We Went to Today's Pro-BDSM Face-Sitting Protest in Westminster

​Today at the UK Parliament, some people sat on some other people's faces while every living photographer in England took photos of it. We had a chat with some of the face sitters.

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Dec 12 2014, 5:50pm

Someone sitting on someone else's face outside parliament. Photos by Thomas Hjelm

This post originally appeared in VICE UK

​Today at the UK Parliament, some people sat on some other people's faces while every living photographer in England took photos of it. The people doing the face sitting were there to protest against  ​the recent ban on all sorts of stuff in British-produced porn, including ​female ejaculation, face-sitting, urination ("water-sports"), fisting, and a few more arbitrarily-selected sex acts.

The government's amendment to the 2003 Communications Act at the beginning of last week was a quiet one, apparently in the hope that nobody would notice. However, unfortunately for all the politicians trying to get into work today, actually quite a lot of people noticed. Then they told the internet about it, pointing out that the ban is essentially a preachy bit of moral judgment on what constitutes OK and not-OK sex, as well as specifically targeting female sexual pleasure.

The subsequent online uproar inspired 1,100 people to click "attending" on the face-sitting protest's Facebook event page. However, turning up today, it seemed that around 950 of these attendees had gotten cold feet, suggesting it's a lot easier to sign up to simulating a sex act in public than to actually do it.

The organizer of the protest, 2013's  ​Sex Worker of the Year Charlotte Rose, probably didn't succeed in her goal of breaking a world record for the most people sitting on each other's faces in one place at one time (she said it costs too much to get the Guinness Book of World Records to adjudicate anyway). But the overwhelming, outnumbering (sometimes kind of sleazy) press presence means she probably did a pretty good job of making her point.

I had a walk around and asked some of the demonstrators why they were there.

Karin and Sarah

VICE: Hi Karin and Sarah. Why are you here today?
Karin: I think these new laws are absolutely wrong. People should do whatever they like to do.
Sarah: I think female ejaculation and water-sports shouldn't be banned in British porn. If we can't get it in British porn we'll just get it elsewhere, and what the hell is wrong with it anyway? It's just a really stupid law.

I notice you're wearing a lot of PVC, and you have a ball gag there. Why are you protesting in this way?
Karin: Because we're perverted!
Sarah: Yeah, we're perverts!

What do you think of the turn out? There seems to be more press than protesters.
Karin: I'm very disappointed in the British fetish scene. I thought there would be lots of us, and then I see just me and Sarah. I'm very unimpressed.

Any other thoughts?
Sarah: I think there should be more actual research into what female ejaculation is, because it definitely isn't piss.
Karin: And I've never heard of anyone who died of face sitting, which is what some people have said.
Sarah: Yeah, where are the statistics on that one? Someone might die from face sitting? Jesus Christ. God's sake. Get a grip.
Karin: There are some girls who cum like boys, you know? It happens. So what the fuck is wrong with this? Are we not allowed to cum, or what?

Hi, Molly Malone. Why are you here today?
Molly: I'm here mainly to support fellow porn performers and sex workers. It feels like a really targeted and already stigmatized area of sexual expression that's being censored. As a queer person and a gender non-conforming person, I'm someone who doesn't have heteronormative sex and doesn't watch heteronormative porn, and also I have a lot of friends who make wonderful non-heteronormative porn, and it's just heartbreaking that that's something that could be criminalized in the UK. 

And from a civil liberties point of view, the risk to free speech that this could potentially lead on to; the thought that, one day, we might not have the internet as we know it now... we need to fight for those civil liberties and this is quite a lighthearted way to do it.

How will the ban affect UK porn performers?
Well, you'll either have to [quit or] be a criminal, which, to be honest, a lot of us have to be anyway. I feel very strongly about sex workers' rights, and the laws harm sex workers regardless. I'm a porn performer, mainly in spanking, and a good friend of mine has already sold his website because he can't afford to be made a criminal. What I hope is that some people will refuse to bow down to the law and continue to make videos on demand that don't apply to the restrictions, and that they'll be a test case and that will be thrown out of court and that will be the end of it.

What do you think about the selection of things banned?
It seems really to target non-heteronormative acts. So things like piss-play, fisting, face sitting, spanking, bondage: they're all things that people who might not have traditional access to classic penis and vagina sex might do. I used to spend a lot of time talking about how the trans and gender non-conforming community can access sex and pleasure in the same way our straight and cis-gender friends can, and to have that denied just seems like such a disgusting backing up of the heteronormative matrix.

John (Dutch didn't want to be photographed)

Hi John and Dutch. Why are you here?
Dutch: I'm just here to get someone to sit on my face.
John: I'm here because every few years another Tory MP gets busted in a Soho sex dungeon.

Right. So what are you protesting?
If you look at it in a really harmless way, it's a decadent series of pleasures. Why on Earth would anyone take that away? The idea of censoring female ejaculation... what? It makes no sense to me in any way at all.
Dutch: It should be a compulsory part of sex education.
John: It should be a compulsory part of sex. This idea of "Well, we must stop face sitting because it's desperately unsafe"... it's just a very strange thing to do. What out-of-touch draconian fuckwit thought of this?

Hi, Adam. Why are you here?
Adam: I'm here first as an individual, but I also represent the Campaign Against Censorship. I think this new law is bad. It's sexist, it doesn't make any sense at all. I have my own feelings on why it's going on—that house over the road, they cannot find one MP not implicated in a scandal. This is the ideal time for Mr. Cameron to bring up something like this to mask his own evils. This is a government that wants to censor what people do in their private lives. To me, censorship in itself is far more evil than anything that could ever be banned. I'm not talking shagging hedgehogs or sex with children, I'm talking about what two people do as consenting adults.

Hi Zoe and Grace. Why are you here?
Zoe: We're fighting female repression, in its simplest form. The government's trying to ban female pleasure, they're trying to ban what people can watch. They don't care if it's consensual. They don't care that people have different fetishes, different things that they find fun. It's patriarchal shit, essentially.

What impact will it have on British porn performers?
Grace: I don't think it will stop them. But I think it's very oppressive; it's just taken feminism and female expression back a step. I hope we'll fight it so that not much impact is made, but it could affect everyone—men, women, porn performers, porn watchers... all sex workers in general. I think it's just bullshit.
Zoe: It's highly misogynistic, obviously.

Hi, Tee Tee Bang. Why are you here?
Tee Tee Bang: I'm here because I believe in sexual liberation. I think that we shouldn't be so repressed as a nation. I think it would make our children happier if we just talked about sex. If we were more open about it, it would give us a healthier lifestyle—it would be a positive thing. We've had our sexuality repressed in this country for so many years; there are so many things we don't talk about and it's just not right. You know, we've got girls walking around with body issues, and they don't know what they're doing when they get to the bedroom—they don't know what's right and what's wrong, and we should just educate them more.

What do you think about the list of banned things?
I think it's really dumb. My personal favorite is squirting, because I didn't even know that was a thing until I started watching porn. It was such a taboo for so long, and now we've finally all agreed that it happens they want to ban it? It's nuts. What, so a man can cum and it's completely OK, but if a woman does it's not?

You seem pretty annoyed. Did you join in with the face sitting?
Yes! I met a lovely girl called Rachel who asked me if I wanted to sit on her face. It was really fun.

Hi Dual, Tigress, and the infamous Boom Boom. Why are you here?
Tigress: They're trying to take away our freedom within sexuality. Personally, for me, it's extremely suppressive of the female side as well. Female ejaculation is perfectly natural, perfectly normal, and the majority of women can actually achieve it if they let themselves go. So why they'd want to take this away from us, I'm not quite sure. We've moved forward so much in terms of acceptance, gay marriage, all these things, so why are we now going backward? Just because it's pornography? I don't understand it, so we need to take a stand.

What do you think about the list selection?
Humiliation, abuse, tethering, spanking... these are all extremely minor things within the fetish world. If they think that's a big deal they should meet some of our friends. Again, it's just taking away our freedoms, but it's not even a dangerous thing, so I don't understand the uproar. Instead of concentrating on their tiny little penises, maybe they should take some interest in the NHS or sorting out our actual society.

What do you think, Boom Boom?
Boom Boom: Porn is a reliever. When you ejaculate you're like, "Oooh." It's a reliever of a stressful day, and now they're taking away things people love. It's going to cause a huge uproar.
Dual: And who doesn't love a good spanking? Everyone loves a good spanking. Even you, I can see it.

Love it, mate. So what inspired your outfits?
This? This is just Friday. It's our day look. Just trying to blend in. They just picked us up like this. 

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