Australia's Sex Party takes on 'nanny state'
MELBOURNE (AFP) — Australia's sex industry launched a political party Thursday, vowing to fight what it called growing conservatism in a "nanny state" -- along with global economic crisis gloom.
The Australian Sex Party will run for senate seats on a platform of cheaper access to sexual dysfunction drugs and protection for porn workers against government censorship of the Internet, the founders said.
They also suggested that the tanking world economy and a possible local recession next year would stimulate demand for sex toys and porn films as Australians sought cheaper pleasures.
"We're a cheap luxury that can make you feel good," convenor and Eros industry group chief executive Fiona Patten said at the party's launch amidst pole dancers at the Melbourne Sexpo exhibition.
"There is a new conservatism creeping up in Australia -- we're becoming a nanny state where politicians can't talk about sex without giggling or saying something negative."
The Sex Party has already come under fire from the Australian Christian Lobby, which said it supports the exploitation and degradation of women through pornography and prostitution.
The party's platform includes opposition to government plans for a national Internet filter, with Patten saying the proposal to block up to 10,000 sites could cost 16,000 adult industry jobs.
"If they go ahead with what they propose, we'll wipe out the adult industry in the next five years," she said.
Patten said the party aimed to win parliamentary seats at both state and national levels, and had already signed up 500 members.
"We're serious about sex and we're serious about the Sex Party," she said.