Review: Ban This Sick Filth (Porn helping to fight porn censorship)

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Review: Ban This Sick Filth (Porn helping to fight porn censorship)If you haven’t been up to date with the latest in porn news, then you might not know about the recent changes in UK censorship laws that have rendered some sex acts entirely illegal to depict through video-on-demand porn. Acts that, in this country, have already been declared illegal to depict in porn on DVD. Originally planned as a way to highlight the acts that were censored (such as fisting, caning, spanking, squirting and face sitting – you may have heard about the “face sit-in” that was held in protest), TROUBLEfilms’ “Ban This Sick Filth!was eventually denied DVD distribution in the US as well, because of some of the acts on display – despite the fact that they are all consensual.

Kitty Stryker and Courtney Trouble have teamed up to put together a compilation of films, interspersed with talking head interviews, exploring the censored acts and the impact of censorship on porn and personal expression in the US and UK. Together with performers Akira Raine, Joey Minx, Andre Shakti and Ned, and with some assistance from British performer and producer Pandora Blake (Dreams of Spanking) they’ve put together a collection that’s at turns educational, playful, serious and a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Not to mention, incredibly hot.

The first scene (Banned in the UK), featuring Stryker, Trouble, Andre Shakti and Ned, is built around anglophile Kitty being welcomed home from a trip to the UK by her friends. Kitty contemplates how much she’d love to live in the UK, but has apparently not yet heard of the new censorship rules – which would kinda make it hard for her to produce porn if she was to move. So Courtney, Andre and Ned team up to teach her just what she’d be missing.

The scene starts out light, with Courtney displaying their best spanking and flogging skills on Kitty’s willing behind. Andre then takes over with a bit of face sitting, a bit of squirting and a fisting sequence in which Kitty tells Courtney (behind the camera) that “[she]would feel more exploited not being allowed to show this on film. Because I would feel like the sex that I have for fun, at home, which is legal – it is legal for me to do fisting at home, in private – as long as it’s not on film. And that is messed up.”

It’s a powerful statement, and the scene ends just as powerful as Kitty and Ned lose themselves in each other, ending with Ned peeing all over Kitty and then asking her “You gonna move to Britain?”

Needless to say, her answer is “Nope.”

Scene two (Slight Damage to the Rear End) comes courtesy of British pornographer Pandora Blake, and the sequence opens with her talking to camera about how the ban essentially makes her a criminal considering the nature of the material she shoots (spanking, caning, domestic discipline, etc). She eloquently explains how the ban is affecting her and other performers and producers in the UK, and how the independent and free space of the internet, where people can make and sell the porn they want without controlling factors is no longer a safe one.

The scene itself features John Beecroft (76 years old and a spanking enthusiast with an incredible pain threshold) and Molly Malone, as two members of staff at a boarding school. Molly, looking out of a window, observes to her own horror Sir John – who turns out to be tipsy as well – backing into her car. She decides to give him his due punishment, in lieu of calling the police. The result is a severe hand spanking, followed by a caning that John takes incredibly well – despite the rather painful looking marks and welts (and blood) clouding his ass cheeks. It’s a serious scene, but as the post-scene interview shows, John and Molly have nothing but a consensual good time with each other. John relates the tale of how he got into spanking (probably in the most British way possible – through his nanny), and how he met Molly, who is a regular play partner of his. There is also plenty of aftercare provided for John, as you can see Molly administering care to his welts and bruises.

Scene three (The Temptation of the High Priestess) stars Joey Minx and Akira Raine, two performers you might know from the Crash Pad Series. The scene starts with an introduction from Joey, talking about how their gender is very fluid and has changed quite a bit since the making of the film (both physically and abstractly) – they then talk about why they wanted to shoot this specific scenario. The scene involves a high priestess convincing a nun to seduce an altar boy, something that stems from Joey’s Catholic upbringing (which they state shaped a lot of who they are, “whether I like it or not”), and which Joey wanted to use to reclaim that part of their personality.

The scene itself, shot partly in the Center for Sex and Culture, is a stunningly shot and wonderfully played age play scenario. It’s ethereal, soundtracked by haunting choral music and shot brilliantly by Courtney Trouble and ajapop. Akira and Joey work wonderfully together, and Joey makes for a very sexy high priestess. It’s a scene that will leave you with goosebumps as well as intense arousal.

Scene four (First Period) starts with Courtney explaining how, during the making of the film, they ran into some trouble with censorship in the US as well. Although there aren’t strict laws in place like in the UK, Courtney tells of the self-regulation of the US porn industry and the document they loosely follow, which contains ground rules that might help avoid censorship law suits (called the CAMBRIA list). Again, it’s a list that severely restricts acts that might be shown in alternative, queer or feminist porn, such as no blindfolds, no dripping wax, no fisting. However, nearly all the acts have been reinstated – apart from fisting and menstruation.

Which is the topic of the scene itself. Courtney -playing younger, which would allow the scene to be distributed, if it were not for the fact that it depicts them masturbating while on their menstrual cycle. So yes, you can see period blood in this scene. And yes, the inclusion of this perfectly natural and normal thing makes it illegal for this scene to be shown. It’s a glorious, messy and hot look into how Courtney’s desires are influenced by their menstrual cycle, and it’s the perfect way to cap off this film.

“Ban This Sick Filth!” is not just a hot piece of queer porn; it’s also important, smart and serious as hell about its very clear message: porn censorship is wrong. And if you want a reason why, buy a copy of this film and listen to the performers talk about how important porn has been to their lives. A portion of the proceeds of “Ban This Sick Filth!” is being donated to Backlash UK, an organization that offers legal, academic, and campaigning work on behalf of those who find themselves defending their freedom of expression.

Purchase “Ban This Sick Filth” here.

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About Author

Jillian Boyd has been blogging about sex, love and relationships (as well as the general weird observations she tends to make) since 2011. She's also the author of a host of erotic short stories, and hopes to be the author of quite a few more. A freelance film pundit, Jillian often talks movies on Dork Adore and is hoping to figure out a way to actually move in to her local cinema and live there. She has recently taken up anthology editing, and describes working on her first anthology as an editor (Flappers, Jazz and Valentino, House of Erotica, 2014) as "utterly terrifying but genuinely glorious in the end". She is currently working on a second anthology. As an author, she's been published with the likes of Cleis Press, House of Erotica and Constable and Robinson. Curiosity is her greatest driver, along with caffeine and an open mind. Read more on ladylaidbare

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