Princess Donna

Is Kink breaking up with SF?


Tales of local porn-purveyor’s demise were reported early yesterday by Uptown Almanac, whose story, “Freak Flag May Not Fly Forever Over Kink’s Castle,” sounded the alarm. 

“It seems to have become not a question of if, but when there will be no more porn in our beloved Porn Castle,” reporter Jackson West wrote. To the uninitiated, the Porn Castle to which West is referring is known as The Armory, a brick fortress with histroic designation on 14th Street and Mission where the ever-adventurous pornographers at film their wonderful smut (a term we use as endearingly as possible).

The planning department document West posted posted to his article show Peter Acworth, founder and CEO of, requested the city to convert the basement, “drill court,” second, and third floors of The Armory into office space. The document also shows a need for an environmental review before conversion. (Side note: Gee, wouldn’t you love to be the city worker who had to inspect The Armory? “Hell of a day at work today honey, I was so tied up. Well technically, this guy wearing clothespins was tied up.”) The planning department told the Bay Guardian we could inspect the documents for ourselves tomorrow, but were unable to supply them for viewing today.

So, is it true? Is fleeing our quickly gentrifying city?

Not to ball-and-gag West’s reporting, but we went straight to owner Peter Acworth, who told us Uptown Almanac’s article is “half-correct.”

Firstly, the conversion of the first floor drill court into office space was a long time in planning, multiple sources (including Acworth) confirmed for us. intends to use the space for its community center, as well as to rent to outside vendors.

But Acworth did admit that conversion of the rest of The Armory into office space was a preliminary move to vacate The Armory — but that it’s a last-ditch move he hopes he won’t need to make.


Peter Acworth and Princess Donna. Photo by Pat Mazzera.

“I would still think of production moving out as a question of ‘if’ as opposed to ‘when,’” he wrote to us in an email. “This move represents an insurance policy.  If the various regulations that are being considered currently in Sacramento and by Cal-OSHA become law, we will likely have to move production out of California to Nevada.”

The regulations he’s referring to are a statewide version of the recent Los Angeles condom law, AB 1576, Introduced by Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III, (D- Los Angeles), as well as new Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards legally requiring porn actors wear protective goggles to protect their eyes from STDs that may be present in ejaculate. was fined $78,000 by CAL/OSHA earlier this year for workplace hazard violations, according to a report by SF Weekly. Kate Conger writes, “The majority of the fines were for allowing performers to work without using condoms, while a $3,710 portion of the total fine was for additional violations, including improperly placed power cords, an absence of first aid supplies, and missing health safety training materials.”

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation also told SF Weekly they filed violations because, they alleged, two actors contracted HIV in connection with their performances in shoots. At the time, spokespeople denied the claims had merit.

[Update 8:20pm: Shortly after this story was published, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation published a press release announcing the state bill to mandate condoms in pornography made progress today. From the release: “Assembly Bill 1576, Rep. Isadore Hall’s bill to require condoms in all adult films made in California cleared the Committee on Labor and Employment in the California Assembly in a 5 to 0 vote (with 1 absence & 1 abstention) today and now moves on to the Assembly Arts & Entertainment Committee.

“In the last year, at least two additional adult performers—Cameron Bay and Rod Daily—sadly became infected with HIV while working in the industry,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “AB 1576 expands and broadens worker protections for all California’s adult film workers on a statewide basis.”]

For Acworth, the passage of either of the statewide reforms in porn would be too prohibitive to do business in California. He’d then move the whole kinky company to Nevada, as many of his fellow pornographers have already done.

“We hope this never happens and that the new regulations are reasonable, but if it does happen over the coming years, we would like the option to rent out The Armory – or portions thereof – to other users.”

The planning review process takes 18-24 months, so in the short term, everyone can calm down. But for the long term, you’ll know is ready to move by watching the progress of statewide porn reforms. If porn actors need to wear goggles in productions, it looks like we’ll say goodbye to

Below we’ve embedded the planning department filing from Acworth, obtained by Uptown Almanac.

Planning Department File on by FitztheReporter

Go deep


SEX Public Sex, Private Lives filmmaker Simone Jude was on set with dominatrix Isis Love when Love received a call from Child Protective Services. The single mom would have to meet with CPS staff — there’d been questions raised about her parenting of 12-year old Rusty. For most documentarians, plot line would pause there.

But Jude was a cameraperson for the San Francisco BDSM porn company before and while embarking on the four-year challenge of following three of Kink’s most known dommes for PSPL (screening Sat/8 at the Roxie for SF DocFest). She was a trusted quantity.

So Jude jumped in the backseat behind Love’s sweet, aspiring dancer offspring Rusty, and was there when the mother-son duo emerged relieved that the cause for the meeting had been not Love’s penchant for hogtying subs for the Internet, but rather Rusty’s petulant reportage of a minor fight they’d had to a mandatory reporter employee at his school.

Though it will be judged as such by mainstream audience (not necessarily a bad thing), this is not a documentary on, or BDSM porn, or porn at all. Leave that to James Franco’s documentary kink, which makes its SF debut at Frameline Fri/21 (

In another stressful scene, we watch PSPL protagonist Lorelei Lee agonize as she prepares to explain to the jury at John “Buttman” Stagliano’s 2010 obscenity trial her reasons for starring in a film featuring milk enemas. Jude’s third muse Princess Donna not only allowed her real first name to be used in the film (a name that I, even after years of interviewing and hanging out with Donna, learned for the first time thanks to PSPL), but let Jude film her beloved dad’s funeral and an awkward moment exploring her newly-kink-curious mom’s bag of sex toys.

Through this intimacy, PSPL emerges not as a love letter to, or exposé of, rough sex on camera, but rather a portrait of three extraordinary women, whose singularity dictated, rather than resulted from, their career path.

“You have to be willing to be outside the norm of society,” Stagliano muses, regarding porn industry careers. The dairy enemas and tit slaps that the PSPL three undergo are far from the three dommes’ primary hurdles — those would be dealing with the outside world’s perception of their lives.

Which is not to say the film’s a downer. Some shots sing: a golden ray slices behind Tina Horn’s bound figure as Lorelei strides into a Donna-directed bondage scene; Princess Donna and her mother connect post-funeral by a blue river framed by rolling hills.

“It’ll be interesting to see how [Donna, Lee, and Love]’s fans react,” Jude tells me. But given the film’s easy access point — even “BDSM” is defined by a cue card flashed on screen — she hopes the wider world will learn a little about the objects of its desire.

Public Sex, Private Lives Sat/8 and June 12, 9pm; $11. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., SF. June 15, 7pm, $11. New Parkway, 474 24th St., Oakl.


“Fairoaks Project” Through June 30. Opening reception: Fri/7, 7-10pm, free. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. Photographer Frank Melleno’s Polaroids from the Fairoaks Hotel Haight-Ashbury bathhouse between 1977-’79. Play parties, commune living, history galore.

“Hot, Healthy, Happy, and Living With Herpes” Tue/11, 6:30-8:30pm, free. Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF. Sex educators Midori and Charlie Glickman teach how to live (sexily) with herpes, including ways to break the news to partners, safe sex practices, more.

Dan Savage Tue/11, 7pm, $80. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro, SF. The source of Senator Rick Santorum’s SEO problems and the country’s leading voice on progressive sex education comes to the Castro to chat about his new book American Savage.

Dick and a smile


SEX “I was basically wearing a wet sock full of sweat,” porn crossover star of the year James Deen tells me. “There was hair everywhere, I was pulling hair out of the girl’s mouth.”

Perhaps another interviewer would not have led with questions about Deen’s recent involvement in an offbeat panda gang bang production. Hey, this isn’t TMZ. And who doesn’t already know the standard gossip about the 26-year old, who has shot porn nearly every day of his life since turning 18?

(Just in case:) This year, Deen became the youngest performer ever to take home the industry’s vaunted AVN Award for Best Male Performer. He recently landed a starring role alongside Lindsay Lohan in a new, non-porn feature film penned by Brett Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader, writer of Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, and Raging Bull.

Anyone remotely familiar with the Deen canon knows about the Deenagers, the actor’s legions of underage fans who fill Tumblr with odes to his dick and smile. These superfans were immortalized in epic fashion by an ABC Nightline segment which host Terry Moran introduced with this warning of corruption and apocalypse: “For any parent concerned about what their teen does online, the huge popularity of the young man you are about to meet may be deeply disturbing.”

But like I said, these facts have been written into public record, and dammit, I want to talk about panda porn. Because although Deen’s crossover from Simpsons porn parodies (he played Moe the Bartender, and fucked Cookie Kwan) to The Lohan and Perez Hilton coverage is certainly interesting, the fact that he has also been shooting brutal BDSM porn for years says something else entirely. And he doesn’t think anything of it! Perhaps this flip, blogging, boy-door-faced individual is the first real sign that BDSM porn is coming out of the closet (dungeon, steel-barred cage), and into mainstream consciousness.


In PANDAMONIUM!!! PANDA LULLABY!!! PANDA PORNO!!!!! adult star Ashli Orion is subjected to the penises of six, raping panda bears. One of these panda bears was Deen, in a furry suit with a custom-made dick hole.

“But I thought pandas were supposed to be nice!” Orion pants, surrounded by hazy pink lighting, artfully-placed bamboo shoots, and silent pandas who mostly remove their furry paws by the end of the scene because their fluffy baseball mitts turned out to be prohibitive to the nitty-gritty of sex acts.

The mini-movie could be considered the first furry shoot — a wry twist on director Princess Donna’s usual product released through Kink subsite Bound Gang Bangs.

Not all of Kink’s regulars, and especially not the Bound Gang Bang enthusiasts found PANDAMONIUM!!! to their liking. User comments expressed their concern that Orion wasn’t even bound. Given the limited mobility of the men in the panda suits, she had to be mobile for copulation to even be possible. “I spent a lot of time holding fur out of the shot so we could see the penetration on camera,” said Princess Donna in an email interview.

“Some people think it’s the best thing that ever happened, some people think it’s the worst porn ever made,” she continued. “That’s what happens when you take risks.”

But Deen says he did the panda gang bang — just like every other project he takes — less because of the viewers, or for the chance to express himself creatively, as much as the kicks. “Princess Donna said she had this idea, I said that’s amazing. While it was going on, I just wanted it to end. There was hair everywhere. But the second it was done and we were all hanging out after I was like, I wanna do it again.”

Deen thinks nothing of a work schedule that takes him from vanilla scenes for Digital Playground to deliberately humiliating public sex in Spain for Kink to Dallas XXX parodies.

“It’s completely standard,” he says in our phone interview. “For pretty much every freelance talent, you go where the call takes you.” Sure, there are a few sex acts that Deen will not perform. These include sex with a person who is not into it, sex with clowns, and sex with men. He apologies to me for this last stipulation. “I’m a lame old straight boy.”

And the fact that Deenagers now refer to him affectionately as Baby Panda? (At ‘5″8, Deen made a shorter bear than his suited Kink peers on the shoot.) No dissonance there, says Deen, who hawked T-shirts emblazoned with the nickname on his website. There was no coordinated attempt to wind up alongside Justin Beiber and Robert Pattinson on dorm room walls, he says. “I’m not Joe Camel. I’m just going out and doing my job.”

Deen has minimal support staff besides his publicist. During our interview, I express my disbelief that a person that has sex for a living wouldn’t be worried about getting exploited without someone to review contracts, approve press requests. Deen shrugs it off. “There’s no reason to battle over everything, just be nice. You catch more bees with ants — honey, vinegar, whatever it is.”

Maybe everything really is just that simple. So seems the tale of Deen’s porn provenance. As a teenager, he heard Jenna Jameson tell a radio host that being in skin flicks simply took a complete lack of modesty, superhuman stamina, and an ability to ejaculate on command. He began proving he had those skills by having public sex at parties. Soon, he was on his way to 300 shoots a year, a figure that seems shocking to those unfamiliar with the standards of those unfamiliar with the grinding nature of the porn industry.

And now, Hollywood is knocking, seemingly uncourted by Deen himself. Ellis bagged him for The Canyons role by tweeting that he was interested in Deen for his low-budget, Kickstarter-funded film. (That momentous tweet mentioned the actor would have “to act and be full-frontal naked banging girls and guys realistically.” Will Deen’s comfort zones shift for fame?)

The two had dinner to talk about the writer’s vision for the tale of disaffected 20-somethings moping around drop-dead beautiful LA locations. Ellis, Deen relates to me, has a somewhat cynical view of modern-day celebrity. “People like Charlie Sheen, his acting didn’t make him famous,” Deen explains. “It was because he was Charlie Sheen.” As actor with next-to-no inhibitions and a famously goofy tell-all blog, Deen was perfect material for Ellis’ experiment in equating stardom with sheer exposure.

And sure enough, Deen is now getting a taste of what’s it’s like to live life à la Sheen — or put more aptly, à la Lohan. All it took was for the two to duck out of a restaurant for a smoke break and paparazzi blew up the Interwebs with rumors they were sleeping together.

This kind of thing seems besides the point for someone like Deen, who it would appear rarely sleeps with someone without posting a picture of their distended orifice on his blog. If the LiLo rumors had been true, he wrote on his site, “I think I would tell everybody.” And search engine optimize it with a shot of her boobs, one wants to add.

“I’m not surprised, because he’s that type of guy,” says a post-panda Orion when I contact her about Deen’s recent rise in profile. “He’s very charismatic and he has a look that’s definitely commercial, so I’m not surprised that he would get into Hollywood, you know what I’m saying.”

And for all of Nightline‘s tut-tutting, porn stars have been making waves in clothes-on culture for decades. Traci Lords appeared on Roseanne and Married With Children. Ron Jeremy, Nina Hartley, and Jenna Jameson have all made Hollywood features. And nowadays, even the hardcore stuff is surfacing more and more — like in Rihanna videos and 50 Shades of Grey, a 2011 novel that has become so ubiquitous that sex activists I’ve interviewed refuse to even say its name, so quick was it to sloppily spotlight their subculture for the viewing pleasure of soccer moms, et. al.

Switching between kink erotica and vanilla porn doesn’t seem to be that unusual anymore for adult talent. “When I first started there was a more clear delineation between ‘porn’ models and ‘BDSM’ models,” says Princess Donna. (“Donna is Without her, the company wouldn’t be as successful, and that’s a fact,” says Deen.) “Most BDSM porn didn’t have penis-in-vagina sex in it,” she continues. “Now that it does, you there is a huge crossover.”

Of course, there are other reasons why porn actors shift between kinds of erotica. It’s because they want to get paid.

“I’m a crazy nympho,” says Orion in a phone interview. “I’m down for everything and I always have been. But there’s a lot of girls who are like no, I would never have sex with [that] guy, or never in my ass, no kink. And now, that’s what they’re doing because they have no money!” In the era of low-budget gonzo porn and the consumer’s unwillingness to pay for any kind of media “You can’t rely on girl-girl scenes to pop up everyday if everyone is competing for that,” says Orion.

So maybe Deen is right, and he’s just a guy who is riding high on porn practicalities coupled with an increased tolerance of sluttiness and bondage in pop culture today.

Where will it all lead? I ask him about his career goals to round out our chat. “I want to keep myself in a constant state of smiles,” he says. “I like to smile. I am currently smiling.”

Doing what, pray tell? He has the day off from The Canyons‘ hectic shooting schedule that’s had him sleeping in odd, daytime spurts. What does James Deen do when he gets a moment to spare? Oh, you know. “I’m shooting some porno,” he says.


Inside a panda gang bang, from a woman who has been there


Last month, director Princess Donna (perhaps you remember her Guardian advice column?) took a risk and made a gangbang movie featuring bad, bad pandas. Per usual, change was hard. Some members rebelled — “I haven’t even watched this because there is nothing about pandas fucking a girl that would make me get remotely aroused,” said one user in the video’s comments section.

“The reaction was exactly what I expected it to be,” Donna told us in a email interview. “Some people think it’s the best thing that ever happened, some people think it’s the worst porn ever made. That’s what happens when you take risks.” People, can’t a woman take risks every once in awhile? She didn’t get to be the director of three subsites for nothing. “My ideas make money for the company, that is my role,” Donna said when we asked her about the part she plays at the Armory. “But my focus was never on what people would think, my focus was on feeling free to express myself creatively and allowing myself the freedom to create things regardless of what the response would be.” 

The video is kind of gorgeous, especially (and perhaps this is our ignorance showing but) for a gang bang porn. You get a full storyline — panda hallucinations! Freakouts at the bank! — before porn starlet Ashli Orion is subjected to five panda penises. Well, human penises (including that of porn crossover star James Deen, whose participation is the subject of our cover story next week) sticking through custom-designed cock holes in panda suits, but you get the idea. 


 What would it be like to be in a panda gang bang? To the best of Donna’s knowledge this was the first, so really only one woman knew the answer to our question: the baby-faced Ashli Orion, star of PANDAMONIUM!!! PANDA LULLABY!!! PANDA PORNO!!!!! So duh, we called her up. 

SFBG: So tell me about how you found out about the panda porn.

AO: I didn’t find out I was doing the panda porn until I got to Kink that morning. I got off the plane and I saw Princess Donna and she was like “guess what, we’re going to do a panda porn!” and I was like are you serious? Oh my gosh. Because it was Gang Bang, so I was like pandas? This is gonna be great. I was so excited, I was so stoked. 

SFBG: Have you shot for that site before?

AO: I have actually, I shot a scene with Lily Labeau – James was also in that one, we were actually just bound up. It was Bound Gang Bangs, there was no panda suits. 

SFBG: Damn. What was it like shooting the panda porn?

AO: You know what, it was really fun. We got to do an intro, kind of like a movie monologue, like montage at the beginning. I saw the pandas, they’re so cute, and I totally forgot I was there for bondage, and then they start smacking me around. I was like oh fuck, I forgot I’m getting beat up now. I’m like, I thought pandas were nice! 

SFBG: Right, I watched the movie and your lines in it were the best. 

AO: I haven’t watched – only the trailers. 

SFBG: You haven’t watched the thing?

AO: I watched the beginning, but I hate watching myself. You know, I don’t know I hate seeing myself naked. 

SFBG: Yeah, I hear you. That’s unique, though.

AO: It was pretty cool and crazy because all the guys, they’re, you know, they’re all fit, but they have these big [panda] bellies so their cocks couldn’t come out all the way. And there was hair everywhere, in my mouth, on their cocks, in my pussy, in my ass. It was nuts, it was just like – I don’t even know how it turned out. It was like, whoa pandas!

SFBG: Pandas everywhere. Did Princess Donna tell you why she wanted to shoot with pandas?

AO: She just told me she wanted to do something crazy, like out of the box. Is there a real reason I don’t know?

SFBG: No no, I was just asking. 

AO: Yeah, she just wanted to do something different because she was sick of doing the same old thing. She used me because I’m down for anything usually. 

SFBG: Yeah totally. When you were shooting it did you think at all of what the audience reception was going to be like?

AO: I was actually really excited. I don’t know, I thought it was funny. I figured if I was younger and not in porn I would show it to my friends, like viral porno. Look at these pandas fucking this girl!

SFBG: Have you kept track of the member comments on the website?

AO: Yeah, I did actually. I saw how horrible they were because they were like “we want to see a Bound Gang Bang, not pandas. This is a different site, I’m canceling my membership, I’m not into furries.” And then other people were like “ooo I have a new fetish. I love furries.” Everyone has their opinions, mine is just like, we created something creative and cool and I was down for it.

SFBG: Are you open to these types of projects in the future?

AO: Oh, totally! 

SFBG: Kitties!

AO: Oh my gosh, I would love kitties. I’m a crazy cat lady. 

Key lime hair with a side of porno: the Brande Baugh story


“My job is really weird. I think about that all the time.”

The Mission is a neighborhood accustomed to eccentric individuals. One would think Brande Baugh’s key lime hair and vintage Misfits t-shirt would make her fit right in. Yet her presence in a neighborhood cafe still elicited several stares when she walked in — with her perfectly-curated face, pastel pink lipstick, and evenly-powdered face, Baugh looked like one of Warhol’s Marlyn Monroe silkscreens. Though Baugh stays pretty busy living and working in Los Angeles, she also has regular gigs at Kink, a San Francisco-based pornography website that specializes in bondage and BDSM

I’ve often imagined what it would be like to be a fly on the wall at Kink, so my talk with Baugh was particularly illuminating. Sample quote: “I’m about five inches away from a person’s face. People start to break down their barriers and tell me things. And when you work with people in the sex industry all bets are off. People just say anything.”   

San Francisco Bay Guardian: How did you start doing makeup at Kink?

Brande Baugh: It started off as a fluke. I did makeup for Pink and White’s first episode of the Crash Pad Series. A talent on that production was starting to work at Kink. The talent identified more with a butch aesthetic and needed to do a femme look for her shoot. So she asked me to do her makeup. After the shoot, Princess Donna, a director at Kink, asked who did the talent’s makeup. The next thing you know, they were calling me in for an interview.

For my interview I did Princess Donna’s makeup. She told me to go all out, so I made her look like a drag queen. Donna said she loved it. It’s really funny in retrospect because I would never do someone in porn’s face like that now. I’m sure Donna in part really liked me. In her mind I was hired, and I could have probably done anything.  

SFBG: What is it like doing makeup for porn stars?

Brandy’s girls: looks by Baugh

BB: There are simple differences in doing makeup for a porn production as opposed to a mainstream movie. A lot of the porn shoots I do are gonzo. I don’t have to stay on set all day, and it’s ok for people to see the makeup degrade over time. It seems like people feel like that’s more real. Also, I have to be really conscious about the makeup products I use. I have to use gloss lipstick and things that wear for a long time. I couldn’t use red lipstick. You have to keep in mind where this person’s lips are going to go. My job is really weird. I think about that all the time. 

I have found people in the sex industry to be very open and non-judgemental. I can say whatever I want while I’m at work. We can talk about the type of sex we like, our sexuality, and our gender freely. There is so much less ego in porn. That’s not to say there aren’t some divas. There are a wide range of people who work in porn. Some of the people go to school, some are moms, some are teachers. I’m doing makeup to make them look like they are all the same type of person, but they are all very different. Porn stars are producing something that there is an audience and a large market for, and it’s crazy how much shit they take for doing that.

SFBG: Where does sexuality and makeup intersect?

BB: As a makeup artist I’m creating characters who play out fantasies. Several of the people who work in porn are not the characters they portray. So I have to help transform themdon’t think most people would recognize porn stars if they saw them in the grocery store. There is a certain safety and anonymity behind having people wear this mask of makeup, and there are some porn stars who actually do look like porn stars. There are a lot of ways everyday people use makeup to express their sexuality as well. Sometimes you have to throw on a little red lipstick because it makes you feel sexy.

SFBG: Are you currently working on any other projects?

BB: Yeah, I’m working on a television show called Hollywood Nailz. It’s a show about my friend, a hair stylist, and I, and our interactions with all the people we meet in the beauty industry. We will finish filming at the end of June. I’m really excited.


Hollywood Nails: A different shade of Brandy.


SFBG: How do you identify with your gender?

BB: Well I’m a girl. I’m a lady. I’m a real butchy femme. I feel like I can be anything — I mean I’m a makeup artist, and I also went to school to be a mechanic. I like that dynamic quality. 

SFBG: What does creating a sex-positive space mean for you?

BB: For me, it’s a place where you can be whomever and not feel judged. People in a sex-positive space are interested in being progressively more open and aware. It’s about educating one another, but never in a negative way.

Sex Talk with Princess Donna: Squirting and the ass icon


You have to have communication skills if you’re going to responsibly wield the amount of sexual power that Princess Donna holds in her sexy little hands in the depths of the Mission District’s very own porn palace, The director-actor of such sites as Kink’s Ultimate Surrender, Bound Gang Bang, and Public Disgrace knows about expanding sexual horizons — which is why it’s so rad we’ve tapped her for this new love and sex advice column.

Submit to it! Really — the email address where you can send questions of your own is at the end of this post. 

Dear Donna, 

I’ve heard a lot about female ejaculation, but I haven’t seen much evidence of it in real life. Is this something that anyone with a vagina should aspire to?

Signed, Hot Springs

Dear Hot Springs,

I am not in the business of telling people what specific sexual acts they should aspire to. I think what’s important is finding out what fulfills you sexually and doing that. So yes, if squirting is something you think looks fun, go for it!

I personally think squirting orgasms are rad. As for the conversation about whether it is piss or ejaculate I would like to quote my dear friend Jeremiah Finklestein Brown, “I don’t care if it’s chicken salad coming out of there, it’s still awesome!”

xo, Donna

Dear Princess, 

I am from Turkey. 33 years old a doctor. I love your movies but it is very hard for me. Because i want to have sex only with you.

I have never fuck an ass, but after your movies sex is only your ass for me. I am far away, but i must fuck u. Please answer me anything. I need you.

Dear Turkish doctor,

Hi! I don’t see a question in there, but it seems you have excellent taste in women.

xo, Donna

DON’T MAKE DONNA RELY ON LOVESICK TURKISH DOCTORS FOR MATERIAL — ASK HER A QUESTION YOURSELF! Sex, love, a combination of the two, a lack of both? Email for the best possible solution


Sex Talk with Princess Donna: Sugar daddies and the perils of bromance


One might imagine that there is hardly a personal entanglement that Princess Donna, director and star of‘s Public Disgrace, Bound Gang Bangs, and Ultimate Surrender sites, can’t handle with a strong wrist and flogger. While that may be true, the BDSM power player is also a master of the kind of communication involving words. And unlike your standard sex advisor, she’s that frank kind of sex-positive feminist that can help with whatever you want to do in bed (/dungeon) that is safe and consensual. And be real sexy through the processing, to patent leather boot. We had to give her her very own Guardian sex advice column.

Dear Princess,

How do you get a sugar daddy or mommy? And once you get one, how do you keep them happy?

Signed, Broke’s Not Cute Anymore

Dear Broke,

I’ve never personally had a sugar mommy or daddy, but I do know that there are websites out there were you can find them! As far as keeping them happy goes, I’d tell you the same thing that I’d tell you for any relationship, communicate! Talk about what your expectations for one another are, set boundaries, etc.

My other advise for you would be to think about exactly what kind of relationship you want before seeking out your sugar parent. Are you looking for love and someone to take care of you financially, or are you looking to exchange sex for money in a more straight-up way?

As the name implies, these kind of relationships can have a built in power dynamic as one person financially supports the other. Be sure that you have thought about what that implies and that that is truly what you are looking for!

xo, Donna

Dear Princess,

My brother and I have a lot of the same, amazing, sex-positive friends. The chances that we may find ourselves at the same sex party are high — what can we do to avoid weirdness (and incest) between the two of us?

Sincerely, Family Fun

Dear Family Fun,

Avoiding incest should be pretty easy, just don’t get it on with each other.

As far as avoiding weirdness, the first step is to establish what you think is weird. Is it weird for you guys to bang in the same room? Is it weird for you guys to share the same sex partners? Is it weird just to be at the same sex party? Once you have established exactly what makes you uncomfortable you can set boundaries. I know, I’m boring. I’m all boundaries and communication over here…

The only thing is that, in my experience sex parties can often occur spontaneously, so you are going to want to establish the ground rules before you find yourself in a potentially awkward situation. You don’t want to happen upon an awesome sex party and spend the night fighting with your twin when you could be getting laid!!

xo, Donna

>>IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION for Princess Donna on sex, love, or a combination of the two, email her at


Hot sexy events: April 13-19

0 is getting its star turn in the mainstream media – everyone’s favorite historic-building-cum-porn-palace served as the shooting locaiton for the movie that Stephen Elliott and Kink star Lorelei Lee penned, Cherry (trailer here). The flick, which makes its San Francisco debut at the SF International Film Festival (April 24, 27, 28) stars James Franco and Heather Graham, who plays a female director at a porn company.

It isn’t Kink in the movie, exactly — it’s not a BDSM company, for one. And I met up with Lee at Thieves Tavern this week and she told me that despite the vocation of Cherry‘s protagonist, she didn’t consider it a movie based in sex-positive activism.

“You can really destroy a movie by making it too political,” said the NYU student and star of multiple Kink sites, over a glass of red wine. Lee says she and co-writer Elliott wanted to write a story with a happy ending (er, spoiler alert.) “I think it’s a complicated story that doesn’t try to sell you on anything.” Of course, showing happy, functioning sex workers should be considered activism in and of itself these days.

Theirs isn’t the only project that uses the Armory as a backdrop for for an upcoming non-NSFW film. Filmmaker Simone Jude has been shooting a documentary on the lives of Kink’s women – Lee, Isis Love, and Princess Donna primarily — for the last four years. The trailer looks fucking awesome, and Jude needs your Kickstarting help funding the final editing process. 

The three women portrayed are total badasses, and it’d be great if this film could recieve the same kind of exposure that Cherry, which picked up IFC as its distributor and is being slated for a limited-city release, is enjoying. With all the sex-negative politicking going on these days, we could use some more high profile looks at women who refuse to let conservative social norms guide their views of fucking. People need to be exposed to that kind of stuff. Or at least, as Lee told me “I hope that they leave the theater feeling like they’ve watched a movie about real people.”

And now for your week in sex events.

“A Taste for Brown Sugar: The History of Black Women in American Pornography”

Rad lecture alert: University of California Santa Barbara professor Mireille Miller-Young will be giving a talk about her much-needed manuscript examining the history of black women in porn this afternoon. Miller-Young’s work tends to focus on race, gender, and sexuality as it appears in sex work and popular culture and she is also currently collaborating with sex-positive author Tristan Taormino and others on The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. 

Fri/13 4-7 p.m., free

California College of the Arts

1111 Eighth St., Room GC7, SF

(415) 703-9500

Writers With Drinks with Rachel Kramer Bussel and Curvy Girls

Rachel Kramer Bussel is the editor of Curvy Girls: Erotica For Women, which I recently had the pleasure of reading and is real hot. The stories are all about voluptuous women getting it on – in restaurant kitchens with the head chef, with the house sittee’s relative, with the guy that sold them those hot boots. The erotica follows curves like a racecar, and is a phenomenal piece of work for anyone who is looking for a re-up on body image – no matter what their measurements. Tonight, Bussel is reading at the much-loved Writers With Drinks event, so expect to get nicely liquored and hear her talk about sexy, body-positive couplings. 

Sat/14 7:30 p.m., $5-$10 sliding scale

The Make-Out Room

3225 22nd St., SF

“A Taste of Rope”

The perfect opportunity to sample wines from around the globe while training your obedient submissive, this Femina Potens event has an value-added feature: different models from rope companies Maui Kink, Twisted Monk, Bind Me, Lover’s Knot, and Jugoya will be on hand, and wrist, and ankle, and ribs so that you can see the difference that quality and texture can make in your play. There’s limited space available here, so you should get on this quick-like.

Sat/14 9-10:30 p.m., $40-99 per couple

Location disclosed upon purchase

Bawdy Storytelling: Master and Servant

The pervy storytelling series goes on a power trip, with six kinky souls going on the record about their BDSM power play good-times. 

Thu/19 7-10:30 p.m., $12-$15

The Uptown 

1928 Telegraph, Oakl.

Burning rubber: How do adult film actors feel about LA’s condom regulations?


All video by Ned Halaby

By now, the 2012 AVN Awards are but a sticky-handed, flashbub-popping memory. But not everything that happened that week in the porn business is confined to memory. The Tuesday before the AVNs, LA’s city council passed a law to require all adult film actors to wear condoms — and funded inspections of studios with a mandatory fee for all skin flick companies. 

It was a controversial move. Industry types, wary of an already flagging adult DVD market, have made weak noises about condoms not being sexy — but also that LA clamping down on the issue will only cause studios to move away. Internet porn is a largely amateur, largely diffused phenomenon that doesn’t rely on SoCal so much anyway. AIDS organizations applaud the measure’s potential to cut down on sexually-transmitted diseases.

But what do the stars themselves think? We were able to speak with a few of them on the red carpet: AVN’s official red carpet host Kayden Kross, directors Princess Donna and Bobbi Starr — the evening’s winner of Best Female Performer — and Jon Jon, who was nominated for a passel of AVNs that night including Best Group Sex Scene for his work in Asa Akira is Insatiable 2 (hands down, the night’s big winner with seven awards in total). 

Here’s what they had to say. You can watch the rest of our clips from the red carpet — including an interview with Jincey “lesbian Hugh Hefner” Lumpkin, who figured prominently in my “Queer and boning in Las Vegas” cover story here

Princess Donna and Bobbi Starr (pardon the screeching that begins the clip) “It’s only going to affect the people that purchase permits for their shoots, and I gotta say that it’s actually a very small percentage of the industry that uses shooting permits.” 

Jon Jon was unruffled by the controversy: 

Kayden Kross was adamant that the regulation was babysitting an industry that doesn’t need it: “I think it’s the most retarded answer to something that wasn’t even a question.”

Of course, what none of these interviews mentioned was a point that this article brings up: that condom regulations are not just for the wellbeing of the professionals who act in pornography. Many of us grow up watching porn — for some of us, it’s our first image of what sex is. If porn stars using condoms can convince teenagers to do the same, more power to the condom regulators. 

Hot sexy events: January 18-24


Thankful. I am thankful for San Francisco sex. Just got back from the AVN awards in Vegas this weekend and couldn’t get over the fake boobs (literally — mountainous cleavage), rubber ducky-esque lips, and rote couplings that took over the Hard Rock Hotel for the better part of the week. Don’t get me wrong, the weekend was all kinds of wonderful and there were buffets and penthouse hot tubs filled with Tina Horn, Princess Donna, and Akira Raine — salacious tweeting and rumors of Robin Leach and deep red carpet conversations about being forced to wear condoms. But for me, SF.

Also, the trailer for James Franco’s new movie based on the life of actress-writer Lorelei is out: 

Why am I so stoked on this city? Read on about what San Francisco does best: weird, original, affirming sex events in the City By the Bay. Here’s four reasons that’ll make you glad you’re here (pervert).


Good Vibrations’ Lakeshore store opening

Once an employee-owned store in the Mission, Good Vibes has expanded into a nationwide business, powered by an Ohio sex toy corporation, and teaching everyone from Florida to Washington about the power of gadgets in the bedroom through an award-winning sales and education website. (Read our interview with the company’s C.O.O. and staff sexologist Carol Queen here.)The empire gets one bigger today, with the opening of Good Vibes’ first Oakland brick and mortar location. Kandi Burress of Real Housewives of Atlanta will be on hand to promote her superlative line of vibrators, Bedroom Kandi

Sat/28 6-9 p.m., free

Good Vibrations

3219 Lakeshore, Oakl.

(510) 788-2389


Perverts Put Out: Midwinter Edition

Accepting his honor at this year’s Guardian Goldies art awards, performance provacateur Philip Huang utilized a neti pot in ways surely frowned up by the Health Department. The man is inappropriateness, embodied — just ask those “God Hates Fags” people, he’s crashed their protests with a colander head, carrying a sign that says “No Fags on the Moon.” So what does a Huang do at a reading made for and by pervy weirdos? You’ll just have to attend the latest edition of Perverts Put Out, to find out. Tonight’s event also features sexy solliquies by horehound stillpoint, Sherilyn Connelly, and Jen Cross. 

Sat/28 7:30 p.m., $10-15

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF


John Leslie one-year memorial

Harken back to your best memories of golden age porn star John Leslie, who passed away in 2010. Center for Sex and Culture will be hosting this memory circle for friends of his work — which includes Talk Dirty To Me (1980), Nothing To Hide (1981), and Talk Dirty To Me, Part II (1982). One of the first actor-cum-director hyphenates in adult film, the man was big back in the days of well-budgeted productions. Perhaps this will also be a look back on the long, strange road the porn industry has traveled over the past few decades (after all, Leslie did finish out his career directing gonzo releases). 

Sun/29 5:30 p.m., free

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF

(415) 902-2071


[SSEX BBOX] premiere 

Name the sexiest cities in the world. Did Sao Paolo, Berlin, and San Francisco make it on there? They’re the obvious choices, of course — and fertile territory for this global documentary project. The team behind [SSEX BBOX] chased tail around the globe, chatting with all orientations and genders about what makes them tingle below (above) the equator.

Mon/30 8:30 p.m., free

Center for Sex and Culture

1349 Mission, SF

(415) 902-2071


Like the Oscars, only sluttier: the Guardian reports from the AVN Awards red carpet


All Guardian photos by Caitlin Donohue unless otherwise noted

“We gotta get 500 girls through here in two hours.” 

Pre porn star-strutting, the faces on the red carpet before the AVN Awards 2012 were grim. Vegas raged around us journalists, the Hard Rock Hotel – site of the awards ceremony, countless before-during-after-parties, and annual fan expo – awash in men trying to appear nonchalant and tired women in heels. We had many rivers to cross and many starlets to question before the awards ceremony would begin.

The Guardian team was stationed between Howard Stern’s ex-security guard (sample question from the gent, who was wildly popular with the more silicon-ed of the starlets who roamed the runway: “What is the strangest thing you’ve ever put in your asshole?”) and a dapper Frenchman from his country’s first porno channel XXL. 

We’d been chatting up porn stars for days (most significantly, Courtney Trouble’s queer porn posse and the lesbian beauties from Jincey Lumpkin’s Juicy Pink Box about the growth of queer adult films – read about those interviews in the Feb. 8 print edition) – but this was different, red carpet-different. 

For one thing, Dave Navarro was there, escorting two women in sequin thigh-high boots and highly customized steampunk-y ballgowns, both of their skirts’ significantly missing a front section. Robin Leach had ducked out on his anticipated appearance, but an under-done Chyna of WWF fame – also winner in the Best Celebrity Sex Tape category for Backdoor to Chyna – was there, as was a sloppy Dave Attell, manic in the hours leading up to his awards host gig. Creator of “Girls Gone Wild” Joe Francis lurked through en route to presenting a lifetime achievement award, longingly gazing in our direction for an interview that was not forthcoming. 

And of course those 500 porn stars (they weren’t all women), who lined up at the mouth of the red carpet area like so many shiny cattle. Popular looks for the evening included shattered mirror Gaga-inspired bodices, drop-back, crack-baring harem dresses. The self-proclaimed “Valley’s goldstar lesbian” Lily Cade and legendary sex goddess Nina Hartley were notable exceptions to the cleavage-baring carnival at hand — they wore suits. “I’m a fucking professional, so I’m going to dress like a professional,” Cade told us that day at the Expo as she gamely sold her all-girl titles from a booth unfortunately stationed next to a man hawking bargain basement adult DVDs.

Princess Donna found a last-minute date in Bobbi Starr (good choice, Starr took the honors for Female Performer of the Year), porn educatress-onscreen legend Nina Hartley gamely chatted ass acessories with Howard Stern’s buddy and waxed thoughtful on the current state of queer porn with the Guardian. We met porn stars excited about their budding hip-hop careers, porn stars excited about the new Fleshlight modeled after their various orifices, porn stars who were just plain excited. 

Our favorite line of red carpet questioning was as follows:

– What are you up for tonight?

– What was your favorite scene from last year?

– What do you think of the new condom regulations in LA? Is this going to dramatically affect the industry? Cue fallen smiles and synaptic struggles. For the record, talent was divided between the “I’m sexy and people are going to watch me regardless and the “get your laws off my genitals” camps – no one really thought the anti-AIDS measure was a positive thing.

And then it was the awards ceremony, we which will sum up like so.


Portrait of a Call Girl – This drama is reportedly awesome if you like your porn with lots of crying in it. Kudos to lead Jessie Andrews, who was also the most calm actor that made her way across the red carpet. It won Best Feature, Best Director – Feature, and Andrews took Best Actress.

Asa Akira – The woman, thanks in large part to her work in Asa Akira is Insatiable 2, walked with no less than seven awards this year. Though her outburst after winning for Best All-Sex Release was memorable (“my ex boyfriend broke up with me over this movie, so fuck yeah!”), she is indelibly etched in my mind by her acceptance speech for Best Anal Scene, an honor she also took home in 2011. To whit: “Thank you to my asshole for putting up with all my shenanigans.” Akira’s partner for said award-winning anal shenanigans was named Nacho Vidal, which we will now be bestowing on my most swarthy future male child. Vidal was nominated twice in the Anal category – making him and Akira a powerhouse couple not to be denied. 

Good Vibrations – The SF-based chain walked with the Best Boutique award, and since it’s our Bay-Bay that makes us happy. (But does it still qualify as a boutique? Read our interview with the chain’s leaders last week and decide for yourself.)

Too Short — Perfomed a song to close out the show entitled “I Need a Porno Bitch.” He got them — about twenty game female actors swarmed the stage as he happily name-checked many of them in his lyrics. 



Whoever was responsible for the Joint’s A/V and technical performance – Truly, everything that could have possibly gone wrong here, did. We’re talking no clips for the Best Actress nominees, people walking off into exits with no outlet onstage (okay, maybe that was the presenters’ fault). The ceremony’s fail screen – a static shot of a galaxy of stars – played so often we became accustomed to it, like a running joke you can’t get your friend to stop telling.

Two-time Female Performer of the Year Tori Black, who was arrested on charges of domestic battery along with her five-month-old son’s father at the Hard Rock in the wee hours of Friday morning. Black says she hadn’t drank in awhile (baby) and stirred up a scene after hitting the town Saturday night. Nothing to see here folks!

Anyone requiring more than four hours of sleep per night, or that enjoys daylight and monogamy.

For a full list of this year’s AVN winners, you should definitely, definitely go here because of winning titles like Mission Asspossible and Internal Damnation 4

Hot sexy events: September 21-27


Pretty much, today’s whole paper is a hog-tied, historical, self-confessional smutfest of San Franciscan proportions. It only makes sense, because I dare say this week of sex events will reach levels of debauchery that even the City by the Bay can be happily ashamed of. 

Yep, it’s the Folsom Street Fair sex events column! Including things that aren’t Folsom Street Fair also, like Mission Control’s genderqueer play party, a Good Vibes film fest, and an art exhibition that’ll leave you panting.

Indie Erotic Film Fest short film competition and party

The culmination of a week of alternative porno presentations, tonight’s docket includes short blue films from around the world – something for everyone in this wild and wooly world of voyeurs. But cum early – the pre-screening party in the top floor of the Castro is gonna be balls, or at least mustaches. There’s a mustachio-ed photobooth and even more titillating, burlesque dancing courtesy of Twilight Vixen Review. 

Thu/22 party 7 p.m., screenings 8 p.m., $10 each

Castro Theatre

429 Castro, SF

(415) 621-6120


Steam does Folsom

Get squeaky-durty at this installment of Steam, the SoMa bathouse resurrection party. So many ways to play: enter into the wet towel contest ($100 prize for the best terrycloth tease), massages for $1 per minute, cheap drinks, cheaper go-gos, and hard crusing into the kinkiest weekend in the Bay. Tunes by Honey Soundsystem’s DJ Peeplay help you get some. 

Fri/23 9 p.m.-2 a.m., $8 cover to benefit the SF Bay Area Leukemia and Lymphoma Society


1347 Folsom, SF

Facebook: Steam Does Folsom


San Francisco erotic art exhibition

From the candy-coated gazes of Yancy Mendoza’s models to the unique sextaur sculpture stylings of Peter Keresztury, there will be enough images of penetration, playtime, and penis at this group art exhibition to merit a stopover in your weekend of hedonism rendered art. 

Fri/23, 4-9 p.m.; Sat/24, 1-9 p.m.; Sun/25, noon-5 p.m., free 

The Artists Alley

863 Mission, SF


Play in the SF girls of Leather “fungeon,” and have a genderqueer good time overall at Mission Control’s queer-trans-boi-butch-femme puppy pile. Scenes from the Crash Pad Series will be playing all night to ensure that you’ve got inspiration for all the naughty things you’re about to do to your alt sex cupcake. 

Fri/23 8 p.m.-2 a.m., $20 Mission Control members only

Mission Control

Show Me Where it Hurts

Sardine-pack into a crowd of the hottest, kinkiest dykes on the scene at this free party at the Lex. But dress to impress: Elizabeth and Buck Wilder are performing, DJs Jenna Riot and Durt are spinning… you’ll wanna look whip-smart at the night’s fetish-uniform costume contest. 

Sat/24 9 p.m., free

Lexington Club

3464 19th St., SF

Folsom Street Fair

400,000 fetish fans packed into 13 sunny city blocks – the mother of all fetish fairs takes over SF this weekend. Check for hard-bodied, sweaty-fisted action all over the place, but also the annual erotic artist’s corner and two stages of live music all day. Oh and hey, for a rad look at women’s role at the fair over the years, check out Amber Schadewald’s cover story on the SF girls of Leather from early this summer. 

Sun/25 11 a.m.-6 p.m., $10 suggested donation

Folsom between Seventh and 12th sts., SF

Deviants: Official Folsom Street Fair after-party

There’s gonna be so much bump and grind at this union of Honey Sound System, Some Thing, and Hard French DJ crews that your harness will go bald. It’s only right – a minutes-long stumble from the main event in SoMa today gets you to the Erie Street cul-de-sac that Public Works looms over. Today, it’ll be blocked off for a outdoors-indoors party that have you screaming for more. The party features the hostessing powers of Sex Issue star Princess Donna and a photo confession booth staffed by queer porn maven Courtney Trouble. 

Sun/25 3 p.m.-4 a.m., $20-30

Public Works 

161 Erie, SF



Because Princess says so


SEX ISSUE 2011 I saw Donna Dolore for the first time at a Hard French queer soul dance party at El Rio. I remember because she took my drink so authoritatively that I had no choice but to be okay with it. She sipped it, handed it back, and strode away. Can I get a thank you? Throughout the whole, sloppy afternoon, I noticed it was kind of her theme.

But no one seemed to care. Part of it was obvious: Dolore is a Sophia Loren with wider eyes, maybe a little taller, with the same generous tendencies towards sharing glimpses of the bust line. Only — I reflected, shortly before falling back into cheap-beer-and-go-go-dancer melee — that attitude. Who the hell is this woman?

Weeks later, I’m telling her the story in person in the cavernous break room at’s headquarters in the San Francisco Armory (everything at the Armory is cavernous). It turns out that Dolore is in fact, a pretty big deal. Just ask her legions of heavy-breathing fans who know her as Princess Donna, the director and star queer dominatrix.

“Oh my gosh, I did that?” At the office from where she plans shoots for the three Kink websites she heads, Dolore is a less formidable figure. She’s not wearing any makeup. Her black outfit makes her look like she’s about to take off for a light jog around the Mission.

But she might just be being coy. After all, I’d stalked her up good before our appointment and had come across this gem in a video interview she did a few years back: “I’m pretty true to form — Princess Donna acts a lot like I do.”

Dolore double majored at New York University, perfectly enough, in gender and sexuality studies and photography. She became a stripper while at school, and then on a tip from a coworker, got into professional BDSM shoots. Although she had been to some BDSM play parties, the work was the first time she’d ever been tied up.

“I was immediately into the challenge of being in a really stressful position — being flogged or caned, total sensory overload,” she remembers. “I would leave a shoot feeling really invigorated, a stronger person. It made me want to see what my body was capable of.”

Nowadays, Princess Donna sits — utterly sexily, usually in a short skirt and fuck-me heels — atop the Internet BDSM porn puppy pile.

At Kink she is the mind behind no less than three sites. For “Public Disgrace,” Dolore makes trips around the world to supervise the stripping-down, feeling-up, and penetration of beautiful women in town squares and busy bars. On “Wired Pussy,” she plays with electrical equipment, inducing screaming orgasms in her female partners.

In her latest endeavor, “Bound Gang Bang,” Dolore supervises teams of horny men and one or two women in fantasy-type shoots: high school nerds get their revenge on the bitchy mean girls, a prison warden drops her key and winds up giving head to inmates through a chain link fence. She has guest-starred in many of Kink’s different sites, usually as a top, sometimes as a bottom.

“I get stressed out because we have so much content to produce,” says Dolore, who works on one or two shoots a week. “But it’s a challenge that I enjoy.” One gets the sense that at Kink, Dolore has found a place that can nurture her talent for perversion.

Like most of Kink’s offerings, Dolore’s sites are unapologetically brutal. Women are dominated, wind up covered in ejaculate and with bound breasts that are agonizing to look at (well, at least for the BDSM newbie).

This is exactly the kind of stuff that sends shivers — the bad kind — up the spines of anti-porn feminists. But Dolore is a feminist too. As articulate as she is and as prominent she is and as wild as her porns are, she’s often called on to defend BDSM’s treatment and portrayal of women.

“I think the exact opposite of the people that think that BDSM would promote violence against women,” she says. That tired question — “is porn degrading to women?” — is something that Dolore finds degrading. Why, she asks, don’t the anti-porn musketeers ask the same of men in the industry?

“What is going on in our society that we continue to see sex as something that is put on women that they don’t desire? Why can’t we fathom it being a dream job for a woman?”

Kink is doing its part to raise awareness about the sexual pleasure that can be experienced by submissive actors. Before and after each shoot, the man or woman who you’ve watched screaming, a cattle prod or vibrator pressed against their genitals, is interviewed. That familiar dazed after-sex look is all over their faces, and their endorphin-heavy perk is really all you need to know what Dolore says is true: the models at Kink really, really love their job.

Delore contests the notion that only people who have been sexual abused take pleasure in pain, although she says you’ll find abuse victims in porn studios, just like any other workplace.

“Unfortunately, you could look to any profession and say a lot of them were abused as kids. You could look at secretaries and say that. Personally, I wasn’t sexually abused.” She smiles. “I’m just a natural pervert.”

Delore’s a regular on the queer party circuit — this week, you can catch her stealing drinks at Sunday’s “Deviants” Folsom Street Fair closing party. Her exuberance in exploring the outer realms of sexuality haven’t gone unnoticed in the San Francisco sex community. Kelly Lovemonster, editor of the queer quarterly sexuality zine [SSEX BBOX] is a close friend of Dolore, and calls her a “super heroine.”

“Even when she is portraying a submissive bottom, being cattle prodded, nipples clamped down and attached to electric cords, you can tell she is absolutely in control,” says Lovemonster. “She shows us that our dirtiest, scariest, and wildest sexual fantasies can come true through healthy communication and BDSM play. She rescues us all from a world where sexuality is suppressed and made shameful.”

This, according to Dolore, is a big part of why what Kink produces is important. The website puts BDSM urges out there, lets people that get turned on by being slapped across the face know that they’re not the only ones.

For the dis-empowered and isolated BDSM fan, that can be heady stuff. “You can explore your rape fantasy in a way that the woman is in control of what’s happening to their body — it’s a way to relive a situation where you had no control and relive it in a way in which you do have control,” says Dolore.

In a direct repudiation of the claims that abuse victims fall into BDSM for unsavory reasons. Dolore says she’s seen rough sex and power play rehabilitate partners whose sexuality seems terminally fucked. “I’m not a therapist but I feel like I am sometimes.”

But when I ask her if she considers herself an activist, she says no.

“When I think of the word activist, I think of people who are more outspoken than I am. I do my thing on my website, and people can come watch it if they want to.”

Which is not to say that the forward girl at Hard French doesn’t think she’s affecting change. Says the princess: “I’m just happy that I can help people be honest about what they want in bed.” 


Sun/25 4 p.m.-3 a.m., $20-30

Public Works

161 Erie, SF


The Crash Pad Series celebrates episode 100 with a list of San Francisco pleasures


Fierce femmes, bashful bois, fisting, wrestling, squirting, and squealing, The Crash Pad is one fictional apartment that any voyeur would love to call neighbor. Lucky for all, the key to this hotbed of locally produced, randy queer porn is under the mat and everyone is invited to crack the door and peek inside at the Pad’s celebration for hitting the triple digits.

The Crash Pad Series started in 2007 as the genius creation of Pink & White Productions, a film company that prides themselves on “beautifully fucked and beautifully produced” explorations in queer sex. The simple premise of the series keeps things hot and honest, nothing cheesy and nothing fake; the authenticity of pleasure is a big bonus in viewing quality. The rotating cast of characters are just as diverse as the sex itself and site subscribers can watch their favorites in action, scan stills from the shoot, and hear all the dirty details from performers in the behind the scenes interviews. Pink & White’s owner Shine Louise Houston chose genderqueer pornstar Jiz Lee and feminist porn icon Nina Hartley, (who many will recognize from Boogie Nights and a large collection of instructional videos popular in the ’90s) to hash it out for number 100. There’s a whole lot of chemistry between the daring duo and they waste little time before taking off the boots and getting down to the good stuff: saucy cock-sucking, female ejaculation, strap-ons, breath control, and impact play. 

“No poop, no blood, no glitter,” the only rules of the Pad, says performer Jiz Lee. “The first two are because the Credit Card company won’t allow it. The last is because the stuff is impossible to clean up.” Letting the pornstars control of the actions always turns out to be a major turn on. 

In honor of the show’s big birthday, The Guardian asked some of the Crash Pad’s regular performers to put-out and offer up their favorite San Francisco pleasures. 


SFBG: Name 5 things in San Francisco that turn you on.

Nina Hartley: Center for Sex and Culture, Good Vibrations, Greens restaurant, Colibri restaurant, and Absinthe restaurant.

Jiz Lee: My bicycle, El Rio’s back patio, Muir Beach, community gardens, and swimming.

Minax: Kabuki Spa, SF Citadel, my private play space, yoga with Skeeter, Bi-Rite!

James Darling: Mr. S Leather, ice cream from Bi-Rite, Vixen dildos, Eros, and the Center for Sex and Culture.


SFBG: What 4 places in the Bay would make hot Crash Pad field-trip episodes?

Stealth Machine: Sutro Baths, Marin Headlands, the grave yard at Mission Dolores (sacrilege!) and El Rio!

Scarlett Chaos: Dolores Park, the Lex, [somewhere with] the Golden Gate bridge in the background, the pier, the Armory.  

Kitty Stryker: Sutro Baths (mmm, outdoor cruising), the Looking Glass dungeon, a warehouse space in Oakland (Nimby, perhaps?), the Albany [Bulb].

Madison Young: The Lexington, Wicked Grounds, the Center for Sex and Culture, and Mojo Café. 


SFBG: Who are 3 of the sexiest San Franciscans you know?

Stealth Machine: Lance Holman (Mr SF Leather 2010), Annie Danger, and Storm Miguel Florez.

Minax: Jiz Lee, Carol Queen, and Annie Sprinkle.

Madison Young: Princess Donna, Syd Blakovich, and Ceci Dolores.

Ian Sparks: Jiz Lee, Nic Switch, Vid Tuesday (oops, he just moved to Oakland).


SFBG: Where are 2 great places for outdoor sex in the Bay? 

Jiz Lee: Dolores Park, Travel Lodge roof top.

Syd Blakovich: Sutro Baths and handjobs on the F line from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Castro.

Kitty Stryker: I love having sex on top of Twin Peaks looking out over the city! Tilden Park is nice for foresty fun.

Tristan Crane: On the rooftop of our apartment buildings, in the middle of Folsom Street during the street fair. Sort of dirty, but also a rite of passage. 


SFBG: If San Francisco had a signature sex position or kind of play, what would it be?

Nina Hartley: Pansexual play parties.

Jiz Lee: San Francisco’s signature sex position would be a big, throbbing, wet, FIST.

James Darling: Gangbang with friends.

Maxine Holloway: Is a big queer orgy kitten pile a position?


Kink glitches the matrix


By D. Scot Miller

kink1109.jpg’s Van Darkholme, Peter Acworth, and Princess Donna in the Armory boiler room, photographed by Pat Mazzera for our 2008 “Kink Dreams” cover story.

I’ve always been fascinated with the building on 14th and Mission.

A former armory, and reproduction of a Moorish castle, it looks like a parochial school for wayward souls. Often I’ve wondered what goes on in this monolithic old-world structure, seeming more suitable for doling out justice than ecstasy. I checked out a few of Kink’s family of Web sites and recommend all you surfers out there do the same. There’s an aura around the building, the history, and what it now houses that epitomizes what San Francisco was, is, and can be that I’m behind with everything I’ve got.

Of course, there’s BDSM with,, and Woe unto the cynic within me who has become jaded by BDSM. Though the people are enjoying themselves and others, maybe too many trips to the old Power Exchange (and sub-station) and Folsom Street Fair in my youth have taken their toll.

The ones I find fascinating are,,, and

Of human bondage


Swingin’ with a star: Madison Young, photographed by Pat Mazzera

San Francisco is America’s capital of kink. Consider Sunday’s Folsom Street Fair ( as a flagship holiday and the Armory, occupied by, as a kind of sexual City Hall, and there’s little dispute.

But it may seem peculiar for a city so committed to gender and sexual equality to be the patron city of BDSM: a complicated acronym that stands for bondage and discipline (BD), domination and submission (D/s), sadism and masochism (SM). In crude terms, BDSM relationships are marked by deliberate and sometimes extreme inequality, where a submissive party voluntarily forfeits partial or complete physical, psychological, and emotional control to a dominant one. Although "switching" does occur, D/s — the Dominant (capital D) and submissive power dichotomy — may seem to be everything our traditional concept of liberal empowerment and classical feminism rail against.

But while it might be difficult for some to grasp, BDSM — which includes a broad spectrum of sexual acts including (but not limited to) bondage, corporal punishment, electrostimulation, piercing, branding, suspension, golden showers, and asphyxiation, as well as general play relationships like age play, pet play, medical play, and cross-dressing — is controlled by a strict code of behavior referred to as "SSC," or "safe, sane, and consensual." San Francisco even has its own BDSM nonprofit, the Society of Janus, which was founded in 1974 to promote safe adult power exchange.

Ropes aficionado Fivestar, photographed by Pat Mazzera

And unlike that other U.S. capital, Washington, D.C., where women are systemically outnumbered in the decision-making process, in San Francisco’s kinky community, strong and sexually empowered women are well represented — if not always well understood.

Women in BDSM, unfair as it seems, often receive some of the harshest criticism from a varied opposition. D/s women frequently find their lifestyles attacked by religious groups, academics, psychologists, and sexual conservatives, as well as much of the midsection of the United States. Whether stigmatized as self-loathing antifeminists or insatiable man-eating jezebels — or dismissed as insane — much misinformation has been spread about women (gendered, self-identified) who operate within the community.

However, the strong, independent-minded D/s women of San Francisco will have the vanilla (their term for those who do not engage in BDSM activities) know that BDSM is not what you think. Indeed, BDSM: It’s Not What You Think! premiered last year at the Frameline Film Festival. Frameline, the longest-running film festival dedicated to LGBT programming, featured a cast of prominent figures in the San Francisco leather community, many of them women.

For the women of bondage in our city, many of whom maintain 24/7 D/s relationships, BDSM is considered a liberating force. The following profiles are shout-outs to just some of these women, each representing a different facet within the BDSM spectrum. Most have participated in the community for more than a decade — and all really, really love what they do.

In San Francisco, the old Rousseauian adage "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains," could easily be rephrased as: "Woman is born free, and everywhere she uses chains to get off".

Madison Young, photographed by Pat Mazzera


Madison Young refers to herself as the "kinky girl next door." With blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and a translucent, Kidmanesque complexion, Young is one of the most recognizable performers in the adult entertainment industry, though perhaps more recognizable to those who enjoy inflicting pain on women tied with rope.

"I found a posting on Craigslist," Young says. "I had been involved in kinky sex before then, and was really into things like fisting and golden showers and light bondage. But I had never really done flogging or anything around rope bondage. Peter [Ackworth] was the first person who ever tied me up, and I fell in love with it instantly." Since then, she’s become famous, adored by fans for her raw, honest performances and for her incredible toughness.

And Young is really, really tough. Run a simple Google Image search and you’ll find photos of her subjected to things that would make a Navy Seal weep — like being suspended from one elbow by a single rope strung from the ceiling, with her legs pulled apart as far as legs can go. Young is one of the few working models who can withstand what is known as a "category five suspension," bondage positions so grueling they can only be endured for mere seconds. "I have a really high pain tolerance," she says. On a scale of 1 to 10? "Out of the models that exist, I’m a 10."

A self-identified masochist, Young’s interest in bondage is uniquely centered around rope. "I’m not really into metal restraints, scarves, zip ties, or anything like that. It has to be rope."

Young is also among a small but growing number of women who are writing, directing, and producing porn, and runs her own production house called Madison Young Productions. She also finds time to run Femina Potens, a female-focused art gallery located in the Castro.;

Midori, photographed by Constance Smith


Midori, the artist formerly known as Fetish Diva Midori, is adamantly opposed to being portrayed exclusively within the confines of BDSM. "A lot of people, sure, see my bondage stuff. But that’s just one of many, many things that I do."

That may be so, but all the same, you can’t talk about San Francisco’s women of bondage without including a legend like Midori. While she might claim "I don’t distinguish S-M, because it’s just all sexuality," she is a huge personality, respected sex-educator, and popular author in the realm of BDSM. Her sought-after bondage workshops include weekend-long intensives on "rope bondage dojo," a type of bondage she developed and trademarked.

For Midori, growing up in Japan has had an enormous impact on her work, and her heritage manifests itself not only her rope bondage specialty in but also in her academic interests. She published a collection of S-M stories titled Master Han’s Daughter based in a Tokyo of the future and developed a course on contemporary sex culture in Japan. She also has written instructional books like The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage and Wild Side: The Book of Kink and taught sex education courses all over the world.

Although stunning, this one-time fetish model and former professional dominatrix is wary of her status as a sex symbol. "If people appreciate my writing and enjoy my classes and get something out of it, and dig my work because of my art and my activism and stuff that I do, hey, that’s great. I think I’m, like, way past the age of being the pretty something, because after all I’m well in my 40s. There are certain people in my private life, well, I hope they think I’m sexy. But beyond that, I hope people appreciate my work because of its content.";

Simone Kross, photographed by Constance Smith


The perceived life of a traveling dominatrix is alluring: exotic getaways, extravagant dinners, five-star hotels transformed into makeshift dungeons. But the reality is not easy.

Says Simone Kross, a traveling pro-domme: "The perception is maybe that I am wealthy and I have clients flying me around and it’s really exotic and glamorous. It’s really not. It’s hard work, and I pay my own way. The clients and sessions help me fund getting from one place to the next, but it’s not as glamorous as it may seem. At least not for me."

Kross has no illusions about her frequently grueling work. While working out of hotels, she runs her advertising on Eros Guide, a large online erotic service listing. "I can get busy to the point where I might not see the outside of a hotel room for three or four days. After I finish my sessions I can be pretty tired, order room service, and go to bed. I could be doing sessions from one in the afternoon until 10 at night."

An added stress is traveling with heavy gear. "The biggest problem is weight requirements, because you have to keep it under 50 pounds," she says. What could be so heavy? "You’d be surprised," she says. "Leather and metal, D-rings, rope, whips. I don’t even use half the gear I pack, but you never know what someone requires for a scene. The shoes also tend to weigh quite a bit."

Explaining a suitcase full of floggers, rope, gags, whips, and harnesses to airport security might seem awkward, but Simone says "they have checked my bags because they are a little heavier, but no one has given me any problems."

You can see Kross, a gorgeous brunette with cheekbones that appear perfectly convex from every angle, in action on Men in Pain, a chapter of

Natasha Strange, photographed by Constance Smith


Now that the age of feudalism has passed, not many women can admit to having a coterie of ladies-in-waiting, so Natasha Strange’s "pink posse" — cross-dressing clients who have offered their services to her — is quite the blast from the past. And their title is not in name only: these ladies (or "sissy boys") actually do wait on Natasha.

For instance, Sissie Sandra’s responsibilities include walking Strange’s dog and running errands, duties that Sandra faithfully blogs about on a site called "Sandra in Waiting." Who knew moving someone’s car to avoid a street- cleaning ticket could be so erotic?

To her ladies-in-waiting, Strange is "the Princessa": a draconian ruler (they wouldn’t have it any other way) whose Marie Antoinette-esque whims become the word of law. With her wide blue eyes and long wavy hair, she resembles a cupcake Glinda the Good Witch, and it’s not hard to see why her pink-clad sissies have grown attached over the years.

Strange lives a charmed life. Her career began at Fantasy Makers, a fetish house in Oakland, when she was 25. Through her relationships with dedicated clients, her talents as a mistress, and sheer luck, she has fallen into a life many young dominatrices can only dream of.

She doesn’t take that luck for granted. "I have been really, really lucky to establish myself with a clientele that is really devoted to me," she says. "I don’t have to go out and hustle nearly as much as I did when I started out, even in this economy."

While she isn’t taking new clients, Strange hasn’t retired as a dominatrix just yet.

"I don’t think good dommes really retire. They sort of fade away. They take their favorite clients and they go. That’s probably what I’m starting to do. I haven’t advertised anywhere in two years. I’ve taken 90 percent of my website down. But I still have my tight-knit little group of subbies and sissies.";

Val Langmuir, photographed by Constance Smith


If you’re not living a BDSM lifestyle, it’s unlikely that you’ve heard of the Exiles and the sizable contribution they have made to the San Francisco BDSM scene.

This group, an educational organization (for women) that teaches safe BDSM (between women), had several lives before becoming the organization it is today. Says Val Langmuir, co-coordinator, "The Outcasts was the name of the former group. It originated in 1984 and ceased to exist in 1997. The Exiles was founded in 1997 by former Outcasts and immediately held its first program: Guns, Knives, and Choking, Oh My."

While it appears as if these women enjoy flirting with death, hardcore BDSM is the reason the Exiles exist in the first place: they want to make sure women know how to engage in it and survive. Their classes have included controversial topics like "Brutal Affection: Punching, Kicking, Slapping, and Sex," "The Art of Hazardous Age Play," and a program educating attendees on breath play, or what Langmuir describes as "how not to kill yourself when engaging in erotic asphyxiation." Langmuir moved to San Francisco 12 years ago from London, where she protested the horrifying Spanner Operation in 1990 that saw 16 Manchester gay men arrested and thrown in jail for participating in BDSM. Since then, Langmuir has been dedicated to advocating the right to participate in BDSM.

She has been involved with the Exiles since its inception. "We have meetings in the Women’s Building the third Friday of every month. Usually at each meeting, I’ll see at least one new face."

Selina Raven, photographed by Constance Smith


A former Catholic schoolgirl who attributes her sadistic tendencies to "all of those Sunday mornings spent contemputf8g the bloody figure of Christ," Raven began her pro-domme career in a structured, hierarchical way: she apprenticed. "There aren’t a lot of other women who are practicing BDSM as professionals who went through the process of apprenticing themselves to an older mistress. There’s only one other woman in SF right now, Eve Minax, who has actually done things in a more traditional manner."

Now Raven is not only one of the most established mistresses in San Francisco (and a 2007 Guardian Best of the Bay winner), but something of a mentor to up-and-coming dommes. Perhaps it’s because Raven benefited personally from the tutelage of an older mistress, Sybil Holiday, that she "always resolved to be a friendly face in the community, in being that person who I wish was around when I was 18: a little wicked but armed with good information and good experiences. That’s why I see myself as Mrs. Robinson."

A popular guest lecturer at UC Berkeley and sex educator at the Academy of SM Arts, an organization based in Menlo Park with workshops around the Bay Area, Raven is a happily-settled Oaklander with a supportive leather family. "I have my slave, and I have my former apprentice. And her boy lives with us too. I do not lack for love and companionship, but it’s not in the traditional hetero-normative form."



"I love diapering," says Eve Minax. "Age-play is a huge force in my life."

AB/DL, which stands for adult baby/diaper-lover, is a paraphilia most people tend to find either comical or disturbing. Minax disagrees. "Diapering in and of itself isn’t about age play as much as it is about getting somebody into a primal state — that baby state, that place before you’re actually living, thinking, feeling, in civilization."

In terms of maternal figures, Minax — who is six feet tall in heels, with short spikes of orangey-red hair and a fluty, theatrical voice — looks more Auntie Mame than Mommy Dearest. That is, if Auntie Mame looked like she could flog you into an intensive care unit. (In fact, the first time I met Minax in person, her right wrist was in a cast. She sprained it while flogging a client too enthusiastically.)

And speaking of intensive care, Minax is known as much for her medical play as she is for age play — in case you’re on the market for a rectal exam.

After eight years of working in San Francisco and living in Chicago, Minax finally made the decision to make SF her home base last year, much to her own delight. "I come from Chicago. I’ve lived in Paris. I’ve lived in Melbourne. But San Francisco is the mecca for alternative sexuality. All everyone ever talked about was San Francisco! It was almost like having a religious experience. I wanted to wait until I was about to retire, but then finally I was like: fuck it, I’ll just move here."

Minax’s current projects writing a cookbook of "food and BDSM pairings", such as "pork ribs with a side of rubber gimp".

Editor’s note: This list is by no means exhaustive. There are an impressive number of women making an impact on San Francisco’s BDSM scene. In particular, we’d also like to give a nod to Cleo Dubois, Sybil Holiday, Madame Butterfly, Luncida Archer, Mistress Morgana, Fivestar, Maitres Madeline, Janet Hardy, Hollie Stevens, and Princess Donna.

Kink dreams



When it comes to BDSM porn peddlers, apparently size does matter. At least, that’s how it seems now that the steamy studio has purchased the 200,000-square-foot San Francisco Armory. Suddenly, everyone wants to know: What’s the carnal concern going to do with all that space?

The answers are more diverse and ambitious than one might expect — ranging from creating a racy reality show to starting a perfectly PG-13 public community center. And thanks to the lascivious and lucrative imagination of founder Peter Acworth, it might all be possible.


Though has been producing independent niche fetish sites like,, and for the Folsom Street Fair crowd for more than 10 years — first from Acworth’s rented Marina District apartment and then from the Porn Palace on Fifth and Mission streets — it wasn’t until Acworth purchased the historical landmark in the Mission District, and was met with opposition, that the provocative porn empire really made it onto the public’s radar screen.

The armory, which was a training ground for the National Guard prior to its decommissioning 30 years ago, has been the center of controversy before. But that was mostly in-fighting between potential developers. Stringent zoning requirements and necessary but cost-prohibitive renovations discouraged buyers, leaving the Moorish behemoth on 14th and Mission streets vacant and outside public scrutiny.

But everything changed when Acworth got involved. His intended commercial use, for shooting scenes for all of Kink’s Web sites, complied with planning codes. And he didn’t need to do expensive renovations before he could start using, and profiting from, the building: what could be more perfect for bondage shoots or movies about women fucking machines than dungeons in disrepair? The only thing more ideal than the structure itself, according to Acworth, was its location in the heart of America’s most fetish-friendly city. "You couldn’t have dreamt up a more perfect place than a castle in the middle of San Francisco," says Acworth, who purchased the armory for $14.5 million in 2007 and started operations in January of this year. "It’s like divine intervention."

Acworth had to contend with a different kind of intervention — from a neighborhood group called the Mission Armory Community Collective, which opposed as a potential neighbor. Though careful not to condemn porn per se, the group said it feared that the company’s presence in an already troubled neighborhood would introduce more problems. Even the Mayor’s Office, potentially bending to pressure, issued the following statement: "While not wanting to be prudish, the fact that will be located in the proximity to a number of schools give [sic] us pause."

But the sale quietly went through, and even as protesters stood outside, Kink was already filming new scenes for its subscription sites. Since then, the protests have largely died down. As the company removed graffiti from the brick facade of the armory, fixed windows, and generally improved the appearance of its stretch of Mission Street, neighbors began stopping by to congratulate Acworth — or to ask for a tour. (Incidentally, the public is invited to tour the armory on second Fridays. E-mail for an appointment.)

On a September afternoon, the building — mostly nondescript from the sidewalk except for the castlelike rooftop — seems quiet and innocuous. Three boys skateboard on the steps outside, stopping to talk to a woman walking her dog. The only people entering the doors, which are always locked and manned by a security guard, look as though they could’ve been going to the grocery store or the gym, wearing shorts, T-shirts, and sandals. In fact, on first glance inside, the place is almost disappointingly tame.

Acworth himself hardly looks like a porn kingpin. He’s sweetly attractive in an unmenacing, mainstream way, with an easy smile and casual style. His office, a room near the entrance to the armory, is large and comfortable, but bears no hint of his livelihood save for one tasteful bondage statue. Next to his desk are water and food bowls for the armory’s two live-in cats: Rudy and Lala. His assistant, a young girl in a minidress, leggings, and hoop earrings, looks like she could be working at American Apparel. Even the desktop pattern on Acworth’s Dell computer screen is vanilla: rolling green hills beneath a blue, blue sky. This sense of normalcy seems to be Kink’s main point.

Van Darkholme, Peter Acworth, and Princess Donna in the Armory boiler room. Photo by Pat Mazzera

Acworth remembers getting turned on as a child in England by scenes in movies where women were tied up — and wondering if this signaled violent tendencies within himself. It wasn’t until adolescence that he discovered the relief (and release) of bondage porn. At the same time, he was already a burgeoning entrepreneur, a child who grew vegetables behind his house and tried to sell them to his parents. By the time he read a magazine article about a man making millions from Internet porn, as a Wall Street–bound doctoral student in a Columbia University finance program, it seemed almost inevitable that Acworth would find a way to marry his two lifelong interests: bondage and business. When he founded in 1997, the idea was not only to jump on the dot-com money train, but also to demystify and promote fetish porn as an acceptable form of sexual stimulation.

Now, each of’s Web sites is geared toward a particular fetish, run by a Webmaster who’s not only an expert on that particular kink but also has an interest in it, just as Acworth started, which features women tied up, and, which showcases women having sex with machinery, because that’s what turned him on. These Webmasters act as director, producer, human resources manager, and often participant as well as Web developer.

"It’s hard to guess what people want," he explains, pointing out that it’s easier to make what you know.

Which means models aren’t actors. Just as directors are expected to be interested in the fetish they’re promoting, so are participants expected to enjoy the scenes they’re in. This isn’t about fake-breasted women pretending to like a face full of come. In fact, Acworth has had trouble in the past working with models from Los Angeles, trying to get them not to act. Kink’s sites feature actual people enjoying a private play party that just happens to be taped. Videos are intimate, personal, and disarmingly real — models talk to each other before, during, and after their sessions, just the way they would in their own bedrooms. They’re encouraged to smile on camera. Whether it’s shocking a woman with electric instruments or forcing a man to eat from a dog bowl, you get the sense that these people would be playing out these scenarios anyway — Kink just provides a salary, benefits, and a really nice location.


As for the building itself, Kink has just begun to scratch the surface of its possibilities. The first floor, perhaps the most institutional-looking of the four, houses offices for Acworth, the marketing team, the production team, and the break room, which features a pool table, a disco ball, an espresso machine, a drum set, and a DJ booth (all for parties as well as employee use). Directly opposite the front doors is the Drill Court, a monstrous space that looks something like an airplane hangar crossed with a European train station. This is the space Acworth hopes will become the Mission Armory Community Center (which would unintentionally bear the same acronym as one of the groups that protested’s purchase of the armory), a public venue available for sporting events, educational seminars, film festivals, and someday maybe a Folsom Street Fair party. According to MACC coordinator David Klein, a developer who has no affiliation with, that dream is a long way off — with plenty of renovations, public meetings, and applications standing between here and there. In the meantime, the Drill Court serves as an occasional event site (such as for the Mission Bazaar craft fair earlier this year) and an employee parking lot. Currently, the most public location is the Ultimate Surrender room, where small numbers of members are invited to sit in bleachers and watch women wrestle each other to the ground on large mats — the winner, of course, gets to fuck the loser.

The armory’s basement is by far the most interesting area. "It’s a wonderland of sets," says Acworth, and it’s hard to argue with him. Some rooms seem perfect as is, such as a former gymnasium whose floor has long since been removed to reveal gothic-looking structural planks punctuated by intimidating bolts. All it took was adding a platform in the center of the expansive room and a pulley above it to make it a perfect bondage set. Next door is an army-style communal bathroom, another favorite as-is set. Other rooms on this floor are a completely furnished 1970s New York loft; a padded cell with an observation room connected by a one-way mirror; a former hermetically sealed gunpowder room that’s been outfitted with all sorts of rings, hooks, and rope pulleys; an office connected by a cage to the "Gimp Room," where ceiling chains hang like some kind of Donkey Kong homage; a hallway storage room chock-full of expected (whips, chains, clamps) and unexpected (mops, long-handled brushes with hard bristles, small boxes with smaller holes in them) toys; the large prop room, where human-shaped cages, monstrous doghouses, and machines like the back breaker and water-torture wheel are kept; the laundry room, where shelves are lined with douches, enemas, latex gloves, and sanitized sex toys; and the former shooting range, which has a Pirates of the Caribbean feel, complete with a river running through it.

And that’s just the start of it. Just when you think every nook and cranny has been used — including an oddly shaped corner off the production gallery that looks like a 19th-century psychiatric ward — you’ll discover a hallway that’s virtually untouched. Hardly any construction has been done on the third or fourth floors, including the officers’ quarters, which occupy one turret. Even the roof, with its castle-y details and flags, seems like a perfect potential shooting location.

Kink’s porn palace, the San Francisco Armory. Photo by Pat Mazzera

Kink already has plans for several new sets: the military clean room, a stark ’50s-era space, slated for FuckingMachines; an abandoned electrical equipment room for WiredPussy, where dead vintage electrical equipment will line the walls; an Alcatraz-esque prison gallery for; and an expanded room, which will be clad with cultured stone to look like the basement of an old castle.

Reps won’t say just how much it costs to maintain the armory or to shoot a scene, but Acworth told 7×7 magazine last year that profits were upward of $16 million. And spokesperson Thomas Roche says that the cost of a shoot, including sets, makeup, wardrobe, video and still photo staff, and editing, would be prohibitive if Kink weren’t doing lots of them. Luckily, the armory allows for a volume of shoots that makes it feasible — sometimes four or five in a single day. And it’s good variety for viewers too, who get used to seeing the same sets over and over in various porn films — even ones by different companies.


Perhaps the most advantageous thing about moving into the armory, though, has been the increased possibilities for Kink’s growth. With so much space, an almost infinite number of sets can be created without tearing any old ones down. Since multiple shoots can go on at once, multiple sites can be developed and maintained. And buying the building has started attracting directors, models, and Web developers on a scale Acworth hasn’t seen before.

"It was initially difficult to find people," says Acworth, who conjectures that it’s not just the publicity from the building but also the exciting prospect of working there that’s turned the tide. "Now they’ve started to approach us."

One of those who approached Acworth was Van Darkholme, a Shibari rope bondage expert, a porn performer, and the proprietor of fetish film studio Muscle Bound Productions, who was living in LA. Darkholme saw an article about Acworth and the armory in a magazine and contacted him immediately, hoping to get involved. The Vietnam-born Darkholme, who seems almost starstruck by Acworth’s genius, was shocked not only to hear back from Acworth himself, but to be offered a job at the helm of Kink’s new gay bondage site:

"What Peter does is so avant-garde and so fresh, I just wanted to come in and mop the floor," says Darkholme, who moved to San Francisco in April and launched his new site Aug. 1.

Darkholme’s BoundGods takes Kink’s principles of intimate, conversational, playful, and mutually enjoyable interactions and applies them to his particular brand of gay sexuality: lean, muscled studs. In one video, a man is tied up in the army-style bathroom at the armory while another fucks him with a large black dildo. In a similar scene, anal beads are gradually pulled from the bound, naked man — much to both participants’ obvious pleasure (though interestingly, neither are hard). Darkholme makes appearances in many of the videos, often as the dominant character — a striking contrast to the camo-shorts-and-T-shirt-wearing, somewhat shy individual I interview at the armory.

He’s clearly proud of the product, not only because it’s well produced but also because there’s almost no competition in the gay market.

"I hate to generalize, but most of what I see out there falls into this trap of gay men putting on leather and grunting and groaning," says Darkholme. "It’s visual, but doesn’t have as much dialogue. What we do is very real and very intimate, with a realness in what they’re saying."

The site marks Kink’s first serious foray into the gay market — a step the company couldn’t quite take while limited by space and resources at the Porn Palace. But set builders are already hard at work constructing an Alcatraz-esque prison gallery for new Boundgods shoots. And the creation of a sub-brand,, promises more gay-focused fetish sites to come. (Incidentally, Kink tried a gay site several years ago with Butt Machine Boys, which is still online at but not listed on the main Web site. Acworth said the site never took off, partly because of lack of budget and partly because, unlike Darkholme, the director wasn’t speaking to his personal interests.)

For now, though, Darkholme has his hands full with BoundGods. His immediate goal is to find and train 12 new dommes for the Web site — a tougher feat than might be expected. "Femme dommes can dish it out and can really take it," he says. "There’s a small percentage of men that can do that." In fact, during some of his first shoots, filmed in Budapest, his bevy of gay models and porn stars were shocked when Darkholme finally opened up his bag of toys.

"They looked at me like the circus had come to town, or like I was going to make one of the Saw movies. Their hands were shaking," he says.

So when Kink sets up its demonstration booth at Folsom Street Fair (Sept. 28,, Darkholme will have two purposes: recruiting talent (both people he can train and experts who have something to teach him) and publicizing his new brand.

"I want to say, ‘We’re here, we’re queer, we want to be part of your community!’" he laughs.

But Darkholme won’t be alone at his booth. Among other popular Kink stars like Isis Love, new director Lochai, expert rigger Lew Rubens, and porn stars LaCherry Spice and Natassia Dream will be creator Princess Donna, who’s launching her new pet product,, next month. The site will feature blatant public bondage, punishment, erotic humiliation, and explicit sex between models and, potentially, passersby.

The veteran domme is filming most scenes in Europe, where attitudes (and therefore laws) about sex are more lax. In fact, while shooting a scene on a public street in Berlin, the crew was stopped by a couple of motorcycle cops who said only, "If you cause an accident, you’ll be liable," before going on their way. In the shoot, a half-naked girl is tied to a park bench, made to carry a dog bowl while on a leash, fondled by her female master, and fucked by a man.

"It’s the adrenaline rush of potentially getting caught," says Acworth, explaining the site’s appeal and recipe for success. The site will also feature a slew of new faces. Plus, it’s the perfect time of year to launch a new fetish site. "Sales pick up when the kids go back to school," Acworth says.

There also plenty of developments in the works that don’t follow the start-a-new-fetish-site model. For starters, Kink is moving to a Flash format, where the delay is only 2 seconds instead of 20. The new technology means that users can actively participate in scenes via chat rooms, where they can give instructions to dommes and watch their demands be carried out. Members of can already do this on, but Acworth hopes to switch to a per-minute billing system so even more viewers can participate. At the moment, the site is structured so you must be a member of a particular site in order to watch videos; Acworth would like to move to a single-sign-on system where you can join and have access to any of its member sites.

Perhaps the most ambitious technological plan for Kink’s future, though, is the development of an online Web community that will be called Following the Web 2.0 trend of user-based content, will allow members and models to maintain user profiles, interact with one another on message boards, blog, and even date. Yes, it’s a way to stay up-to-date with Internet trends and to provide an experience that pirated video sites can’t, but Acworth says it’s also a natural outgrowth of the kind of porn he creates.

"In contrast with straight porn, which people want to consume in private, this is a community people want to be a part of," he says.

Which leads us to the project closest to Acworth’s heart: the reality show.


In the spirit of community and BDSM as a lifestyle, Acworth wants to transform the armory’s top floor into a series of Victorian/Georgian-inspired rooms where couples will live and fuck on camera 24-7. Participants will be given hierarchical positions — from maid to master of the house — and live according to the rules of domination and submission. Acworth’s already started designing the grand dining room, inspired by the sets in Remains of the Day, including candelabras, elaborate draperies, and, of course, a long, long table. "I consider it the pinnacle of where everything comes together," he says.

The dream is still at least a year off: he’ll have to figure out payment and subscription details, renovate the nearly untouched top floor, and recruit couples who want to live their kinks on camera. But he’s hoping he’ll soon have more time to devote to the project. With more than 100 employees and a huge building to maintain, Acworth’s role has shifted from almost entirely creative to almost entirely administrative. He misses the early days, when he found models on Craigslist, tied them up in his rented Marina apartment, interacted with them himself, and then posted the shoots. (You can still see these early shoots online.) Soon he’ll promote an employee to chief operating officer, which will allow him to back off the business side and devote himself to the reality show.

So did he ever imagine his little project would get so big? Absolutely not, Acworth says. If he’d had any inkling, he adds, "I would’ve been terrified." But it only seems natural that the little English boy who used to try to sell his parents’ own vegetables back to them would eventually have an eye for business — and that his interest in fetish porn would lead his business instincts here.

As for how his parents feel about his chosen profession, Acworth says they’re not exactly vocally supportive, but they don’t condemn him either. His mom, a sculptor, has started creating pieces that feature couples in coital or bondage positions, and may start to sell them on the site. His dad, a former Jesuit preacher, says only, "As long as no one’s getting hurt and there are no animals, I guess it’s all right."