The Batman of Obscenity

Myles Jackman, aka Obscenity Lawyer, is one of the most important people fighting for your rights as a consenting adult right now, whether you realise it or not.

“My fight is broadly against the forces which wish to constrain human sexuality,” said Jackman in a recent Guardian Long Read piece by Edward Docx. “I’ve always said that the BDSM community is about 20 years behind the LGBTQ community in terms of rights, recognition and visibility.”

Whatever your own sexual/lifestyle preferences or kinks, you may have heard about the “porn filter” – a misnomer, as it’s far more than just adult content being censored. You may also have heard about the CJIA of 2008, criminalising the possession of BDSM images involving consenting adults. As a sexual minority, those in the kink community have long been persecuted by the media, legal system and medical establishment.

Gradually, these things are changing, but it takes people like Myles Jackman to make that happen. Here is why he is now crowdfunding his work:

“1) To provide legal advice and representation for members of sexual minorities and to promote freedom of expression and privacy, for all consenting adults.

2) To campaign and advocate in public for the rights and recognition of the BDSM, LGBTQ, Adult Industry and Sex-Work communities.

3) To lobby, campaign and make legal challenges to the UK’s obscenity laws including the Obscene Publications Act and the Extreme Pornography laws.

4) To lobby, campaign and make legal challenges to the UK’s sex-work laws, working towards the goal of complete decriminalisation.

5) To spread this message of acceptance through mainstream and social media, through journalism, blogging, commenting and appearing in media outlets; as well as by providing free lectures to students, campaigns, organisations and individuals; and free legal advice clinics.”

The vast majority of his work is pro-bono. Support him at his Patreon page. It’s important for all of us, kinky or otherwise.

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Grrrrrreat

I’ve talked a lot in the past about the ambiguously-worded “extreme porn” legislation of recent years. Now, Backlash is taking a stand, along with victims of problematic convictions.

Andrew Holland, a man from Wrexham, was charged under Section 63 of the 2008 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act. He was accused of possessing a short video showing a woman having sex with a tiger. A friend had sent it as a joke. He had watched six seconds of it. Predictably, the case toppled over as soon as the court heard the tiger – actually a man in fancy dress – inform the camera: “That beats doing Frosties ads for a living!”

Despite the farcical nature of the case against him, Holland had his reputation, job, family life and health destroyed as a result. This is just one of many examples of the harm caused by this legislation.

Things, however, are about to change. Here’s a snippet of Mistress Magpie Corvid’s article in the New Statesman:

“In a letter to the head of the Crown Prosecution Service, Holland’s solicitors have claimed that even five years after its enactment, the law is so unclear and poorly understood – including by police, prosecutors and solicitors – that it too easily traps the innocent. Assisted by a specialist legal team and advised by the sexual freedom campaigning group Backlash, the former defendant has called on CPS head Allison Saunders to review the implementation of Section 63; if no such review is forthcoming, the law will be challenged via judicial review… In the challenge, Holland’s legal team, advised by Backlash, emphasise the Act’s violations of human rights. With the concept of “extreme” pornography poorly defined, and without reliable guidance from CPS to prosecutors, individuals find it difficult to determine what is and isn’t legal. Perhaps, this is why a law which experts predicted would get less than 30 cases a year has had over 5,000 convictions since its inception. It’s impossible to know how many people have pleaded guilty to possession of images that were not actually unlawful.”

Read the full New Statesman article here.

Learn more about Backlash here.

Read a blog on the case by Obscenity Lawyer here.

Read an article for Politics.co.uk by Jane Fae here.

Read the Independent article here.

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Titillating Television

I have long lamented the problems with the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act. If this is the first you’ve heard of the CJIA, it’s the badly-worded 2008 law that makes “extreme” BDSM images illegal, even if what is viewed is enacted by consenting adults and the viewer is well aware that the acts are simulated. One such problem is that smut is subjective. Action movies contain realistic violence and death scenes. Whatever the intention of the actors, directors and producers, If one particular scene in that film depicts a fantasy that specifically matches your kink and you only watch (or, in their words “extract”) that part of the film, then technically your resulting wank is illegal.

There’s a brilliant analysis by Freedom in a Puritan Age involving examples from the BBC’s “Ripper Street”, Channel 4’s “Homeland”, and the gloriously exciting, sweaty chap-on-chap BDSM scene in “Casino Royale” (below). Click the link for the article: “WATCH OUR TITILLATING TV SHOW!* *(But try not to enjoy it.)” by Danny Broderick. Very much recommended.

In the meantime, this:

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