Lisa Lewis take note, there is hope for your mayoral campaign.
Anna Arrowsmith, also known as Anna Span, is the new Liberal Democrat candidate for Gravesham in Kent. She is also the auteur of hundreds of “female-friendly” porn films. Her neighbours in Tunbridge Wells may or may not be disgusted to learn that some of these, including Be My Toyboy, were shot in the front room.
There are unlikely to be many others “who can claim that”, says the managing director of Easy on the Eye Productions as she surveys her party colleagues gathering for their conference in a Birmingham hotel. Dressed in black jeans, cardigan and shirt buttoned to the neck, she could be any Liberal Democrat activist discussing the issues of the day before heading over to the conference hall. As the hotel guests mill around us, Ms Arrowsmith recalls what made her reputation as a campaigner.
And her campaign?
Last year she won a battle with the British Board of Film Classification to be allowed to show a scene of female ejaculation.
That campaign was “idealistic. It was about saying to the censors that you can’t tell the women of this country what their bodies can or cannot do.”
Now if Lisa and Steve could get together and we too could get rid of our archaic film classifications.
This singular project is not the only evidence the Liberal Democrat hierarchy has of the porn entrepreneur’s determination. At last year’s conference she won a ruling that those who had been members of the party for just eight months could stand for Parliament. She had earlier raised the topic with Nick Clegg at a public meeting.
Ms Arrowsmith was then able to seek a candidature, and after failing to win the nomination in a couple of other seats she was recommended by the party leadership in the South East as a last-minute replacement in Gravesham for a candidate who stepped down. Local activists accepted her this week and have been “very supportive”.
Sounds like a perfect person for the job of an anti-politicians. Rules what rules, rules were made for breaking and changing.
How seriously will the voters take Ms Arrowsmith, 38, on the election trail? She wants to be respected for her business and campaigning record but knows that her career will present a problem for some. “There will be some people who will never like porn,” she says. “People approach sex in different ways. For some people it is only an emotional act. For others it is a variety of different acts. Some people will never accept that. They are probably the same people who never had a one-night stand. There will be some people who are conservative and very anti-porn. I think on the whole these days people are far more liberal.”
What about the Liberals? Aren’t some of them going to be affronted by a pornographer in their midst? “I don’t think so. On the whole they are a sexually liberated bunch.”
What a stupid repeater question, asking what the Liberals think. They’re are Liberals, duh! Plus some half, most of the UK politicians are freaking sexual deviants.
Ms Arrowsmith has been preoccupied by politics even longer than by pornography, admiring Margaret Thatcher when she was a child. At St Martin’s School of Art her dissertation was called Towards a New Pornography. She then worked on Television X, an “adult” channel. Fed up with seeing porn films that focused on women pleasuring men she has carved a niche making films in which a third of shots show the woman, a third the man and a third the couple together. She says that the films she makes are humorous and that there is no airbrushing.
Nearly half her customers are women, she says: “Women definitely need this.” She laughs at the idea that for all her talk of being a feminist she is really in pornography for the money. For years she made very little. Now, “I do OK — nice house in Tunbridge Wells. No way am I the millionaire I thought I would be.”
Admiring Margaret Thatcher and making porn movies, wow, perfectly qualified I’d say. In fact more qualified than Gordon Brown. Are you reading Lisa? Go for it.