As unlikely as it sounds, Thailand, known worldwide for its prosperous sex industry and its tolerant attitude towards sex -- is one of the last remaining countries in the world where sex toys are illegal, along with Saudi Arabia and India.
Now feminist, pro-LGBT and sexual health campaigner Nisarat Jongwisan has taken up the challenge to get the sex toy ban reversed.
Nisarat decided on this coure of action during a visit to Australia when she walked into a sex shop for the first time. She recalled thinking:
A Land of Toys opened up in front of her eyes. Why can't I have the same privilege of buying whatever makes me feel good?
She came back to Bangkok carrying her first personal vibrator -- along with a new desire, to start a fight to decriminalise sex toys for the happiness and safety of my people. And, along with that, to encourage sex-positivity in Thailand where
words such as orgasm and climax are banned from public speech.
The first knockback came from her friends and even her boyfriend: They thought what I was doing was wrong. They didn't want to know or talk about my new, happy sex life. It makes you look like a bad person. But Nisarat carried on and launched a
petition to ask the amendment of the 287 Section removing sex toys from pornographic items.
The Beverley sex cinema has held out for decades as Paris's sole pornographic movie theatre, proudly yet discreetly offering non-stop showings of films from the 1970s and 80s.
But rising rents and changing social mores have finally caught up and the cinema's fans have just a few days left to pick up memorabilia from a symbol of a bygone Paris. After the final screening last Saturday -- the traditional couples night --
owner Maurice Laroche is remaining on site this week to sell films, posters, seats and whatever else is left.
Laroche, who had managed the Beverley since 1983 before buying it 10 years later, said that at 75 he was ready to retire to the ocean resort town of Royan in southwest France. His clients have become fewer as they've gotten older in recent years
-- most recently he had been selling less than 500 12-euro tickets a week, compared with 1,500 twenty years ago.
In its heyday, around 1975, there were over 900 cinemas specialising in pornography in France. Just six years later, there were only 90, French film journalist Jacques Zimmer told AFP. According to France's national cinema council only one
X-rated cinema now remains in France, the Vox in Grenoble.