At first blush, the success of the No More Page 3 campaign does not look like a victory for free speech. After all, a thing that was being published, is no longer being published. The prudish censors have prevailed, right? Look again... Is the absence of naked breasts from Page 3 a victory for feminism, though? I worry that it is not.
There seems to be a tired, frustrating belief in British culture that sex is something that needs to be kept indoors and not talked about, especially if you're a politician or public figure. Supposedly looking at naked, sexual pictures of people is something that we are all supposed to be up in arms about...
It's true, several types of porn have actually been banned in Britain. We're not talking life-endangering porn - unless female ejaculation is classed as dangerous, I suppose if you squirted in someone's eye, they could go blind, but as women might know, getting certain bodily fluids in your eye might be painful, but it soon wears off.
Our sexuality is naturally (and I do mean naturally) a part of what we are. So fiction has to deal with it in one way or another (and I do mean one way or another). The spinsterly Jane Austen hints of 'intimate attachments'. Charlotte Brontë permits Jane Eyre more freedom of expression with her 'bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh' allusion to intercourse with Mr Rochester.