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Porn capital title creaks into oblivion

Date

Michael Inman

IN A BEDROOM somewhere in Australia, far away from Canberra, a couple undress and press record on a video camera.

And as the bed quakes, Canberra's grip on the title of national porn capital slips further into oblivion.

Erotic homemade motion pictures have become a popular pastime in bedrooms across the country.

It means husbands and wives, intimate acquaintances and casual playmates are flirting with the rule of law, and probably breaking it, according to a peak adult industry body.

The ACT is the only Australian jurisdiction where making hardcore porn films is legal. It makes lawbreakers out of couples who commit sex acts on film in other jurisdictions.

Australian Sex Party leader Fiona Patten said the result from the Great Australian Sex Census show pornography laws need a rethink.

''Maybe state governments need to reconsider some of the legislation that's making criminals out of happy couples,'' Ms Patten said.

''If it's consenting adults then why is it wrong?''

The results showed one in three Australians had ignored the law and taped their erotic exploits. One in five couples plan to do it in the future.

The census found promiscuity in Canberra is low. Almost a third of ACT respondents had five sexual partners or less. Still, almost a quarter of Canberrans said they had had 21 or more sexual partners.

The stereotype of the boring Canberra public servant also took a hit, with 39.8 per cent of ACT respondents claiming to cavorting with a co-worker.

And despite our occasionally outward frigid ways, Canberrans have some of the most satisfied sex lives in the country. Curtin University sexologist Professor Rosemary Coates cast some doubt on the findings, saying the census was worthwhile but not yet a definitive snapshot of Australian sexuality.

Professor Coates said the number of people identifying as homosexual or bisexual in the survey was above the national average, potentially skewing the results.

She said a more scientific approach to the questionnaire would yield more valuable information, filling the knowledge gaps in what has been a taboo act for centuries.

''The more scientifically the data is collected, the better, because we actually have very little normative data,'' Professor Coates said.

''We know more about a variety of sexual behaviours that wouldn't be considered normal, but then we don't really know what normal is.''

The capital was ahead of NSW, Tasmania and Victoria when it comes to gratification in the bedroom, with 45.4 per cent satisfied with their current sex life.

Almost half of the survey's respondents nationally admitted to sexting and 25 per cent have naked photos of a current partner on their mobile phone.

More than 15,000 Australians completed the 2011-12 questionnaire, double the number from the inaugural survey in 2009-10.

Census results can be found at the sexcensus.com.au website.

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