Kink

Documentary on fetish website comes to DVD

By David-Elijah Nahmod | Photos courtesy of kinkdoc.com

According to James Franco, it was his visit to a fetish porn set that inspired his 2013 documentary that goes behind the scenes of the website kink.com.

Franco, an acclaimed actor who has lent his name to a number of gay-themed films, said that the most fascinating aspect of his peek inside the kink.com studios was how similar the on-set dynamics were to what he saw back stage when he hosted Saturday Night Live.

Everyone Franco met at kink.com's San Francisco headquarters was there to produce the best possible product and each scene was discussed and carefully rehearsed prior to filming – models asked what they were comfortable with and which acts they were willing to perform.

Kink.com is one of the porn world's most popular and successful producers of fetish porn. The company is headquartered in one of San Francisco's most historic buildings – the 100-year-old SF Armory, which was once home to the National Guard. Playboy Magazine reports that the Armory has also served as a sound stage for some of Star Wars' interior shots.

Kink, the film, is graphic, and may shock people who aren't into the fetish lifestyle.

During one sequence, a model hangs upside down via chains while her legs ate "forcibly" spread apart. But, as we soon see, her director is quite attentive of her needs and well being, as she is asked between shots if she's OK. The models, all there by choice, can call “cut” at any time.

Director Christina Voros moves between gay and straight fetish sets. On both sides, the atmosphere is laid back and respectful. Some of the models speak about their choices: a gay model shares his hope of becoming a yoga instructor and a straight female model speaks lovingly about her three school-aged children.

Throughout the proceedings, all the models make it clear that they are there because they want to be there. They can walk about the door at any time.

Tomcat, the female-to-male transgender director, speaks eloquently about the misguided notion that models need to be "protected."

Voros offers no judgments, but simply shows what is.

When Kink.com CEO Peter Ackworth takes Voros on a tour of the building, or when Voros points her camera at a production meeting, we see that kink.com is first and foremost a business, run like any other. Yet the S & M stigma remains.

Kink is now available on DVD.

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