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Porn Trial


by Pieter Claeys in Columns & Opinions , 07 October 2012

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar


Aside from the Olympic Games there was also a porn trial held in London this summer. Simon Walsh, a magistrate with political ambitions, was accused of possessing “extreme pornographic images.” The images were of a fist scene, a man with a gas mask, and “sounding” (to insert things into the urethra). The charge was that these activities would be harmful, so that images of it are illegal. The accused risked a jail sentence of up to three years.

For the first time in the history of British justice by jury the judge officially allowed to twitter live during the court case. Updates by amongst others the lawyer of the defense were followed by hundreds of people. The judge pressed the lawyers repeatedly to further inform the jury on fetishes like sounding, the use of dildos, anal douches and how fisting was really done. It often lead to explicit questions and sometimes comic updates.

The ruling was on Wednesday the 8th of August. Walsh was acquitted on all charges. Fisting is not considered extreme after all. A good result, although Walsh has suffered severe reputation damage and lost his job.



In the Amsterdam fetish scene some people claim that fist fucking started to become popular in the eighties of the last century. When you look at the history of pornography this seems to be correct. Still, fisting goes a lot further back. Kinsey had a correspondent in 1949 telling him about the experiences of a friend and a sailor. His description is similar to that in Walsh’s court case, but more poetic:

“Then (now hold your hat) the boy asked had Edward ever shoved his arm up anyone’s asshole? No, Edward never had. But was always interested in obliging. (I measured Edward’s hand at the thickest point and it, made narrow as he can, is 10 inches). So Edward puts in three fingers, four, the thumb, then over the thick part below the wrist at the thumb joint (where it is 10 inches) then on till the whole hand is in. Then there is a barrier. The boy makes a contortion, and the second, upper “sphincter” muscle opens and he progresses half way up his forearm, 11 inches. Upon request then he clenches his fist and revolves his hand and arm with a continuous motion, back and forth, while the boy jerks off, in extracy [sic].’ (*

Like that fisting sounds as good as an Olympic sport. Perhaps something for 2018?



An extensive report of the Porn trial with comments from the European leather scene can be found at leatherhistory.eu.

(* Quote from: Barry Reay, “New York Hustlers: Masculinity and Sex in Modern America.” Manchester/New York: Manchester UP, 2010, page 32.




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