Pants on fire.

I recently became morally confused, I saw both the most insulting and yet oddly impressive case of bullshitting I think I’ve ever seen. The person had a serious case of being massively competitive and anything, literally you had done, they had done, bigger and better. I recently discovered though that they hadn’t done a fucking thing because they made everything up.

A side effect of the whole ordeal, other than my broken heart, is that something I wrote many months ago about sex and censorship is unlikely to ever see the light of day, so I wanted to publish it here.

Burying your dick in the sand – Insane censorship of your favourite body parts.

By Karl Damon Smallwood

Sex is ingrained in our culture, it’s the cause of conflict, happiness and every movie starring Jennifer Aniston long after her friends career should have withered and died in the normal, natural way. Yet our attitude towards sex and the body is counter intuitive.

From the very moment the first caveman put two round pieces of fruit next to a longer more cylindrical piece of fruit, there is bound to have been another caveman attempting to cover it up before attacking the fruit with a rock, because hell, they were cavemen after all.

So we’re about to take you on a journey telling you some insane stories of censoring everything to do with the act of sex.

Section 1 – The penis.

Ah the humble dong, simple yet effective. Any teenager or suitably childish adult worth their salt is capable of drawing the classic dick and two balls. Whether it’s on paper, a magazine or a photo of themselves to send to a potential mate, the basic shape of male appendage is one we can guarantee at least half the world is familiar with.

However the image of wang is one that is rarely seen in any form of media and is often covered by pixels or tastefully places lampshade. Throughout history it has been the same story whether it was the Christians attempts to remove all the dongs from Roman and Greek statues right up to the modern day cameras capable of recognising and pixelating a member in real time, yes they actually exist.

Well sure, you’re thinking that makes sense no one wants to see a man’s package swinging free, it’s much nicer and more tasteful confined in a denim prison where it’s not so in your face. Well tell that to Terry Wogan, a well loved and respected British television presenter who whilst on points of view, a show in which he reads out letters from viewers wore trousers that accentuated his male area. In other words the man was showing some shlong, like seriously the man was packing fucking heat and it was all just like there, on your TV screen.

Well the British public rather than laugh it off or attempt to not look directly at it, complained, in their hundreds. We’d just like to say that there is something inherently British about complaining about a show in which viewers complaints are aired. Wogan being a respected national treasure managed to save face and avoid too much embarrassment, even going as far to address the complaints in the next fucking episode, complete with him awkwardly crossing his legs. The lesson being if you want to work on British TV you better be as well equipped as a Ken doll.

OK so we’ve told you can’t show a penis and you certainly can’t hint that you even have one during the day, but surely at night, past the watershed things are fair game, right? Funnily enough you can, in Britain after 9 o’clock a wang is allowed to appear on your screens. However there is a debate as to when someone’s privates are considered to be standing to attention. Legend has it (and we have to say legend as it has never been officially confirmed, but in about 3 sentences you’ll understand why no one wanted to admit to it) that the British censorship body had a general rule of thumb using the Mull of Kintyre.

Quick geography lesson, the Mull of Kintyre is a small part of the British isles that and we really cant say this any other way, looks like a semi flaccid penis. You have to squint a bit, but you can totally see it, trust us Google it next time you’re in the office, you’ll see. Rumour has it that to test whether a male member was too eager to be on camera they’d compare it with the good old Mull of Kintyre. Now of course this has since been denied by people high up in British censorship body, at the same time though several insiders have confirmed it. So you’re going to have to make up your own mind, just bear in mind that the Mull of Kintyre, really, really looks like a cock.

OK since then though people have loosened up, the British have indeed showed many an erect piece of man meat on their screens. Americans on the hand are a little more reserved. The show “Skins” was an immensely popular British teenage comedy focussing on the lives of a group of Bristol teenagers, who happens to have a lot of sex. One episode features a character taking Viagra subsequently being stuck with tight jeans the rest of the episode, this is of course hilarious and many hi-jinks are had. MTV though didn’t see it like that citing child pornography laws (the actors were over 18, but the show was about 17 year old students) and opted instead to censor the episode, simultaneously ruining a funny moment and convincing American girls all British men have black oblongs for penises.

You may be thinking, it’s these things are censored because they’re crude and not nearly as tasteful as say high art or a nice sculpture. The thing is though we weren’t kidding earlier when we said the Church attempted to remove all the dongs from old statues, but they weren’t as enlightened as we are today they couldn’t appreciate the beauty of a masterpiece. Well apparently neither can we, remember that episode of The Simpson’s where everyone in Springfield complained that The Statue Of David needed to be censored, oh how we laughed at the biting social satire taking a swipe at the overly censored and zealous society we live in. It’s just like a TV show to take the logical extreme and claim people would censor a masterpiece for comedic effect. Oh no wait, people actually fucking did that, there are several reported cases of people displaying a replica of the statue and having to take it down as it’s deemed offensive. We’d like to think that this is because a cheap replica can’t truly show the craftsmanship that went into the original, but the sad truth is, no one wants to see a tiny marble dong when they’re driving to work.

Of course the act of sex is something that we rarely expect to see on our TV screens and even if a weiner is shown, it’s not going to be in a sexual way, we can understand that. The worlds a crazy place though and sex is just as heavily moderated and censored even in media where you’re paying to see it, you know what media we mean.

Section 2 – Sex.

A wise person once said there are more synonyms for getting drunk and having sex than most other words put together. They were right, sex, coitus, the beast with two backs, humping, boning whatever the hell you call it sex is a wonderful natural thing that virtually all of society desire in some shape or form. However it is also one of the most censored things in media, seriously.

We’re just going to clear something up straight away so you can skip this section if you want, it’s about pornography. Telling you sex is censored on TV isn’t surprising, you bought this to be surprised damn it and surprised is what you’ll be.

OK we’re going to start where everyone reading this expected, Japan. Motherfucking Japan is the fetish capital of the world if someone mentions weird sex or porn, it’s Japanese. The reason why though is because Japan is one of the most censored countries in the world, which is completely the opposite of what you would expect from a country that has actual porn dedicated to urinating, look it up if you don’t believe us.

For a start, Japan has a strict rule that a dong must be censored in some way, which automatically rules out all the conventional porn staples. Which means Japan had to think outside the box, then have sex with it. Some Japanese porn purists decided to do what is commonly known as sticking it to the man and pixelate all the dongs, but used pixels so small you simply thought you were watching the porn on a CRT TV or that the male actor simply had an unfortunate skin condition.

Other more adventurous directors decided to invent new genres of porn altogether teaching the world that Japan gets shit done. An examples is Bukkake literally translating to “splash” was the result of one director thinking fuck this, and instead of watching an awkward pixelated act of love making, he skipped to end added a few more actors and just filmed the money shots since that didn’t need to be censored and boom, a new genre of porn and one more word you can’t type into Google at work, just like that.

Now from the second you read the word Japan, one word will have been at the forefront of your mind, tentacles. Tentacle porn is the biggest fuck you of all, originating in Japanese culture hundreds of years before the internet, it saw it’s revival to get around the censorship laws of Japan. As despite there being strict rules prohibiting the showing of a man’s junk or penetration of the genital variety, no law was in place against showing a suspiciously penis shaped tentacle from doing the exact same thing. You have to tip your erection to that kind of ingenuity, rock on Japan you crazy tentacle loving diamonds.

Tentacle porn isn’t uniquely Japanese though, western film makers have used the Japanese way of thinking to get around their own censorship laws. For example The Evil Dead features a scene in which a female character is sexually assaulted by some trees (we know how stupid it sounds too, just roll with it) of course people totally lost their shit and demanded the scene be cut. Of course the tree, not being a human wasn’t subject to the same censorship laws, with the entire scene being left uncut barring a few seconds.

Have you ever wondered what the storyboards to a sex scene look like? We’ll bet they’re crudely drawn stick figures with the words, “doing it” written beneath it. This isn’t small talk we’re just trying to get that image into your head, picture it real good, get all that stick figure goodness right up in your noggin. Now compared to a person being straight up assaulted by a tree, that’s small potatoes, well not in the eyes of the New York court system. Who and we are absolutely not making this up, banned a school paper from printing a cartoon depicting stick figures having sex. Bear in mind this is a state high school in New York and you could probably see the exact same thing drawn on the bathroom wall complete with a couple of dongs for good measure. There was no penetration pictured, no wangs, no breasts. It was just two genderless stick figures who could have just as easily being trying to pull off a tombstone pile driver as they were doing it. Seriously doodle two stick figures trying to strangle each other to death and that’s what was deemed to be inappropriate. Just remember though, the man may one day choose to crack down on your crude stick figure drawings too.

Of course though sex is going to make people prude, it’s something that is virtually always contained to one room of the house, or perhaps two depending on how big your bathroom is, so it’s not surprising there are a lot of rules about what you can and can’t show about being joined at the hip. But what about breasts, surely something that there is technically enough of for every single person on earth is censored a little less harshly.

Section 3 – Breasts.

Boobs are awesome, we’re going to clear that up right now, even the word “Boob” looks like a set of breasts from above, the front and the side respectively. We’ll give you a moment to figure that one out.

Back? Right as we were saying, breasts rock, virtually anyone reading this will have spent the first few months of their lives nestled snugly in a pair, relying on them for comfort and nourishment. Then as we grow up the boobs grow up with us, if you’re a girl you get your own pair, if you’re a boy you get to slowly realise your entire life is controlled by them.

Strangely though for something that is always kind of on display, good old fashioned sweater kittens are something the media doesn’t like showing. Despite the fact a trip to the beach is enough partial nudity to placate even the horniest of teenagers, showing the entirety of the breast is something that is seemingly taboo.

Even certain strip clubs in the states don’t show you the whole breast, you’re paying a woman to dance on a greased pole in skimpy clothes, but seeing that nipple would be wrong. You’re allowed to see the shape, how it hangs and how it reacts to being spun around upside down, but not the nipple. It’s like going on a tour of a new house and not being allowed to see the guest bedroom, you know it’s there and it’s nothing special, you just feel annoyed that it’s off limits when you’ve paid to see everything else.

Now this is where things start to get down right weird, we’re talking Japan level weird. Early in 2011 an androgynous male model named Andrej Pejic, posed for a magazine in make-up and a hair style that would generally be seen on a woman. We’re going to admit, the guy looked pretty convincing, but that’s not a crime. What was almost considered a crime though is the fact he posed topless, drawing complaints from outraged people. Just to clarify, he was a fucking guy posing topless, the exact same thing you’d see on the cover of any given issue of men’s health.

Barnes and Noble actually “bagged” the magazine, the same thing they do with pornography to avoid outrage, for again and we really can’t stress this enough, a man posing topless. Pejic is no stranger to controversy as his remarkably feminine features have seen him become both a catwalk model for female clothes and FHM’s 98th sexiest woman. Which is an issue for another day, just remember the important part, people complained that man who looked like a woman had his shirt off. Which kind of gives the whole debate about censoring breasts a black eye, actually it beats the ever loving shit out of that debate and then takes its wallet for good measure.

Which segues awkwardly to the final section, homosexuality.

Section 4 – Homosexuality.

Homosexuality or indeed anything sexual that deviates from the norm is heavily censored, if some people had it their way all sex would be shame filled in the missionary position only rarely punctuated with quiet sobs of regret and fear.

That sucks, but we’ve come leaps and bounds since the early days of censorship but it’s in the past where some of the craziest stuff lies. The Well of Loneliness was such a case, it is often cited as being one of the great early works of lesbian literature, oh it was also totally written by a dude and featured no actual sex, but that didn’t matter.

What did matter was that it alluded to material of a questionable moral nature, women getting freaky. Now of course this was back when people still bathed in shit and reading was still reserved for the societal elite, so we expect people to get in a fluster over this sort of thing. What we don’t expect is the reason why, the book was taken to court, not the writer, the actual fucking book.

Since no formal charges were made against the author and the case was based on whether the book was morally objectionable or not, no one needed to be questioned, meaning no one was able to defend the book. This didn’t stop some of the biggest writers of the day turning up including Virginia Woolfe, simply to bad mouth the book say how much it sucked. Writers were bitchy even in those days.

The book was eventually judged to be morally questionable, when the writer asked for it to be judged on it’s linguistic merits, the judge reasoned that “a well-written obscene book was even more harmful than a poorly written one.” Which makes sense, although it gave the writer an excuse to simply write a new book saying “Gurl on Gurl is kool” over and over again without incident.

Even in our relatively enlightened times people still make mistakes that are just as stupid, take for example Frankie Goes To Hollywood and their smash hit “Relax”. It initially stormed the charts as effectively as an asthmatic soldier on steep hill, sinking fairly low on the charts. However this didn’t stop Mike Read a BBC DJ from refusing to play the song due to it’s sexually suggestive lyrics (all of which the band denied) going as far as to snap the record on air. Totally not paying attention the bands advice of you know, relaxing.

Although he had a fair point it was an obscure song he was sure wasn’t going to go anywhere, if he didn’t play it, who gave a shit? The BBC supported his decision and also refused to play the song implementing a similar ban. However when the song shot to number one in the charts , it was obvious people wanted to hear the song and gave approximately zero fucks about the sexual content. Despite this the BBC’s show “Top of the pops” still refused to play the song even when it got to number one, noting the song’s success, then playing a song by another artist not at number one. We’d just like to point out that no other radio station at the time refused to play the song and the BBC is enforced by law to be as inclusive as possible.

What about songs that have no sexually suggestive content though? Of course no one in their right mind could be offended by a song that has literally nothing to do with sex, you can see where we’re going with. Bohemian Rhapsody, is considered one of the greatest songs ever written by music critics and fans alike, earning a place in musical history as a true classic of rock and roll. It also happens that Freddy Mercury the singer of the band was gay.

An Alaskan school in America who’s band was going to perform the song at graduation received a complaint from a parent, that’s singular by the way, upon hearing that the song would be performed. The song itself contains no sexual lyrics or bad language, in fact the entire basis for the argument of one parent was that the original singer was gay. Of course the school upheld the ban and refused to let the band sing the song, because they apparently believed that people would run crotch first at members of the same sex the instant the first chord rang out. Although it was a great lesson for the kids that an entire school will bend to your own warped way of thinking, as long as you stir up enough shit and complain.

Which is exactly what one member of the band did, by going to the local gay and lesbian support charity, the charity using what’s know as “not being a fucking retard” pointed out how stupid the decision was, then threatened legal action for good measure. The principle when faced with an entire school of pissed of students and the threat of court, immediately changed his mind, on the grounds that the band cut the line that mentioned “killing a man”. Because you know, killing is way wrong.


Censorship is a powerful and unique tool of human invention, it allows people to protect the innocent from things they may not be ready for or fully able to understand. It can also be abused by those who think they know best and prevent people from seeing the whole picture.

We ask readers to use their common sense, we presented these things here to show the extreme lengths the people of the past and present have gone to prevent people from seeing things they don’t deem appropriate. But in the end only you can say what you believe to be acceptable and what needs to be censored.

Just remember, sex is natural and it’s awesome. Someone choosing what they deem to be inappropriate for you is like being hit with a pillow, it’s annoying, it doesn’t stop you from actually doing anything and in the end all it does it get in the way.

One thought on “Pants on fire.

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