Feminist porn producer and adult performer Pandora Blake has triumphed over British video regulators who banned her spanking website last summer. Blake describes the site, Dreams of Spanking, as a space devoted to "ethically-produced BDSM pornography" that prioritizes "gender diversity" and "enthusiastic consent."
The site was taken down by the British Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) in August 2015, pursuant to the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations (AVMS) of 2014. The new rules prohibited the depiction of certain sexual activity—included spanking, female ejaculation, and various BDSM acts—in TV and internet video-on-demand services. Blake and her friend Nimue Allen, also a fetish pornographer and performer, were active in speaking out against and raising money to fight these regulations.
"It's interesting that this site—which was doing visible and innovative work to raise the standard of ethical porn production in the UK BDSM industry—was the one ATVOD decided to make an example of," Blake wrote in a December 2014 post on her personal blog. "Is their aim to reduce harm—or to stifle free speech?"
Blake appealed to the U.K. Office of Communications (OFCOM). On Monday, the OFCOM published a ruling in her favor, holding that dreamsofspanking.com did not fall unter ATVOD's jurisdiction. "The site was not a video-on-demand service and therefore it was not subject to regulation," stated the OFCOM decision.
ATVOD "had been widely criticised for acting against sites outside its remit and… campaigners also said it disproportionately acted against websites run by women," reports The Guardian. In fact, the "quango"—British for a quasi-governmental administrative body such as ATVOD—was recently stripped of its regulatory powers.
Dreams of Spanking, which has been down since August 27, 2015, "will be reinstated very soon," Blake promised in a June 6 blog post.
"The point of Dreams of Spanking was to make ethical porn based on my own fantasies," Blake stated. "I'm not ashamed of being kinky and there's no harm in adults sharing consensual BDSM films. The AVMS regulations effectively criminalised my sexuality. I was singled out because I criticised the new laws. ATVOD tried to shut me up, but they failed."