The British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) laid out guidelines for pornographers this week that banned them from depicting a slew of sex acts – a few of which are used heavily in the BDSM and lesbian porn genres, including facesitting and fisting. Primary justifications included the need to protect minors from such images and the potential “life-endangering” nature of some acts. Critics of the guidelines, reports the Independent, think “the measures appear to take aim at female pleasure.”

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, as it is officially called, was created through an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act and requires that video –on-demand online porn needs to adhere to the guide for DVD porn and refrain from depicting sex acts such as facesitting, fisting, BDSM role-playing, whipping/spanking, physical restraint and strangling.

As the Independent notes, the subgenre of “Femdom,” or feminine domination, will be “hit particularly hard” (no pun intended) by the regulations. The Independent also notes that the amendment seems to take issue with acts that focus on female pleasure, including fisting, which is an act seen primarily in lesbian porn; “facesitting,” seen primarily in BDSM porn in which women dominate men; and in images of female ejaculation. What’s interesting about the latter is that although so-called “female ejaculation” is conflated with female orgasm, it’s considered by some to simply be a way of making female orgasm more visible in porn as an analog to male ejaculation.

“There’s a long history of censoring or banning porn in the U.K., starting with the D.H. Lawrence novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover,’” Cindy Gallop told the International Business Times. Gallop is a brand consultant who created MakeLoveNotPorn.com, a website that allows visitors to submit ideas and other content as a way of learning "about Porn World v Real World." She wants to disrupt the business model of porn in order to diversify its contents.

“The U.K. censorship is no more than usual, and actually it happens everywhere. It all stems from the ridiculous prudishness and hypocrisy our society has about wanting to never talk about sex. “

Gallop isn’t surprised that some of the acts banned by the guidelines are images that represent female pleasure and power. “I don’t think any of this legislation is intentionally driven by misogyny or maliciousness, but remember, most porn is made by men for men and focused on male pleasure. So this porn is viewed by a legislative body dominated by men who are determining what we should or shouldn’t see."

Regarding the banning of images of “facesitting,” dominatrix porn producer Itziar Bilbao Urrutia, told Vice UK: "I mean, why ban facesitting? What's so dangerous about it? It's a harmless activity that most femdom performers, myself included, do fully dressed anyway. Its power is symbolic: woman on top, unattainable." Gallop told IBTimes that this genre of porn isn’t often brought up in anti-porn screeds that focus on porn’s degradation of women, because it subverts the mainstream porn notion of men on top.

“In all the shock and horror porn stories about how porn degrades women, no one writes about the huge genre of porn about the degradation of men. It’s a massive turn-on for some men to be dominated and insulted by women sexually,” Gallop said. “Everything we see in porn—someone enjoys it in real life. There is no such thing as ‘normal’ in sex."

Susie Bright, feminist sex writer, author of "Big Sex Little Death: A Memoir" and one of the first people to be called a “sex positive feminist,” told International Business Times that her books and films have been “banned in England and then unbanned and then banned again.”

She said that when the British Film Institute (BFI) helped her "smuggle" a lesbian film into the country to screen at the National Film Theatre, the entire audience gasped when they saw the image of an actual vagina during a female orgasm. “Sorry,” she joked, “but that’s what it looks like, people.”

Bright added, "There’s always been a tragic gap between the art of British stage and film-- a peerless tradition— and the senselessness and hubris of Victorian censorship. The BBFC has done nothing except exhibit their abysmal lack of sex and arts education. They don’t even know what it is they’re banning. There’s not a iconic writer or filmmaker of the past century who hasn’t found themselves earmarked by their idiocy."