"There's a small percentage of men that can do that." In fact, during some of his first shoots, filmed in Budapest, his bevy of gay models and porn stars were shocked when Darkholme finally opened up his bag of toys.
"They looked at me like the circus had come to town, or like I was going to make one of the Saw movies. Their hands were shaking," he says.
So when Kink sets up its demonstration booth at Folsom Street Fair (Sept. 28, www.folsomstreetfair.com), Darkholme will have two purposes: recruiting talent (both people he can train and experts who have something to teach him) and publicizing his new brand.
"I want to say, 'We're here, we're queer, we want to be part of your community!'" he laughs.
But Darkholme won't be alone at his booth. Among other popular Kink stars like Isis Love, new director Lochai, expert rigger Lew Rubens, and porn stars LaCherry Spice and Natassia Dream will be WiredPussy.com creator Princess Donna, who's launching her new pet product, PublicDisgrace.com, next month. The site will feature blatant public bondage, punishment, erotic humiliation, and explicit sex between models and, potentially, passersby.
The veteran domme is filming most scenes in Europe, where attitudes (and therefore laws) about sex are more lax. In fact, while shooting a scene on a public street in Berlin, the crew was stopped by a couple of motorcycle cops who said only, "If you cause an accident, you'll be liable," before going on their way. In the shoot, a half-naked girl is tied to a park bench, made to carry a dog bowl while on a leash, fondled by her female master, and fucked by a man.
"It's the adrenaline rush of potentially getting caught," says Acworth, explaining the site's appeal and recipe for success. The site will also feature a slew of new faces. Plus, it's the perfect time of year to launch a new fetish site. "Sales pick up when the kids go back to school," Acworth says.
There also plenty of developments in the works that don't follow the start-a-new-fetish-site model. For starters, Kink is moving to a Flash format, where the delay is only 2 seconds instead of 20. The new technology means that users can actively participate in scenes via chat rooms, where they can give instructions to dommes and watch their demands be carried out. Members of Kink.com can already do this on DeviceBondage.com, but Acworth hopes to switch to a per-minute billing system so even more viewers can participate. At the moment, the site is structured so you must be a member of a particular site in order to watch videos; Acworth would like to move to a single-sign-on system where you can join Kink.com and have access to any of its member sites.
Perhaps the most ambitious technological plan for Kink's future, though, is the development of an online Web community that will be called Kinky.com. Following the Web 2.0 trend of user-based content, Kinky.com will allow members and models to maintain user profiles, interact with one another on message boards, blog, and even date. Yes, it's a way to stay up-to-date with Internet trends and to provide an experience that pirated video sites can't, but Acworth says it's also a natural outgrowth of the kind of porn he creates.
"In contrast with straight porn, which people want to consume in private, this is a community people want to be a part of," he says.
Which leads us to the project closest to Acworth's heart: the reality show.
THE REAL WORLD: KINK.COM
In the spirit of community and BDSM as a lifestyle, Acworth wants to transform the armory's top floor into a series of Victorian/Georgian-inspired rooms where couples will live and fuck on camera 24-7. Participants will be given hierarchical positions from maid to master of the house and live according to the rules of domination and submission.