Dvd's & Videos
R18 Dvd's & Videos
In the year 2000 legislation was passed to make it legal to purchase and view consensual adult porn (hardcore) in the UK. As far as we can establish from the British Board of Film Classification's guidelines, providing you are aged 18 or over you can purchase R18 Dvds in person from a licensed UK sex shop but they can not be supplied via mail order to any address within the UK. (What about the European anti-competion law?)
Until recently a number of online sex shops have been getting around this legislation by either shipping the Dvds from countries outside the UK or offering R18 products via a link from their online sex shop to another site overseas. There have been three well publicised court cases where industry suppliers have appeared before the courts charged with offering to supply R18 materials to end users, and all have been found guilty incurring substantial fines and costs. In one of the cases the directors, and the company itself, was found guilty of 'aiding and abetting' an overseas firm in supplying R18 products through premises other than a licensed sex shop. The company's fines and costs totaled £27,000.
The legal loophole of supplying R18 material from European countries seems now to have closed. Anyone who has a link on their web site to a overseas supplier of R18 material is risking prosecution. These rulings could have hugh implications for the online sex shop and adult industry in general.
The guidelines from BBFC (The British Board of Film Classification) are as follows:
To be supplied only in licensed sex shops to adults of not less than 18 years.The ‘R18' category is a special and legally restricted classification
primarily for explicit videos of consenting sex between adults. Such videos may be supplied to adults only in licensed sex shops, of which there are currently about 90 in the UK. ‘R18' videos may not be supplied by mail order.
The following content is not acceptable
- any material which is in breach of the criminal law.
- material (including dialogue) likely to encourage an interest in abusive sexual activity (e.g., paedophilia, incest) which may include depictions involving adults role-playing as non-adults.
- the portrayal of any sexual activity, whether real or simulated, which involves lack of consent.
- the infliction of pain or physical harm, real or (in a sexual context) simulated. Some allowance may be made for mild consensual activity.
- any sexual threats or humiliation which do not form part of a clearly consenting role-playing game.
- the use of any form of physical restraint which prevents participants from withdrawing consent, for example, ball gags.
- penetration by any object likely to cause actual harm or associated with violence.
- activity which is degrading or dehumanising (examples include the portrayal of bestiality, necrophilia, defecation, urolagnia).
The following content, subject to the above, may be permitted
- aroused genitalia
- oral-genital contact including kissing, licking and sucking
- penetration by finger, penis, tongue, vibrator or dildo
- non-harmful fetish material
- group sexual activity
- ejaculation and semen
These guidelines make no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual activity.
18 Certificate films
No-one younger than 18 may see an ‘18' film in a cinema. No-one younger than 18 may rent or buy an ‘18' rated video. The BBFC respects the right of adults to chose their own entertainment, within the law. It will therefore expect to intervene only rarely in relation to ‘18' rated cinema films. In the case of videos, which are more accessible to younger viewers, intervention may be more frequent. There are no constraints at this level on theme, language, nudity or horror. The Board may, however, cut or reject the following content:
- any detailed portrayal of violent or dangerous acts which is likely to promote the activity. This includes also instructive detail of illegal drug use
- the more explicit images of sexual activity - unless they can be exceptionally justified by context
Sex Education at ‘18'
Where sex material genuinely seeks to inform and educate in matters such as human sexuality, safe sex and health, exceptions to the normal constraints on explicit images may be made in the public interest. Such explicit detail must be kept to the minimum necessary to illustrate the educational or instructional points being made.
Sex Works at ‘18'
Material which appears to be simulated is generally passed ‘18', while images of real sex are confined to the ‘R18' category.