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.
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.
That “documentary” is blatant pro-BDSM subculture propaganda. The more general issue, however, is the multi-headed hydra of mutually dependent coercive institutions: BDSM on the surface, and the capitalist society on which this peculiar manifestation of abusive sex rests. To quote unquietpirate’s reaction to this article on Twitter:
Here’s the thing: I feel like this article puts a fine point on BOTH how fucked BDSM is & how fucked capitalism is. They’re not unrelated.— R. (@unquietpirate)August 30, 2014
Addition of a profit motive to a BDSM scene makes it exponentially more violent, yes, but by expanding a violence already inherent to BDSM.— R. (@unquietpirate)August 30, 2014
And addition of BDSM to your workplace makes your job exponentially more violent by expanding a kind of violence already inherent to jobs.— R. (@unquietpirate)August 30, 2014
Put the two together, BDSM + job, and what you’re doing is explicitly displaying the everpresent violence that undergirds both. #capitalism— R. (@unquietpirate)August 30, 2014
I have to go to work now. :P— R. (@unquietpirate)August 30, 2014
See also more of my criticism of the definitionally pro-rape BDSM subculture:
- Explaining “Dominants are rapists” in excruciating detail
- My unreal experience on the Kink, Inc. Armory Tour
- There is an incredible abundance of alcohol at almost every Kink, Inc. porn shoot
- Kink, Inc. to host Bay Area Anarchist Bookfaire: controversy misses every salient issue
See also more of my criticism of definitionally anti-equality capitalist social orders:
- "we artificially withhold food from them in order to motivate them to work"
- The real reason people are starving is because we think they deserve to.
- Study finds economic wealth is at its core a system of ruling cliques
See also more of my writings on the intersection between ethics, consent, sex, and labor:
- “Submission’s where the magic happens.”
- "Radical Ethicism" excerpt, "The Importance of Applying Ethic of Consent Beyond Sex"
And finally, see also one of my most well-cited performative rants, “Re-Caste-ing alternative sexuality: A Class Analysis of Social Status in the BDSM Scene.”
TL;DR: The coercive nature of BDSM relies on and reinforces the coercive nature of capitalist economics. It’s possible to have satisfying, kinky sex that has nothing to do with BDSM. It’s also possible to enjoy doing satisfying work that has nothing to do with capitalism. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to control you.(via maymay)