British people don’t have sex. Ever. It’s just the way we are. And the idea that other people ‘do it’ horrifies us.

If TNT had a front page headline saying: ‘David Beckham has sex with his wife’, they’d have to reprint to cope with the demand. Thousands of Brits would rush out, pick up a copy, and then say ‘Disgusting’.

That’s why English celebrities queue up at courts to get gags – called injunctions – served on the media. They don’t want you to know they ‘do it’.

Did you know there hundreds of gagging orders in place at the moment? Many protect Premiership footballers, and at least one manager. They include a player who claims he is being blackmailed after a group-sex session was filmed on a mobile phone.

But strip away (strip? Sorry, I mean remove) all the legal stuff, and it comes down to a simple fact: having sex is BIG news in the UK. The tabloids are desperate to publish ‘Man Has Sex’ stories.

I’m sure professional footballers across the rest of Europe regularly get their kit off with celebrities who aren’t their wives. But over there, nobody really cares. Most Italians were indifferent to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s antics until he started getting his kit off with under-18s. Even then, he still held onto his job for a long time.

Imagine David Cameron surviving allegations like that! It was bad enough that he and Samantha conceived a baby in 2010. Prime Minister Has Sex. Disgusting.

Injunctions and super-injunctions are nothing new. They have been around for decades. But it’s only fairly recently they’ve become the celebrity Must Have, like Christian Louboutin shoes or a drug problem.

Super-injunctions are a threat to another olde British tradition: free speech. Under the European Convention of Human Rights, free speech is not sacred any longer. It can be overturned by an individual’s right to privacy.

Compare this to America. There, press freedom is protected by the Constitution. If the UK still had a free press like theirs, Ryan Giggs and his wayward Premiership colleagues would be laughed out of court. Even if they did have sex.

Cleland Thom is legal advisor to TNT and other media. He also runs online journalism courses.

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