Following on from this post in January about the BDSM ‘scene’, tumblr blogger The Unsexy Feminist has written a report on the documentary Graphic Sexual Horror, about a BDSM pornographer. (TRIGGER WARNING The report contains descriptions of sexual torture that may be disturbing or triggering.)
As with the recent Salon article, the documentary shows that women’s boundaries and safe-words are not respected, with women ridiculed for using their safe-words, and put under pressure not to use them by being threatened with no more work.
The documentary also shows that women are in BDSM porn out of financial desperation (often linked to drug addiction), not because BDSM is a ‘life style’ choice for them, and that the pornographer had little concern for the well-being, safety and even lives of the women he used.
Also of note is that several of the men who worked with this pornographer, now work for kink.com, which is held up by sex industry advocates as being a good work environment, despite claims to the contrary, and a recent change in employment agreements that has made it more financially exploitative.
I re-watched Graphic Sexual Horror, a documentary about Brent Scott’s BDSM porn company called Insex, in order to write something on the subject soon. I find it truly amazing that most reviewers see this film as “fun” for those interested or involved with the BDSM scene, given its content. Here are the notes I made:
Around the thirteen minute mark, a male Insex handler named Cyd Black (now an employee at Kink.com) shows appreciation for how “realistic” the photos at Insex are. The appeal here isn’t BDSM, necessarily – it’s the fantasy that everyday women have been abducted and abused. Around the 25 minute mark, the same man remarks that he was dating one of the models. He mentions that she did not actually enjoy BDSM, but that because she was an addict and needed money to feed her addiction, she would do anything in front of a camera. Black does not seem to see a problem with this.
Brent Scott, founder of Insex, discusses why he decided to give the actresses numbers in place of names. He mentions that one actress and her boyfriend tried to use notoriety gained from her performances at Insex to get membership subscriptions for their own site. Scott frames the decision as something he did to protect his own interests; he seems to care little for the careers of the women, or their ability to function autonomously as porn actresses/use the experience with Insex to build their own reputations.
Around the 29 minute mark, Scott tests one of the model’s hard limits during a live stream. She tries to get him to back off by first quietly mentioning it’s a hard limit, and he says “I can’t hear you. Speak louder.” She says no a few times and he mentions that she has a safeword – that she needs to use it. He stops after she uses the Insex safeword “ah ah ah,” and he sighs after she tells him very loudly and firmly that this is a hard limit. He mocks her, asking if “Ms. Hardlimit” would like to continue. The torture scene is juxtaposed with soundbytes from an interview with the documentary maker, where she says that it’s difficult to use a safeword during a live stream when you know others are watching – that’s there’s pressure not to wimp out.