Originally Published August 2014
Kink.com Interview Questions by Marabelle Blue and RXR
MB: What was the idea for Kink.com? Was it to satisfy the alternative community?
Kink.com: Peter had been fascinated by bondage as a young man, and the idea that bondage powerplay was an expression of fantasy and not deviant, was pivotal to him becoming the CEO & Founder of Kink. With his “Hogtied” site in the late 90s, Peter was able to experiment and live out his fantasies. He and the site flourished through bondage, so to speak. With the increase of interest in Hogtied, came the realization that there was an untapped alternative community audience. The success of Hogtied only further proved how many people are into fetish -- more than Acworth probably imagined at the time.
So, short answer, the idea as well as the mission statement, is to demystify alternative sexuality. Kink may have started out as a kinky man tying up women in his dorm room, but has turned into a commitment on Peter’s part to foster understanding and acceptance of the alternative community, b/c he is part of that community.
MB: When kink.com was launched, was it well received at first?
Kink.com: When Kink was founded, there was a great demand for niche, fetish, BDSM content -- and Kink filled that void. But BDSM, more than mainstream adult content, had and still has its opponents -- ones who have grave misconceptions of what BDSM or fetish is; but that may always be the case.
MB: People who are not into a kinky lifestyle can feel that maybe the videos can push a button promoting violence, etc. How do you respond to a public that doesn’t agree with our lifestyle?
Kink.com: The kinky lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and it is even more important to note that not everyone into the kinky lifestyle is a Kink.com member, so we can’t speak for everyone through our sites - people have differing ideas of what turns them on. Sex, especially sex in porn, will always have a strong reaction whether niche, or mainstream. We can’t empower everyone, but we try to foster an environment for those who feel ashamed or “other” to know they have a community.
MB: Hidden desires! What are those that people can find on Kink.com?
Kink.com: Kink.com has over 20 sites that run the gamut from strict bondage, to foot fetish, to gay edgeplay, to electroplay, and many more. We try to cover all the fetishes but this community is huge; it’s not possible to tap into every hidden desire, but we add content and sites all the time. We try our best!
MB: How do you find ways to outdo your own videos or do you find it necessary to outdo yourselves?
Kink.com: Any person or enterprise has to push hard to “outdo” themselves to be successful and relevant. People’s desires and needs change and if we’re in the business of fulfilling fantasies, we’d better know what people’s fantasies are as they change. Luckily, we have talented crews and directors who are immensely dedicated, and try to outdo themselves -- Kink is thankful and lucky for benefitting from that.
MB: With so many free porn sites popping up, how have you been dealing with them and other than the obvious of paying, why should people pay?
Kink.com: People do get what they pay for and those who watch Kink sites are getting what they pay for: the best fetish content in the world. Free porn sites have made it difficult for the adult industry in general; but, Kink has been rather successful with live webcam auctions and promoting exclusive content that free tube sites cannot provide so Kink is slightly ahead of the curve. Maitresse Madeline and Lorelei Lee garnered $42K/each for private webcam auctions that provided a luxury product -- one that no free site will be able to compete with.
RXR:: How has the lifestyle changed from the 80s until now? Are things better or worse or different?
What makes it bad? Better? Different?
Kink.com: Since this question isn’t related to Kink.com, though very important; I would need to defer to those with historical knowledge about “kink” itself. I was 10 in 1980 so I couldn’t speak from personal experience!
RXR:: What is the number one misconception, from Kink.com's perspective, that men and women have about adding kink to a relationship? And what do you feel is the best way to educate them about this topic.
Kink.com: ‘Kink’ is relative to each person, but if you mean BDSM; one of the misconceptions would be how the D/s relationship works. Many people get their knowledge of what D/s is based on television, movies or media depictions, which are rarely accurate. The Dominant does not have all the power, nor are they “abusive”, and the sub is not “weak” or helpless. Consensuality is the most important thing we’d like to get across to couples interested in adding powerplay into their relationships, and how to do it safely. There are many venues where newbies can take workshops. Kink University would be a great place to start with some education.
RXR: What is, in your opinion, the most common kink that men vs. women want to explore?
Kink.com: Bondage, specifically rope bondage. We have people contact us via social media, help desk, and user comments asking how to learn rigging - men and women. Rope bondage is obviously a very general answer b/c it encompasses everything from very amateur kinky couples who want to spice up their bedroom to all-out suspension rigging, but when most people think about ‘kink’ and Kink, rope definitely comes to mind.
RXR: What is the strangest fetish to date that someone has wanted to experience, doing or receiving, at the Armory?
Kink.com: We have a pretty high threshold for how one would define “strange” so you’ll have to be more specific!
RXR: What is the most disturbing sex toy/device/apparatus you've seen in use that surprised you when it actually produced joy/pleasure in the subject?
Kink.com: Men on Edge had a scene with Connor Maguire where Van Darkholme and Sebastian Keys used an “Orgasmatron” on him. Connor was tied to a circular wheel-like contraption that had multiple vibrators attached to it. I would imagine with all vibrators going, it must’ve felt pretty intense! It was disturbing but it is something that should be seen. (image attached)
RXR: We're assuming one needs to be at least 18 to participate in activities at the Armory, but how old is the oldest person to explore their kinky side?
Kink.com: We have seen people in their 70s at Armory events - some taking an active part in the festivities, and some who “explore” by coming to tours, or workshops. The Armory has live adult shows, as well as educational workshops, and community events, so there are many ways to explore & experience the castle.
RXR: How often do you find a couple that are equally comfortable at being both a Dom vs. a Sub?
Kink.com: Quite often actually. Sex is very fluid, so that is reflected in how many different ways people choose to experience sex. The people in our communities are more open than most - that is not to say that everyone is comfortable with every role - but that openness does lend itself to a very organic and non-linear expression of play.
Might be too hardball for this interview, but I had to propose this one after reading the news story:
RXR: On Saturday, June 28, seven LGBT activists were arrested outside the Armory protesting what they felt was the fetishization of law enforcement and a prison system so often used with malice against this community. Has there been any discussion about how future prison-themed parties, in particular around Pride events in a city like San Francisco, will be addressed?
Kink: I think Peter’s letter and BK piece can be quoted to answer this question. It is pretty thorough. Let me know if you need more:
Peter’s open letter in response to the pride party event controversy: http://peteracworth.com/open-letter-in-response-to-pride-party/
There is also a Behind Kink video interview with him, along with footage from the protest itself, does well to depict the events that transpired and Kink’s views on it. http://www.behindkink.com/2014/07/02/peter-acworth-responds-to-the-pride-party-protest/
Thank you for your time and answering our questions. We look forward to sharing your answers with the world.