When asked whether Trimix injections had stopped, Acworth says, "We have a firm policy against giving prescription drugs to models or allowing models to share prescription drugs. I met with directors and all production crew last year to reiterate this policy and communicate that it would be considered a very serious offence for these things to happen." He adds, "I can tell you this: after the meetings I hosted last year, if I found that any employee had provided a prescription drug to a model, that person would be fired. We simply do not tolerate it."


The potential legal quandaries revealed by former Kink models challenge Acworth's ethical claims, and this isn't the first time he's been called out for going against his models' rights and shooting rules.

Last summer, Maxine Holloway found herself at the center of a debate about fair wages when she tried to organize her fellow cam girls in protest of a sudden pay decrease. Cam girls perform in what's essentially a digital peep show — they appear in a public video chat room, where customers can request a private performance. Once the private chat starts, customers pay by the minute to keep the live video streaming. Kink abruptly switched its cam girls from earning a base rate to earning a 30 percent commission; when Holloway took action, she was promptly fired.

Kink founder Peter Acworth professes a dedication to ethical treatment in porn, but some former employees say otherwise.
Pat Mazzera Photography
Kink founder Peter Acworth professes a dedication to ethical treatment in porn, but some former employees say otherwise.

At that time, Acworth denied Holloway had been fired and claimed that she was put on temporary leave because her cam shows had become unprofitable. (Holloway alleges her supervisor told her she was one of the cam department's top 20 models just days before her dismissal.)

Now, Acworth describes the incident as "my biggest mistake of 2012." In explanation of the sudden pay cut, he says, "Due to the structure we had in place at that time, I think we did a very ineffective job of discussing this change with the models and getting their feedback prior to executing the change. The change was perceived as rushed and delivered without notice or respect. I am very sorry for how this ultimately went down." He also notes that commission systems are standard for cam sites across the industry; while this is true, Holloway observed that other cam sites she'd worked for typically offered a commission between 60 and 80 percent.

Holloway and three fellow models pursued a lawsuit against Kink, which was eventually settled out of court.

The experience caused Holloway to question the ethics on which Kink is formed when we talked last year, before the settlement required she no longer speak publicly about her experiences working for Kink. Before being fired, she said, she had had only had good experiences with the company. After the ordeal she felt less trusting. "There's a difference between being unethical or unfair and being illegal. I think a porn company is responsible for all those things, especially when you have your ethics, your mission statement, and your values right there on the front page of your website. You're not just responsible for being a legal company," she explained last year.

Another model involved in the lawsuit, Coral Aorta, continues to model for Kink. Initially she worried about retaliation after filing the lawsuit. "I kind of expected directors or people working at Kink to bring that up with me, to be like, 'Oh, Coral, you sued us. What the hell?' But no one ever has." In fact, she's enjoyed working in the Armory in the months since then. "Obviously it's going well because I keep coming back for more."

Not every cam girl has been happy since the lawsuit, though. Eden Alexander, a model who has performed for Kink's cam site as well as other porn sites and did not participate in the lawsuit, claims Holloway's firing created a culture of fear in the cam department. She says models became afraid that voicing concerns meant risking their jobs. "You're in a position where if you don't follow along, you're going to lose shoots," she explains.

Bottoms agrees that the fear of losing work is legitimate. "Blacklisting happens," she says. "It can be unsafe to be a whistleblower."

Aaliyah Avatari, who formerly performed under the name Nikki Blue and famously lost her virginity during a live Kink broadcast in January 2011, says she was blacklisted after the controversial performance. "They're very picky and choosy," she claims. "If a model whines too much, they won't work with her anymore."

Alexander also attributes the new commission system with creating a cutthroat environment in which earning a living wage meant pushing her boundaries, something she felt Kink's shooting rules should have protected her from doing. These rules state that models' limits must be respected at all times.

One limit Alexander typically set was not subjecting herself to electric shocks, one of the fetishes Kink portrays. However, she claims she used an electric zapper (a toy that delivers small shocks) at the request of a customer in order to generate more revenue. The zapper misfired, leaving her with a small burn on her inner thigh instead of the red dots typically left by the toy. She claims the toys aren't tested as often as they're supposed to be, because they only fire on skin contact, and most production assistants don't want to zap themselves every day.

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47 comments
motherlover76
motherlover76

I am Brenn Wyson former kink gay porn star. What I can say is what goes on behind closed doors is a lot a sex abuse in way of transmitting HIV, HEP and whatever STD will snake there way in the the doors of Kink.com. The Stars working there and making money will never disclose the bad behavior of the porn stars they throw to the trash.  The drugs the lies the penis injections which is against the law in San Fran to give to a porn star. But the are sure willing to stick your genitals to get the job done. I know what goes on behind closed doors and its sick.  Unsafe and your life is one the line.  Trust me that place will talk shit about you If you have a mouth to speak.  I know because It happened to me.  Its has taken me a long time to get my real career back and make an honest living.  Do not want to become a porn star because all the main porn companies will lie to you.

Thank you,

Brenn Wyson. Broward Boxing.

motherlover76
motherlover76

Ive been a porn star for kink.com in the past and I can say they are very hush hush and will do anything to keep it quit about how they treat the porn stars.  What they do behind closed doors will make you sick. On that note, they will tell you how good they are for San Fran. This place is a cesspool for HIP, Hep and what other STD is around. Drugs, Rape and whatever goes on behind closed doors.  The injection to you penis to keep it erected.  This place only cares about the dollar.  If you are thinking about being a porn star, please think twice.  It is your choice to be a porn star. But this place doesn't care about your safe well being. 

leslielandberg
leslielandberg

This article is practically unreadable. There's no story here, just a muddled bunch of salacious stories that are clearly not being subjected to the most basic forms of journalistic investigation. This just insults mt intelligence and adds up to a contrived hatchet job. Innuendo and allegation do not a newstory make. And the writer's pretext at investigative reportage is ludicous. What's the point?

carol_leigh
carol_leigh

I like the quote at the end. Interesting to me as an advocate...  I have little experience working for someone else as a sex worker...only hear about the issues.  The issues at Kink.com, in general, harken back to tales of the Mitchell Brothers, but it's good to see that the understanding of workers rights in "adult entertainment" is developing ...although slowly.  It seems like there should be paid training about boundaries and assertion for models on an ongoing basis, and before (and during) working for Kink.com. It would be good also for an ongoing worker consultant group to understand what issues emerge and come up with solutions. What, no union at Kink.com :-(  ?

notafan
notafan

We are supposed to believe that a company that churns out torture porn can be ethical?  What they are doing is training thousands of men to get off on other people's pain.  And they are training women to not only accept it, but consider it sexy when a man want to hurt them.  I'm willing to bet that almost all of the violent sex crimes in this country are committed by people who have had a subscription to kink.com.  Sex is great but kink.com is a festering sore on the backside of this city.  It needs to be removed.

gammon
gammon

Whether good or bad, it seems their shooting rules regarding marking have more to do with PR. In the scene marks are incredibly common, and whips can easily leave marks that appear permanent but fade after several months. I've had them. There is no ethical question about whether this is okay so long as the bottom has consented to it. Kink has a shoot - I believe the models were Lorelei, Princess Donna, and Sara Scott(?), where Sara took a caning that left very deep bruising. It violated the shoot rules but Sara continually affirmed her consent, so the shoot continued. However, her body was blurred out in the video available from the site to hide the marks. This leads me to believe this rule is to prevent opponents from being able to find "shock" photos, not something Kink deemed an ethical line they will not cross.  That is certainly understandable given the prosecutions made over the past 10 years or so.

While a critic of Kink's recent actions, I personally had no issue with this incident other than the fact that it's generally bad form to renegotiate limits mid-scene, as endorphines can cloud judgment. She was clearly not off in "subspace" though, so I'm not worried about it.


Also ask around about Fucking Machines injuries.


Kenny East
Kenny East

i stopped reading shortly after "gay for pay"

meatsack
meatsack

KInk.com is funny


I've known people who work there and interviewed there twice.  They asked at the interview moronic pop psychology questions, that was a serious WTF moment the first time.  You kinksters run a supposed alterno-operation and you ask these bullshit questions you got from a HR web page written by HR professional losers?


craigstehr
craigstehr

Warm spiritual greetings, On Wednesday February 27th, I am scheduled to leave the Berkeley, CA men's shelter.  I am not interested in moving outside onto the sidewalk to face uncertainty, and possible death.  For the past 22 years, I have been active with Berkeley Catholic Worker as an unpaid volunteer, serving free meals to the poorest of America's poor, and also helped to distribute survival gear to the homeless.  During that time period I traveled to other cities and was active with Catholic Worker groups in New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.  Since 1980, I also have participated in environmental campaigns with Earth First!  More recently, I was at Occupy Wall Street in New York City as part of the People's Library/Poetry Anthology Project, and afterwards was active with the kitchen working group at Occupy D.C., encamped with the Veterans for Peace on Freedom Plaza.  References: How about Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, the Goddess in all of her manifestations, and God?  I trust that this will be adequate to confirm my honest character.Please look at a blog that was created for me, for writing examples, at http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com Thank you very much, Craig Louis Stehr  Email: craigstehr@hushmail.com  Mailing address: c/o NOSCW, P.O. Box 11406, Berkeley, CA 94712-2406

Braintrust22
Braintrust22

wow, I guess they let bloggers write articles nowadays? Either that or someone didn't edit this enough to advise the writer to leave their personal feelings OUT of the article...
"toxic cam department" - really??

"hand written check not a typical payroll check" - you clearly don't do accounting, given that payroll checks are typically written to employee's. Her being a model, I would imagine that hand written checks are written all the time. 

Any who, not that bad of an article, but you can see where this writer leans and I just always figured as a writer, being transparent about your opinion on the subject in any way is not the way to write, but what do i know, I don't write for SFWeekly....

miao
miao

Peter is no Heff,  Hefner has built his own brand and has maintained control of the content. How much of Kink's the revenue is sites Kink buys?  We are hearing the stories from people who worked at kink, but when kink buys fetish sites they then own the content.  Does Peter know about the work conditions at the network sites, if not how can he claim all the content is "ethical"? 

SFNative
SFNative

So a company that specializes in videos depicting the degradation of women is degrading its workers.  Shocker.

Selma
Selma

 I'm glad to see that the San Francisco anarchists are supporting this rape, torture, and abuse

ellencatalina
ellencatalina

They need to bring back fluffers and cool it on the drugs. 



livesinsfo
livesinsfo

Aaliyah Avatari, who formerly performed under the name Nikki Blue and famously lost her virginity during a live Kink broadcast in January 2011, says she was blacklisted after the controversial performance. " 

If that's true why are there over 25 shoots by this model after the virginity shoot?  And why didn't the author of this article check the veracity of this statement?

Mary Littlelamb
Mary Littlelamb

The reason why you were noticing that these porn companies are getting find, arrested excetera is because the laws have changed. That company was making a whole lot of money of their talent and paying them such a small amount so when I hear news like this I laugh and I feel so good

John Lilly
John Lilly

Taking the "taboo" out of the conversation, creative people and perfomers always get reamed by corporations. Musicians, writers, designers and even sexy people pushing their sexual boundaries on video. Kink better be careful lest the workers unionize like Lusty Lady did. I support the performers. Used to have respect for Acworth. Not s'much now.

Mary Littlelamb
Mary Littlelamb

I quit the porn business July 2009 thanks to the pink cross.org. I was mistreated several times by different companies. I never worked for kink.com, but I did expect to get paid what most of their actresses were getting so that's probably why. I was also reap on a porn set Wiley with filmed and it still sold outside of America. Selling the video of me being raped is actually illegal. Abuse does happen in this industry. There are some people that had had positive experiences in this industry and others who haven't. I testified in front of legislators with the pink cross in 2010 for mandatory condom use. Obviously we won that case and it is a legal to shoot a porn without using a condom or rubber dam for lesbian porn.

dianafkadesifoxx
dianafkadesifoxx

@motherlover76  

Thank you for sharing the truth about what you know. Working in the porn industry isn't glamorous as they portray. Only when all performers, both present and past, speak out about the danger and abuse in Porn Valley will performers have a chance at working safely in the porn industry.

Personally, after spending almost 2 years working there and 5 years fighting to shut them down until they clean up their act and stop abusing performers, I've come to believe there's no such thing as safe, respectful and healthy sex work.

The sex industries are all based on fantasy and lies. You can't have a normal sex industry when all sex industries were built on false promises, organized crime and sexual exploitation of others. Governments around the World have tried to make an honest industry out of sexual exploitation and all have failed miserable.

You can't make something real that has always been fake. Sex work is criminal. There's no spit and shine in the World that can change that fact!

demonicflamingo69
demonicflamingo69

@notafan 


Your assertions that women are finding pain "sexy" and its sexualizing violence among thousands of men are also ridiculous. That's like saying that gay porn will increase homosexuality, the only people who are attracted to it are those who have already the fetish 

demonicflamingo69
demonicflamingo69

@notafan 

Your quite bigoted to have the gall to tell other people how they should have sex. I can't speak for the business practices of Kink.com, but rough sex and BDSM (which is pretty much just a more elaborate form of it) not "torture". Unlike most other kinds of sex, BDSM has strict codes and guidelines about consent and failsafes that make you alot less likely to be assaulted or abused than regular sex. You are also clearly ignorant of sex crime statistics, as there is a strong correlation with the availability of pornography and reduced sex crime rates. Violent crime including sex crimes are at an all time low despite the increasing availability of BDSM porn, and this is true in many other countries as well. 

uckermanf
uckermanf

@Kenny East Hit too close to home, huh?

TheWholeTruth
TheWholeTruth

@meatsack The HR department is incompetent. And Kink has treated many people badly over the years. Employees work in a culture of fear. 

AModel
AModel

@Braintrust22 Every check I've ever received from Kink was handwritten, unless it was from a cam show, in which case they are directly deposited to my bank.  I agree with you.  Fact checking? Seems not much.  Sensationalizing? Totally.  Reporting at its finest!

TheWholeTruth
TheWholeTruth

@miao Those "sites" you're referring to are shot by Kink staff at the armory. I am specifically referring to the sites Kink has purchased and not the material on Kink on Demand, which Kink does not own. Kink wants it to look like its a different company but it isn't.

brown.mima
brown.mima

@miao That's actually a really good point. They only have control over content created in the Armory, not acquired sites. 

demonicflamingo69
demonicflamingo69

@Mary Littlelamb 


Abuse is unacceptable in any industry and should be prosecuted and corrected, but so is mandatory condom use. The state shouldn't be involved in how people have sex, and that includes people who agree to do a porn shoot. 

gammon
gammon

@Mary Littlelamb Why are you commenting? Do you have a point? Or are you just spamming for your foundation?

willard86
willard86

@Darryl Manco You obviously didn't read the article.


meatsack
meatsack

That seems to be the case.  I know people who work as "product," or whatever the meaningless buzzword is that they use for talent at Kink, they all say the same shit.  Any place that falls for that "what is your greatest weakness" HR shit is a joke.  The advice I got was answer the bullshit pop psychology questions and just put your time in.

Meeting the actual true believers over the years has been quite comical, the Mission hipsters expressing there alterno individuality.  pffft.  Talking to Princess Donna, I mean being talked down to by Princess Donna around another enterprise.  Yes your highness!


I doubt that any other porn company is any better, but the "special" people at Kink...  so comical and entitled.

girlbecrazy
girlbecrazy

@ReviewSources Um, how has no one mentioned how clearly INSANE this woman is? Did anyone read her blog? An alien lover? God giving her special powers? "When I went to Roswell and Area 51 I was told I was a recantation of Lilith" ?!!! That is some serious fucking crazy right there. I don't believe a thing this woman says, she clearly has mental health issues.

livesinsfo
livesinsfo

@ReviewSources weird that she never mentions vaginal reconstructive surgery in her blog.  Not once.  Again, where is the fact checking in this article?  Does this writer know what fact checking an article entails?  It would seem the simplest of Google searches would call into question what the "jounalist" was told.

TheWholeTruth
TheWholeTruth

@NotSurprised @livesinsfo @ReviewSources A girl who decides to lose her virginity on camera is clearly unstable. She did consent. At what point is consent not enough if we know the person who is consenting doesn't have the real ability to do so? A girl offering to lose her virginity on camera should have been turned down, but there would have been another company that would shoot it if Kink didn't I guess.

miao
miao

@AModel @miao @livesinsfo @NotSurprised   I didn't see the video with firearms in the armory, but that is what set off the investigation. I used the term ethical because Kink had touted itself as such, my own views on kinky behavior are wider than you assume.  If you get off on machines, good for you - I don't have an issue with you enjoying that, I take issue with promoting something risky as "ethical" when the site can't speak for every performers experience.  

I don't think showing off guns is ethical - we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

AModel
AModel

@miao @robertlsfo @NotSurprised Miao - I am a performer (often at Kink.com) and I assure you that I am happy and treated ethically, and so are the others that I know that happily accept shoots for Kink. I wonder if you are confusing "ethical" for what doesn't mesh with your own belief system and values.  Just because it doesn't jive with your belief, doesn't make it wrong.  Maybe your "normal, well adjusted friends" don't have access to the machines that the creatives at Kink construct? Women who are not well adjusted have no business in porn, I assure you of that.  "Normal" is also commonly used in place of "what someone personally enjoys or believes" so I appreciate you not spilling your "normal" on me (or others) it stains.  Thank you.  


One more thing, just because someone works for Kink negates their American right to own and bear arms?  Not a chance.  Was it on set?  Was it at the Armory?  No.

+

miao
miao

@robertlsfo @NotSurprised I appreciate the link, this notion that cam models and other kink performers are happy or empowered due to the "ethical" work environment bothers me.  How can a virginity shoot be ethical?  There is a big difference between enjoying rope play and being sexually attracted to a virgin.  I'm not anti-kink, and I can't say I know the sites layout but I worry that some teenager who is curious about light bondage is going to be led down a rabbit hole that normalizes the extremes of BDSM.  Most normal, well-adjusted women I know don't have sex with machines, but I know a girl who was talked into doing one of those videos while drunk and after kink bought the site her video was on - she started getting recognized.   

Take a look at Princess Donna's twitter, she may have cleaned it up by now but as of last week there were pictures of her with guns.   I feel like this article was well-written but focused on what happens inside the armory, I would really like to know how much of Kinks revenue is from sites they bought up, and how involved they are in producing content on those sites.

livesinsfo
livesinsfo

@NotSurprised Thanks for your post.  My only real complaint is with the person who wrote this article, who should have fact checked all the quotes she used in this article before publishing.  Like an ethical journalist would.

livesinsfo
livesinsfo

@beyonsense ok, so she had not mentioned it at the time I wrote that statement yesterday.  As in when it might have been occuring.  You would think that event would have been blog worthy in the moment.  My point is only that this "journalist" should have taken the time to fact check these statements...

NotSurprised
NotSurprised

@robertlsfo @ReviewSources I used to live with Nicki, she is sadly a very disturbed young lady. Was she mistreated at times while working for Kink.com? "Yes" However she was not blacklisted because of her Viginity shoot. Her mental status made her a liability and difficult to work with. She would miss shoots, show up late, not follow directions, her mental health issues were the cause of her demise in the industry.

Nicki did not belong in the Porn Industry, she is not able to take care of herself no less enter into contracts as a sex performer. Kink.com knew Nicki was unstable, yet they continued to work with her for sometime.

 
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