Kink.com: Bondage Porn Gone Chillingly, Cheerfully Corporate (explicit language)

Kink.com has been delivering “Genuine, Raw Fetish Since 1997!” CEO of the Kink Crew is Peter Acworth,

a bondage enthusiast who started kink.com in 1997 out of his student bedroom while he was a PhD student in New York City. His first models were students at Columbia University, who he paid to be tied up while he tried to conceal his erection! After a huge initial success, he moved to San Francisco and started expanding.

The About section of Kink’s website describes the glorious history of the company:

Kink.com was started in 1997 by bondage enthusiast, Peter, who was a PhD student. After realizing consensual BDSM games were more exciting than finance, he left academia to devote his life to subjecting beautiful, willing women to strict bondage. The result was Hogtied.com, Kink’s first site. Hogtied now has an enormous archives of videos depicting many tightly bound women.

Through adhering to our core values, kink.com has grown into a respected company which has attracted talented employees. Kink’s team of 70 people is now dedicated to bringing you the most imaginative fetish material. Each of our unique websites is directed by a webmaster who is heavily kinky. Each webmaster’s passion is to bring their kink to life to deliver authentic fetish footage. Our models are never told to act or artificially struggle.

BDSM is about respect and trust. When you watch a Kink.com movie, you are watching real BDSM-loving people play in this context. We at Kink.com pride ourselves in the authentic reproduction of fetish activities enjoyed by those in the BDSM lifestyle. Kink.com has recently upgraded its offices to a licensed entertainment venue to host Kink-community building events, BDSM educational seminars, fundraisers for sex-positive charities, and kink-outreach programs.

To be fair, some of Kink’s core values are laudable, such as compliance with OSHA regulations and a mandatory condom policy, which Kink says is “very rare for a straight adult entertainment company.” They don’t change the core product, however, which is presenting the torture of women (and men) as pleasurable. Kink’s websites include:

Whipped Ass
“As the title implies, you will be seeing extreme ass whipping. Our
girls turn on each other and dish out the punishment like no other site
out there.”

Wired Pussy
“This site is shocking, literally. Our girls are put to the test when
they are bound, gagged, and shocked over and over. It’s all in good fun
of course!”

Men in Pain
“Throughout Kink you have seen our girls overpowered by men, machines,
whips, water, etc… now it is their time to strike back! Men, you
can’t run or hide!”

Fucking Machines
“Beautiful women and sex at 350rpm. It’s all the rage on Howard Stern, HBO.”

Sex and Submission
“Our powerless girls scream as they are tied up and forced to have sex
over and over. Are they screams for help or do they really just want
more?”

Device Bondage
“Medieval metal restraints, ingenious fucking machines and all kinds of
imaginative devices will make this the most innovative bondage site on
the web.”

The Training of O
“Slaves are trained for a full week deep in the confines of Kink’s
castle, having been trained to take pain, please cock, or anything else
their master desired. Coming Spring 2007!”

Kink enjoyed a long profile in The New York Times on April 29:

Acworth has since built what is arguably the country’s most successful
fetish porn company, Kink.com — a fast-growing suite of 10 S-and-M and
bondage-themed Web sites, each updated weekly with a new half-hour or
hour video segment. Kink has 60,000 subscribers; access to each site
costs about $30 a month…

If anything, Kink may be an exaggerated example of just how ordinary
pornographers will get, despite the wince-inducing grisliness of its
content, which even by porn-industry standards is morbidly eccentric…

Talking with Kink’s 70 employees, the majority of whom are in their 20s
or 30s, it would seem that porn has become just another career that
creative people latch onto in the fog following college… There are weekly catered lunches, a health plan stretching to vision
insurance and, even harder to come by, a pervasive feeling of
usefulness. Reena Patel, Kink’s vice president for marketing, who has
an M.B.A. and previously worked at Merrill Lynch, told me, “I actually apply my education to this job.”

…(Last year, [Kink performer Claire Adams] tied up the actor Peter Sarsgaard for a
bondage-themed spread in Vanity Fair.)…

(There are rarely story lines in Kink’s porn, and acting is discouraged.)…

A B.D.S.M. enthusiast may spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year
on S-and-M paraphernalia or to attend fetish festivals like the Folsom
Street Fair in San Francisco…

Too often, [Acworth] told me, B.D.S.M. is conflated with rape or abuse. He
realized early on that building a respectable company devoted to the
fetish could help “demystify” it… Kink’s required pre- and post-scene interviews, like the one I watched
Wild Bill and Adams tape, for example, are meant to break the fourth
wall, assuring audiences that, as in real-life B.D.S.M. play,
everything is negotiated in advance and rooted in a certain etiquette
and trust — that everyone is friends. The company actually requires
that each model be shown smiling during the segments…

Several industry people told me that Kink is known for treating its
models courteously and professionally. “They are very ethical,” says
Mark Spiegler, a porn talent manager, “which is not the norm in this
business, either.”

…an unprecedented volume of porn has spurred producers to distinguish
themselves with more extreme content…even
the biggest DVD companies have gradually followed the lead of sites
like Kink into S-and-M-themed or other edgy content. Levine directed
“Jenna Loves Pain,” an S-and-M film for one of the industry’s largest
studios, starring Jenna Jameson, one of the world’s most famous porn
stars…

The longer something is out in the open, and the more you see average
people enjoying it, “the more you say, ‘Well, this is a part of
America,’ ” [Paul Cambria, an attorney who has represented the adult industry for 25 years] explained. “Familiarity leads to acceptance.”

See also:

Certified Sex Therapist Marty Klein Wants You to Believe Porn Is Harmless
“For now, start remembering the word Sadomasophobia. Connolly coined it
to mean, like homophobia, a fear and hatred of a sexual orientation not
one’s own. One day, divorced parents warring over child custody will be
prevented from using an ex-mate’s S/M practices as evidence of parental
unfitness.”

The Science Behind Pornography Addiction
Permission-Giving Beliefs are a set of beliefs that imply that my
behavior is normal, acceptable, common and/or doesn’t hurt anyone so I
have permission to continue to behave in the way that I am. In all
types of violence and addiction, Permission-Giving Beliefs are
involved. Examples would include “All men go to prostitutes”, “Women
like sex mixed with violence” and “Children enjoy sex with adults”.
These particular Permission-Giving Beliefs are also common in
pornography…

One study on strippers indicated that they were likely to be punched,
slapped, grabbed, called cunt and whore and to be followed home or
stalked. Not surprisingly, these women often work with bodyguards. This
live form of pornography causes violence and the customers receiving
these Permission-Giving Beliefs become carriers of these beliefs back
to their homes, onto their jobs, into the street, onto the school yard.
There they encounter women and children who do not have bodyguards.

Testimony in Minneapolis: With Growth of Porn, Rapists Show Less Remorse
[L]iterally hundreds of women have mentioned to me the anger and
despair they feel when their husbands, lovers, or other male partners
press upon them specific sexual acts which these men learned from
pornographic materials–acts of bestiality, sodomy, “swinging”, forced
group sex, etc. The men feel such pressure on women is acceptable
because porn is acceptable, and pornography was the so-called
“educational” source…

[T]he work of Dr. Natalie Shainess (psychiatrist of New York) and Dr.
Frank Osanka [sic] (psychologist and child-abuse specialist, Chicago)
show that convicted rapists who, even five to seven years ago,
expressed remorse about their acts of violence, recently show no such
remorse and often cite as a reason for their guiltlessness that
“everyone knows women want to be raped; all the porn stuff proves that.”

Free Book Download: Diana Russell’s Against Pornography: The Evidence of Harm (explicit)
A particularly important feature of my definition of pornography is the requirement that it appears to endorse, condone, or encourage abusive sexual desires or behaviors.
These attributes differentiate pornography from materials that include
abusive or degrading sexual behavior for educational purposes. Movies
such as “The Accused” and “The Rape of Love”, for example, present
realistic representations of rape with the apparent intention of
helping viewers to understand the reprehensible nature of rape, and the
agony experienced by rape victims.

Exposure to Pornography as a Cause of Child Sexual Victimization
A pedophile called Stewart describes how he masked victims’ pain when he photographed young girls:

They
couldn’t show fear or doubt in the pictures. They had to show happiness
or love… To get that look, I’d give them something, from tricycles to
stereos. It depended on what they wanted. You have to be able to
express [evoke] excitement in the pictures…

Abusive Relationships and Porn: The Similarities (explicit language)
At Bookends, a large porn shop in Enfield, we found more material that emphasized violence, domination, lack of consent, and manipulation of the victim:

“YEEOWWCH! STOP IT!!” I screamed and shot a hand back to protect my
blazing behind. David’s failure to concede to my pleas or to say a word
in reply scared me to death!…

“OUCH! Y-YES DAVID! AND I AM SORRY!! REALLY I AM!! OWWWW!”

“Not as sorry as you’re going to be!… Maybe you’ll listen to me next
time and not act like a spoiled brat… I love and respect you,
Allison…but I won’t stand by and let you do something dangerous and
stupid. Do you hear me?”…

Punishment Porn: “Whether-She-Wants-It-Or-Not” (explicit)
The concept of Traumatic Bonding
has also been developed to explain the dynamics of domestic violence
relationships. Essentially, strong emotional connections develop
between the victim and the perpetrator during the abusive relationship.
These emotional ties develop due to the imbalance of power between the
batterer and the victim and because the treatment is intermittently
good and bad. In terms of the power imbalance, as the abuser gains more
power, the abused individual feels worse about him- or herself, is less
able to protect him- or herself, and is less competent. The abused
person therefore becomes increasingly dependent on the abuser. The
second key factor in traumatic bonding is the intermittent and
unpredictable abuse. While this may sound counterintuitive, the abuse
is offset by an increase in positive behaviors such as attention,
gifts, and promises. The abused individual also feels relief that the
abuse has ended. Thus, there is intermittent reinforcement for the
behavior, which is difficult to extinguish and serves instead to
strengthen the bond between the abuser and the individual being abused.

Testimony in Minneapolis: Porn and the Death Spiral of a Marriage
…we would have incredible arguments with each other. I
would tell him I loved him, I only wanted to love him, I wanted to be a
good wife, I wanted our marriage to work, but I didn’t want to be with
these other people. It was he I wanted to be with, and no one else. He
told me if I loved him I would do this. And that, as I could see from
the things that he read me in the magazines initially, a lot of times
women didn’t like it, but if I tried it enough I would probably like
it, and I would learn to like it. And he would read me stories where
women learned to like it.

Statement of Rev. Susan Wilhelm: “…the sex became especially abusive after he started using pornography” (explicit language)
He exposed me to the pornography, too. Once we saw an X-rated film that
showed anal intercourse. After that, he pressed me to try it. I agreed
to once, but found the experience very painful. He kept trying
periodically. He told me my vagina had become as sloppy as an old sow’s
and he could not get pleasure any other way. He also used to pinch and
bite me. When I said “it hurts,” he would say, “no, it doesn’t.” I
became numb. I lost track of my own feelings. One time, he said in
reference to himself sexually, “it’s supposed to hurt.”

Martin Amis: “A rough trade”

“Rocco has far more power in this industry than any actress,” said
Stagliano, pleased to be pulling one back for the boys (generally
speaking, men are the also-rans of porno). “I was the first to shoot
Rocco. Together we evolved toward rougher stuff. He started to spit on
girls. A strong male-dominant thing, with women being pushed to their
limit. It looks like violence but it’s not. I mean, pleasure and pain
are the same thing, right? Rocco is driven by the market. What makes it
in today’s market place is reality.”

Robert
Jensen: When Examining Complex Social Phenomena, Scientific Method Has
Limits; Listen to the Stories of the Victims (explicit language)

“I know all about you bitches, you’re no different; you’re like all of
them. I seen it in all the movies. You love being beaten. (He then
began punching the victim violently.) I just seen it again in that
flick. He beat the shit out of her while he raped her and she told him
she loved it; you know you love it; tell me you love it…” [Silbert
and Pines, 1984, p.864]…

Ms. X, a Native American woman, described how she was raped by two
white men who made reference to a pornographic video game called
“Custer’s Revenge” in which a white Army officer scores points by
raping Indian women:

They held me down and as one was running the tip of his knife across my
face and throat he said, “Do you want to play Custer’s Last Stand? It’s
great. You lose but you don’t care, do you? You like a little pain,
don’t you, squaw?… The only good Indian is a dead Indian… A squaw
out alone deserves to be raped.”

Capital Video’s Magazine Rack: Bondage, Racism and More
“Because her body is beginning to ache, she writhes on the carpet. It makes watching her even more arousing.”

“A bed is still one of the most convenient bondage platforms invented
by man. If the headboard is of the metal type, rather than solid wood,
so much the better. A girl’s wrists can readily be tied to it,
imprisoning her.”

“Tied to the post, Tracy takes a fearful whipping.”

“With
the shapely divorcee twisting like a snake and frantically protesting
the indignity he was inflicting on her, Rex proceeded to peel her black
panties down…”


Now on sale at Capital Video: Jenna Loves Pain

Full-on bondage! Look who’s learning the ropes. It’s Jenna as you’ve
never seen her. Restrained. Tied down. Submitting to the lash in one of
the most exquisite displays of pleasure and pain ever put to film.
Vivid presents Jenna Loves Pain the only time you will ever see one of
adult’s greatest stars in a subserviant position as she takes a
punishing look back at her most extreme fantasies. Get ready. This will
hurt.


Now on sale at Capital Video: Porn of the Dead

“Porn of the Dead is a full hard core adult zombie movie featuring an all death metal soundtrack.” The website Diabolik adds that the movie “Includes songs by Impaled, Deicide, Exmortem, Decapitated, Gorerotted and Blood Red Thrown.”

14 thoughts on “Kink.com: Bondage Porn Gone Chillingly, Cheerfully Corporate (explicit language)

  1. Thank you for all this research and these links.

    As a parent I am horrified by what I see on the kink.com site. What will children think when they see this. Obviously they will think it is o.k., otherwise adults would shut it down.

    The New York Times should be ashamed for promoting kink.com I cannot believe this violent man is being treated like some kind of brilliant and caring businessman. To tolerate this kind of torture training in the name of free speech is ridiculous.

  2. Reading this post, and similar ones, makes be profoundly sad about the statement this makes about the direction our society has taken.
    It is as sad for the people who blindly fall for the propaganda of the pornographers as it is for the people who are used to produce the pornography. The pornographers are getting rich at the expense of ALL.
    Your blog is taking an important step in the right direction: educating people as to the reality of porn.
    Most people don’t have a reason to really give this porn invasion any real thought. When people learn how invasive and harmful it really is, not to mention how they are basically being “duped” by the industry, they can make informed choices. This is especially important for younger people, who have grown up surrounded by this culture.

  3. kink.com DOES stand by it’s core values. Every model i know gives positive reports from working with them. I am a radical feminist and a san francisco native and I support kink.com

  4. I think the very point here is for children NOT to be allowed to see this site. Just as the point is for children not to be allowed to drink or smoke cigarettes.

    These are adult choice decisions. We know that many adults make bad choices, but I don’t believe the answer is to eliminate choice for consenting adults based on the possiblility that children who are NOT LEGALLY of age to view such material might view them but rather to educate a people in such a way that they are better capable of making healthy and constructive choices when they become adults.

    Even though some people become alcoholics didn’t make Prohibition any more effective – drunk driving laws and consistent enforcement are proportionately more effective at keeping those that choose a destructive lifestyle from harming others than Prohibition ever was.

  5. It’s certainly true the adult industry could do a great deal more to limit the access of children to their material. Requiring credit card numbers for online viewing would be an example. This would be a big step in the right direction.

    NoPornNorthampton does not advocate for increasing censorship. We want people to make wise choices with the freedom they have. To us, that means educating people as to the nature of pornographic material, the porn industry, and the risks they’re taking with themselves, their spouses, children, and other relationships.

    For many, porn is addictive. That means the addict’s ability to give informed consent becomes compromised. Before a person travels down that path, we try to give them full information.

  6. The whole point of sights like Kink.com is that they are ADULTS. It is not the industry’s responsibility to monitor what children are watching – that is the responsibility of the parent. It may come as a surprise but some women do actually find the activities on Kink.com pleasurable and partake of them of their own free will. With open discussion beforehand, safe words and gestures and an experienced partner there is no difference between a BDSM style partnership and any other. I think the phrase is “don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.”

  7. We are not calling for censorship, but people need to be aware how this media affects attitudes and is a factor in domestic abuse. Please see the many articles in our Impact of Porn category.

    To put this another way, if a woman wants to reduce her risk of suffering at the hands of an abusive person, she should avoid partners who consume porn.

  8. Adult material is not for children and restriction to that material is the parents responsibility. Children should not be allowed access to the web only with parental supervision. If they view questionable material than it is the adults fault and not the adult web sites.
    It is obscene that the most easily offended in our society are the most vocal attempt to criminalize free media. Adults will with the help of my organization resist interference of groups bent on restraint.
    Children are often used as a means of rationalizing limited liberty. If that which is seen is offensive-look away and stay away. This web page may only be reached either by submitting it address or by a web search. Again the responsibility of the viewer not the site.
    Irrelevant Comments about abuse to women are also pointless as we are sexual equals. Either sex may claim they are abused and if the act is voluntary this claim is not valid.
    This site is run by people looking to provide adult entertainment and the responses illustrate the maturity of their writers.

  9. We are not calling for any extension of state censorship beyond its current bounds. We are asking adults to be responsible and humane, and think about what will make them happy in the long-term.

    It’s false to claim that men and women are equals with respect to the modern commercial porn industry. Women make up the bulk of those exploited and absorb the bulk of the abuse depicted. See our articles at

    http://nopornnorthampton.org/categories/Feminist Perspective.aspx

    and

    http://nopornnorthampton.org/2007/05/13/presentation-content-analysis-bestselling-porn-films.aspx

    As for the materials produced by Kink.com, much of it appears to be more like torture than sex, as can be seen in Chyng Sun’s new documentary, The Price of Pleasure. This material may not deserve censorship, but it certainly deserves condemnation.

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