A while ago, I did a post about one of the problems with Kink Porn. I was just reminded of that post (thanks, Austin!) and when I looked at the post (I often re-read my blog posts to catch typos), I thought of an additional point to make about kink porn.
My main point in that previous post is that it’s easy to let kink porn lead us into being dissatisfied with our own sex lives, because we’re not having glamorous, hard-core kinky sex all the time. And one problem with that is that most kink porn edits out the safety precautions, negotiations, and stuff like that, thereby discouraging us from thinking about issues of safety and consent, which misleads a lot of novices into thinking that safety and consent aren’t issues, which leads to a lot of idiots saying, doing, and posting really dumb shit because they think that kink is just about brutalizing the sub. One thing I love about Kink.com is that its videos always start with a brief discussion about safety–the bottom is seen explicitly consenting to specific acts and there is a discussion about safe words and so on. That is the gold standard for kink porn in my opinion.
And that leads me to a simple assignment I set for myself when I first began really exploring kink, and I think it’s a very useful and eye-opening little thing to do to help you think about safety issue and to recognize the highly-constructed nature of kink porn. The next time you watch a professionally-made kink film (such as by Kink.com, but not OnlyFans videos, where you might not find good examples), pay attention to the editing, specifically the cuts.
Whenever you see a cut, ask yourself why they made the cut. Did they need to stop the scene because the top wasn’t hard enough to get his dick in and he needed some fluffing? Did the director want to step in and change the action up? Did the bottom safe-word because he was in pain or was beginning to freak out about something? Was one of the performers having trouble getting to the money shot so they needed to take a break? Did the rigger see a safety issue that needed addressing? Was there an issue with a prop or toy?
When I did this exercise for myself, I started spotting all sorts of moments where the cut was more than just the cameraman wanting a different angle. I’ve spotted scenes where it was clear the top needed fluffing, where one of the performers clearly needed some down time before he could shoot his load, and where it’s clear from the bottom’s expression that he’s about to safe-word. I’ve seen a lot of scenes where it was clear one of the performers was just not into whatever was happening and needed a break. Cuts where the director changed the action are really common. I remember one Kink.com video with three different scenes in it. In the first scene, the sub is tied down and getting paddled and you can see clearly on his face that he’s getting toward his limit—the noises he’s making are less arousing and more desperate. The scene ends rather abruptly, and in neither of the later two scenes do they do any pain play, just bondage, stress positions, and fucking. The sub says in his interview that this is his first time trying kink, and he never made another film with Kink.com. So it’s pretty clear the performer safe-worded and probably told the director that he didn’t want any more pain play and subsequently decided kink wasn’t for him.
The purpose of this assignment isn’t to ruin kink porn for you–it certainly hasn’t done that for me. Rather, the purpose of it is to help you learn to watch kink porn with a more critical eye, because it will help you learn to separate out the fantasy that kink Porn offers us from the reality of kinky play you may be doing or want to do with your partner(s). It will help you realize that the kinky sex you’re watching isn’t taking place in some perfect world where no one ever needs to think about things like safe, consent, and negotiation, but rather in the same world in which you’re having sex and having those conversations.
So try this assignment and tell me what you notice.