Dreams of Spanking: fairtrade spanking, corporal punishment and discipline fantasies by Pandora Blake. Join us »


Censored in the UK

What do female ejaculation, full bondage with gags, face-sitting and spanking that leaves marks all have in common? They're all now banned in UK porn according to new laws that went into effect last week, the Audiovisial Media Services Regulations 2014.

These regulations apply the existing BBFC guidelines (controlling what can and can't be sold on DVD) to the world of online porn. In other words, an out-of-date set of restrictions to a medium few porn customers bother with anymore are, rather than being brought up to date, now being applied to the internet  - the last bastion of freedom of expression for British porn.

The guidelines disproportionately affect acts of female dominance and female sexual pleasure, as well as banning all spanking and BDSM content that produces marks beyond those deemed "transient and trifling". This will affect every spanking site in the UK, and countless more British fetish and feminist porn sites besides.

Dreams of Spanking performer and independent Australian feminist porn director Zahra Stardust is writing her PhD on the legal regulation of pornography. She says, “Those of us who are making queer, feminist, and kinky porn are doing so as an act of civil disobedience, because we know from lived experience that the cost of censorship in our communities is too high. These laws actively produce a heterosexist, misogynist sexuality as ‘normal’, whilst pathologising and closeting practices that are actually life-affirming, consensual and meaningful."

These laws apply to publication, not possession. UK consumers can still legally still access porn produced and published overseas - for now (although expert obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman thinks this is the beginning of a sinister attempt to block foreign sites as well). Meanwhile hundreds of independent British porn producers are being criminalised, including every UK spanking site you can name. We, and many of our fellow fetish porn producers, stand to be closed down if we let this go unchallenged.

You can read more about exactly what's banned and how this will affect UK porn in my post Online porn: the canary in the coalmine, and I've also posted link round-ups tracking the international outcry against these new restrictions.

How does this affect us?

If Dreams of Spanking were to comply with these new regulations, we would have to take over half our scenes offline. Our future production would be heavily censored: we would never be able to film any spanking, caning, birching, belting or tawsing again - anything that resulted in welts or bruises. We would not be able to show any bondage with all four limbs bound as well as a gag. We would not be able to use any outdoor locations which someone might possibly have overlooked. Age play and school uniforms are problematic if there is any suggestion that the actor is playing a character under eighteen. Wrestling is problematic. And on and on.

Here are a select handful of scenes that we would have to delete if we chose to comply: 

Drunk and Disorderly at Dreams of Spanking
Drunk and Disorderly - Vincent's cane marks definitely go beyond "transient and trifling" in this judicial police caning scene.

Pandora's Belt Whipping Fantasy at Dreams of Spanking
Pandora's Belt Whipping Fantasy also fall foul of the new restrictions - never mind that the film explicitly shows my enthusiastic consent.

Doctor of Pain at Dreams of Spanking
Our comic "hammer horror" parody Doctor of Pain features four-limb bondage with a gag - which according to the AVMS means that I, the director, was unable to signal my consent, despite the fact that a) I had written the scene, b) I could still waggle my fingers and bang my hands and feet, and c) I could in fact have spit the gag out and wriggled out of the rope if I'd wanted to - but I didn't.

My Lady's Pleasure at Dreams of Spanking
The whipping Nimue orders her manservant to give her in My Lady's Pleasure is definitely banned - even though she is in control of the scene the whole time and telling him to go harder.

If these regulations are enforced, the only spanking scenes any UK producer will be able to make will be light hand spanking leading to a mild pinkness. No caning, no implements, no bruises, no welts.

Hywel Phillips, who runs UK glamour bondage site Restrained Elegance with his wife Ariel Anderssen (known to spanking fans as Amelia Jane Rutherford) thinks this sort of paternalistic censorship dismisses and denies the consent of porn performers. "The idea that the people who do this for pleasure, or for a living, cannot possibly know better than the father figure censor what is acceptable, what is safe practice, what they want to do and what they want to have done to them. This is called denying their agency- telling them that they cannot possibly know their own mind or make their own minds up."

Another potential casualty of these new regulations is free preview content. The censors want all adult content to be behind a paywall, so that children can't accidentally click through to it. If they start to take a close look at spanking sites, they will demand that we take down all our free video trailers and preview pictures that show spanking or nudity.

So what are we going to do?

First of all, we refuse to censor ourselves. Dreams of Spanking will continue doing business for as long as possible. We won't take half our archive offline pre-emptively, and we won't stop shooting the hot spanking scenes we want to - welts and all. If we are contacted by the censors with a demand to comply with the new regulations, we intend to challenge it.

We have always prioritised performer consent in our films, and you only have to take one look at our blog, performer interviews or behind the scenes videos to see that our films are made with love. All our cast members are genuine spanking enthusiasts, and our top priority on set is that everyone should be well looked after and have fun. We think it is ludicrous to ban depictions of consensual adult spanking, and we don't intend to go down without a fight.

However, we have taken legal advice and we're up for trying one or two things which might help our case. For instance, we've been advised that it might be a good idea to include performer consent in the spanking film itself, as well as in the surrounding contextual materials. So from now on, as well as publishing full-length out-take videos and performer interviews alongside each spanking film, we'll cut some edited highlights from the out-takes and interviews into the scene itself, so you'll get to see an introduction to our lovely performers before and after the in-character scene. Our latest two films, Provocative Housework and Curious Pleasures, are both examples of this new format.

This idea fits in to our existing ethos of being transparent and honest about where fantasy ends and reality begins, so we're happy to make this change if it will help viewers understand without a doubt that all our performers are consenting, kinky adults.

In refusing to self-censor, we aren't standing alone. A number of the Dreams of Spanking cast and crew have joined the outcry against these ridiculous new laws:

Is that it?

Far from it. This is only the beginning. These regulations are a worrying step on the path to total state censorship of the internet in the UK, and we need to work together to get them repealed - and prevent this harmful, worrying censorship of free expression from going any further.

Julian Huppert MP has tabled an early day motion requesting a debate on this issue - only two other MPs have signed it so far. The more MPs sign, the more likely this will be debated in the Commons. We think that if this issue is debated then we are likely to see change. The AVMS regulations were decided undemocratically by an unelected quango, and all the UK media coverage so far has been highly critical of the new law. We need to lobby our MPs to add their names to the motion in order to have a hope of getting this overturned.

So what can you do? Well, if you're resident in the UK, you can:

And if you aren't in the UK? Well, this will still affect you, as if British fetish porn producers are forced to comply with these regulations, you won't be able to watch our films any more.

You don't have to be in the UK to submit a complaint to ATVOD using their own complaints form. This form is intended to be used to complain about "inappropriate" TV content, which just makes re-appropriating it funnier. Let's spam them with complaints about their own regulations.

We at Dreams of Spanking believe that it is perfectly possible for adults to give informed consent to hard BDSM and spanking play, and to ethically create films depicting it. Our films are ethical, consensual, and an authentic expression of adult consensual kink. We refuse to be complicit in the state censorship of the porn we love, and we won't take anything down before we absolutely have to.

The only way we can keep on making the films you want to see is if we get these regulations overturned before we attract the notice of the censors. And we can't do it alone. Whether you are a Dreams of Spanking member or not, we need your help.

If you love kinky porn please share this blogpost, sign the petition, turn up to the protest, complain to ATVOD, write letters, talk to the press, and kick up as much of a fuss about this as possible. And please keep supporting your favourite porn sites by buying a membership - while you still can.


Consent is such a huge concept totally missed by these draconian regulations. I think you make the point very well above. How anyone who bothered to look with any care at all could possibly think the players in DoS are anything but totally consenting is beyond me. In fact it's beyond 'consent', it's actively seeking out these pleasures. But your suggestion about making it absolutely crystal clear each time is probably a sound one. What horrible times.

Thanks Yianni. It's frustrating because I actually think that the separation between fantasy (scene) and reality (behind the scenes) that we had before was perfect! But since it falls in line with our existing aims, if jumping through this particular hoop might help our case, I'm happy to do so. I just hope it doesn't put too many viewers off.


Hi Pandora,
First of all, I want to commend you for your courageous stand against this insidious BS, and I fully support you. I have signed the various e-petions (as a UK citizen living in the US), and I continue to support your site and your work. (You made a custom video for me waaay back!)
My main reason for responding was your concept of editing in behind-the-scenes footage etc., intimating consent of the players, as a device to be used in any legal proceedings. I think this is a very powerful idea. I'm sure you're aware of the kink.com collection of websites (operated by an Englishman here in the US!) While a lot of the content is marginal for me, every video they do features an interview with the female sub, in which limits are explicitly discussed, and safe words/ actions (including while gagged!) are made clear. This then allows the action to proceed un-inhindered.
Anyway, something to think about, and discuss with your fellow producers there in the Old Country (including my other darling, Nimue!)

Love, Jim

Hi Jim,

Thank you so much for your support. Actually Kink.com was one of the primary inspirations for this format - when we were advised to do it, they were named as someone who does it already. Personally, I feel that interviews are a very flawed way of showing consent, as I've done pre-shoot interviews showing my happy face before a scene that turned out to be uncomfortable - and in the past, when I was younger, I've given end-of-shoot interviews where I basically lied and said it had been fine, even though it wasn't great, because I just wanted to get paid and go home. That's why publishing the behind the scenes footage and outtakes is so important, because I think viewers are intelligent and can tell if a shoot has an awkward atmosphere, if there is a weird reaction to a spankee calling cut or expressing a preference, etc. That's why we're including outtakes as well as interviews in the new edit. Although I don't want it to run on too long, so just a few edited highlights, and the full version will be available to watch in the separate behind the scenes video as before.

Pandora this smacks of pun intended government interference ,lib dem influenced possibly? love and spanks,Timx

Channel 4 news

A mistressful performance. You made so many points in such a short time.

This is typical of how our governments have acted over the years. Knee-jerk reactions to often imaginary problems that create a mess. If the rationale is to protect minors, then shouldn't parents be doing this? Affected content is for private viewing only, the acts are legal, what interest does the state have? Since the law only affects UK content it has a negligible affect on overall web content that can be legally accessed in the UK. Thus its effect is disproportionately placed on UK producers. This amounts to a restraint of trade. A solution could be a producer/group of suing the BBFC for restraint of trade.


There is an odd tendency for sex to be singled out for censorship, usually on one of two pretexts: that it causes offence to some people, and that it can corrupt morals.

About the second of these allegations, which is perhaps based on no evidence anyway, I would say that if pornography could so deprave people as to make them fly aeroplanes into skyscrapers it would be dangerous stuff indeed; but you need religion for that. Moreover, our experience lately of British girls leaving home to join religiously inspired fanatics in the Middle East, in order to be made fanatics or terrorists in turn, and possibly to be screwed willynilly, shows the potential of religion for leading young people disastrously astray. So why are there never calls for religious materials to be restricted?

As for causing offence, it was not before time that David Cameron recently reminded us of something I have long waited to hear spelt out by a prominent figure: in a free society there is no such thing as a right not to be offended. You can express yourself as you wish, and if others do not like it they have to swallow their smoke. Likewise if you are upset at what others say, that is too bad. Good things come at a price, and part of freedom's price is that people get offended.

You have to be logged in to comment. Click here to login to your account. If you don't have a username yet, it's free to create one - click here to register.

Enter a name and URL to leave a comment:

« Back to recent posts

View all scenes »