loophole in the law had been allowing Private Members Clubs to show uncensored hardcore shorts and Margaret Thatcher’s government were keen to state that this was not the sort of material they wished to be shown. The loophole was closed and in the process the R18 was born. The category was far from permissive and in truth much of what was classified would be considered very tame by modern standards. It was not until January 1983 that the first films received an R18 certificate. Slip Up and The Love-in Arrangement both received further cuts from the board on top of cuts previously made by the distributor Monitor Films to give the movies a fighting chance of a pass. Hence, by the time most R18’s had been through the classification process their running time was considerably less than that intended by the director.

Since then the R18 has a roller coaster ride as differing governments, boards, committees and subcommittees re-interpret the laws which govern that which is deemed obscene or indecent.

The first R18 video

On the 10th January 1986 Towncord Ltd, who had previously submitted two films for classification, received their verdict. Untamed Fury and Garter Girls became the first video format movies to receive an R18 certificate. As with the cinema titles released before, R18 videos were often substantially butchered versions of their former selves. The distributors, now aware of the boards guidelines and, wishing to avoid the additional cost of submitting different strength versions, would cut the films themselves and a rough ‘clean’ version would be passed to the BBFC for previewing. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s a few enterprising distributors tested the water and pushed the boundaries of acceptance a little further. Usually the newly named BBFVC (British Board of Film and Video Classification) exercised the law to the letter and imposed cuts themselves, but very occasionally they let something a little more explicit slip through the net.

The difficulty and prohibitive expense of a sex shop in gaining a licence led to very few new outlets opening and less of the established retailers were granted one when they had to annually re-apply. Paradoxically the number of outlets for the R18 product actually fell just as more was becoming available. Naturally, considering their relative unavailability, sales of videos were moderate at best. This led to many distributors requesting regular 18 certificates for their movies, allowing them to be sold in record and video stores on the high street alongside titles such as Mad Max and Dirty Dancing.

Between 1983 and the beginning of 1997 four hundred R18 videos were classified, much of which was absolute dross. Unless you’re a collector or some sort of completist it’s not recommended you touch any of it with a proverbial barge pole.

It is important to note that throughout the evolution of the R18 certificate that the under-the-counter trade continued to flourish in small outlets and market stalls across the country.

A relaxation in the guidelines

During the mid to late 90’s there were repeated whispers from various corners of liberalism and a new permissiveness. This heightened the expectations of porn fans that were dashed time and again as false starts and backward steps became the norm.

During 1997, just as John Major’s Tory government limped out of the commons the departing home secretary Michael Howard instigated an experiment with the then director of the BBFC James Ferman to see what would happen if a couple of more explicit movies were passed. In doing this they failed to inform either the police or HM Customs and Excise who promptly seized the new tapes deeming them obscene by their own criterion (which differ from both those of the Home Office and of the BBFC). A new broom sweeps clean and there was no more thorough broom than Jack Straw and when the matter came to his attention he immediately ended the trial, returned the board to it’s previous method of classification and made plans to replace Ferman with someone more to his own liking.

A couple of films that were passed with some stronger content during this time were Private’s The Pyramid and Batbabe. A heavily cut (though still stronger than previous) version of Jace Rocker’s Makin’ Whoopee slipped out in 1998 after it’s distributor, Sheptonhurst Ltd took the BBFC to court demanding they grant it a certificate. An R18 was only given when the Video Appeals Committee (VAC) stated, in their view, that the film was not obscene in terms of the Obscene Publications Act. (A complete version of the movie was not released until 2001). Another blip was created somewhere around the end of 1998 when, between reviewing procedures, a few more stronger films slipped through, again these were still heavily sanitised versions and tended to show some explicit hardcore but in brief bursts. However, the board’s new director Robin Duval quickly curtailed this latest period of mild tolerance.

The ‘so called’ Magnificent Seven

The BBFC originally refused certificates for the ‘big seven’ early in 1999. Sheptonhurst and Prime Time Productions who had submitted the films again appealed to the VAC (who’s panel members included among others, agony aunt Claire Rayner and Blue Peter editor Biddy Baxter) who found in favour of the distributors on 16th August 1999. The board subsequently sought a Judicial Review.

For it’s legal argument the board harked back to the early days of video and resurrected the viewpoint that the inherent problem with video is that it is viewed within the home where it could fall into the hands of those for whom it is not intended, i.e. children. This was not in dispute, but more importantly the BBFC surmised that the films would be harmful to children should they view them. The VAC, who had initially reviewed the decision, countered stating that although subjecting a child to pornography could be seen as abuse it was probably more likely in those cases that it would be part of a catalogue of ill-treatment inflicted on a child and not likely to occur as a systematic singular form of exploitation. It also stated that, in their opinion, if a minor were to view a film it was not likely that it would be psychologically harmful and that ‘provided there were no other abuse factors involved, children would recover fairly quickly from any symptoms of harm’. The result of the judicial review was announced on 16th May 2000. It supported the opinion of the VAC and found in favour of the distributors.

After the verdict the BBFC went away to lick it’s wounds and review their situation and sure enough in September of 2000 a new set of guidelines were published. The new guidelines stated clearly what was now allowed and also that which would be deemed as (in the words of the Obscene Publications Act of 1959) ‘material likely to deprave or corrupt’ and therefore be censored. A full version of the guidelines can be found on the BBFC website at . One stipulation of the guidelines is that R18 tapes should be sold through licensed sex shops only and not by mail-order. To combat this restriction those mail-order distributors who do trade do so from the European mainland.

In fact the seven items submitted were actually six films Horny Catbabe, Nympho Nurse Nancy, TV Sex, Office Tart, Wet Nurses 2, and Miss Nude International (continental version) and one trailer for the movie Carnival (international version). Should you see any of these particular videos on sale DON’T BUY THEM! they’re still pretty tame. It is best to purchase something classified after the new guidelines were put into practice.

After the intervention of the VAC and verdict of the judicial review the BBFC now say that ‘the boards guidelines are based on research and consultation’. That said they also state that the UK still probably has the strictest guidelines of any European or Western nation. It is amazing that the R18 classification became such a bone of contention for the board considering that the category has made up less than 1% of all videos classified since 1990. This figure is rising steadily however and by 2003 distributors were submitting around 90 films per month to the BBFC for classification.

Since this landmark victory the BBFC has recommended a reduction in the control the VAC has over the board and that it’s jurisdiction should be reduced to that of an overseeing body rather than a decision making one.

There was some discussion that the board would insist strong warnings were printed on the sleeves of R18 video releases much as is the practice with cigarette packets. Their desire was that the dangers of showing a film to a minor should be highlighted as well as the costly legal consequence of such an action. At the moment these warnings have yet to appear on the covers.

Unregulated pornography

The explosion of cable and satellite channels in the UK has also opened new avenues for hardcore supply. In the early days channels like Red Hot Dutch could easily be received with the aid of a set top box and encryption card. It quickly became an offence to supply the cards or the decoders from within the UK. The cards can now be purchased from the Continent. As yet it is not an offence to actually receive the signals on your home set. As media becomes even more global and the Ariane European space rocket continues to fire more satellites into space it is highly probable that there will soon be dozens of hardcore sex channels broadcasting to the UK. Modern technology is also doing away with the need for cards and decoders, so in a couple of years a simple phone call overseas will be enough to acquire 24:7 hardcore with no additional layout other than the subscription costs. It may not matter if the service cannot be advertised in mainstream publications (which is the case at present) as the Internet is a more than adequate classified advertisement for any new channel.

It is a fact that the majority of traffic on the Internet is adult related and the ease of obtaining explicit images of just about anything is well known to most people. The biggest attraction of the Internet, especially for the oppressed British, is its lack of censorship. At the moment it seems that any governmental control over the Internet will be very hard to enforce. So for the time being our desktops remain free from unregulation.

La marché noir

The long period of prohibition led to porn consumers satisfying their requirements through other sources, for example via mail order from outside the UK, by satellite subscription, by creating and swapping tapes among likeminded groups (a popular practice in swinging circles) or by use of the ‘black market’. But now that the R18 does deliver something more in keeping with its status it seems many fans are still using connections previously established. The reason for this is two fold, firstly, unlicensed stores still supply unregulated tapes which the customer knows will be of the desired quality, and secondly they have developed loyalty to the dealer who risked his or her freedom to supply the material in the first place.

The black market is naturally more expensive. In 2002 an official R18 straight release would set you back around £20 - £25. An unrated disc would cost you about £50. Curiously, if you’re looking for a gay title you can add around a tenner to both of those figures.

Another string to the bow of these unlicensed stores has been their willingness to stock DVD. Playable worldwide and easier to import that video, DVD offers the consumer the opportunity to actually browse a rack of original, unrated titles and choose exactly what they require. Quite a change from the days of taking away an unlabeled video cassette unsure of exactly what might be found on feeding it into the player.

The BBFC guidelines prohibit the depiction of a number of ‘taboo’ subjects. These include; public nudity and sex, aggressive S&M, pissing (in a sexual context), use of dangerous penetrative objects, actors dressed as babies, simulated violence and dialog reference to underage sexual experiences. Unrated discs encompass many more genres than those officially released and as a consequence include many of the prohibited subjects above. It is possible that despite the higher prices these outlets will continue to be used by fans to satisfy cravings that cannot otherwise be sated by the R18 category.

However, should there be a continued stream of reliable, ‘what the director intended’ films released under the R18 label it is possible that we could see a reduction in the amount of unlicensed outlets in places like Soho. And if the public’s appetite for ‘regular’ porn is satisfied, it may be that to survive these stores will have to diversify into further more obscure genres, with smaller than ever customer bases.

The drawback with the disappearance of the unlicensed store would be the end of the ‘trade in’ practice where a customer can purchase a tape at full price and return it when finished taking another tape at half the original purchase price. This was a remarkably clever devise as it encouraged customer loyalty to the store, eased the burden on the pocket of the punter and (in those times that loyalty was not observed) gave a shop the opportunity to gain new material when a tape from a rival outlet was traded back. Only a few of the licensed retailers offer this ‘swapsies’ service. However should you purchase an R18 tape that doesn’t work or has big lines across the picture you can feel confident enough to return it for a replacement copy without being told what to do with it (i.e. stick it where the sun don’t shine, which may have been what you wanted to see in the first place).

A glimpse of the future

The current position held by the board is by no means fixed. It is just as likely that the guidelines will be tightened up again as it is for them to become more relaxed. Juries are still looking at films and deciding whether or not they are obscene. One hope is that European laws will gazump the British ones and a standard will be passed for use throughout the EU. But the abhorrent distaste for pornography held by some of those in the government may well lead them to exercise another one of their vetoes and opt out. Most of Europe is already considerably more relaxed about porn and what it is that makes us as a nation so wary of it is the subject of a much more detailed study than this. A last hope, should the situation deteriorate would be an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in La Hague.

It is perhaps unlikely that there will be a reversal in current policy considering the relative availability of explicit materials from other sources. Most cheap, modern video players now play NTSC tapes from the States and DVD owners can enjoy the fact that none of the discs yet released have been given a region coding (and so will play on any machine anywhere in the world). Video and DVD’s are easy to obtain via the Internet or by mail order from overseas and although HM Customs operate from a very old rule book, it seems that they are not stopping ‘normal’ porn when it passes through. This is due to the difficulty of getting a successful prosecution in the courts should they attempt to take a case further.

It is certainly true that the public’s opinion toward pornography has changed over the last few years. In compiling their most recent guidelines the BBFC found nearly 90% of those poled said they found neither nudity nor sex offensive. Violence, and curiously blasphemy were both found to be more offensive at nearly all levels of questioning. Two separate juries stated that at R18 level anything legal should be permitted. Boffins are still trying to decide whether what we see on a screen could influence us to go out and replicate the actions in our private lives. Most of us, being able to judge ourselves would say that it does not. However, there will always be a section of society who is unstable enough to go out and commit any number of motiveless crimes regardless of any visual stimulus or not. Certain organisations, both religious and tabloid, seek to justify the actions of the individual by attributing blame to something or someone else rather than the culprit themselves. It has been all too regularly that entertainment media has reaped the consequences.

It is a published fact that our children are beginning to experiment with sex at a younger and younger age. It is the case that we are able to begin legally having sex at 16 but we cannot watch it on video until we are 18. Here is raised the justification for an R16 certificate, but that’s another argument and probably a long way down the timeline.

…and beyond the infinite

If you look closely at top shelf in most news agents nowadays you’ll find a healthy measure of hardcore magazines with previously repressed titles such as those from Private and Color Climax alongside British publications like Razzle and Mayfair. You’ll also find that many of our home grown mag’s have raunchied up a bit too with a lot more couples scenes than previous. On top of that strong US titles such as Hustler. Swank, Genesis and Gent are common place. This all suggests an acceptance of hardcore pornography at a public level. It is this mass acceptance that is vital for the survival and expansion of hardcore in this country.

The most exciting thing about the digital revolution is that soon we will be able to create any number of scenarios with any participants we wish. Just build the faces of Liberace and Dame Peggy Mount into a doggy-fashion computer programme and sit back and enjoy! As virtual reality becomes more refined pornography will soon be not only a visual media but a multi-sensual one as well, how our obscenity laws will seek to regulate this next step remains to be seen.

Whatever the censorship laws in this country, the porn industry continues to grow across the world (each year around 8000 different titles are produced in America alone). New markets are emerging too with Eastern Europe leading the way. Of special note is Hungary who are literally pumping out loads of movies especially for the gay market. In the UK our own Ben Dover is now more prolific than ever and stars such as Phil McCavity and Omar Williams ensure there is a reliable British presence on the shelves. The Erotica Fair held annually at London’s Olympia attracts more visitors than the Boat Show or the Ideal Home Exhibition, both of which are held at the same venue. The event is slick, well organised and a lot of fun. In 2002 most of the major R18 distributors exhibited there and had most of their titles available for sale. Fans also got the opportunity to meet their favourite stars, get an autograph and a Polaroid taken.

Whether that means the current more liberal stance will continue, whether there will be more relaxation in the guidelines with regard to fetish material and the suchlike or whether a twitchy government suddenly decides that things have gone too far and cracks down on porn is all unknown. So its difficult to predict the future for the R18 certificate, it would be great to see it scrapped under total liberalisation but in a way it’s a safe reliable badge under which to purchase porn. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. The future does look brighter than it did in 1998 though.

During the last Conservative government Jack Straw is on record condemning pornography as ‘nasty, degenerate and worthless’. It is therefore ironic that in his time as Home Secretary, hardcore porn became more widely available than ever before. Well-done Jackie!!

Authors note: As to the best of my knowledge the information presented here is correct. However given the scarcity of reliable material, some inaccuracies may exist.

Much of the documentation published on the Internet is done so without there being any date of production. It is then often very difficult to get an idea of when an article was written and where it sits in the chronological order of all the other guff on the web. So for the purpose of anyone who reads and/or uses this article for research it was written on 5th May 2001 and updated on 5th March 2003.
Housewives Fantasies 2 Review

Title Housewives Fantasies 2 (DVD)
Director Steve Perry
Starring Steve Perry, Cindy, Carla, Emma, Claire, Pascal White, Philippe, (Super) Mario Pininfarina, Omar Williams and Gwen (the driver).
Genre Gonzo, Pregnant, Big Boob, Anal, DP.
Look out for M&S poster, excellent workmanship on an antique welsh dresser in the pine warehouse scene, serious bum-to-mouth shots.

Summing up
My only criticism of this movie is Ben’s insistence of getting the girls to look directly into the camera and say things like “I love to suck it” or “I want to be rammed up the backside”. This may appeal to some tastes but it can get in the way of the otherwise un-constructed dialog. But his effortless marshalling throughout and the habit of leaving in bits at the beginning and end of shots that would have otherwise been outtakes helps to suspend the disbelief that these aren’t necessarily housewives and make this movie an enjoyable romp through pseudo-suburbia. Great entertainment for fans of women who look 30+ but are occasionally younger.

Score 7/10

Scene 1
Horny husband Steve sets up a birthday treat for his redhead wife Carla. She must really think her lucks in where they pull up to what looks like an abandoned school complete with boarded up windows and decaying brickwork. Undaunted by the surroundings Carla goes in only to comment on the seediness of the place. Seedy it may be but as she soon learns this is the studio of the notorious Ben Dover. Steve has enlisted Ben’s help to spring a sexual surprise on his horny wife who’s fantasy is to be fucked by loads of men at the same time. Cheeky Ben throws Mario and Pascal into the equation and sparks begin to fly in this destined to be classic gonzo scene.

After an off screen piddle session Carla slips on a sexy black number only to be immediately slipped out of it by the eager European studs. Hubby Steve performs second unit camera duties giving an extra dimension to the regular Ben scene. It soon becomes apparent that Carla is a woman who knows exactly what she wants and how hard she wants it too. The boys do the biz exploring all orifices including her hitherto virgin bung-hole and Ben’s complimentary Anal Explorer Kit becomes redundant as Carla receives it like a professional. Steve even gets the opportunity to air his boomerang waz too.

Scene 2
Ben and crew arrive in Colchester and Ben tops up the old history cells by informing us this is Britain’s oldest recorded town (it is this sort of detail that makes Dover’s work so watchable). Along for the journey is Pascal, Philippe and, as driver, the lovely Gwen. Quickly we meet ‘5-month’ pregnant Claire who emailed Ben asking for her dreams to come true and as luck would have it, they do. Soon her tattoos and piercings are revealed for all to see and she’s laying back in her sitting room enjoying the attention.

“Just a hint of moisture on that gusset” becomes a big wet patch as Claire’s body reacts to the boys advances with a proliferation of fanny fluid and leaving some nasty soilage on her beautiful blue/grey velux suite (and the camera lens). Her clear stiletto clad tootsies are cast every which way as the guys do everything they can with a pregnant woman, which is most things. Previously we are led to believe that Claire’s husband won’t bash her up the coal shoot but judging by the apparent laxness in this area one can only presume that, if her hubby hasn’t, then the coalman definitely has.

The lovely Gwen, who is by far the most attractive woman in this film sadly does not indulge. It seems her role here is genuinely as driver for the boys as Ben has put his back out.

Scene 3
12 years married Emma is a golf widow to a husband and business partner who yet again is away playing with his club and balls. Emma is alone stock-taking in their pine warehouse business when Benjamin arrives with the Belgian contingent of Pascal and Philippe. Emma is dressed as the classic Miss Throbisher secretary type in a black suit, stockings, suspenders and spectacles. After some banter during which Ben gives us a couple of impressions (Eamon Andrews and the Scoucers) we get down to the serious business in hand.

Sadly she is the least convincing of the four girls in this film but what she lacks in plausibility she makes up for in pure sexiness. Pity that she is given the best role to play in the movie. The story is that her husband takes her for granted and tells her she’s lucky to have him and they hardly ever have sex. Sadly the pretence is further hindered when she peels off her bolder-holder only to reveal a pair of fake thraps and these on a woman who hasn’t had any nookie for ages?

This said, the moment when she lets her dark hair down is reminiscent of the gorgeous Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality; the transformation from plain Jane to stunning temptress is well handled here. There is no doubt that she is a feast for the eye.

There’s lots of penetrative tabletop action but somehow Emma just doesn’t seem into the sex, especially compared to the previously seen Carla. This detracts from the scene a little but one does not doubt her good looks or fitness as she contorts in all ways to accommodate the boys.

Bonus scene
Busty blonde Cindy gets a visit from Ben and well-endowed buddy Omar Williams. Having seen Omar strut his stuff in a movie she is keen to experience his massive tool first hand. Her ample knickers are left on for just a second before they are whipped off to reveal a smashing pair of crotchless fishnets.

Omar gives Cindy the benefit of his immense shaft in a number of positions and Ben ensures his manhood makes an appearance too before they both blow their load over her magnificent boobage. She looks a bit awkward in front of the camera but this adds to the mystique a little and helps with the idea that this may really be a genuine housewife having her fantasies filled. Cindy genuinely seems to enjoy the visit and they boys leave her not only with spunk on her face but a smile too.