A woman sets up a sex toys stand during the Erotica Dream exhibition
A woman sets up a sex toys stand during the Erotica Dream exhibition in Nice, southeastern France, September 27, 2008. Reuters

Even as the British government is battling protests over its ban of porn visuals since December, on acts such as face sitting, spanking, fisting, caning, whipping, urinating, water-sports, role-playing, and female ejaculation, fresh information from the national archives suggests that targeting porn is nothing new for British governments.

Even Margaret Thatcher, during her time as PM in the 1980s, planned a ban on sex toys. Thatcher is known as a hard core conservative and never showed any liberal leanings in life. Thatcher, who died last year, wanted to do away with dildos in order to protect 'public decency', the archives claimed, reported Metro.Co.UK.

Offending Decency

The recently released documents from the national archives referred to Thatcher's meeting with anti-obscenity campaigner Mary Whitehouse, who made a "strong case" for banning sex toys in Britain. Subsequently, a memo sent to Thatcher by then home secretary Leon Brittan also suggested that "some of the sex toys are objectionable and may cause physical injury." He wanted Obscene Publications Act 1959 applied for the ban of sex toys.

Thatcher also came under pressure from many other moral crusaders, who all lobbied for the ban of sex toys. The archival papers noted that Thatcher was convinced that sex toys have to be banned on the grounds of "offending public decency". However, the plans fizzled out for some unknown reasons.

Toy Business

According to a report by the Daily Mail, the sex toys are a big business in the United Kingdom with a market size of $388 million. Anti-Porn crusader Mary Whitehouse came into national prominence in 1973, when she took on BBC for its performance of Chuck Berry's song "My Ding-a-ling" on its "Top of the Pops" programme.

Whitehouse shoot off a letter to the BBC director general and noted, "One teacher told us of how she found a class of small boys with their trousers undone, singing the song and giving it the indecent interpretation which, in spite of all the hullabaloo is plain obvious... We trust you will agree that it is no part of the function of the BBC to be the vehicle of songs, which stimulate this kind of behaviour," reported Edge Boston News.