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Published On: Thu, Oct 6th, 2016

THE SEX FILES: Interview with Pandora Blake Part 2

dreams-of-spanking2Here’s the 2nd part of my interview with Dreams of Spanking creator/content producer and feminist porn advocate Pandora Blake. We pick up with discussing the current state of adult content sites, delve deeper into the lasting effects of those UK AVMS (sorry, I spelled them wrong in part 1, I guess I need Pandora to teach me a lesson, huh?) porn regulations Pandora fought (and won) and how you can join this wonderful lady in fighting the good fight.

It seems producers are not offering previews on their clips sites now as much as little groupings of stills one can look at, but you offer a great amount of preview material, even some whole free movies on Dreams of Spanking.

Dreams of Spanking has always offered far more in the way of previews than many other sites. Each scene has a publicly visible page, with stills, a free video trailer up to 3 minutes in length, and all the other information about the scene that would be visible to members; duration, performers, keywords and description. There’s no hidden away members area; what you see is what you get. Once you pay for a membership, the difference is that you get access to the full length video files instead of the free trailer, and the full size, full length photo-gallery rather than a selection of thumbnails. I’ve also always made free hosted galleries available to affiliates and bloggers, with loads of free high-res photos to show people what we have on offer; and our Tumblr and Twitter accounts are constantly updated with free material.

Do you think offering such easily accessible content might have red-flagged you to those UK regulations?

Yes, I do believe offering the free previews as we do, is indeed one of the reasons ATVOD came down on us so hard. The AVMS regulations made it illegal to show anything that would be classified higher than an “18” rating without placing it behind an age barrier, such as a credit card paywall-so the explicit previews on Dreams of Spanking were one of the things ATVOD used to rule against us. Now that I’ve won my appeal, we’ve got a reprieve-but sadly it looks like it won’t last long. Right now a new piece of UK legislation called the Digital Economy Bill is going through Parliament, and one of the things it does is extend the age verification requirements even to content that would be classified 18. This will mean that any nudity, kinky or sexual content whatsoever must be behind privacy-busting age checks that will require the user to surrender personal ID details to see it. If this becomes law it will mean no more free porn, ever, in the UK; and they even want to extend this requirement to sites hosted outside the UK, as long as they’re visible to UK viewers. It’s ridiculous, unrealistic, and highly worrying.

What’s the immediate future hold for you and Dreams of Spanking? Any plans for other sites, any more protesting now that you’ve won? Or are you just concentrating on making more scenes and movies?

Because the UK seems determined to criminalize online porn, the future of the site is currently uncertain. Although I’ve been granted an exception to the AVMS regulations after my successful appeal, when the Digital Economy Bill becomes law in spring 2017 it will re-criminalize me and anyone else who produces consensual fetish content, which falls outside that allowed by the current UK film classification system. It’s clear to me that this constant changing of the rules is not sustainable, and we need a comprehensive review of the classification system and obscenity law in general. So my immediate future is going to see a lot of campaigning and lobbying against the increasing criminalization of porn. I’m all for reforming the industry, but none of these laws do anything that will actually make the industry better, safer, and reduce inequality and exploitation.

When this all came down, the new UK laws, your site being harassed and eventually taken down, did you ever think you might get justice, see the day there would be a reversal where you’d come out the other end with the site back up and running?

This is a hard question to answer. On the one hand, I had to prepare for the worst. I knew the regulations were unjust and completely out of touch with current social standards, and I knew that ATVOD were enforcing them in a way that was totally unfair. I was just one woman standing up to the government and the law, and it was entirely possible that it would go horribly wrong. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t have stuck to my guns, refused to comply, spoken out against the regulations, and appealed if I didn’t think it had a chance of working out. I reckoned I had about a 50/50 chance of success. I thought it was worth the risk-and it turned out I was right. I’m very glad that it paid off.

Winning my appeal was an important moral victory, which got the issues the public attention they deserved; and for that alone, it was worth doing.

I certainly feel it was worth ‘doing’ and love Pandora for taking up against seemingly insurmountable odds for a fight that could be very well be (maybe already is in one way or another) coming ‘over here’ soon enough. It’s fantastic that Dreams of Spanking is back up and running and I thank for Pandora for giving me her time.

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THE SEX FILES: Interview with Pandora Blake Part 2