The British Board of Film Classification recently approved the UK's first-ever film to depict female ejaculation, but according to Kristina Lloyd, Britain's film censors are still in the dark about female sexuality. They're not alone.
The BBFCC claims that female ejaculation is the same as urination, and urination "in a sexual context" is illegal according to UK obscenity law. However, the Board chose to pass Women Love Porn, by Anna Span, who directs porn films aimed at women, often shot from a female point of view. Does this mean that the BBFCC has accepted the reality of female ejaculation, in a victory for female-centric porn and anyone in favor of actually understanding the female anatomy? Well, not really.
The Board actually only approved the film because it had "so little focus on urolagnia" (aka golden showers, aka whatever the kids are calling it these days). So basically they still maintain that female ejaculation is pissing, but Women Love Porn just doesn't include enough pissing to piss them off. Lloyd writes a very smart takedown of the BBFCC's position, criticizing them for supporting a porn culture where "authenticity is less important than acceptability" and "the meaning of the word "sexuality", when applied to women, has become so corrupted it's practically a fancy way of saying "sexiness"." But her most interesting criticism is this one:
The BBFC's ban colludes with the cultural default of viewing female sexuality as intangible and precious, as if the "enigma of woman" was something beyond the reach of science.
The reason we still know so little about female ejaculation, and the reason the BBFCC bans depictions of it, may be one and the same. As long as real female sexuality remains shrouded in mystery, unknowable, Freud's "dark continent," then pornography can continue to depict a male-friendly version in which women love nothing more than multiple penetration and come easily with no clitoral stimulation. Even outside porn, the idea that women's sexuality will never really be understood may seem both safe and attractive to male consumers — safe because it releases men from the responsibility of actually understanding what women want, and attractive because it puts real, messy female desire behind a gossamer curtain of confusion. It's worth noting that squirting is far from absent from non-British porn, but the real issue here isn't whether or not female ejaculation is depicted on film. The issue is whether those in charge of producing, distributing, and regulating film care about how female pleasure actually works, or if they have a vested interest in keeping audiences ignorant on this topic. In the case of the BBFCC, the answer still seems to be the latter.
Sexuality, As Defined By Censors [Guardian]