East Devon District Council

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Policy Sex establishment Licensing Policy

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5. Appendix A - definition of terms

  • Definition of a ‘Sex Establishment’

    A ‘Sex Establishment’ is defined under the Act as a ‘Sex Shop’, a ‘Sex Cinema’ and a ‘Sexual Entertainment Venue’.

    It includes any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used as a sex establishment but does not include a private dwelling to which the public are not admitted.
  • Meaning of a ‘Sex Cinema’

    ‘Sex Cinema’ means any premises, vehicle, vessel or stall used to a significant degree for the exhibition of moving pictures, by whatever means produced, which:
    1. Are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, or are intended to stimulate or encourage:
      1. sexual activity; or
      2. acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity
    2. Are concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deal with or relate to, genital organs or urinary or excretory functions, but does not include a dwelling house to which the public is not admitted.
  • Meaning of a ‘Sex Shop’

    ‘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:
    1. Sex articles; or
    2. Other things intended for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging:
      1. sexual activity; or
      2. acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity.
  • ‘Sex Article’ means:
    1. anything made for use in connection with, or for the purpose of stimulating or encouraging:
      1. sexual activity; or
      2. acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity
    2. anything to which sub paragraphs (1) and (2) below applies.
      This sub paragraph applies-
      1. to 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
      2. to any recording of vision or sound, which:
        1. 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
        2. is concerned primarily with the portrayal of, or primarily deals with or relates to genital organs or urinary or excretory functions.
  • Sex Articles and Significant Degree
    Licences for sex shops are required where 18R films are being sold, or where there is a “significant degree” of “sex articles”.

    The phrase ‘sex articles’ is defined in the 1982 Act, (as explained previously) but the phrase ‘a significant degree’ is not. When considering whether or not a business is selling a significant degree of sex articles and needs a licence, we will consider:
    1. the ratio of sex articles to other aspects of the business;
    2. the absolute quantity of sales;
    3. the character of the remainder of the business;
    4. the nature of the displays in the business;
    5. turnover;
    6. other factors which appear to be materially relevant.
  • Meaning of a ‘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:
      1. Any live performance; or
      2. 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.
    • A ‘display of nudity’ means:
      1. In the case of a woman, exposure of her nipples, pubic area, genitals or anus; and
      2. In the case of a man, exposure of his pubic area, genitals or anus;
    • An organiser means:
      Any person who is responsible for the organisation or management of;
      1. The relevant entertainment; or
      2. The premises.
  • Exempt Premises

    The following are not sexual entertainment venues for the purposes of this policy:
    1. premises at which the provision of relevant entertainment is such that:
      1. 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;
      2. no occasion has lasted for more than 24 hours; and
      3. 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 this 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.

Note: Whilst the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 as amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2009 provides this exemption from the need to have a sex establishment licence in the circumstance set out above there is no exemption from the Licensing Act 2003 where licensable activities take place. This includes dancing and the sale of alcohol.