Parliament's strangest protest: The mass face sit-in

The Facebook-organised protest challenges new regulations restricting online pornography
The Facebook-organised protest challenges new regulations restricting online pornography
Alex Stevenson By

Parliament faced one of its most bizarre protests this lunchtime as liberal-minded campaigners demonstrated against pornographic censorship by sitting on each other's faces.

Dozens of fully-clothed men and women placed their crotches in contact with willing partners in protest against new pornography regulations, which came into force last week.

Once the assembled participants had gotten into position, they sang Monty Python's Sit On My Face song.

The protest against the 'sexist porn law' had a distinctly feminist streak. Many accused those behind the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 of a misogynistic view of which kind of pornography is deemed acceptable on 'TV-like' services.


While facesitting is set to be banned, the alternative form of male-on-female oral sex continues to be permitted.

Female ejaculate is banned under the new rules, but male ejaculate is allowed. This is because it is deemed too close to another banned sexual practice, urolagnia.

The rules are the product of the Authority for Television On Demand, which was created following EU regulations on TV-on-demand services like iPlayer or 4oD. No other

European country created a separate regulator in response to the change.

Critics now say the authority is over-reaching its powers in a bid to close down the UK porn industry.

But opponents of pornography so far have had the upper hand. The prime minister has insisted on an opt-in adult filter for internet providers and there is considerable support in parliament for curbs on access to porn.

Campaigners say the government has no right to interfere with what people choose to watch and that the rules favour mainstream, male-centric pornography at the expense of material designed for minority interest groups.

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