In 2017 Ann Summers teamed up with the world's largest porn site, Pornhub, to produce a 'fun range of sex toys'. But Pornhub is simpy a catalogue of millions of vids of men sexually abusing women.
So in 2018, we launched a petition signed by over 2,000 and protested outside shops during Valentine's. By March, Ann Summers had withdrawn all Pornhub products. But, despite repeated (very polite!) requests, we have never had a response from the store to confirm it has indeed dumped Pornhub.
All About Ann Summers
Think Ann Summers is just 'sexy lingerie' and 'fluffy pink handcuffs'? The truth is it has always been linked to porn and pornographers ...
Ann Summers started off as a seedy sex shop, using the name of the secretary of the owner to offer a more 'presentable' front - Annice Summers. It was then sold to the Gold Brothers who made their fortune from pornography (and whose father was a well-known criminal, family eh!). David Gold's daughter, Jacqueline Gold, is now CEO of Ann Summers.
Perhaps this background has made it impossible for the current CEO Jacqueline Gold, CBE - mum of an underage daughter, a leading business women, role model, Vice President of a leading Children's Charity, and an outspoken survivor of childhood sexual assault - to see the reality of porn. Or to see how shocking it is that her company is 'in bed' with an industry which routinely shows young girls, and even under age children, being sexually abused. Or maybe she just doesn't know what modern day porn has become?
The Gold family are also intimately connected with pornographer, David Sullivan - who made his money from porn in the '70s and whose girlfriend, Mary Millington, who worked in his porn movies committed suicide. Sullivan is perhaps best known for turning even newspapers into pornography aka The Sport and Sunday Sport. Sullivan and David Gold used their porn profits to buy football clubs, starting with Birmingham City FC and then Westham United. Westham, of course, uses the Olympic stadium, built with public money.
All About Pornhub
Pornhub, like the rest of the porn industry, is portrayed as a sexual liberator - an empowerer of women. But the truth is, it is a $4 billion industry built on misogyny and abuse that just so happens to also be a master of 'pornogander':
More than 90% of porn now shows women being abused. And we know this because researchers carried out a blow-by-blow analyses (quite literally) of the top selling porn in the USA. That was 7 years ago. An even higher percentage of mainstream porn will now show abuse.
Much of the remaining 10% of porn is even worse – torture porn, BDSM (dubbed ‘kink’ by the pornogander movement to suggest that even torture is somehow cool and ‘hot’) or real and pseudo child porn.
But Pornhub has set up sleek 'pop up' shops in New York to try and glamourise itself and disguise the fact that what it hosts is abuse. It has even set up an online 'well being hub' to provide sex 'education' to young people.
Now it is aiming to take over regulation of the porn industry itself. Its parent company, Mindgeek (also owner of other international porn sites like Youporn and Redtube) is vying to be involved in the age verifier for all UK porn.
So an organisation whose every video is too abusive to be given an R18 certificate, whose site is accessible to all and packed with rape porn, incest porn, real and pseudo child porn, not to mention tortures, mutilations and even 'on demand' torture could soon be deciding what children may or may not have access to.