A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
I’d like to be one of those people who endlessly praises the work of the police but they don’t make it easy do they? The Daily Mail (is that a boo I hear?) has a story today about (deep breath) a ‘sex dungeon’ in a ‘sleepy village’. Now then, when the Daily Mail says sleepy village, it’s code for ‘normal’, ‘nice’, ‘conservative’ and sexless. Oh yes, and children. The land of the immaculate conception. So we learn that Police officers tipped up at a home in Lee Mill, Devon with ‘battering rams’ but were let in to the property after a plain clothes policeman knocked. According to the story: ‘Officers were alerted after neighbours reported ‘unusual behaviour’ and ‘strange sounds’ coming from the four-bedroom semi in Lee Mill, Devon.’
So be careful, bit of a scream and before you know it you’ll have the Police turning up with a battering ram. Mind you, I get paranoid when I channel flick and end up with the Islam channels blasting out. Such is the collective bonkers like state of society today that I’d probably get raided on suspicion of being a member of Al-Qaeda. I fly a few channels ahead and you hit the kids channels – oh hell, paedophile, click a few more and end up settling on something nice and safe, Sky Arts perhaps. Oh no, somethign on porn, back to beign a perv. What are these standards we should be following and who sets them?
The Daily Mail story goes on to report that:
‘The sex ‘dungeon’ was found in a converted first floor room filled with hundreds of items including whips, gas masks, wooden bats, handcuffs, clothes pegs and shackles.
Police also discovered bondage chairs with straps, straight jackets, sex toys, gimp masks, S&M outfits, shackles, cattle prods and car batteries used to power the toys.
The dungeon was also stuffed with ‘various electrical vibrating’ items and a recording studio complete with computer equipment and mixing desk.’
I have this image of one of the Police Officers returning home to another ‘sleepy village’ unable to look at a clothes peg again. Detective Sergeant Stuart Gilroy of Devon and Cornwall police said: ‘It’s fair to say we were not expecting to find a masochistic dungeon in sleepy Lee Mill. You don’t expect to find this sort of thing anywhere.’ Is he being serious? Stuart – you need to get out more. Then we have one neighbour saying: ‘I’ve seen traffic jams caused by people trying to go there. It’s disgusting. We just want them out and have a nice family move in.’ Traffic jams? TRAFFIC JAMS? Do we think this neighbour might be exaggerating a wee bit? It’s disgusting to see people drive up and go in someones house? What is disgusting? What has affected this neighbour? What on earth is this ‘nice family’? Someone who has ‘normal’ rows, screaming kids? The family is cast as the great saviours – by which this local means straight people with children.
As much as I joke and mock in this post, there are real people at the centre of this. People who are humiliated and reduced by this sort of action. The prejudice of a society quick to condemn, a police force quick to act and slow to think, and a press all too keen to feed this circle of ignorance and prejudice. It seems at all costs, we must protect the illusion of Suburbia.