Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My Darlings, Sweetpeas and Superstars,

After four long months of pondering, the Scottish Executive have issued a response to the AEWG report.

As all of you regular visitors will remember, the report was issued at the beginning of May, and is available to read with the help of one magical click on the link on the right hand side - as is a reply that I issued to those concerned.

The response has been issued as a fresh consultation on a series of draft mandatory regulations. The fact that the consultation was issued during a parliamentary recess and buried in a wider consultation about the new licensing act is deliciously amusing. Jo " good day to bury bad news" Moore would have her little heart swell with pride to see a lesson so well heeded by Tom McCabe's special advisers.

Due to my current running around the country like a crazy woman I have still to finalise a full response to the consultation, but with a bit of luck it will be ready in a couple of weeks, when I shall endeavour to make it available on this site. The Executive most likely won't be publishing until after their two-week Christmas Holidays.
I have to admit that my first thoughts are that the regulations are mostly reasonable, except that they contain two ideologically driven draft regulations that will have the serious potential to get dancers killed or seriously sexually assaulted.

The first is that they propose an absolute ban on private dance spaces - there is a global cultural and economic demand for private fully nude lapdances and dancers who make a decent living and enjoy supplying that demand. If this ban is enforced, private dancing will migrate to unsafe venues like hotel rooms, private parties and people's houses, with the inevitable results. It only takes one nutter who hates or fears women, to act in an environment that lacks the current working precautions that dancers and venues alike put into place. Good capitalists like first mover advantage, and there are already two agencies trying to recruit "home delivery" dancers in Edinburgh, in anticipation of these regulations coming into force. Our livelihoods will be threatened by this ban & some will be tempted into unsafe practice or driven into the sex industry proper.

The second is the specification that there should be no physical contact at all between customer and dancer - the small-minded implication being that physical contact must inevitably lead to sex. This must be revised to the existing, functioning, universal practice that customers are not allowed to touch dancers, but dancers are free to use customers as part of the dance space to execute precision dance moves."

I've put the consultation links onto the list on the side. If you feel that it is to help protect us from harm and you believe that adults can be trusted, and you object strongly to censorship, please take a few moments to fill in the consultation and return it to the Executive - The consultation period closes on 8th December, but do it now while I have your attention - you can request that your name and address is kept confidential. It is really important that we have a proper, accessible democratic debate about this. So far our national politicians have uttered not a word!"

Please remember, lapdancers are not prostitutes and lapdancing is not a crime (unless the censors get their way). We provide erotica, we don't sell sex.

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