- Another question, another answer. Why are there no sex scenes can SM movies?
In the '40's and '50's, companies like Nutrix, Mutrix, Satellite, etc. bumped into a strange set of circumstances. If you look back to that era, all photos were of girl-girl bondage without nudity. If your photos had nudity, you ran afoul of the USPS for sending obscene material via mail (in addition, there was no possibility of sexual contact when using only females.). Many of our "Guardians of Morality" tolerated girl-girl bondage being published because they could point at it as "That Obscene Stuff"; it was not something that couples did, it was fetishistic and not sexual, and therefore it kept a very nice black white division between "normal sex" and "deviant sex". This made all of the evangelists very happy because it was a nice, clear-cut line. There was no need to interpret a film on a frame by frame basis. It could simply be classified as having no socially redeeming value, or simply pornography. There was no need for G, PG, PG 13, ad nauseum, it was either good or bad. It also made it easy to raise funds to fight "those pornographers".
Several decades ago, what was and was not pornographic was dictated by "A Guardian of Morality with an Agenda". A certain Post Master in Kentucky was very well known for ordering obscene material with a P.O. Box address. Since UPS and FedEx can't deliver to P. O. Boxes, the material HAD to be delivered via USPS. When it arrived, he took the unopened material before a Federal Judge. The two of them would open the package, "discover" the pornographic material, and order an arrest warrant for the perpetrators. This procedure was used by many DA's and Prosecutors to move up the political ladder. You could then appeal his decision to a higher court in an effort to find a friendly (or at the very least, less rabidly fanatical) judge.
Also, California law 647b PC, 266h PC and 266i PC were used to "regulate" the adult film industry in California. Giving the movie star money to "act" in a film is one thing. If they are given money to "perform" (as in sexual acts) then they are subject to arrest as a prostitute (a misdemeanor) and the backers, directors, producers, et. al. are all subject to arrest for pimping (a felony) and pandering, (a separate felony charge) and/or they are all arrested for conspiracy to commit one or all of the above (which is, in itself, a separate charge of felony). And a really nice twist to it all is that you can be charged, as a separate offense, for each and every film you make.
California PC 647b is read as: "It shall be against the law to solicit for any act of prostitution. For the purposes of this paragraph, prostitution shall include any lewd or lascivious behavior." (Information about Pro Doms is also available if anyone is interested.)
The Meese Commission was formed to establish federal guidelines for "pornography". It did more to muddy the waters by issuing the "I can't tell you what pornography is, but I know it when I see it" type of decision. The Meese Commission Report (MCR) said each and every locality should interpret what is (and is not) obscene. This also allows each and every locality to bring legal or criminal suits against the film makers. The MCR also stated that it was not the task of the Feds to act as an arbiter to declare whether something is or is not obscene. Under the old rules, a film maker could appeal a local conviction in a higher court. If a higher court overturned a local ruling, that ruling could then be used as a defense if a different "Prosecutor with a personal agenda to become a Senator" tried to bring suit against the same film in another jurisdiction. (Do you remember the "Behind Green Doors" and "Devil and Miss Jones" decisions?)
The really wonderful upshot of this new procedure is that every film maker has to fight, in court, every "Guardian of Morality" who has any type of agenda, in each and every locality in America. Film makers (I have known many) would rather produce films without "sexual" scenes to avoid the myriad number of legal (and hence financial) problems. It becomes a no brainer financial decision: produce films without sex and stay in business, or. . . .
A Personal Note from Robin
As a little sidebar, I have the three volume set of "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" ("ILP") produced by the Catholic Church. ILP is a compendium of articles and books that should not be read by good Catholics. It also contains that part of the tract that illustrates why it should not be read, so as to teach clerics why it should not be read. ILP is a really great digest of pornography with all the juicy parts all in one place, allowing you to read the prohibited parts without being confused by any kind of plot or 'character development'.
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