SL Letter of the Day: A Thank You Note

Comments

1
Well duh. Of course it was.
2
Personally, I don't see how it could be a negative. If she feels that by reading your column that she gained the necessary tools to live her life authentically and with integrity, then it can only be a positive. Besides, what any of the rest of us think is moot, only she is qualified to answer for herself. Her opinion trumps all.

I typed this without clicking the link as I'm dining with my 12 y.o. son. We are on a lunch date.
3
She sounds happy. My vote is for good.
4
I also vote good.
5
Well, I clicked on the link and now I feel a little sick. I still vote positive influence, though, because if that is what makes her happy then she needed Dan's wisdom a lot more than those of us who just think we are kinky but really couldn't run with true weirdos of the world.
6
She's pursuing her happiness. That's what life should be about.
7
Saw the link, she didn't seem upset at her exit interview. And gotta say - HOTTT.
8
Absolutely positive. If she's happy, that's all that matters.
9
God bless Kink.com.
10
Since Kink.com includes piss-play and that grosses me out I'm not going to risk the link. However I will say that if she's happy, fufilled and fully in control of her life and sexuality, then obviously the influence has been good.
11
Dan,

Are you asking us because even you second guess yourself every so often? I guess that's what you fun.

12
those that peeked, tell us what it is!
13
5 ftw.

@12 - I guess pretty normal for that site. bondage/gangbang. Condoms, though, which I remember reading somewhere is standard for kink.com and certainly isn't for other straight porn.
14
@ 12 It's only a 50 seconds video. She gets fucked, fisted, she sucks guys off, gets choked and slapped, and ends up with a face full of cum.

But, as others have stated, she is a consenting adult doing what makes her happy and I'm all for that.

You've clearly been a very good influence on Madeleine (and countless others) Dan.
15
Gang bang action. Hot girl. Won't get into any debate about good or bad influence- girls have been involved in that since before Dan started reading and writing.
16
@12, proof that Dan is not always a "positive influence".

To be fair, Dan has provided me visual evidence of a person being "verbally degraded, manhandled, ass fucked, choked, spanked, caned, and rewarded with a face full of hot cum." All this in the form of a commodity to be purchased by any anonymous internet users.

I see why many people vote Republican and repudiate the moral relativism of the left. I guess I found out where I draw the line. To each his own..I guess.
17
@16 She enjoyed the shoot and enjoys her kink (and got paid very well doing what she enjoys: the model rates on that particular site are generous.) I don't see how Dan was a bad influence. Sure maybe if she had never read Savage Love she would not have been secure enough to participate in something that makes *you* uncomfortable, but in return there would be just one more person walking around insecure about their kinks
18
Also, does anyone else love the disconnect between that intense video and the insanely cute image of her offering to buy Dan a cupcake?
19
@18: One of my favorite writers of erotica, Rachel Kramer Bussel, also writes about cupcakes. Sometimes she integrates the two into the same website, but I haven't seen her combine them yet.
But clearly, we've established a porn/cupcake relationship!
20
@19 I would check out some cupcake porn.
21
Dan, you are the good kind of bad influence. Keep it up!
22
@14: In 50 seconds? Damn, those guys must move fast.
23
What exactly, @16, is the problem here?
24
@16 It's consensual, you dink. Would I do porn for money? Maybe not, but it's her choice, and she's happy with it. You're just upset because you saw what she did, and it turned you on.
25
Kink.com is usually too hardcore for my tastes, but tastes are exactly that. If she's happy and consenting then good for her and those who shall soon be wanking to her. I must say that as comparitively vanilla my tastes, I also owe my satisfying sex life to Dan. I'd never have had the courage to tell a guy to go down on me, much less handcuff and spank me if I had never read Savage Love. Yay Dan!!
26
Also: helps yes cupcake porn. Gives a whole new meaning to "creaming your pants" lol
27
@16 Eat shit and die.
28
@19 & 20, Rachel Kramer Bussel also hosts the In The Flesh erotic reading series in NYC, where erotica (and other) writers read their work and there are free mini-cupcakes. The few times I've been it was sexy and delicious!
29
Had she not been exposed to Savage love, she likely could have explored some of these kinks in a much more shame filled and self-destructive way. I especially love that kink.com movies do interviews to give insight to the fact that the kinky actors are able to interact as normally healthy adults when playtime is done. On a side note, girl boobs sure can squish alot I see!
30
As a fellow kinky woman, can I just say "lucky Madelaine!" Live the life, girl, and wave your freak flag proudly. :-)
31
I'd never have the guts myself, but I like it. Good job girl.
32
She started reading when she was 14. Oh, Dan, do you feel old now? Because I do. I, also, was reading back then, and was nearly twice her age. Care to join me in a shot of vodka and geritol?

And for the record: good. I didn't watch the video, but she seems very happy, and that's good enough for me.
33
It's about what you'd expect from kink.com
34
I'm just glad to read she enjoyed it. Watching the preview made me icky to my stomach (And I always thought I was a bit of a kinckster) I'm definitely more steak and potatoes than she is; but if she's happy; I don't want to stop it...
35
Dan, you're the reason dumbasses vote republican. Shame!
36
She's happy? Good. More power to her. (Or less, if that's what she wants :-)

I was afraid someone would say that 'she may be happy, but the images in that video contribute to perpetuate oppressive stereotypes about women' blah blah blah. Nobody did, thus far. Interesting.
37
@36 Wait till they see this on Jezebel.
38
@36 They do, but that's not really the point, is it?
39
#36: Welcome to third wave feminism and the 21st century. The second wave feminists you are thinking of can't quite figure out the Internet. Rape bad, gender wage gap bad, slut shaming bad, sex good.
40
I was disturbed both her video clip and her idea of sexual liberation, since it seemed like quite the opposite of liberation to me... But she is not me, obvi, and with that in mind, I feel great about my career choice & some might consider me unethical since I am studying mice in a lab. And I love the little fuckers! Think of everyone you all are screwing with all of your own career moves!! This might be the most fair play career there is, and if she's okay with it, so am I.
41
For everyone that's soooo freaked out by the video, look at her grin in the last photo from the shoot. Participating in gangbang porn wouldn't be living the dream for me, but it sure seems to be for her! Rock on, Madeleine.
42
Madeleine, I am very happy for you and Dan thank you for your positive influence you had on many people. I wish i was younger i would have surely modeled for kink.com on its BDSM ( for gay) sub-site form (bound gods) but at nearly 50 my catholic heritage is still taking its toll .
43
Ha ha, had to turn the sound off since I am at work, but hot! :-) Not my cup of tea to have THAT many going on, but she seemed like she was really, really, really having a ball (pun intended).

Good for her. I <3 cupcakes. Irish creme or amaretto frosting could incorporate the drink into the treat!
44
A person's mind and body are their only true possessions, and a person should have the right to do what they want with them. If she has made an educated, thought out decision about whatever in her life, then good for her, great for her.
45
That's my favorite site at Kink.com. I appreciate that they always show the actor/model/whatevers afterward and they seem genuinely happy (usually. The Eastern European ones often have a sadness about them), like they finally got to do what they've dreamed of doing. And I appreciate the condom usage. It'd be nice if they used them for oral, too.
46
@38: Exactly. Sure, videos like this can "perpetuate oppressive stereotypes about women", but not in and of themselves -- the argument depends on who is watching them, how they are interpreted, and what specific cultural influence can be attributed to them. The problem with second-wave feminist activism -- which is the kind of activism that gets things done, by the way, for all that we ridicule it now (think labour laws, domestic abuse laws, voting rights, etc.) -- is when some of these feminists argue for sweeping changes based on ONE aspect of that cultural influence, while ignoring all the others.

I mean, look at Madeleine's smile at the end of this video -- she's obviously intelligent, happy, and completely in control. Dan has clearly been a good influence on her. Has he been a good influence in terms of porn culture in general? I'd say yes, because he has contributed to a cultural shift towards women (and everyone else) controlling their own sexuality. Nothing more feminist than that, other than controlling the money, of course. And since Savage actively promotes women-made porn, then he's been a good influence on that as well.

The shift that needs to happen is more porn that challenges those incredibly pervasive images of man in control/woman being humiliated. These images do shape the way we think about sex, and they are mainstream. That is the primary power dynamic, and it's because the people traditionally making porn are men with conventionally sexist views of women. How often do you see women pegging men in mainstream porn? How often do you see women in control? The more people see women in dom roles, the less strange it will seem that it actually turns a lot of people on. Dom or sub tendencies should be determined by your preferences, not whether you're male or female.
47
@46 You're expecting a lot from an exploitation genre. Porn is jerk off material and nobody jerks off to politics.
48
Except maybe 3rd wave feminists, but I find that hard to believe...
49
Irena, there is plenty of femme-dom porn out there. Maybe not quite as much as male-dom, but not that far behind either.

And I'd hardly call kink.com "mainstream" porn.
50
@47: The only thing jerking right now is your knee. And I love how @49 completely contradicts your point.

5280: Yeah, the shift of that stuff to the mainstream has definitely already begun, and I think that's great. And I didn't mean to imply that kink.com was mainstream, but most mainstream porn exclusively objectifies women, instead of giving people different power dynamics to get off on. This is why so many women get off on gay porn. The gender rules aren't already set up from the outside, so they can be ignored or played with more easily.

It's funny how defensive people get about this. I'm not arguing against power or violence in porn (sooo sexy when it's done right), I'm just saying that plenty of people want to see alternative scenarios that reflect their own desires. And by the way, those desires DO shape their politics, whether it's through denial (gay republican homophobes) or through acceptance and advocacy of more sexual freedom.

I honestly don't understand conservative porn consumers who flip out anytime a woman suggests that she finds mainstream porn a turn-off because of the predictable gender roles. I happen to think it's good for porn, and will make it more interesting in the long run.
51
Hi folks,

I came across this posting via Madeleine, whom I'm close to. I'm also a performer at kink.com (no we didn't meet on a shoot) so I'll offer a few bits of insight as to some of the misconceptions that always seem to surround porn, kink, and social expectations. For the record, I'm also not a spokesperson for their company, my comments are my own.

First off, Madeleine is brilliant; indeed, one of the most intelligent people I know, with a fantastic job. Her shoots with kink were for kicks; she probably actually lost money taking the time off from work to do it. She's a great cook, knits, and was kind enough to help me move this week (and trust me, it takes a real friend to schlep someone elses stuff around.) These qualities, unfortunately, will never be conveyed in the 60 minutes or so of a kinky gangbang video. For those who are railing against porn, kinky porn, or the choices people make to participate in it, it's worth pointing out that while porn performers and producers are the easy targets; if there were no demand, there'd be no supply.

That said, the facilities at kink are some of the best in the industry. Few companies treat their employees with the same level of respect and gratitude that kink does, and in an industry where respect and courtesy are near laughable, that's a major accomplishment. Before every shoot, all models are presented with a checklist, where they list their preferences, likes and dislikes, and the options to add anything they wish. No model is coerced or obligated to do *anything* they don't wish to do, and at any time they may simply say "RED!" and the entire scene stops. In such a case, the model is given time to recover, and may choose to cancel the shoot on the spot, and receive compensation for the work they've done, or continue if they truly feel they wish to.

The end result, the video you see, is the result of a great deal of editing, to ensure that 'behind the scenes' issues are cut away. Porn consumers ultimately are receiving the fantasy of an exciting shoot which, ideally, is exciting to make. But there are numerous breaks (usually no fewer than three during the public disgrace shoot that was linked above) as well as frequent checking in to ensure that the model is comfortable and enjoying themselves.

For as long as man has been able to scribble in caves, he's scribbled nude women. I think the essence of a sex positive approach to pornography should be 'scribble what feels good, and make sure nobody gets hurt in the process.' I can assure you good anonymous internet folk, that the things Madeleine prefers in private make the clip above seem like... cupcakes.

John
52
Well, to me, this whole thing seems like the young lady is promoting her porn career and Dan is giving her a hand. But even in that cynical context, my vote would be for "good". Sex workers deserve respect (and self-respect) and I've always appreciated Dan's stance on this issue.
53
I'll be in my bunk.
54
Hiya @46,

I fully agree; preferences should be just that. To be fair, though, there's no lack of female dominant porn (either hetero or lesbian) on the market; it just doesn't possess the same degree of mass appeal, since your average _paying_ porn consumer (in the current demographic) is going to be a man, likely vanilla, with no real sense of power dynamic in the first place. Absent more than a passing curiosity in kink, does it strike you as strange that the 'default' mode for the average Joe, through thousands of years of social evolution, might tend towards the male aggressive/dominant? Indeed, the amounts of testosterone alone guarantee a more aggressive sexual stance (all other things being equal.)

That said, I do agree that porn does have a serious impact on society. The problem, I think, is that the assumption is that porn is operating as One Big Corporation, when in practice it's mostly several dozens of small businesses, all watching their bottom lines shrink year after year. To no small degree, it's my opinion that, like violence in movies, consumers are getting what they choose to put their dollars towards. That's what will earn producers more profit, which (for good or ill) is a reflection of existing societal demand.

On the 'bright' side (for consumers, not for performers or producers), the advent of amateur porn (as anyone with a $300 can make it) will likely, 10 years (or less) from now, drown out the commercial porn industry, and ultimately reflect what we've already seen happen with the open source software model; people making porn they enjoy with their partners, and sharing it with the world because that's what gets them off. Then the quality of porn made really will reflect the values of the society that churns it out. We can only imagine what that will entail...
55
@50 I've read your posts plenty of times. (that's not a compliment)
56
John, amateur porn is definitely the future. Now if we could just find stuff that didn't have such, well, amateurish production values, we'd be all set.

Oh, and Sirkowski? Take the fucking anal hook out of your ass.
57
I watched all 50 seconds, and was just thinking that this is way out of my comfort zone when I remembered the post about the guy who claimed he was 'progressing' to child porn; now that really is something to freak out about...
58
@56/Fifty-Two-Eighty,

Erm... that's the dilemma. Amateurs are... well, just that. It takes no small amount of time, skill, and effort to create well lit, well balanced, interesting shots. Why should anyone expect professionals to craft movie quality porn for free (or peanuts?)
59
@54: I appreciate your thoughtful reply, and you make some great points. I agree, and don't find it strange, that “the average Joe” buys in pretty strongly to the idea of male dominance and aggression. But even acknowledging the effects of testosterone, I don't think it justifies naturalizing male dominance to the exclusion of other sexual power dynamics. Social pressure, and those “years of social evolution” you mentioned, play a significant role in what kinds of things men and women will allow themselves to be turned on by. How many straight men have been deprived of anal sex play because it seems unnatural for them (and their female partners) to see themselves in that passive role? After all, gay bottoms have testosterone, too, and it doesn't prevent them from taking delight in being submissive.

Still, I don't want you to think I'm coming down on the kink video. I was delighted by that clip of Madeleine at the end, just chatting away nonchalantly, and obviously enjoying herself, which for me is a huge part of the turn-on. You say “Few companies treat their employees with the same level of respect and gratitude that kink does, and in an industry where respect and courtesy are near laughable, that's a major accomplishment.” That's the big problem with the porn industry and its relationship to the women who work in it – and you know, I think it's right for feminists, people, whoever, to point that out. The fact that kink.com can make such edgy stuff and still treat their models with respect shows that the porn industry can—and should—be held to a higher standard, not defended like everyone is perfectly happy and no exploitation is taking place.