back to article Sex Party proposes new classification system for Oz

The Australian Sex Party (ASP) today issued a direct challenge to what it sees as Australia’s narrow, repressive and intolerant regulations governing the censorship of erotic material. In the process, it may find it has set the ball rolling on a debate with global ramifications. The Sex Party proposals are wide-ranging and …


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  1. Lamont Cranston

    What an unfortunate use of the phrase

    "trickle down".

    1. Shaun 1

      At least

      I'm not the only person that thought that...

  2. Wommit
    Thumb Down

    I'm still waiting

    for someone to explain why its OK for people to be killed on TV, with blood and gore spraying over the room, body parts flying and people screaming. But not a simple sex scene.

    Priorities need to be sorted out and fast.

    1. Tom 35

      Forget the sex scene

      Show a nipple and people go nuts.

      And you have to be careful about how you deal with violence on TV. If you just say you can't show blood, and you can't show that... you can end up with violence without consequences. Take a cartoon like GI Joe, no blood, no death, the pilot always ejects before the plane blows up. Worst thing that can happen is maybe an arm sling for half an episode.

      Look war is FUN, you get to blow shit up and stuff.

      Like porn, defining bad violence is not easy. You can end up with the same "I know it when I see it" definition.

  3. P Zero
    Paris Hilton


    It IS OK for someone to take their clothes off to sell something. You can not like it all you want, but if someone wants to do it you can't really stop it, providing they are following all the rules.

    Paris Hilton, because.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Objectification of women

    The notion of the "objectification of women", is an unsubstantiated diversion. People, male and female are "objectified" in all walks of life. Waiter are objectified as "servants", dustmen as "cleaners", and heavy goods vehicle drivers as "chauffeurs". And that's just the men.

    "Objectification" is not necessarily negative. And when couples have sex, love, respect, and the intelligence of your partner, are not always at the front of your mind.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    That it is just OK for a woman to take her clothes off in order to sell something?" ®

    So if it was a bare chested man selling Sure deoderant, would that be better?

    Oh how about diet coke adds?

    Or Levi jeans...rememeber those...

    Ahhh but those are different.

    1. John Angelico

      Ahh, but they are not

      .. different. They are just as much using sex to sell - in a word: prostitution.

      1. CD001


        Prostitution is selling sex, not using sex to sell something else.

        Besides - who exactly is being exploited in a legitimate porn business? The well paid "actresses" (better paid than their male counterparts) or the mugs that actually blow their cash (shoot their wad) on the end product?

        Visit enough nightclubs and you'll know you can have the "real thing" for the price of a few drinks; best guess - porn is for married men *shrugs*

  6. JimC

    They certainly have a point about violence though...

    I find it incredible that all sorts of abominable violent acts are allowed to be portrayed on screen, but not activities that are completely socially acceptable if done out of public view...

  7. Christoph

    Suppression is not the way t o help women

    "If you look at the industry in which these sort of films get made, women are hurt, exploited and damaged."

    And she's going to improve this by oppressive legislation to keep it under cover? Rather than making it legal and open, so the women can have the same rights and status as everyone else, and any exploitation will get exposed and punished?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, yeah...

    "The summary found that by the age of 18 the average American had seen 200,000 dramatised acts of violence..."

    Well, in fairness, all you need to do is watch '300' once to hit that number.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge


      about twenty minutes of Midsomer Murders.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Even better idea

    Why don't they just do away with the censorship like civilized country? Hell, you don't even need to be civilized, look at America. *rimshot*

    1. Baskitcaise

      Even better idea.

      "*rimshot*" <<<<< Shirley that should have been censored?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm tired of these people!

    Yes, it is ok for a woman or man to take off their clothes to sell something. Sex is innate to humans, it's part of what we are and indispensable for continuing as a specie. Saying that you can't use sex to sell, is the same as saying that you can't use hunger or thirst to sell.

    I'm honestly appalled by the level of stupidity and close mindedness that is taking hold of the anglophone world. I'm beginning to feel ashamed to live in it.

    Violence, on the other hand, because of it's intrinsically non-consensual nature, has no place in a civilized society.

    I do have very young kids and I would rather have them watch a couple have sex, than have them see an ultra-bloody glorified violent scene in a movie; after all, when they grow up, I'm sure that they will have sex, but I pray that they will never be on neither the receiving or giving end of a violent action against another human being.

  11. Roger Jenkins

    Viewing a sex object

    Isn't it so, that when two people first meet that they may be sexually attracted to each other. Perhaps they havn't even spoken at this stage. Havn't we all seen a member of our favoured gender of sexual partner and though, yummy, scrumptious, I wouldn't mind a piece of that!

    Does this mean that we are demeaning them as purely a sex object?

    No way, we are feeling perfectly natural lust in our loins.

    Neither men nor women are sex objects, but they may be the subject of lustful looks. Demeaning? Not in the least, it takes at least some communication before feelings other than the basic lust can be replaced/conjoined with respect, like, friendship and/or love.

    If however you see someone on the screen with no possibility of further communication, then lust is all that remains, it doesn't mean that you are demeaning that person, it just says, gawd I'd like to get into his/her pants. Maybe that means that they become an object of our sexual desires, so in that sense a sex object, but demean? I think not.

  12. Gumby1
    Thumb Up

    Yeah for the Aussie Sex party

    Having just spent the last election handing out flyers for The Australian Sex party I'm chuffed to see El Reg taking notice as well. Sadly there are a large amount of Adults that have to rely on the Pirate Bay or another tor to get a sniff of some of the games that are " Refused Classification " in Australia.

    Well done ASP and keep on your guns with getting this change added .

  13. Chad H.

    Vivienne Pattson's quote

    "It is all very well to claim that films showing consensual acts between adults are harmless to those who produce them and those who view them. In truth, though, the biggest lie is that porn is ok and that no-one gets hurt. If you look at the industry in which these sort of films get made, women are hurt, exploited and damaged.


    The same things can be said about the Hospitality and catering industry, with Domestic servants and in agriculture. Does Mediawatch-Uk support criminalising these?

  14. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Politics you can believe in

    "provocative and erotic picture of a woman"? Vivienne, that's in YOUR mind. Five-year-olds don't have sexual urges and will either ignore it completely, or ask delightfully innocent questions that embarrass adults, if you can't quickly think of an answer that is accurate but not explicit, you're not fit to be a parent. I can't see a "trickle down" effect, either, advertisers seem quite capable of producing suggestive imagery independently.

    Good on yer mate to the ASP.

    Oh, and, "Australia one of the few legislatures in the western world"? Guess I need to take Geography, I thought Australia was pretty far South and East.

  15. Alexander Vollmer

    Ban all the crap!

    For the kid's sake there should be no depiction or visualisation of sexuality or nudity. Kids should make this experience in reality not by virtual stuff. Let them learn this by peer education. Encourage them to do the real thing and not the way. There is need for a School Condom Act to supply everything needed for a safer learning. Yes, ban all the crap and give the real thing a chance.

  16. FozzyBear

    This si not the title you are looking for....

    Wow a logical and common sense approach to some of the most controversial inconsistencies in the classification of film, media and literature in our society today. Shame it will never fly

  17. JaitcH

    This interesting proposal deserves serious consideration

    I always considered the connection between nakedness and sex crimes somewhat tenuous and that Blair and Browns criminalisation of viewing, storage, whatever was a step too far.

    If viewing/ownership of pictures of naked bodies was illegal years ago most of those in private, fee-paying schools ('public' in British parlance) would be in jail. I remember dog-eared books of naked bodies doing the rounds in the dormitories when I was at Dauntsey's School in Wiltshire and most of the students turned out to be a fairly decent cross-section of society.

    Pictures od child abuse in any form should, naturally fall outside the protection of the law but should NOT be linked to a sex offender claim.

  18. Big-nosed Pengie

    This is not a title

    I wear my membership of the ASP with pride.

  19. Graham Marsden

    Ok, but...

    Ok, it's good that ASP are challenging the nonsensical puritanical mores of their country, but I find it disappointing that they "express its opposition to violence in all its forms, " with the seeming implication that consensual (but extreme) BDSM videos are the same as non-consensual, violent sexual acts because they say "A category of Non Violent Erotica would include all sexually explicit material between consenting adults that is free from depictions of violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence, coercion, sexually assaultive language."

    Perhaps they're trying a "small steps" technique to slowly push back the barriers without the sort of resistance that a "legalise it all" campaign could cause, but they seem to be risking codifying another set of barriers which would be harder to get rid of because "Well, the ASP lobbied for these laws!"

    It's also disappointing that they cite "a 2005 Eros summary of all recent research studies into the effects of violent media on children" when they are talking about *adult* material designed for people who are obviously *not* children and should know the difference between right and wrong and consent and non-consent.

    BTW I do have to question why it was necessary to include a quote (presumably for "balance") from Vivienne Pattson the director of soi-disant Mediawatch-UK.

    This organisation is just the old Mary Whitehouse brigade under a new name trotting out the tired old rhetoric of "porn is wrong because it objectifies women" as if the women who take part in it (what about the men?) are, presumably, mentally or emotionally deficient and cannot understand for themselves what they are doing without Ms Pattson and friends telling them "no, we don't like this, so you shouldn't do it".

    Mediawatch are not amenable to reason and, unlike Backlash, they have no interest in engaging in sensible discussion with anyone who disagrees with their position.

  20. Semaj
    Big Brother


    "On top of that, the entire porn industry fosters an unfortunate attitude towards objectification of women."

    The entire industry? All that gay porn REALLY objectifies women doesn't it.

    What an idiot. I'd love to see that ASP lady (or Anonymous 21:41) tear her to shreds (metaphorically of course) on TV some time.

  21. Malcolm Boura 2

    Mediawatch - how big is it?

    Anybody know how large Mediawatch actually is? It is a while since I searched their web site but I couldn't find any information and my email asking was ignored. As far as I can make out it has a staff of one working from a bedroom which in turn suggests that the membership is tiny. So why then are they so often asked for quotes?

    As others have pointed out, Mediawatch are great on assertions, assumptions, unjustified conclusions and sound bites, but serious deficient in evidence and logic. The quotes in the article are an excellent example. They completely fail to even consider that the ill effects of activities wholly or partially prohibited are often due to the prohibition and not inherent in the activity itself.

  22. mmiied

    proof please

    "If you look at the industry in which these sort of films get made, women are hurt, exploited and damaged."

    can I make a requst that the person who made that statment provide some sort of evidance to back it up otherwise it is just there opinion and carries as much waight as anyboady elses

  23. Liam Johnson


    Really? That makes 6 murders per day over 18 years!

    Or are they counting Wiley Coyote accidents as murder?

  24. Mike Hanna

    Trickle down! Haha!

    "There is a trickle down effect which results from our attitude towards porn: as I come to work, I regularly pass a billboard showing a provocative and erotic picture of a woman. What message is being sent to five-year-olds? That it is just OK for a woman to take her clothes off in order to sell something?"

    So this woman has a problem with advertisers using sex to promote their products, whereas classification would keep adult situations away from young eyes. Porn gets banned cos WonderBra use a woman with big tits to sell their products. Stupid feckin bitch - that's a discussion to have with advertisers and their guidelines, isn't it?

    I'll admit to rather enjoying watching free clips of adult entertainment, lasting 5-10 minutes, of two consenting adults sharing their love for one another with the interwebs. But it's grouped with things like "I Spit On Your Grave" by some trout and her cronies, probably none of whom are getting any, cos sex is a terrible thing...

  25. Loki 1

    Uniform ratings?

    <quote>They argue for a national classification scheme that "includes uniform ratings for explicit adult material across all jurisdictions and through all media</quote>

    So, does this mean that the nurses uniform gets a risque rating of 5/10 and the schoolgirl uniform gets 10/10?

  26. Bernard M. Orwell

    On behalf of Moral Philosophers from previous centuries.... cannot legislate individual morality, and thusly, global morality must follow in a like fashion.

    Fail award handed to everyone who tries. Let us alone to be our moral guardians ourselves, and to take the same responsibility for our own children. I don't want either my or my childrens morality dictated by aloof, nonsensical religion; by my neighbours unquantifiable standards; by cold, impartial legislation or by some hand-picked, anonymous group of 'nannies'.

    I have the right to decide for myself, within the bounds of law, how my morality should be. The rights of others to affect my rights end where mine begin and vice versa. Freedom 'from' should not outweight freedom 'to' where no harm is caused to a third party.

    Ergo; leave me alone!

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