English Sexual politics

US Safer S&M Web Sites Closes Down

UK proposal
Prison sentences of three years for private possession of SM images

In the last few months the US and UK governments have announced plans to crack down on personal SM profiles on the internet. Prison sentences of three years are being reported in the press for British inhabitants who download SM images from the Internet or have them stored at home if the legislation comes into force.

The US Justice Department June 22. tightened up the Law 18 U.S.C. 2257, so that several web pages with personal SM profiles had to shut down or self-sensor their content. This far,,, and has closed down or has self-sensored their sites.

These proposals will also concern Norwegian and other European users of UK and US web communities, Svein Skeid in ReviseF65 say. Such restrictions can harm the work to stop hiv, and hinder prophylactic health work for the SM population, he says.

September 22. the US attorney General Alberto Gonzales, The Department of Justice and the FBI announced that any website hosted in the US that has content containing “bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behaviour” should be forewarned that obscenity prosecutions is possible. Additionally, Federal sentencing guidelines state that any obscenity-related punishment should be “enhanced for sadomasochistic material”.

Please support the Free Speech Coalition and the The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, which have challenged lawsuits against the Justice Department and the Communications Decency Act, respectively.

Midori, an author who teaches classes on bondage, has removed her website citing fear of obscenity prosecution. The SM site now ask their members to remove all pictures showing genital SM-activity from their personal profiles.

Read the columne of John Pendal, International Mr Leather 2003 [dead link] [dead link]