It was late in my career and I was already famous with hundreds of movies under my belt, but nothing like this. I’d shied away from the BDSM culture. It scared me. Despite signing paperwork and a checklist of dos and don’ts, I was in way over my head. What I thought I was agreeing to felt a lot different in reality. I was groped by hands I didn’t know. There were masked people everywhere, but only the ones wearing wristbands were my approved scene partners. If I balked at an act or found it difficult to perform, I was “punished” for my defiance (which is the nature of a BDSM scene). It felt more like a party for the extras than a professional scene. Experienced as I was, it was new to me. I’d never used a safe word before (and forgot to), so when things became too much to bear and I began protesting, no one listened. The word “No” doesn’t work in these types of scenes.
I met my breaking point in this particular scene—halfway through, I had to be untied and calmed down. I was shaking. I felt a catch in my throat when I tried to speak and I could barely keep the tears at bay. I felt like I’d been beat. Yet I was hugged, inundated with compliments, and told how strong I was for being on the receiving end. I was caned, electrically prodded, and slapped around. I didn’t feel powerful. In the interim, I had to decide whether I was going to quit or be a professional and finish the scene. After everything I’d gone through, leaving would have made it worthless. So I stayed.
After the scene, I did a brief on camera interview about my experience—a standard company procedure. I nodded my head, smiled, and said all the right things. To me, that interview was also part of the job. It’s also filmed before performers are paid, or at least that’s been my experience.
After watching an intense scene that will make your eyes water, it’s reassuring to see an interview stating that everyone had a good time. It’s that kind of feel-good integrity that Kink.com, one of the most successful BDSM (bondage, dominance, submission, and sadomasochism) porn companies works hard to promote. It’s a fascinating company that operates out of the historic San Francisco Armory, offering a variety of productions, tours, live shows, and kinky parties on the upper floor. I can’t think of another XXX company quite as diverse or dark that’s also so commercially successful.
The point of the scene in some cases is to find the raw edge of a performer’s limitations. In a typical scene performers are offered numerous breaks, catered to in between takes, and treated like royalty after a mental and physical beat down. Which is why Kink can be a total mind fuck.
While there are plenty of porn stars who regularly work for Kink and sing their praises, those that have had a negative experience are hesitant to speak up, fearing what it would do to their workload. Kink is one of the few large companies with the budget to offer steady work. Some people in the porn industry, it seems, would rather have work they don’t like than no work at all.
EDIT to add:
Oh, is this the same James Franco who was caught propositioning a seventeen year old even after she said she was seventeen?
And the same Kink dot Com whose premises were raided for a drug charge, and DEA agents found an unlicensed and active gun range in the basement (along with ammunition), along with cocaine and other Scheduled substances?
And the same Kink dot Com that forced one of their performers to finish a scene where she lost her virginity live, despite her complete lack of arousal and inability to be penetrated without pain?
And the same Kink dot Com where a workers comp claims stated that management, including Peter Actworth, refused to even consider that their actions may have caused enough harm to one of their models that she needed time to physically recover, and where she says she was told, “the words workers comp shouldn’t leave your lips or you’ll never work here again”?
Is it THAT kink dot com?
Tell me again how any of that sounds like ethical anything. Shit, they’d shut a McDonalds down for less, and these bastards are touted as being the creme de la creme of ethical ass-beating.
Fuck em all.