The Spanner Trust was set up in support of 16 gay men who were given prison sentences of up to 4 and a half years in December 1990 for engaging in consensual s&m activity. It was brought to court by a 'chance' finding by police of a videotape showing their sessions.
"SM activity is an illegal assault if it results in marks or injuries which are more than transient and trifling. These words are highly subjective and open to interpretation. The following are likely to be considered by Judge Rant to be illegal: heavy beatings which leave lasting marks; any activities which leave scars, bruises etc"
So i like to be caned hard and more often than not it will draw blood and leave heavy bruising, this would therefore be considered illegal, the fact that i consent to this matters not, consent within s&m is not recognised by the law and is regarded as violence rather than sexual desire.
S&m itself is not illegal its the activities themselves that this may involve which cause injury that both parties could be prosecuted for assult. In law you cannot as a rule consent to assult, there are exemptions, boxing, rugby and piercings if they are for ornamental reasons. In taking this case further to the Law Lords there was still no backing down they ruled that s&m activity is no exception to the rule of consent.
It infuriates me that as adults activities in private which we both enjoy are considered assult, and that my consent is not recognised.