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Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

FISTS UP

12.12.14

Britain’s Record-Breaking Face-Sitting Porn Protest

On the lawn outside Parliament, dozens of British couples showed their anger at new government rules that ban female ejaculation in porn by, well, riding the nose pony.
LONDON — Only in Britain could a mass pornography protest come served with lashings of hot tea and the musical accompaniment of Monty Python.

In the shadow of the Houses of Parliament in central London, demonstrators gathered on rugs to discuss politics and politely sit on each other’s faces. The protest against censorship of pornography was to take the form of a world-record attempt, but Guinness refused to sanction the event and, in the end, no one remembered to count. Probably about 60 people took part, making this an unofficial record in an uncontested category.

They may have fallen a bit short of their ambitious target of hundreds of face-sitting libertines, but they succeeded in drawing scores of media outlets to hear their message: We need to see women enjoying sex, too.

New British regulations have banned pornography that shows face-sitting, spanking, and female ejaculation. It’s difficult to deny suggestions that there is an element of gender bias in the ruling. “Why is it perfectly fine for me to choke on a penis or be covered in semen but not OK for me to ejaculate on someone?” said Ally Jones, 25, who was attending the first protest of her life. “Come on—this is the country of 50 Shades of Grey!

When he emerged blinking into the daylight, “Mr D.” from Brighton said he had “survived it many times before,” although this was his first time before a crowd of photographers.

She had been moved to take part after what seemed to her an egregious and puritanical restriction on women’s pursuit of ecstasy. “One of the main bones of contention is that it’s acts showing women to be dominant that have been banned,” she said. “Women are supposed to be weaker—that’s why it’s an abomination to see them in control. This is the deliberate suppression of women’s sexuality.”

The women standing on the green outside the House of Commons gave little impression of being suppressed. Among a stellar collection of slogans, one banner questioned Prime Minister David Cameron’s motives: “Can’t Make His Wife Squirt. Bans It in Porn.” Another suggested female sexual liberation wouldn’t hurt anyone: “Vulvas Don’t Kill People, Revolvers Do.”

While song sheets were handed out with the lyrics to Monty Python’s “Sit on My face” in preparation for the record attempt, sporadic outbreaks of mock cunnilingus popped up all over the neat lawn. The first couple, who were dressed in tweed jackets, poured cups of tea and shared sandwiches cut into triangles before indulging in the forbidden fruit.

As the reporters giggled, another woman, this time in leopard-print pants and a red leather jacket, lowered herself onto the face of a man in a scuba mask. When he emerged blinking into the daylight, “Mr D.” from Brighton said he had “survived it many times before,” although this was his first time before a crowd of photographers. “This is about much more than pornography,” he said. “It’s about the entrenched suppression of women.”

Last week, an amendment to Britain’s Communications Act (2003) put video on demand online pornography under the same regulations that already govern DVD sales and theatrical movie releases. Under the British Board of Film Censors rules, people in Britain are no longer  able to pay for pornography that contains spanking, caning, verbal abuse, water sports, female ejaculation, fisting, or face-sitting.

Charlotte Rose, who was named sex worker of the year in 2013, organized Friday’s face-sit-in. She said she had been shocked by the new regulations. “Face-sitting and female ejaculation are two of my favorite activities,” she told The Daily Beast. “It is beautiful, any orgasm is a wonderful and sexy expression, which no one has the right to ban. It is taking people’s personal liberties away without consent.”

Addressing the crowd that had assembled on the grass, she advised everyone to move onto the sidewalk where the MPs could see them more clearly from their offices and the ground was dry. “I can’t guarantee it will be dry afterward,” she shouted. It was another of the nudge, nudge, wink, wink jokes that summed up the entire enterprise. One of the teenage boys present to defend pornography’s honor, held a sign that read: “We Cum in Peace.”

On the other side of the road, inside the House of Commons, Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert was calling for the new regulations to be overturned. “To me, the case for banning things should be driven by issues around consent, and around genuine risk, not about whether we happen to like things or not,” he said. The government insisted the regulations simply extended protections already in place for DVDs to the Internet.

“Patriarchy!” shouted one woman. “They didn’t ban blow jobs did they?”

Gingerly, about 30 couples lay down and squatted on mats and rugs for the mass face-sit. In unison, they sang along to the Monty Python classic that was performed live at the Hollywood Bowl in 1982:

Sit on my face and tell me that you love me
I’ll sit on your face and tell you I love you too
I love to hear you oralize
When I’m between your thighs
You blow me away

Photo Illustration by Emil Lendof/The Daily Beast

KEYBOARD WARRIOR?

12.12.14

The Scared Widdle Kitty of ISIS

ISIS’s biggest English-speaking online cheerleader is unmasked and on the run. The real facts of his life seem totally pathetic.
It’s a sad day for ISIS’ online fan clubs; if they weren’t scurrying into hiding, they’d be clicking their black flag avatars down to half-mast. The Twitter account of @ShamiWitness, the bravest jihadist to never actually join the jihad, was shut down after a reporter learned his real identity.

ISIS’ top English-speaking PR man is an advertising executive living in India, Britain’s Channel 4 revealed.

Shami, we hardly knew ye! All those bloodthirsty tweets and arcane exhortations and now we find out you were an advertising executive—an ad exec!—who liked “pizza dinners with friends, and Hawaiian parties at work” all along. Such dark comedy.

Citing Shami’s own claim that “his life would be in danger if his true identity was made public” Channel 4 identified him only by his first name, Mehdi. It didn’t take long for a full name to surface online, but we’ll hold off on posting that until The Daily Beast can verify that the “Mehdi” in question is the man behind the @ShamiWitness Twitter account.

His life could be in danger! Shami is scared. Not about encouraging aspiring butchers to live out their violent fantasies in Syria. That’s still fine. He just doesn’t want people to know that it’s him cheering on the murder.

Shami—no, let’s use his real name—Mehdi’s praise for ISIS was easy to digest for his nearly 18,000 followers, which included two thirds of all foreign fighters according to Channel 4’s report. His message evolved into a hardline defense that celebrated beheadings while praising the self-declared Islamic State for its governance. As ISIS massacred its enemies—anyone who didn’t swear allegiance to the group—Mehdi laundered the slaughter as a tough on crime, law and order agenda. Islamic State brought “peace, autonomy, zero corruption, low crime-rate,” he Tweeted last month.

“It’s hard to overstate how influential ShamiWitness was among English-speaking ISIS supporters on Twitter.”

“It’s hard to overstate how influential ShamiWitness was among English-speaking ISIS supporters on Twitter,” said terrorism analyst J.M. Berger.

Berger, who has specialized in documenting the way terror networks operate through social media, describes Mehdi’s influence and the consequences of his outing:

“Even before his self-deletion, ISIS social media activists were already complaining about the suspensions of their most influential users, which they have described as having a ‘devastating’ effect on their online efforts. The early reaction to Shami closing his account is similarly alarmed. This is a big deal. It won’t stop ISIS’s efforts to spread its message and recruit, but it is a significant setback for those efforts.”

141212-siegel-shami-witness-embed
Twitter

He wrote mostly in a clever colloquial English that appealed to Western ISIS admirers and served as a source of information for intelligence analysts and reporters—I was one of his followers. But he sprinkled in enough Arabic and stern, old-fashioned injunctions to fit in with ISIS’ hokey approximation of a pre-modern style.

There’s a longer story to be written about Mehdi’s radicalization, but that’s for another day. Right now it’s enough to let the bare facts of his existence be the knife twisting in his back.

I say his back because Mehdi is now a fugitive. Both the Bangalore City Crime Branch and Indian national intelligence officials are after him. “We are tracking down the man,” the Bangalore Police Commissioner said.

Before it caught up to him, here was Mehdi in top form, talking tough through his alter ego Shami—check out that hard-man slang—about the risks others took.

“You bros talked the talk, walked the walk,” Medhi wrote after Iftikhar Jaman, a private school educated British jihadist, died fighting for ISIS in Syria.

But Mehdi, bro, what about you?

He was gonna join the fight, you know, really he was, got his ninja getup fitted and everything.

“If I had a chance to leave everything and join them I might have.” But we’ll just cut the quote off there and spare you the bullshit about his family needing him at home.

How many Xbox games, pizza boxes, and fresh towels are there in that home of Mehdi’s? How fast was the Internet connection? How many emails and private messages did he send, urging young men to martyrdom, soothing their consciences about those troubling stories of ISIS raping and enslaving Yazidi women, and butchering fellow Muslims by the thousands? What other shameful secrets might a search of his Internet history turn up unrelated to his months swooning over ISIS?

It’s a satisfying downfall, but dizzying. A lost Mel Brooks musical parodying the dark side of Post-modern globalism—an Indian ad exec connected to his English speaking pop culture-saturated followers through a common longing for an anti-Western, pre-modern Caliphate and a pizza crust dusted keyboard.

A choice between terrifying and pathetic presents itself. It’s a false choice.

PARTNER CONTENT

THE NEW ALPHAS

12.03.14

Unleash Your New Alpha: Enter To Win A Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Laptop

We’re giving away three of Lenovo’s innovative 2-in-1 laptops to help you do more.

Our ongoing exploration of the cultural tastemakers we call New Alphas has highlighted the kind of dual passions that defies labels. Like Pharrell, who used his entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy to become one of the most sought after talents in the music industry; or Chrissy Tiegen, who proved she was more than just a pretty face by showcasing her outgoing personality on social media.

Now we want you to unleash your inner New Alpha. So we’re giving away a Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro to three lucky readers. The thinnest 2-in-1 on the planet, the innovative Yoga 3 isn’t defined as a laptop or a tablet making it the perfect hardware for those who do.

Enter your email below for a chance to win. (Rules and regulations apply.)

This content is partner content, and was not necessarily written or created by The Daily Beast editorial team.
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