Sex Establishments are defined by schedule two of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. There are currently four categories of sex establishments which are sex shops, sex cinemas, sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars. Each category of licensed premises permits the following activities:
Sex Shop - sell, hire, exchange, lend display or demonstrate sex articles or other things that are 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.
Sex Cinemas - show films that are primarily for the portrayal of sexual activity or acts of force or restraint which are associated with sexual activity with the intention of sexually stimulating customers.
Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEV) - provide sexual entertainment (e.g. lap dancing, peep show, live sex show, strip show, etc) to a live audience for financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer.
Hostess Bars - companionship for customers and premises that give the impression that a sexual performance, service, etc is available.
Note: There are certain exemptions, restrictions and limitations relating to the general sex establishment category criteria above. Further information relating to the requirements for these categories of licences are available at the relevant category pages which can be accessed via the links above.
The power to licence sex establishments is conferred in Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (1982 Act). This Schedule sets out the meaning of sex shops and sex articles and also defines the licensing and compliance requirements. The 1982 Act is available here.
Since the 1982 Act was created there have been some additional legislation that has amended the 1982 Act to add further categories of sex establishments or amend provisions of the original Act. The main pieces of legislation are listed below (and where possible a link to that legislation) with a brief descrition relating to the amendments that they made to the 1982 Act.
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