BBFC pass its first female ejaculation title
Posted: October 20, 2009
Anna Span’s latest release, Women Love Porn from Easy on the Eye Productions, has been passed uncut by the BBFC following a prolonged battle over the title’s scene featuring female ejaculation.
On initial submission to the British Board of Film Classification, Anna was asked for compulsory edits to remove the female ejaculation section before the film could be passed R18, as they believed the woman to be urinating and argued therefore it fell foul of the Obscene Publications Act. Even though most countries worldwide that allow pornography do not single out female as opposed to male ejaculation for censoring, the BBFC historically do not believe in the phenomenon. They have refused to pass previous films such as Ben Dover’s Squirt Queens in May 2001, saying that they had not received a convincing enough argument to support the existence of FE.
Determined to put the record straight, Anna Span presented the BBFC with a wealth of scientific evidence in support of model DJ’s ability to ‘squirt’, including medical reports on DJ’s ejaculate and a New Scientist article. Anna said, “I am really proud to have changed this outdated ruling and to have made a difference to women who experience this in their own lives throughout the UK. It was never fair that the BBFC dismissed their orgasms as urinary incontinence.”
Initially the BBFC stood their ground and refused to pass the film but when Anna pushed for a hearing with the Video Appeals Committee, they backed down after taking legal advice. They say that their ‘position remains fundamentally unchanged for future releases’ although it is difficult to see how they can argue against future claims for DVDs which contain FE, now that this precedent has been set.
Anna told ETO, “Some journalists have been in touch with the BBFC since the scene was passed and they’re being told that the BBFC’s position on female ejaculation hasn’t changed. They’re denying a change of policy yet they have approved this – they have put it through; they’ve passed it. Their lawyers have told them they won’t get sued for it. Their view has always been that female ejaculation doesn’t exist, and my response was ‘it’s not up to you to say if it does or if it doesn’t’. We gave them 20 years’ worth of study material and articles generated within the medical fraternity regarding ultrasound studies of the G-spot. We also had testimonies of everyone who was there saying it wasn’t urine. The BBFC rejected the material, focusing on a line in the New Scientist piece that said while FE is a proven phenomenon, its depiction in pornography isn’t always genuine. Which is simple speculation, not science. It was extremely frustrating. We pushed again, saying Easy on the Eye would take it to the Appeals Committee, and even that process was difficult as it’s not covered on their website. It turns out they’re based in the same building as the BBFC, which surprised me as I’d imagined, being an Appeals Committee, they’d be completely separate. You wonder just what the relationship is.”
Span continued, “Weeks and weeks were passing by, we put the application in to take it to the Video Appeals Committee and they advised me to get a solicitor rather than represent myself. I felt that the evidence I had was so strong that I wouldn’t need one, but I followed their advice and got Henri Brandman, who was the lawyer who worked with Darker Enterprises back in 2001. I went to him with everything, he looked through it and agreed I had a strong case so I did put it to the VAC. I kept asking, ‘what’s happening with this?’, week after week and one day we got a fax saying it was with their lawyers and they’d be in touch with me. About two weeks later an email arrived; ‘We’ve accepted your work – please go online to accept your classification’. I had to email they to clarify this was with the female ejaculation scene uncut. They responded yes, but that their position hadn’t changed. Their lawyers had said that because I’d not focused on the ejaculation they’d not be legally exposed, but if I’d made a big deal out of it, called it Squirting Sluts or something, that would have been different.”
Clearly frustrated by the process, Anna explained, “It’s odd. On one hand, to not fall foul of the Obscene Publications Act they can’t have people urinating on other people, and on the other side their position was that they didn’t believe in female ejaculation, so the conclusion is that this is neither urine nor female ejaculate; it’s a third, mystery liquid, unknown to science! In my opinion, the BBFC are sticking to their policy guns because they don’t want to lose face and didn’t want the expense of having it go to the Video Appeals Committee and losing, which is historically what tends to happen. I think they realised I’d put forward a watertight – ha – case. Luckily it never actually got to the VAC so I just had some lawyer’s fees to cover but it was worth it. I don’t think the BBFC have the right to happily pass male ejaculation but not female. What gives the censors the right to be that sexist? I was fighting it on those grounds. There was a danger that if the VAC approved it, the BBFC could counter-appeal and take it to a court of law, on a point of law, which could have potentially cost us thousands. I did have to ask myself, how much would I personally risk pursuing this? I was glad when they came back with this. I would have gone ahead with it anyway, I think, but it’s been great not to have to do that. It would be better still to have the BBFC agree ‘in stone’ to pass FE but anyone who can put a good case together to support their work could get it through.”
She concluded, “DJ, the model, came down to London for the tests – I had to research everything, contacting Oxford University to find a department with the expertise and credibility to do these sorts of tests. I found clinics with the sort of reputations within the medical industry for me to be happy everything would be legitimate, rather than some random Harley Street place. I told the BBFC that it would be possible to put controls in place so that they could be certain what they were seeing on screen was FE and not urine –a testing procedure – and would they accept that? No. It seemed to be the amount that became the issue, almost not what liquid it was, which is ridiculous. In Women Love Porn the male performer is licking DJ out as she cums in his face. If it was urine, it would be a problem under the Obscene Publications Act. He got it in the back of his throat, bless him; quite a shock. It wasn’t a ‘shoot across the room’ squirt, but it did go on for a long time – 30-40 seconds, squirting out… I wanted to be clear that the BBFC shouldn’t be the ones to set the arena on FE; that was the fight.“
Anna believes it is particularly fitting that Women Love Porn should be so groundbreaking for women in the UK, as it is the result of a competition to encourage new female directors into directing pornography. Five women won the opportunity to write and film a scene for the DVD, which includes the contentious FE scene, Top MILF, directed by Paula Porn. The winner of the competition – Katie Coxxx – has since gone on to film a full DVD of her own, Apocalypse Angels, also from Easy on the Eye Productions.