“One person sticking out in the crowd is a lone, ranting lunatic; two are a movement.”
On November 9th, I was presented with the Sex Worker of the Year Award, at the 2015 Sexual Freedom Awards ceremony. You can find out more abut the Awards’ history and also, about my fellow finalists and winners – vocal, courageous advocates and activists in the field of sexual freedom-, by clicking on the link. I feel privileged to be in the company of so many, inspiring pioneers – because what becomes clear when reading about the huge diversity of sexual form of expression, and the pioneering work by sex practitioners, lawyers, therapists, social media activists, bloggers, is that we are still treading on new territories, but doing I from many angles.
I got a bit tongue tied on the night. Very tongue tied, to be honest. What I really would have liked to say then, but I was too nervous to utter a few incoherent thank you words, was: that in all justice, this award does not belong to me, but to Backlash. Without the years of tireless defense of people unjustly targeted for their sexual preferences, I wouldn’t have be on that stage, receiving my golden, winged cock of freedom. As an independent adult studio producer, I’d be as helpless as the scores of studios that were already closing down, bullied by the quango. It was thanks to the expertise of my colleagues at Backlash UK, who gave me the voice, the tools, and the power to stand up against ATVOD. And help others stand up and defeat their silencing and censorship.
There are so many battles to fight in the realm of sexual freedom: The Sexual Freedom Awards highlights that we aren’t an isolated group, ranting against the system: there is an increasing numbers of groups and individuals organising to defend sex work; sexual freedoms; the right of consenting adults to explore forms of sexual expression that challenge; the voice to demand an end to stigma; and last but no least, a censorship-free internet, because porn, in UK, is being used as an excuse to enforce draconian censorship and erasing our right to privacy.
From January 2015, ATVOD will be no more, its activities absorbed by Ofcom. Whether this is good or bad news, we still don’t know. Ofcom have been very much in line with ATVOD’s rulings and ethos so far. I have no doubt, however, that Backlash’ opposition to its evangelical crusade against British porn, has helped unmask ATVOD as the wannabe Porn Finder General. We have been the fly in ATVOD’s ointment and I am proud to have been part of it.
Thank you, all at the Sexual Freedoms Awards, for your amazing accolade your and vote of confidence. I accepted the award, nervous, feeling very responsible for Backlash’ reputation. Our fight will continue regardless, but it’s so amazing when those who you seek to defend and stand up for, endorse our campaigning as something valuable for a wider community. The golden, winged cock of sexual freedom won’t fly in vain. Thank you all.
Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, aka Ms Tytania
Pornographer, artist, activist.