Lovings Lounge

April 22, 2009

Whipped and Gagged - not!

Tags: , , , , , , , — Webmistress @ 6:57 pm

Extra, extra, read all about it : “California’s government has been subsidizing torture-based pornography”!

Take lurid imagery of young, naked, helpless women being forced into electrocution, whipping and public degradation, add an occasional Abu Grahib reference, throw in an “expert” opinion by a lone San Francisco shrink who still thinks that BDSM equals Nazi camps, and what do you get?

One man, one woman, one... whip?

One man, one woman, one... whip?

A Rush Limbaugh show? No, an article in SF Weekly, an alternative San Francisco newspaper.

(Continuous updates on the bottom of the post)

Kink.com is a San Francisco based company that produces and streams bondage, domination and other bdsm content with an emphasis on “safe, sane and consensual” motto - all videos are accompanied with scenes of negotiation, consent, boundary setting and “aftercare”. They have recently bought the long abandoned San Francisco Armory, employ over 100 local people, and are well known (except to the author) as one of the leaders in the San Francisco’s bdsm community.

The author Matt Smith unveils a “shocking” discovery that some of the funds government gives away as grants for training and education of local employees have gone to this bunch of violent perverts. in the process, he manages to lose Kink.com’s grant money and misrepresent and insult everyone who has ever tied up his or her lover, or eyed a leather vest - quite a few people, judging by the 400,000 attendance of the San Francisco’s Folsom Street Fair. (San Francisco has a population of approximately 744,000.)

Yes, I’m a rope-carrying member of the slighted community, and I feel personally insulted, both as a “pervert” and as San Francisco resident. Our city’s claim to fame, its tolerance of diversity, seems to be slowly but surely withering - from pogroms of the city’s sex workers, legal fencing swing club Power Exchange (read comments) faces in trying to reopen, to “one wardrobe malfunction and you’re closed” policies that have popular clubs such as DNA shaking in their boots during every burlesque show.

There’s a lively response in the comment section of the article, including the calls for boycott of SF Weekly and commentary by Kink.com models and employees.

If this makes you hot under your (leather) collar too, you can leave a comment or write a letter to SF Weekly editor.

UPDATE 4/24:

Quite a lot has happened in the past couple of days. The original article has over 70 comments - 99% of them dismayed by the writeup.

San Francisco’s BDSM community unanimously shows its outrage -

San Francisco Bay Guardian takes up the story

Matt sneers and blames San Francisco Guardian for everything

At the news of boycott, he ridicules “hippies and liberals” for trying to get his article removed (a single one of 70 comments called for it), and evokes his Freedom of Speech rights - ironic as he defended the government’s right to pick and choose whom to patron… which is exactly what boycott would do.

First boycott fliers appear in Castro, more promised to come this weekend

Numerous blogs take up the cause-

SFIst

We do

Violet Blue (@SFappeal)
Violet Blue
(@Open Source Sex)
Reason
The Sword (NSFW)
BBPA has another good timeline with a bit of history behind it
As well as Xbiz.com, one of the largest adult business web sites

UPDATE 4/27

Additional articles and blogs of note:

Mellisa Farley’s (Matt’s “authority” on BDSM) bio on Wikipedia-
“…She is also largely opposed to sex workers’ rights activists and groups, such as COYOTE, which advocate legalizing or decriminalizing both prostitution and the purchase of sexual services. Many of these activists are likewise strongly opposed to Farley’s perspective, holding that Farley’s research discredits and misrepresents women working in the sex industry and lacks accountability toward them.

Farley is also an anti-pornography activist. In 1985, she led a National Rampage Against Penthouse alongside Nikki Craft. The “Rampage” was a campaign of public destruction of bookstore-owned copies of Penthouse and Hustler (which they denounced as violent pornography). Farley was arrested 13 different times in 9 different states for these actions. In March 2007, she testified in hearings about Kink.com’s purchase of the San Francisco Armory, comparing the images produced by Kink.com to images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

As of 2008, she is currently director of Prostitution Research and Education, a San Francisco nonprofit organization….”
Wikipedia

Huffington Post
CalAware
(Matt’s ploy to muddy the waters by choosing a single comment to respond to does work to a point )
Incertus

UPDATE 4/28

KTVU picks up the story. Handled very well, evenhanded and factual - SF Weekly can learn something about journalism here.

WhippedandGagged blog collects and posts blog and media updates
Good Vibrations Magazine

Mz. Berlin has called Matt Smith out for a debate. He agreed! Also good info on Melissa Farley

UPDATE 4/29

SF Chronicle picks up the story.  Author David Steinberg describes his personal experience of spending time with Kink.com crew and models during some very intense scenes. A very positive article with a clear understanding of BDSM.
Betty Dodson’s commentary on and repost of David Steinberg’s article.

SF Weekly’s Benjamin Wachs defends Matt, jabs Guardian, lauds Melissa Farley and tells San Franciscans to stop whining.

SF Weekly published two long letters to the editor in today’s edition, but there’s no other response.

Heh. There’s already a boycott SF Weekly T-shirt out…

UPDATE 5/1

SF Weekly’s Ben Wachs continues to shoot down people who didn’t like Matt’s article, and demands the correction of a factual mistake from Violet Blue… highly ironic, considering all the mistakes in the original article.

UPDATE 5/11

Gah. Can’t believe it. Matt Smith writes yet another article complaining about being misunderstood (and everyone else being a thin-skinned liberal hippy perv). Guess there’s no safe word for a bruised ego…
http://www.sfweekly.com/2009-05-13/news/unsafe-words/

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4 Comments »

  1. its unfair to categorize fetish in the same term as Abu Grahib especially since the adults in the fetish industry are both consenting males and females.

    Comment by jane extreme — April 23, 2009 @ 3:23 am

  2. [...] posts on the kerfuffle can be found at Carnal Nation, Loving’s Lounge, Reason, and [...]

    Pingback by SF Weekly Goes Jessie Helms On “Kink.com = Abu Ghraib” Meme (Or…Paging Melissa Fairley??) (Updated) | The SmackDog Chronicles (Ver. 2.6) — April 25, 2009 @ 8:44 am

  3. Remember, this is the same SF Weekly that recently had articles on how plastic grocery bags were ecologically superior to paper ones because they took up less room in landfills and how illegal alien tranny hookers were sponging up your tax dollars. They’ve been pretty worthless for quite a while.

    Comment by DocAmazing — April 26, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

  4. [...] SF Weekly attacked Kink.com and consensual BDSM in a manner worthy of National Enquirer, they did not expect a major community [...]

    Pingback by Cross a reporter, get outed: vendetta journalism | Lovings Lounge — June 15, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

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