Jan 302007
 

Talk about urban renewal with an attitude. Just when we were recovering from Joe Francis and the (underage) Girls Gone Wild, along come the guys at Kink, a web-based porn company which just bought an old armory building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. According to the ooze and ahhh’s of the San Francisco Chronicle, Kink plans to use the building, which used to be a military induction center and has been deserted since 1970, to shoot porn films for their websites. The building is oh-so-right for them because it includes a basement that can be used as a dungeon and a boiler room that is just perfect, according to Kink filmmaker James Mogul,

“You could put a girl right inside the boiler,” he said. “Why not? It’s a nice little chamber.”

He adds,

“I see erotic whipping,” he said. “I see all kinds of kinky things going on in here. It’s wonderful to put soft human flesh next to ugly, industrial machines. That’s what we call juxtaposition. The possibilities are endless.”

Doesn’t it give you a warm fuzzy feeling that this historic building has a new owner that understands its charms? And talk about the building’s old gymnasium, what an opportunity!

“I see tied-up girls, right here,” Mogul said, standing in what was the soldiers’ gymnasium. “You suspend them from these arches. This will be very cool.”

You get the picture. Well actually, to get the picture, you have to pay $25/month. According to the moguls at Kink, or maybe it’s just Mogul, 70,000 (presumably mostly male) people do just that. According to my calculator, that adds up to a cool $21 million a year.

Not the sort of neighbor you might want living near your family? Rest assured that Kink promises to clean up the building and fix the broken windows. Peter Acworth, the good citizen and founder/owner of Kink assured his neighbors that “Kink stands for decency in pornography,” according to the Chronicle.

“We have values,” Acworth said. “We believe in showing respect toward women in our work.”

Count me among the confused souls who aren’t quite sure how how tying “girls” up and suspending them from archways can be seen as a sign of respect. Acworth, however, thinks it is all relative, pointing out the original purpose of the building was to train soldiers for war, which can also be considered pretty obscene.

Apparently the Kink soundbites resonated with Chronicle reporter Steve Rubenstein who breezily described the new Kink venture as an edgy addition to the art scene,

“A friendly band of San Francisco pornographers can’t wait to get inside the old armory on Mission Street and start tying people up, artistically.

Not only tying them up, but also spanking them, swatting them, cuffing them and whipping them, with sensitivity.”

The potential implications of considering the abuse of women to be a form of entertainment are lost on Rubenstein. Consider this, Kink brings in almost as much as the $25 million increase in funding for the Violence Against Women Act that the House approved last summer. In otherwords, almost as much is being spent paying for the product of this one company for its portrayal of sexual violence against women as we are willing to spend to stop said violence in real life. It is unfortunate that Rubenstein didn’t look beyond the broken windows and titilating scenery in analyzing Kink’s artistry and good citizenry.

As Robert Jensen, who has written extensively about the harms of pornography for both men and women commented in an email response to my query for his thoughts on this article,

“This story indicates just how mainstreamed and normalized pornography has become in US society. the fundamental questions about the misogyny and racism in pornography barely register when journalists write about the industry. one has to wonder what other media genre would get such a free pass.”

One does tend to doubt that a filmmaker who proposed tying men up and hanging them from the rafters would be considered in the same ‘that’s entertainment’ light that the Chronicle bestows on Kink.

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 January 30, 2007  Posted by on January 30, 2007

  2 Responses to “Abandoned historic site becomes porn studio–Film at 11”

  1. Actually James Mogul does tie up men and suspends them from the rafters, the site that he runs is men in pain, not women in pain. A large majority of the people that are working behind the scenes at Kink are women and are queer. This is not a case of men abusing women for amusement. The women who model for Kink are exploring their sexuality, testing their limits and participating in physically challenging, artistically beautiful, and spiritually mind blowing sexual experiences that they are able to have documented. Often documenting one’s sexual experiences validates a woman or a man’s sexual fantasies or desires. This is particularly validating for women as they are often taught growing up not to explore their sexuality and sexual urges. Being able to explore and live out those desires is a completely healthy experience. Much more so than the rampid sexual repressed urges that exists within most of this country. Kink is in NO way advocating violence. And it would only appear that way to someone who hasn’t looked at their content or read anything on the bdsm lifestyle. SM is the anti – violence. The whole basis for bdsm is centered around communication, consent, and sensation. Just as any person might be arroused by say the gentle touch of a lovers hand lightly grazing their face or thigh, that same arrousal is experienced with masochists by the sting of a whip or a thunderous clapping of a paddle against ones behind. For myself suspension and feeling ropes bite into my flesh is a very safe and erotic experience, not one of violence that you speak of. Kink brings some of the greatest sexual experiences of some of these girls lives to life. They are bringing visibility to some of the safest high quality bdsm scenes by some of the most talented rope artists in the world and emphasizing erotic pleasure,consent and that the girls are having a great time.
    Madison
    queer feminist artist and bondage model

  2. I totally agree with Madison Young. Being a female in my early twenties who has always been interested in BDSM, Kink.com and especially behindkink.com assure me that this kind of lifestyle can not only be incredibly empowering physically and emotionally for women, but it is also very safe, sane and consensual (the popular mantra of the BDSM community). Watching the behind-the-scenes footage, I see that these people are having a good time, and are a close-knit family. Also, the number of sites dedicated to femdom at Kink actually outnumber maledom websites. This is the most female-friendly site I have found of any kind of porn. Plus, I have a bit of a crush on Princess Donna.

    ps- I had the best childhood and have the most wonderful parents a person could ask for.

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