XBIZ, the LA-based organiser of adult industry trade shows and networking events, has announced it will no longer run its European show in London: the 2016 XBIZ Europe event will take place in Berlin instead.
The show has taken place in London for the past five years, bringing together adult industry participants from around the world to talk business, regulation and politics. London seemed like a perfect choice, explains XBIZ CEO Alec Helmy:
Support Sex & Censorship:
Buy Porn Panic! - The Book
“Back in 2011, we chose London for a number of reasons, from its prime geographic location for international travel to its reputation as a world-class city full of great attractions, not to mention UK is one of our top countries here on XBIZ.net in terms of member demographics. For these and other good reasons, we felt London was the right destination at the time.”
But the increasingly moralistic, censorious nature of the UK has forced XBIZ to reconsider. As this blog has often pointed out, the UK stands almost alone in Europe in its determination to stamp out sexual expression. The UK’s legitimate adult industry is virtually extinct, as operators have closed their doors or moved overseas. This has resulted in job losses as well as tax losses for the exchequer.
Now, Helmy says, London is no longer an ideal place to hold the event, for a variety of reasons.
“… we didn’t foresee just how unfriendly UK would become toward adult. From ATVOD (previous content police) fining adult webmasters for “non-compliance” and scaring many out of business to radical feminists picketing our venues and local media’s negative tone toward adult, the climate became more and more difficult as each year passed. And now with OFCOM (equivalent of FTC) taking full charge of content regulation, the general consensus is that things are going to get even bleaker.
As much as we’ve felt a sense of duty to empower the UK industry by returning each year, it’s become too unwise for us to continue doing so.
So, we’re packing up and relocating the conference to another one of Europe’s top destinations for both business and pleasure, Berlin.”
While XBIZ’s decision is sad for those of us fighting for sexual liberty in the UK, we can hardly blame them for choosing Berlin over London. British culture has become increasingly hostile to sexual freedom, and to free expression in general. Both the Conservative and Labour parties are unrelentingly hostile to sexual expression, so even a change of government would be unlikely to alter our censorious course; and the chance of a Brexit means we may revert even further back towards our old “No Sex Please, We’re British” island status.