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Jun 10

Government: “Love Freely But Pay For Sex” – part 1

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Fifty years ago, almost to the day, a series of events began that eventually helped to topple the Harold Macmillan Conservative government.

In what became known as the Profumo Affair, the then Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, stepped down after deceiving Parliament about his relationship with Christine Keeler.

The affair with 19-year-old Keeler, who was also in a relationship with Yevgeny Ivanov, a naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy, strained the government to its limits at the height of the Cold War.

Half a century later, another potential sex scandal is poised to prove another headache for today’s Tory leaders as Hackney-based filmmaker, Phoenix James, focuses on the government’s pending and divisive Pay for Sex policy.Love freely but PAY for SEX - IMDb

Produced by James, ‘Love Freely But Pay For Sex’ follows the efforts of a handful of untrained – but enthusiastic and vocal – amateur journalists and presenters as they roam across London canvassing public opinion, and pursuing media personalities and members of authority.

By pulling together the efforts of the rogue independent film and TV production group, James has found himself at the forefront of a lively and controversial debate.

In its simplest terms, the Pay for Sex policy will make paying for sex a legal requirement for unmarried men and women, one that requires couples to register.

Despite previous coalition climbdowns on pasty, caravan and charity taxes – in a world where sex is already a global money-making industry, the government see it as a natural progression, and a practical tax in line with those already on pleasures such as smoking and drinking.

And as well as a much-needed boost to the British economy, by encouraging couples to marry – and so become exempt – ministers hope to see a return to traditional conservative, family values.

Understandably, the battle lines in ‘Love Freely But Pay For Sex’ are frequently drawn on social and age lines. Two young men are resentful and challenging, older couples are philosophical, but worried about making ends meet, while others see it as a logical step forward.

“The planet runs on sex and money,” says writer and performance poet, Phenzwaan. “It’s the perfect match.”

Whether the policy is enforceable is debatable, but the government is clearly hoping the majority of people will register for the Pay for Sex policy to avoid possible prosecution – and as a safeguard.

While the production company failed to get to the bottom of what happens if a lover is unsatisfied and refuses to pay, a registered person is likely to have some legal grounds for complaint, while unregistered lovers could find themselves in court.

The talking heads and interviewees in ‘Love Freely But Pay For Sex’ are wide-ranging and frequently producing support in unlikely places. Surprisingly, James’ film reveals escort agencies are welcoming the policy, believing that business will boom as men and women opt to pay for a regulated and expert lover.

Gay men and women also see it as a triumph. As the team catch up with street celebrations following the legalisation of gay marriage, becoming both liable for, and exempt from, Pay for Sex is seen as equality for the gay community with heterosexual couples.

Given the far-reaching consequences of the subject matter, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the hour-long production only scratches the surface. The production team admit that their collective aim in making and showcasing the film is to create awareness among those unaware and stimulate further dialogue among those who are. Their work to uncover, document and highlight more information about the Pay for Sex Policy is, they say, ongoing.

To find out more about the government’s Pay for Sex Policy and to see ‘Love Freely But Pay for Sex’ go to www.PayforSexPolicy.com

 

Look out for part 2 of this article soon! – Phoenix James on ‘Love Freely But Pay For Sex’.