MovieChat Forums > Kink (2013) Discussion > My problem with this.......

My problem with this.......


Other than being an ad for a gigantic corporation there are a few problems I have with Kink.com
Although I'd say I'm sex positive and don't have a problem with consenting adults doing things behind closed doors I think some of this content raises larger question on our culture. If there is a culture of misogyny how does this content not reinforce it? Images of ,mostly, women tied up and brutalized doesn't exsist in a vacuum. Just because the people on camera consent is there not an obligation to not perpetuate the fetishizing of women as objects to be peed on, shocked, choked and drown? Sure they tape the people after words saying how great it was. But have they got their check yet or do they get it after? Would they not get other work in the industry if they refuse? I can see where these sexualized fantasies of demeaned women come from but does it really need to be perpetuated? It's like hearing a rapper use the word fa66ot. He then says its okay because his gay friends are fine with it. Does it not still effect the larger society who hears the music or deals with those that have? I'm just wondering aloud but I will say that I'll wait to view the documentary to see how Kink is portrayed before trying to act like I know what's in it. However the trailer does make it look like a fluff piece for the multi-million dollar company.

When there are two, one betrays-Jean-Pierre Melville

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Unfortunately, I don't have enough time right now to write a proper response to the points you've raised, but I did want to say this: The sexual fantasies you have don't really say anything about your views or who you are as a person. Just because you're arroused by the thought of tying a woman up and spanking her, doesn't mean you hate women or even want to hurt them (it's a very different kind of pain you inflict during these sessions, it's less about hurt and more about excitement, as the combination of pleasure and pain can be a very powerful thing.) In the end it's just that, a fantasy, and has very little to do with reality. I mean, let's say you loved to play cowboys and Indians as a child and pretended to shoot each other, that doesn't mean you actually wanted to go kill Native Americans or had any bad feelings toward them at all, right? You pretend for a while, you have a blast, and then you go back to reality and continue to be a normal person.

Sure, you have your black sheep, the ones who actually want to hurt other people and hide behind a fetish to justify that, but in my experience most people aren't like that. They tend to be kind and sweet, really some of the nicest folks out there, and that's the way it has to be, because trust and responsibility is key when doing something like this, exactly because people really can get hurt when you disregard boundaries, are being careless or even downright abusive. But the fact remains that everybody hates an abuser, BDSM enthusiasts maybe more so than others, because in addition to the general awfulness of such a person, they are constantly likened to these people and every time someone acts like that, the stereotype gets reaffirmed.

Anyway, my point is, BDSM is not about misogyny or brutalizing anyone, it's a fetish that many people share (many, many more than would ever admit it because of its stigma), it's not about demeaning women (even if it's part of your roleplay, that stops the second you're done), and it certainly is not like a rapper using the word *beep* unless he's doing it during dirty talk. Otherwise it really isn't the same thing if he acts that way in the real world.

But I get where you're coming from. BDSM has had a certain reputation for so long that it's hard to see past it, especially because some of it looks awfully reminiscent of some of the wrong stuff that's going on in the world, but from what I've experienced, it couldn't be further from it, as paradoxical as that sounds. It's just so much about pleasure and fun, experimenting with and exploring yourself and your sexuality, or even just plain art (just look at the cover) in ways that not many things can be, and my hope is that this film will show that, so people can gain a better understanding of this subculture.

Well, looks like I did wind up responding to most of your post. The only thing left is the issue of objectification, but that I would argue just lies in the nature of porn, since you don't watch it to get to know the performers but to get off (though kink.com actually does a pretty good job there, during those small interviews before and after the session you actually get to know them a little bit and it can be very interesting and informative to hear them discuss the setups—especially Lew Rubens is always a pleasure to listen to.)

All right, I guess that's all I have to say on that. I do hope the film will end up being less of an ad for kink.com and more of a look into the fetish they're capitalizing on, and that your concerns will be eased by its portrayal.

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Thanks for the response.
I'm not thinking of the BDSM community as much as the lone masturbator att home. When two adults decide to do something behind closed doors they negotiate consent. That negotiation pierces the fantasy and brings the reality of both being human to the fore. A guy at home spanking it just goes into erotic fervor, deflates and done. To me that negotiating with a live human is a huge part of what's keys these practices safe. I've met more than a few guys who have dim views of women that love porn where women are degraded. Now would they be that way regardless, probably.
As a male feminist it makes for an interesting study. Especially since anyone familiar knows that feminism isn't a monolith. There are women that hate all porn and those that say its empowering for a women to get pissed on by five guts if she chooses. I don't have the answers and I certainly am not for censorship. Although I'll show my hand and my duality here: I was happy Max Hardcore went jail. In my eyes he's a POS. One can argue that they didn't get him for the right reasons but I'll say I have a hard time feeling sorry for him.

I will ask, if sexuality isn't a persons reality(if I read your line if thinking correctly) does that mean humor is the same? Is racist and mysoginistic humor ok? I'm just curious what about sexual media gives it a pass.
Again I'll say my criticism isn't consenting adults when they do things by themselves. It's the power of media when sent out in the public sphere. The romanticism that is inherent in almost anything that is taken in through the media lense. And perception of said media especially by lone consumers.
Thanks

When there are two, one betrays-Jean-Pierre Melville

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Ah yes, I was wondering if I had maybe rambled past your point. Well, I suppose there's different ways to approach pornography. You're quite right, actually having to talk to the person puts you in a very different position than if you watch a recorded session at home, but I think if you've done it yourself or if you're in any way familiar with the surrounding process, you look at it with that in mind. I for one don't ever forget that there's safewords and discussions of boundaries and so on—in a way, I guess I don't just see the fantasy itself, but watch it as if I was in that session. Sort of fantasizing about acting out a fantasy, if that makes sense.

Well, that's how I approach it anyway, and I think the more experience you have with it, the less you can only see the fantasy part. I can obviously only speak for myself and maybe make an educated guess about the people I know, but I can't imagine anyone who has ever dabbled in BDSM not thinking about how they'd like to try a certain setup or how they would have done something differently and all that while watching a session. I suppose it's not unlike working in or being interest in the making of films, where you can't help but paying more attention to the acting, camera angles, etc. and not just getting lost in the story.

Anyway, that's what I think it's like for the people who this porn is made for, so that in my eyes legitimizes it's existence right there, because to them it is a source of pleasure that comes from this positive place that I was talking about in my previous post. But of course anybody can get their hands on it and watch it if they like, and I know these kinds of guys you're talking about myself. Not a big fan of them either.

But before I get into that, I just realized we might need to get this out of the way: I'm pretty much assuming we're talking about the good kind of porn the whole time, the kind that's done responsibly and with the care this kinda thing demands. I mean, there sure is some vile *beep* out there that actually seems to be made by the kind of people you're talking about, that seems to only use the fetish as an excuse to abuse women. I seriously hate that stuff, but while I'd love if it didn't exist and didn't give those kinda guys the satisfaction, I don't think they would be different people if it didn't. I mean, there's a lot of terrible things going on in the world, but you don't look at them and think, "Hey, that's cool, I wanna be like that too!" if you weren't actually like that all along. Sure, they might use it as an excuse ("But moooooom, they're doing it too!"), but at their core they've always been awful people, otherwise they'd say, "No, this is wrong." like any other normal person, no?

I don't know if that last part actually holds up, I just find this kinda thing terribly upsetting.

Anyway, to answer your question: I'm mostly talking about sexual fantasies that get a pass. The media definitely has certain responsibilities, but if done right and with the proper care, I think it's all right because it caters to those fantasies. I suppose that's why I keep coming back to kink.com and why I'm excited about this film, because I really feel like they're doing this the way it should be done. For one, it's nice to see that they do their best to provide content for any number of fetishes and orientations, not just the classic Male Dom/Fem Sub thing, but most importantly, they emphasize the safety aspect and talk about boundaries and what the performer would like to try in the preceding interviews, and they actually care for them. For example, I was very impressed by a scene once that was interrupted because the girl that was whipped was crying pretty hard, even though she said before that she liked to cry and they shouldn't pay any attention to it. So, safewords and signals in place, permission to ignore the rest, and they still stopped mid-shoot to make sure she really was ok. That's the kinda stuff I want to see. And I guess that's also why I don't mind that ad thing that much, if the film inspires people to look into BDSM they'll be in good hands there.

But still, you're right, even if it's done right and the target audience knows how to approach it, it still doesn't exist in a vacuum. But I believe that this is the part where the viewer has to make an effort to understand what he's looking at. As I said, I hope this film will do its part to educate people a little about this subculture and this kind of porn, but I doubt it will reach too many people.

And now, two paragraphs later, to actually answer your question: Humor is sort of similar in the way that it's fine—whatever kind it is—when done behind closed doors. I actually do believe that when it comes to humor, anything goes, but what's not ok is to ignore the effect it might have on other people or to use it as an excuse to be an *beep* I think any joke, be it racist, misogynistic, gay or whatever, can be really funny, but only when they're made by people who a) understand what it is they're joking about and at least have an idea of the hardship the targeted people go through, b) aren't actually racist, etc. and just pretend to joke to not take responsibility for what they're saying, and c) don't make the jokes in front of people where they don't know for sure whether it might be triggering for them. I think in the second episode of Louie they talk about how his use of the word fa-got is funny because he's making it perfectly clear that he's joking and that homophobia is a *beep* thing, but that he has to keep in mind that probably most effeminate males have at some point had the word yelled at them, possibly while they were beaten up, and that they were reminded of those times whenever they heard it. So I guess what I'm saying is, humor is ok as long as it isn't hurting anyone, and that's something it has in common with sexual fantasies too. Just be careful, responsible, kind, and respectful and you'll be fine. That's sort of my basic principle for everything.

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you could say the exact same thing about all the content of men from the site reinforcing misandry. But you can't justify censoring something because maybe some people are misogynists/misandrist. Especially since as you used the word reinforced, they would have to be that way first. People become that way because of how they are raised, long before they ever see their first porn video.

the fact that many women enjoy bdsm means yes, fantasies they enjoy should be perpetuated, why would they not be? again, because some people may miss use it isn't a reason to take away things other people enjoy responsibly.

What this says about our culture is that there is demand for this content. if it was censored in some ridiculous attempt at not "perpetuating misogyny" then like the prohibition it will do nothing but force everyone who enjoys in responsibly or otherwise into "criminals". people will film their own content and share it on amateur websites just as people do right now. The only reduction may be a result of keeping peoples sexuality repressed, and is that a good thing? Tell women their fantasies of being dominated are wrong because some feminists said so?

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In response you've brought up censorship and even quoted me. It's strange as I specifically said I'm not into censorship.
PS. The argument that because there's a demand for sonethimg means it should be perpetuated and produced is rather bizzarre.

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Dont make it about misogyny because it is....they also discuss feminism on the film....

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Damn typo....it isnt

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They don't really talk about it in the film on any true way. Also even if it was a hearty discussion about feminism that still doesn't mean misogyny is excluded. I good parallel is when Cornel West says just because a room is filled with blacks doesn't mean racism isn't at play. Another words we are so conditioned to patriarchy, racism and homophobia that even when we are consciously trying to change those factors are still inside us.
This is another reason why this movie stunk it was basically an ad, there was no real examination of BDSM instead it was what goes into financial transactions to depict BDSM in screen.

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hmm yeah I don't think you saw the same doc I just did, because half of the scenes were very naked men, being choked and humiliated. because it was a doc about, you know, BDSM.

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My opinion is that people do not need to be "coddled." Content should be out there if there is a demand for it, and it is the viewer's responsibility to decide if he wants to consume that content and where he wants to go from there.

For example I remember a lot of people complaining about the movie The Lorax having some kind of pro-communism message (I don't know if it did because I didn't see it, but for the sake of discussion let's just say it did). So they weren't happy about it and wanted it banned. My response to that would be, if you're unhappy about a pro-communism movie, then make a pro-capitalism movie, and let people decide for themselves what they think is best. Rather than coddling people and attempting to only present them with the side you think is best, they should be exposed to various sides of each coin so they can form their own opinions and make their own decisions. So rather than presenting ONLY the "standard monogamous relationship between two straight people who enjoy missionary-only sex" etc, it's healthy to present this side of things as well so people are exposed to different angles.

It is also somewhat similar to the "violent video games make kids violent" argument that was recently debunked. Barely anyone is going to play GTA and then think "that was fun, I should try it in real life," just like barely anyone is going to see a kinky sex scene and think "that looks fun, I should kidnap and rape someone in real life and do it to her."

As to the example of the gay jokes, I would lean towards saying that things like that should be acceptable as well. I am not sure if it would be beneficial to try to force people into having "nicer" attitudes. Rather than doing that, it would be better to guide them to it on their own, again by exposing them to various sides of the issue and allowing them to decide for themselves what they think is right. In this specific example, most (or all) people with the ability to think rationally and objectively would agree that there is nothing inherently wrong with homosexuality, and thus would not be against gay rights or see being gay as a negative thing to be ridiculed. So, rather than simply forcing people to not use it as an insult, it would be much more beneficial to teach them to think for themselves, teach them how to think rationally, and so on, so that they can come to that conclusion on their own, if they choose to do so. And then on that same note, teaching people that if someone has chosen to be bigoted or mean-spirited in some way, then instead of choosing to be offended and playing the victim, they can just as easily choose to not be offended, and to understand the other person's motivations for being that way rather than just lashing out or becoming defensive.

Let me know if you disagree with anything I've said, and why.

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