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Sex Establishment Definitions

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Sex Cinema

A 'sex cinema' is any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used to a significant degree for the exhibition of moving pictures, by whatever means produced, which:

  • are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, or are intended to stimulate or encourage sexual activity; or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity;
  • or are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, genital organs or urinary or excretory functions.

A sex cinema does not include a dwelling house to which the public is not admitted.

Sex Shop

A 'sex shop' means any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating:

  • sex articles;
  • or other things intended for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging sexual activity; or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity.

No premises shall be treated as a sex shop by reason only of their use for the exhibition of moving pictures by whatever means produced.

Sex Article

A 'sex article' means:

  • anything made for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging sexual activity; or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity;
  • any article containing or embodying matter to be read or looked at or anything intended to be used, either alone or as one of a set, for the reproduction or manufacture of any such article; and to any recording of vision or sound which is concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deals with or relates to, or is intended to stimulate or encourage, sexual activity or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity; or is concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deals with or relates to, genital organs, or urinary or excretory functions.

Sexual Entertainment Venue

A ‘sexual entertainment venue’ means: "any premises at which relevant entertainment is provided before a live audience for financial gain of an organiser.  For the purposes of the Act it does not matter whether the financial gain arises directly or indirectly from the performance or display of nudity."

Relevant Entertainment means:

  • any live performance; or
  • any live display of nudity;

which is of such a nature that, ignoring financial gain, it must reasonably be assumed to be provided solely or principally for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience (whether by verbal or other means). An audience includes an audience of one.

An organiser means:

Any person who is responsible for the organisation or management of

  • The relevant entertainment; or
  • The premises.

Exempt premises

Notwithstanding the above, the following are not defined as Sexual Entertainment Venues:

  • sex cinemas and sex shops;
  • premises at which the provision of relevant entertainment is such that:
    • there have not been more than eleven occasions on which relevant entertainment has been so provided which fall (wholly or partly) within the period of 12 months;
    • no occasion has lasted for more than 24 hours; and
    • no occasion has begun within the period of one month beginning with the end of any previous occasion on which relevant entertainment has been so provided.

For the purposes of the Council's policy, relevant entertainment is provided if, and only if, it is provided, or permitted to be provided, by or on behalf of the organiser before an audience and involves partial or full nudity.

Contact Details

Licensing and Enforcement,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,
Ipswich,
IP1 2DE

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01473 433075