Life After IML - October 2004

Photo of John at home, September, May 2004
From the forthcoming book 'Sofa So Naked'
Photo credit: Dean Stockings

September was a lot of fun. I took part in photoshoots for Dean Stockings and Kinkfest 2004 in London, Jason Hendrix (IML 2004) stayed with us on his way to Berlin for Folsom Europe and I flew to the US to attend Inferno - where I had lots of new experiences. I also started paid employment after a fifteen month gap, but I'd like to pass the probationary period before saying any more about it.

(When Jason was in Berlin he did a photoshoot with our friend, Ulli. You can see the results here.)

Since stepping down at IML this year I've spent a lot of time working with the Spanner Trust, who are campaigning to change the law regarding SM in England and Wales. At the moment it is illegal to engage in any acts for sexual pleasure which result in injuries which are more than "transient or trifling". (There is more information in my last web column about the Trust's work here.) The trustees recently sent out a letter to everyone who had signed up as a supporter via the Spanner Trust website. With their permission I've reprinted the letter below:

A letter from the Spanner Trustees

    During much of 2003 and the early part of 2004 the Spanner Trust spent considerable effort lobbying members of both Houses of Parliament to table an amendment to the Sexual Offences Bill 2003 which would have reversed the original Brown ruling and made consent a defence to a charge of assault where no lasting harm was caused.

    However the bill contained many contentious provisions already and those few MPs/ peers who were sympathetic to our cause were already proposing other changes that were under attack and they placed a higher priority on.

    Many peers/ MPs did not agree with us.

    The Sexual Offences Act was passed without affecting the Spanner ruling.

    We are now engaged in our second line of attack.

    We have received advice from leading Human Rights lawyers that we should challenge the current law in the High Court under the Human Rights Act 1998 and that we would stand a high chance of succeeding.

    For us to be able to do this we need to do two things:

    Firstly we need to find a number of SM practitioners willing to put their name to this challenge. Ideally we would like people of different sexualities so that we can show that the current law affects a wide range of people and has a serious effect on their human rights.

    Secondly we need to raise a lot of money to fund the action.

    You can help in a number of ways:

    Click through to Spanner Trust website

    To receive updates on the Trust's work please email subscribe (at)
    or visit their website:

Thanks for all your help and support.

Best wishes,

John Pendal
International Mr Leather 2003

To my home page To the full index To the next column