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BDSM Community Speaks Out Against Pornography Laws

A draft bill to amend the ban on pornography in Iceland has served as an occasion for the BDSM community of Iceland to come out in defence of pornography.

Two Pirate Party MPs, Björn Leví Gunnarsson and Arndís Anna Kristínardóttir, submitted a bill last September to revise what some see as Iceland’s antiquated stance on pornography. The bill would lift the current penalties for the publication, importation, sale, and distribution of pornography. Notably, Iceland’s pornography laws are largely unenforced, with the exception of occasional controversies.

See also: Iceland Porn Ban “Outdated”

Now, the Icelandic BDSM Society is also weighing in on the matter.

In a public review of the proposed bill, they state: “We at the Icelandic BDSM Society are happy to see that the laws banning the publication and distribution of pornography are finally being removed from the legal system […] Many of our members have struggled with deep shame because of their own feelings and desires. This shame arises from growing up in a society that closes its eyes to the diversity of human sexuality and insists on outdated attitudes about sexual relations, for example, outdated ideas about the purity of women, the privileging of the marital relation between one man and one woman over all other forms of relationships, and beliefs about what is and is not normal sex. BDSM activities are never discussed except as a negative example, and when the negative effects of pornography are discussed, BDSM is often used as an example of sexual violence. The narrative about us never concedes that there are individuals who enjoy it, and that it is not a form of violence, but of consensual play.”

The statement also pointed out the outdated nature of the law, coming as it does from an age of print media. Now with modern information technology, it is trivially easy to access pornography, making the enforcement of such laws in the modern day essentially impossible.

The society also stated that such laws further marginalize sex workers, making it more difficult to legally and safely make a living. The BDSM community recommends sex education in schools from an early age to combat the effects of non-sex-positive pornography.

The full text of their statement can be read, in Icelandic, here.

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