An Interview with a Local BDSM-Porn Producer
Questions for Russell of Seattle's Two Big Meanies
There's plenty of kinky porn online, but finding images of people who really get off on what they're doing, and who also don't pull any punches, can be difficult. Enter Russell and Lauren, the evil masterminds of the Seattle BDSM porn site TwoBigMeanies.com.
Russell and Lauren had a great flick in the 2005 HUMP! called Pirate vs. Ninja, and they've submitted a piece this year called Lauren Likes Candy. TBM bills itself as "kinetic and connected porn," and knowing Lauren and Candy, I imagine it'll be an intense helping of both.
How did Two Big Meanies get started?
Lauren and I realized in 2004 that there was little BDSM porn that fit our tastes, and that we were in an excellent position to make some. We'd both been doing SM play long enough to feel comfortable modeling our own versions of it, we had attractive and exhibitionistic play partners and photographer friends, and I had a good understanding of the technical side—I work for (bondage site) House of Gord as their sysadmin/webmaster.
Kink.com throws a long shadow over the world of BDSM porn sites these days. What do you think you offer that they don't?
Most of the models are people we play with off-camera. We try really hard to show connection between the people playing. Some of the play we do can get pretty edgy for on-film, but we also make a point of showing the happy endorphin glows, cuddling, etc. We also aim for less of a classic porn-star look than they do. I envy the Kink.com infrastructure, and really respect the integrity they bring to the industry, but I'd rather do what we're doing.
What's happening with the site now?
We were shooting twice a month until 2006, when we realized that we were having less fun than we wanted to be. Having to arrange models, come up with scene ideas, locations, and crew, then put energy into the scenes—it was becoming a creative drain. Rather than sliding into doing the same thing over and over, we tried to think of another way to approach it.
We decided that pay-per-download with a blog to maintain continuity was the best option. This way, we can shoot when we have good ideas, and feel proud of everything we put out. We can try different things and not worry about alienating subscribers. It also puts our occasional commentary on scene mechanics, safety, etc., out there a little more accessibly, gives us a better platform for activism.
What advice would you offer people who are thinking of starting a porn site?
Find a niche, and look for alternatives to the monthly subscription model. It's the dominant model in the market right now; obviously it's working for the bigger companies, but I don't think it's the best fit for everybody. Pay-per-download gives the user something to keep, and is much less of a technical headache than the other alternative, pay-per-view.