It is the sexiest political story in ages – the launch of Australia’s newest political party at the nation’s largest sexuality exhibition, Sexpo.

Eros, Australia’s national adult industry association, is launching the Australian Sex Party on Thursday and, among other aims, has set its sights on ending the federal government’s plans for a national internet filter.

Eros chief executive and party convenor Fiona Patten said the party’s creation acknowledged the importance and scope of sexual issues in the lives of Australians.

She said the “sex and gender party” would run candidates in future Senate and state upper house elections.

“People want their House of Reps members to balance the budget but increasingly they want their Senators to look after their rights and freedoms”, she said.

“The Sex Party is the beginning of a new chapter in Upper House politics.”

The party’s first priority would be to alert voters to the types of material that would be blocked by the internet filter, proposed by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, Ms Patten said.

“Senator Conroy’s plans actually threaten the existence of the Sex Party online, which represents a real challenge to political free speech”, she said.

The party was born in a time of “wowserism” in mainstream politics, Ms Patten said.

“Community attitudes to sex and censorship have been shown over and over again by community opinion polling to be more relaxed than ever and yet in politics, the opposite is the case. When was the last time you heard a politician say something positive about sex?”

The launch will take place at the opening of Sexpo, at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, at noon (AEDT) on Thursday.