2124It's not the sort of thing that would get reported on in many major newspapers, but UK pornography has just been censored. New regulations have come into effect meaning that British porn producers are not allowed to show certain acts on-screen, even for online content.

Previously, most acts could be shown in video-on-demand (VoD) online porn; the only media that was limited were DVDs, which were subject to guidelines from the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC). However, an amendment to the 2003 Communications Act came into effect yesterday (December 1st) that will change this.

The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 make VoD porn subject to all the same restrictions as DVD porn. This means that depictions of certain acts have been banned, in order to make sure all pornography can be given an R18 rating.

Some of these - such as the ban on showing physical or verbal abuse, regardless of  consent - are understandable, even if many would disagree with their censorship. However, critics have pointed out that some of the bans seem arbitrary. Female ejaculation, for example, is no longer allowed to be shown in UK porn, while men are allowed to ejaculate all they want.

Speaking to VICE UK, Jerry Barnett, founder of the Sex and Censorship campaign, called the R18 rating "a strange thing". He added: "There appear to be no rational explanations for most of the R18 rules – they're simply a set of moral judgements designed by people who have struggled endlessly to stop the British people from watching pornography."

These rules are sure to divide people. Anti-censorship campaigners are sure to complain about this restriction on what can be produced, while other people might point out that pornography promotes unsafe, unhealthy sex and should be limited.

It is a good idea to take your porn with a pinch of salt; while the actors might be performing all sorts of daring acts, you're usually better off being safe, wearing a condom and keeping things fun for all participants. However, this does not necessarily mean the content of XXX films should be censored.