So Mr. Matt Smith of the SF Weekly wrote a mean article about Kink.Com. When I say a mean article, I mean a sensationalist piece of yellow journalism devoid of ethics or integrity. It was not well researched, highly biased, and the author himself had many Kink.Com employees pulled out of BAVC classes because when they go to work they film smut. Although Matt Smith cries foul at the fact that Kink.Com produces content he doesn’t like, he omits the fact that the company pays a lot in taxes. The employees also fork over a portion of their earnings to the big tax pool. The purpose of the BAVC is to provide digital media training to the employees of tax-paying companies, i.e. Kink.Com. It sounds pretty simple to me, but I also take the first amendment at its word. I’m kind of a crazy American like that. I do feel that it is important to point out that tax payer money is not going to purchase ball gags or lube, it is going to skill development of staff members. Many of these folks will go on in video production outside of porn having grown and gained experience working for a local company that is offering that opportunity to them.
One of the biggest problems with the article is that Smith decided to have Melissa Farley
speak for me. For those of you unfamiliar with this woman and her ‘research’ it was kind of like having a family friend ask your crazy Aunt Maureen who drinks mouthwash to tell them all about what you did on your spring break. The problem is, Aunt Maureen didn’t even know that it was springtime because her calendar is still on the page that has Pomeranians in pumpkins. Melissa Farley says: “I never use the word ‘sex work’ because those words imply that it is legitimate work…” and “you’re going to see a range of attitudes on how to help women get out of prostitution, but I don’t want to spend any energy supporting an industry that essentially destroys women-emotionally, spiritually, and physically.”
Ummm…so all of my escort, stripper, BDSM professional, and porn friends are all destroyed? Wow we sure missed that memo last time we got together. We were smiling, laughing, and talking about the weird quirks about our day. Sex work can destroy some women, many are forced into it. The word for that is: trafficking. If sex work is legalized, there will be a sharp decline in pimping and exploitation because women can use the legal system to protect them instead of a pimp. Melissa Farley is also opposed to sex worker collectives and unions which is a shame because San Francisco is home to the Lusty Lady
(the first stripper union), SWOP
, and the St. James Infirmary
. We’re the kind of a town where lap dance small talk might include a run down on the dancer’s dissertation.
Melissa Farley doesn’t speak for me or my profession. She’s really not the right person to ask. Furthermore she hasn’t ever modeled for Kink.Com. A number of Kink.Com employees, supporters, and models (such as my friend Lilla Katt)
were quick to voice our opinions. Mr. Smith, BDSM models are the kind of people that relish an opportunity to show off our strength and beauty in extreme sexual situations. What you call torture we call orgasm fodder. We’re not shy and we definitely aren’t afraid to speak up on the issue. At the very least you must acknowledge that we’re a bit lacking the fear department.
Don’t speak for us, speak to us. I don’t know if Matt Smith decided to skip on model interviews because Kink.Com is absolutely wonderful to its performers and it would ruin his article if he asked us about it and not an anti-sex work fanatic or if he thought we lack the intellectual capacity to speak intelligently about our field. I don’t really know which is worse.
I think there is room for a civil debate about these funds. I have my own opinion, obviously, but I do see the potential for disagreement. Had the article not been inflammatory in nature and rippled with lies about what Kink.Com does then it might have been an interesting read. Kink.Com does not recruit outside of methadone clinics, they do not bait-and-switch, they are upfront about everything that is going to happen, and they love being able to use local lifestyle girls.