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18th May 2019

Revenge porn laws ‘not working’, say victim groups (bbc.co.uk).

Selfie-style caracature of woman playing with herself

Experts suggesting the so-called revenge porn law introduced in England and Wales in April 2015 (Pick of the Week Oct. 2014) is “not fit for purpose” and coming after 19 police forces in England and Wales revealed police investigations have doubled in the last four years but that the number of charges has fallen, and on the same day that it was shamefully revealed that nearly 1,500 accusations of serious sexual misconduct have been made against police officers in England and Wales over six years (theguardian.com) and a week after after two Essex detectives were jailed for scuppering abuse investigations out of laziness (bbc.co.uk).

Research by the University of Suffolk found 95% of police officers who took part in a survey in 2017 said they had not had any training on revenge porn legislation.

With a manager for the Revenge Porn helpline saying that:

“It’s all very well changing the law and making these things illegal, but if the frontline services don’t understand what the law actually means then you’ve only done half the job.”

The main issue being that revenge porn is currently categorised as a “communications crime” rather than a sex crime, meaning victims are not granted anonymity and either perhaps suggesting Inspector Knackers solution to revenge porn outrage has been little more than lip service or that as with defined sex crimes the need to examine the extend of our virtual world to get a fair trial and prosecution is the issue: UK police want rape survivors to hand over their phones (gizmodo.com, Apr. 2019).

Updated 19th May 2019

And while ministers in Theresa’s zombie cabinet defend saying that campaigners and victims were consulted, it gives Comrade Corbyn’s lot a change of opposition topic and scene, inter party Brexit talks having collapsed after realising it really was just involving all watching the PM in her chamber siting on her throne failing again to dislodge the terrible tortoise head impasse:

Over 80 Labour MPs urge Theresa May to offer anonymity to revenge porn victims (independent.co.uk).

Some 87 Labour MPs have written the prime minister calling for her to make it a specific sexual offence to share intimate images and videos without a person’s consent, which would offer the victim lifelong anonymity, in line with other sex crimes.

The letter saying that:

“It cannot be right that victims of image-based sexual abuse, who have already had their privacy violated in a disgusting betrayal of trust, face having their identity made public when seeking to pursue charges.”

And, emboldened by the recent “upskirting” bill (Blog, updated 12th Apr. 2019), a growing number of cross-party MPs calling for it to be made a sexual offense too.

Updated 1st July 2019

And with a report published after Education Secretary Damian Hinds was accused of the same sort of “victim blaming” as Inspector Knacker by advising that “The safest way to be is not to be sharing intimate pictures” (mirror.co.uk):

Revenge porn victims being failed by outdated laws and policing (theguardian.com).

The findings are contained in a report released on Monday by legal experts from across the UK, based on interviews with 25 survivors of image-based sexual abuse as well as police, lawyers and policy-makers. They are calling for the government to outlaw threats to share nude or sexual images without consent as well as digitally altered or fake sexual images, among other reforms.

With law which is a “patchwork” and the “Delays in government action on image-based sexual abuse is gambling with people’s lives,” according to the reports co-author Clare McGlynn, suggesting that: “the government must also establish an office for online safety to help victims navigate the ‘cumbersome’ processes of social media platforms to have offending images swiftly removed.”

Needless to say, it’ll all likely have to wait until after troublesome-turtlehead that is the Brexit impasse keeping parliamentarians on the throne has finally either no-deal dropped or the loaf cut with bad-deal, with hopefully no leakage taken by a camera coat hook in the loo (mirror.co.uk, Oct. 2017) surfacing of that.

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