Pee On Your Own Side of the Fence

Canadian border officials banned Lucas Entertainment’s water sports flick Piss! (nominated for a 2009 GayVN award!) from attempted U.S. export, likely because the movie triggered “obscenity indicators.” Says producer Michael Lucas: “I was surprised that a country which is more progressive than the United States, and more open-minded in areas like gay marriage, has some sort of obscenity law that would ban these videos.” [Xtra, link NSFW]

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  • stuey

    hmm, covered this story yesterday but i dont see a credit. do you read regularly?

  • Sebbe

    @ Stuey – I can’t speak for David, but, I personally have them in my google reader (one of 250 subscriptions on RSS).

  • Distingué Traces

    I assume that plain Piss is the original, and Piss! is the musical version.

  • dgz

    A little background on this story:

    Canada IS progressive, but under the advice of famed feminist author and litigator Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, Canada has various prohibitions against certain kinds of pornography, which the gov’t felt increased the risk for sexual violence. (Although they implemented this under obscenity laws and not discrimination laws, as MacKinnon and Dworkin proposed.)

    Actually, lots of data and studies of sexual predators *do* indicate that violent or especially “obscene” pornography served as a gateway… but i’m unaware how gays peeing fits into this schema.

    sorry, you can all wake up now. ;)

  • Sebbe

    Canada is awesome.

    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide, O Canada,
    We stand on guard for thee.

    OK, their national anthem kinda sucks, but the french version is better.

    Don’t people just get their porn online nowadays?

  • strumpetwindsock

    Canada Post has a pattern of targeting and seizing lesbian and gay porn at the border.
    The most celebrated case is Little Sisters’ challenge which went on for 10 years and was unfortunatley abandoned in 2007 for lack of funds.
    Go to “history” for links to articles on the case

  • Strepsi

    DGZ and STRUMPETWINDSOCK are right. Canada’s obscenity laws were based on spectacularly influential feminists Andrea Dworkin’s and Catherine McKinnon’s works, which overreach (ALL penetration is a violent act, Dworkin rights “a penis is no different than a gun or a knife”) and the laws were IMMEDIATELY abused to target gay people. IRonically, the first charge under this law, based on the work of Lesbian Feminists to protect women, was to target LESBIAN PORN coming to Little Sisters. And so it goes.

    In related news, I had a straight friend – nice handsome, basically dumb — who trained to be a border guard. Without any of the context and shades of grey that gay peoplea re used to, he was taught that ANY situation in which woman is bound is de facto obscene. It was kind of Radical Feminism 101 Redux. These people are not qualified to make these decisions. And they keep targeting gay / lesbian / role play / porn, novels, and books.

    In this area, Canada is way worse than the U.S. Many Canadians do not realize that we are NOT guaranteed Freedom of Speech.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Strepsi: Well, you’re right. But it’s more a matter of us getting fucked around from another direction than our U.S. friends.
    Canada’s law has traditionally leaned more toward the good of society at large than individual freedoms, and like any system that has advantages and disadvantages – but every country has its own set of invasive and unfair laws.

    Also, I believe part of the Little Sisters’ challenge did not challenge the law, but how Canada Customs applied it unfairly.

    Another significant Canadian case was the John Robin Sharpe child pornography case, which was important because part of it had to do with a person writing pornography for his own use – not for distribution. The Crown found partially in his favour in that case, although the Supreme Court reiterated some parts of our pornography legislation.

  • Josh

    Likening piss instances to gay marriage to denote how progressive a country is really doesn’t work.

  • Kit

    Sorry for inflicting Andrea Dworkin on you, Canada.

    I remember buying a gay skin magazine up in Quebec back in the day and being kind of annoyed to discover that it had been censored. The pictures were intact, but there were heavy black censor marks obscuring various bits of the dirty stories. What was really amusing was that one of the stories involved a priest and the marks ended abruptly midway through it, as though the censor had been so appalled that he couldn’t even finish the job.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Kit: The funny thing is when it comes to television the Canadian networks allow a lot more nudity and profanity than the U.S. networks do. Things have evened out a bit since the advent of HBO, but the regular networks… well that football wardrobe malfunction thing a few years back was just silly.

    When I was a kid (70s) I remember seeing plenty of movies cut and bleeped out on U.S. stations that ran unedited here in Canada. The first time I saw “Cabaret” on a U.S. station they actually cut out the most critical line – Michael York’s character admitting he had slept with their host; it kind of left me scratching my head at the ending.
    When I saw the movie unedited on a Canadian station shortly afterwards it all made sense.
    I remember numerous examples of profanity or nudity cut from U.S, stations which ran on CBC (again, I am talking more about the 70s and 80s).

    I think a lot of the censorship here has less to do with following the law than unfairly targetting gay and lesbian porn.

  • Kit


    That’s why it was kind of head-scratchy to me – I have friends and family in Canada and I’ve spent a fair amount of time there, so I’m well aware that laws and broadcast standards are generally more liberal in Canada than they are in the U.S. At the time I think I just chalked it up to the fact that the magazine had had to cross an international border.

    Don’t get me started on the FCC’s draconian censorship. I’d rather drive a rusty railroad spike through my skull than watch a movie that’s been edited for American TV. It only applies to over-the-air channels though, and not the hundreds of cable and satellite channels here.

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