Censorship, Sex and Women — January 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm

The Strange Politics Of “Obscene” Bodily Fluids

G Spot and Female EjaculationThe 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!

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26 Comments

  1. Pingback: Is female ejaculation offensive or abhorrent? « OzPolitik

  2. Pingback: Female Ejaculation Films To Be Banned In Australia

  3. applauding loudly for your article Ms Naughty.

  4. I forgot to add, I liked your idea on censorship to provide adults the ability to make the right choices. Yes rather than labeling obscene and banning, rather they could label the movie with flags for the content (like they do in mainstream movies in some countries like Canada). For example, you just need to add on the outside “this movie contains explicit sex, fisting, female ejaculation, kissing …”

    In saying that there are of course those sexual acts that are illegal and these should of course never make it to legal pornography, but if the act is not illegal to do by consenting adults – why should it be banned on film

  5. This is a great article, but can you please link to a copy of the Classification Board’s decision? Or to Eros’s release? Without any evidence this could all be made up for all we know.

    • Well, O anonymous visitor with an unverifiable email address, as I mentioned in the comments section of the previous post, the email I received from Eros was a members-only circular not an official release. I can’t post the whole thing. Eros will release a statement on this issue soon. The Classification Board has not made any official written statements on this either. The fact remains that female ejaculation films are routinely considered RC and, if a distributor tries to import them into Australia, they are confiscated. See http://www.refused-classification.com/ for more info.

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  7. This just goes to show that we are living in an increasingly fascist nanny-state, dictating what it is that we should be afraid of and telling us what we can’t have access to, without any evidence to support their proposals.

    Every MP in government now needs to stand up, take a look in the mirror and remember that we live in a democracy, and one of the fundamental tenets of democracy is freedom of expression, and no matter how abhorrent something is, it should not be censored, so as to limit democracy in any way, shape or form.

    Horrendous that we give over our lives to power-hungre bureaucrats who want nothing more than to control every facet of our lives.

  8. Sorry to burst your bubble, but female “ejaculate” is indeed, urine. It might come as a shock to you, but the urethra in female anatomy is not connected anywhere but the bladder. There is no other liquid that can be logically expelled from it.

    • You may wish to review your anatomy lessons Bob.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skene%27s_gland
      “In human anatomy (female), the Skene’s glands (also known as the lesser vestibular glands, periurethral glands, skene glands, paraurethral glands,[1] U-spot, or female prostate) are glands located on the anterior wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. They drain into the urethra and near the urethral opening. These glands are surrounded with tissue, which includes the part of the clitoris that reaches up inside the vagina and swells with blood during sexual arousal.”
      If you have any scientific evidence stronger than your average Wikipedia article that says the urethra in female anatomy is not connected anywhere but the bladder, please quote your source.

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  10. Without sounding creepy I’m interested in what these ground-breaking pornographic artists you’ve found are. Alot of the stuff out their is dumb, Barbie dollheaded drivel unfortunately. Could you throuw us some links please, Ms Naughty? Thanks!

    • Have a look at my other site Porn Movies For Women. The “lesbians” page for example features plenty of films that would run afoul of Australia’s censorship laws but they are made by real dykes authentically depicting their own sexuality. The Crash Pad Series is a website offering the same thing. With regards to straight films, I can’t go past the amazing work of documentary maker Tony Comstock. His films are glorious and explore real relationships and real sex. He’s already been a victim of the Classification Board – they banned two of his films from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival in the last couple of years. There’s also the work of Petra Joy, Jennifer Lyon Bell (her film, Matinee, was banned from MUFF this year), Erika Lust, Joybear Pictures, Cinema Erotique and the very kinky people at Kink.com

  11. The debate regarding female ejaculate is complex. From your own source on the article pertaining to female ejaculate: Shannon Bell argues that the debate is confused by the discussion of two separate phenomena. In an extensive survey, Darling and colleagues claim support for the existence of ejaculation, while in a sharply critical response, Alzate states that direct experimentation fails to provide any evidence. Alzate states:

    the ignorance and/or confusion still prevalent among women about the anatomy and physiology of their sexual organs may make them mistake either vaginal lubrication or stress urinary incontinence for an “ejaculation”

    Bell comments that Alzate simply dismisses women’s subjective experiences in favour of rigorous scientific proof, and is typical of male sexologists withholding the validity of experience from women. Bell’s critique lies at the heart of feminist concerns about this debate, namely a tendency to “disregard, reinterpret, and overwrite women’s subjective descriptions.” For some, she states, it is more a matter of belief than of physiology.

    In other words, the scientific view holds that female ejaculate MIGHT be urine. I don’t care either way. What gets you off gets you off and that’s your business. But the science of the issue is far from clear.

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  13. Pingback: Female Ejaculation Doesn’t Exist « The Dawn Chorus

  14. Pingback: Great Moments In Australian Censorship

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  17. We should defend women’s rights!

  18. I have a question. If a man ejaculates into a woman and then it ‘overflows’, since it is fluid exiting a lady’s virgina, does it also count as urine?

    Also, if a woman is exercising in an aerobics video and gets very sweaty, if sweat gets on her short shorts, do they suppose it also might be urine and ban the aerobics video?

    Food For Thought!

  19. Bouquets by the truckload to Ms Naughty.

    I am a lesbian … I frequently ejaculate … I know the difference between ejaculating/ejaculate and urinating/urine.

    I will *not* let any male geek in a lab-coat
    - or his trained female pet of an assistant – tell me that I don’t know what my body is doing.

    Nor will I let a misogynist patriarch of a politician – or his docile female counterpart – tell me that the sight of men spraying their bodily fluids everywhere is acceptable and ‘normal’(even ‘heroic’) while I am a ‘freak’ for doing the same!

  20. I agree with you, this should not be banned, they should at least label it saying the it has certain objects of sexual content, i believe that as long as it is for a certain cause then it should be alright, and if it is in private, and even though i am male i still think it is wrong for them to ban this.

  21. Hi i personally am concerned about idea of banning films of women ejaculating or any other form of film depicting fetishes; i feel it will drive things underground where it will only become a bigger problem and the people we are trying to protect will suffer even more. The idea that there are people in the community who practice fetishes in a safe way, don’t have families is absurd. I am sure those same people will be doing the utmost to protect there most cherished asset. I think maybe we should burn books as well that way we be assured that we eradicate everything, oh whoops i almost forgot the most unseemly place of all the mind has anyone any suggestions of how to filter that, i was into fetishes at a young age long before i saw any adult material.
    Thank you for listening

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