The Australian Classification Board has decided to ban any adult films that feature female ejaculation because they deem the liquid expelled during squirting to be urine. Thus, it comes under the umbrella of “water sports” which our good censors deem to be an obscene activity that should never be depicted on film.
Never mind that female ejaculation has been scientifically documented. Not all women are able to ejaculate but those that do tend to expel a clear liquid through the urethra from the paraurethral ducts during orgasm. There’s some debate as to what the liquid exactly is comprised of but most experts agree that it is NOT urine.
For more information on the whole deal about female ejaculation, read New Scientist’s 2009 article Everything you always wanted to know about female ejaculation (but were afraid to ask). You might also want to have a look at Violet Blue’s page on the G-spot.
There’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence from women who experience ejaculation. Those who are in touch with their bodies and their sexuality know that squirting is very different to urination.
The whole issue has been well documented elsewhere so I don’t need to add much more beyond saying that it is a very real phenomenon. It also needs to be pointed out that Anna Span has only recently made the British Board of Classificiation see sense on this topic – and even then the decision has been made begrudgingly.
What all this discussion about squirting and paraurethral glands and water sports does do is shine a light on the nonsense of declaring some bodily fluids OK and others “obscene”.
One thing all the censors seem to agree on is that semen is an above-board bodily fluid. It can be ejaculated anywhere – internally, onto a woman’s body or face, across the Russian wallpaper – and it can even be mixed into milkshakes and drunk. If 20 guys all want to ejaculate their semen onto a woman lying on the floor waiting – or onto each other – that’s A-OK, thanks very much. Nothing kinky about that, it’s just normal sexual activity.
If a woman ejaculates onto a man’s face, however, that’s a fetish. That mean’s in Australia it’s offensive, obscene and Australians should not be allowed to see it lest it corrupt our immortal souls. Or something.
The same goes for urine and menstrual blood. Beyond the pale. Those bodily fluids have no place in nice normal sex, thank you very much. (For more on menstruation porn, please read Tasty Trixie’s excellent post Menstruation: The Last Taboo?.
Like so many aspects of censorship, this careful delineation between “good” bodily fluids and “bad” ones shows up just how ridiculous the concept of “obscenity” can become. By what reasoning is semen OK but female ejaculate or urine bad? Is it just simple, individual squeamishness?
Look at the ban on water sports as an example. If we consider that some consenting adults happily indulge in urine-play in their own bedrooms (or bathrooms), why should it not be able to be depicted on film?
I’m not in any hurry to see that kind of thing because it’s not my bag and I know that plenty of people feel the same way but our own sexual preferences shouldn’t mean that other less popular sex practices should be banned. I don’t have to watch films with water sports; that’s an individual, adult choice. In theory, that’s what “classification” is about – telling me what to expect from a film so I am free to make my own decisions.
As always, if it’s safe, sane, consensual and done in private then it’s nobody’s business but those involved. This should apply to acts shown in sexually explicit films, books and websites as well.
Squirting is a very real aspect of female sexuality. By labelling it “obscene”, the censors are making a statement about what a “normal” woman should experience in bed. They’re saying that those women who are able to ejaculate are freaks, somehow, and that the enjoyment of their natural bodily fluids is fetishistic – psychologically wrong.
That’s a pretty damaging and sexist thing to say.
I should also point out that the Classification Board considers fisting to be an obscene fetish as well. Never mind that fisting is an activity consensually enjoyed by many lesbians, an intimate sexual act that can form a common part of their everyday sexual repertoire. Nope. Those lesbians are obscene and kinky and wrong as well.
Consensual adult activities such as spanking, piercing and the dripping of candle wax are also banned.
Australia’s censorship laws and the decisions made by the Classification Board seek to define a “normal” version of sexuality, one that is increasingly vanilla and yet still male-oriented. Their rules help to maintain the porn status quo and, unfortunately, it limits the opportunity for alternative expressions of sexuality.
It also puts a lot of independent and female-produced erotica at a disadvantage.
A lot of the ground-breaking films and websites made by feminists overseas feature acts the Board deems “obscene” and yet these are the porn movies that are breaking the old mould of misogynist, cliched porn. I originally became interested in porn because I liked the idea of it but hated the majority of stuff I saw (mostly produced by mainstream porn companies in the US). Since then I’ve found so many great artists who are putting their vision of erotica out into the world in a holistically ethical way – and their work includes spanking, female ejaculation, fisting and BDSM as part of a wider vision of female sexuality.
As a writer, webmistress and filmmaker I’m keen to make a difference, to help make sex positive, female-friendly material but it’s demoralising when even the government gives the thumbs up to facial cumshots but declares female ejaculation to be wrong.
I’ve written it before and I’ll say it again. By all means, classify and rate media to assist adults to make decisions. But do not have the presumption to officially declare one thing “offensive” and “obscene” based purely on subjective, personal opinion.
And that’s what it is with the Classification Board. They pretend to reflect “community values” but they refuse to conduct any research into exactly what people really think. They are the unelected moral gatekeepers for the rest of us, making decisions to ban material based purely on their own judgement, without recourse to real data on what “reasonable adults” think or whether what they are banning causes any harm to the viewer.
In a free society, someone else should not be able to make that decision for me. I’m a grown adult and I consider myself to be perfectly reasonable and ethical. I do not find female ejaculation or spanking or piercing or fisting to be obscene. It hasn’t turned me into a mad rapist, or a drug addict, or any kind of degenerate person. Being able to view these things on the internet has done me no harm whatsoever.
Of course, I do find plenty of other things to be distasteful or offensive but I would never dream of stopping anyone else from seeing them. If it’s safe, sane, consensual and done in private, it’s none of my damn business.
* Pic is of Deborah Sundahl‘s Loving Sex: The G Spot And Female Ejaculation. Presumably this will now be banned in Australia along with other educational films on the topic like Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to the G-Spot and Nina Hartley’s Guide to Female Ejaculation. If they’re not banned, it might be because the ejaculate only went onto the sheets. Suddenly, accuracy is everything!