Thanks is due to Fleshbot for attracting my attention to some old news about Kink.com. I’m talking about this article in the New York Times, which, except for one token sentence filled with gratuitous slams (“wince-inducing grisliness”, “morbidly eccentric”), is a perfectly normal and quite interesting business profile of one of my favorite porn companies.

Having commented repeatedly on the pleasure and the significance of Kink.com’s smiling models, I particularly enjoyed reading this passage, in which we learn that running a photoshoot that leaves the models smiling, and then making sure to catch them doing it, is indeed the explicit company policy:

[Kink.com’s Peter Acworth] describes the company as having a certain social mission. Too often, he 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. People who felt conflicted about their kinkiness, as he once had, “would realize they’re not alone and, in fact, that there’s a big world of people that are into this stuff and that it can be done in a safe and respectful way. Loving partners can do this to each other.” 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.

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