On the 4th December police raided 25 premises in Soho and evicted, detained and harassed sex workers. They kicked down doors, closed working flats, took money and personal items, and manhandled women in the street in front of the photographers and
news crews they invited to witness this violence and intimidation. The media presence included Sky news, BBC and the Evening Standard. It would seem that victims of sex work need to be publicly humiliated and shamed in the media in order to be
properly saved from their work.
The raids were supposedly undertaken in order to locate stolen goods and to tackle prostitution (despite the fact that selling sex is not actually a crime) and to tackle human
trafficking. A number of migrant sex workers, many of whom have lived in the UK for years, have - devastatingly - been conveyed to the UKBA detention centre at Heathrow; this, despite having reassured police that they had not been trafficked into the
country, and were working voluntarily. Other women were instructed to appear in court the next morning. The charges against them are not yet known.
The closure of working flats will mean that women have lost their peer support
network, and their regular clients who they know to be safe. They will also now be working in locations unknown to outreach and health services, and will be less likely to access services - or report crimes against them - for fear of being forcibly
detained or arrested as either a victim or a criminal. They will have to continue to work, but may now have to work alone or outdoors, exposing them to greater risk. Amy, a sex worker within SWOU noted:
talking about 'greater risk', people should know, and should see from these events, that those who are supposed to 'protect' us often pose the greatest risk to us. This is the case both directly and indirectly - directly, when the cops kick down our
doors, drag us onto the street, and facilitate our humiliation; indirectly, when they signal to those who might wish to target us, that we don't deserve the protection of the law, that we can't report. The cops make us targets twice over.
The lasting effect of the raids will be increased risk, fear, violence and instability for these women, and many others like them.
Elisa , a migrant sex worker, said:
This is all so frightening. This backlash is spreading across Europe. It is more and more clear to me - seeing the German debates now too - that it all is an attempt to silence and marginalise mostly migrant workers, specifically
women, because if sex work was decriminalised and our work made safer, migrant women would achieve a place in society that they are not desired to have. Migrant women in the sex industry have to be victimised, silent, invisible (though sensationalised
and exposed at the same time when it needs to be for propaganda, and to add that spice), and better stay at home.
Cari Mitchell from the English Collective of Prostitutes, said:
is outrageous that the police are raiding premises where women are working together safely and collectively with friends. The police must know that some women will end up working on the street as a result, where it is much more dangerous. Most of the
women thrown out of premises are mothers and grandmothers who have now lost their livelihood.
Nic, a sex worker in Soho, said:
I feel so frightened. This is on my doorstep. Will I
be next? That the police brought the press with them demonstrates so much why we need the only legal framework that reduces, rather than increases, police power over us. Who can look at these events and think the police are using their power
respectfully, appropriately, non-abusively? This is violence against women, that the mainstream women's movement turns it's head from. We need full decriminalisation, including of our clients and our workplaces, because that is THE ONLY legal context in
which we are not at the mercy of these abusive and traumatic policing tactics; where we are not at risk of being dragged out onto the street. Sex work is work - we're already in mainstream trade unions. This is so frightening - we need solidarity.
An internet porn website operator has been barred from running any video on demand services in the latest move by censors seeking to restrict hardcore porn on-line.
This is the first time the censorship sanction has been used against any on-demand
operator, who become liables to criminal prosecution if they defy the order.
J P Media were operating the website Jessica Pressley , an internet service offering hardcore porn. A second porn supplier, S Hilder, operator of the website Pleasuring Herself
has also been the subject of enforcement action.
Both services have closed following action by the Authority for Television On Demand ( ATVOD ). The video on demand censor found the services were in breach of its rules in failing to
keep explicit videos or still images beyond the reach of children. The services offered access to explicit hardcore porn videos which could be viewed on-demand. Yet the content of the videos was equivalent to that which in Britain could be sold only to
adults in licensed sex shops if supplied on DVD.
The services each broke the statutory rules in two ways. Firstly, they allowed any visitor free, unrestricted access to hardcore pornographic video promos/trailers or still images featuring real sex
or masturbation in explicit detail. Secondly, access to the full videos was open to any visitor who paid a fee. As the services accepted everyday payment methods -- such as debit cards -- which occasionally can be used by under 18's, ATVOD ruled that
each service had also failed to put in place effective access controls in relation to the full videos.
The Pleasuring Herself service closed after receiving an enforcement notification from ATVOD requiring the provider of the service to either
restrict access to explicit images to those who were know to be at least 18, or remove such images from the service.
However, the Jessica Pressley service did not comply with a similar enforcement notice and was closed only after ATVOD asked Ofcom
to impose a statutory penalty. Ofcom examined the service and agreed with ATVOD's findings, concluding that this was a serious breach of statutory requirements.
Under 368K(3)(a) of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom directed J P Media that their
entitlement to provide the Jessica Pressley service or any other on-demand programme service was suspended. The suspension took immediate effect and continues indefinitely. This is the first time such a direction has been used in regard to a video on
The end result of ATVOD's rules are that British companies aren't allowed to sell to the many people who don't happen to hold a credit card. And smaller websites find it unsurprisingly difficult to sell their product without being
able to show a sample to customers.
And as for the idea of verifying people's ages by them supplying personal identity information. This is a disgraceful charter for scammers and phishers.
The net result is that British viewers simply find
their porn elsewhere. No less porn is consumed, and no less porn is seen by children. The unilateral action just means that Britain takes one more step towards bankruptcy, as business is stifled by miserablists, moralists, PC extremists, censors, health
freaks, red tape addicts, bureaucrats and politicians.
The first ever Paul Raymond Awards were staged at the world famous Spearmint Rhino gentleman's club in Tottenham Court Road, London, on 4th November.
Event organiser Mark Hassell commented:
It was a such an
amazing success in just our first year of launching the awards. There are not many awards for the adult market in the UK that reward the hard work and success of individuals and companies in our industry. With Paul Raymond Publications being the biggest
adult top shelf magazine publisher in the UK, it just goes hand in hand and is a perfect extension to our brand. Here's looking forward to next year and a bigger and better show.
The winners were:
Emma Green [Mayfair Covergirl of the Year]
Jenny Laird [Club International Covergirl of the Year]
Jess West [Escort Magazine Covergirl of the Year]
Tiffany Naylor [Best Newcomer]
Tanya Tate [MILF of the Year]
Samantha Bentley [British Performer/Model of the Year]
Forno TV [Adult Product of the
Sextoys.co.uk [Best Customer Service for Adult Products]
Bluebird Films brings you a parody of Britain's most beloved sitcom - Only Fools And Arses. This parody is packed to the max with orgy goodness! Watch as this illustrious cast of colourful characters take part in a comedic
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UK Sport is a sports agency responsible for investing over £100 million per year in Britain's best Olympic and Paralympic athletes. It is accountable to Government through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The group has been
threatening to use its financial clout to impose morality on athletes by telling them that if they go to lap-dancing or strip clubs they will lose Lottery funding
New guidelines for eligibility for funding released by UK Sport, which oversees
sports funding for Olympic and Paralympic athletes, included a line in its section on misconduct and disrepute which read attending a lap dancing or strip club regardless of gender .
It was described by the chief executive of one sports
body as akin to treating sports like a nanny state , and boxer Luke Campbell, who won Olympic gold at bantamweight and has since turned professional, concurred. He told The Telegraph:
It's laughable. I just find
it hard to fathom how they came up with this. It's just completely ridiculous. Going to a lap club or strip club is just harmless fun. Why would they want to tell athletes what to do in their private lives?
Anyone taking their
sport seriously would not be out in nightclubs anyway. We are role models, and we are looked up to. I'd rather see them concentrate on banning Lottery funded athletes if they are smoking, or have been drunk and disorderly, rather than this.
From the UK Sport funding eligibility document What stars cannot do:
Commit acts or make comments (whether in the media or online such as through tweets, social networking site comments, texts, blogs
etc) which...shock or offend the community or which manifest contempt or disregard.
Tell a sexist joke or make a sexist remark at a private meeting, the contents of which are subsequently disclosed.
a lap dancing or strip club, regardless of gender.
UK Sport has declared a false start over its ludicrous threat of removing funding from athletes who visit lap dancing or strip clubs. The organisation said in a statement:
As a result of the consultation ahead of
launching our new eligibility policy, a number of respondents requested examples, to suggest potential actions or behaviours that might, in theory, be considered acts of 'misconduct' or 'disrepute'.
We accept that one of the
examples we included was not helpful and has subsequently led to confusion. Therefore we have taken the decision to remove the example.
That said, the purpose of including the illustrative examples remains, that we expect our
elite athletes who benefit from the privilege of public funding to act as role models to inspire the nation.
A man whose life was ruined when he was charged with child sex offences after looking at legal gay pornography in a hotel room has accused the police and Crown Prosecution Service of a homophobic witch-hunt after his case was finally thrown out.
The defendant endured a two-year nightmare after being arrested in front of his family, charged with 10 offences almost a year later and repeatedly bailed, before every charge was dropped.
The CPS, which spent tens of thousands of pounds
of taxpayers' money pursuing the case, offered no evidence in court -- in effect conceding there was no case to answer. His lawyers say they gave the CPS conclusive documentary evidence three months ago that all models featured in the pornography were of
The defendant's nightmare began during a business trip in September 2011 when he viewed images on a website specialising in twink pornography. Twink is a well-known term in gay slang for small or young-looking men who are aged 18
or over. Perhaps a male equivalent to 'barely legal'
When a female guest who stayed in the same room the following week saw the computer's browsing history she complained to the hotel and staff called the police. Six months later, in March 2012,
the man was arrested at his father's home.
Speaking after the trial closed the man said:
I can only conclude that the police officers and the CPS showed institutional homophobia throughout this case. I doubt I
would have been treated the same way if heterosexual pornography was involved. Police... were obviously clueless about pornography -- as were the CPS.
In January this year the CPS charged the man with nine counts of making indecent
images and one count of possessing indecent images.
He was represented by Myles Jackman, the leading obscenity lawyer who has won several victories in so-called porn trial cases. Mr Jackman obtained signed USC 2257 documents, required by
adult websites to prove models they use are not underage, and photographs of all the men involved in the website holding up their passports, which clearly show their dates of birth.
Mr Jackman told The Independent: The CPS has at best showed an
ignorance of gay culture and at worst showed itself to be institutionally homophobic. USC 2257 is extremely stringent US federal legislation which the defendant said the police were completely unaware of.
Mr Jackman said he had
complained to Keir Starmer, the outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions, about the CPS's conduct in what he called the Twink Trial but is yet to receive a reply.
Comment: The CPS clearly didn't bother trying to
investigate whether the pictures were actually underage
Throughout these aborted proceedings, we repeatedly stated that all the performers in question were over the age of 18. Despite this, the prosecution has always maintained that it was a matter for a jury to decide the age of the performers. However, we
were able to prove how old the performers were. In spite of this the police and prosecution consistently failed to make further inquiries regarding the source and context of the images.
In June, our IT expert Paul Vella contacted
the website directly. It confirmed it complied with USC Title 2257 legislation, which requires adult websites to keep records verifying a performer's age against their passport details, as well as keeping signed model release forms .
It supplied us with all these details for all the performers on the entire website. We presented these details to the prosecution immediately. It was possible to compare the passport photos of the performers in question with their
pictures on the website.
Unfortunately, the prosecution in this case refused meaningfully to engage with the evidence we supplied. As a final resort, we complained to Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC's office. We
failed to receive the reply we were promised.