Not having read the book upon which Fifty Shades of Grey was based, I won’t hazard a guess as to whether the movie is any more faithful to the source material than Adrian Lyne’s 9½ Weeks was to Elizabeth Mc Neill’s slim novel.Most agreed, however, that, while undeniably erotic, it was to BDSM what Diet Coke is to a two-liter bottle of Mountain Dew.As is the case today with the pre-Valentine’s Day buildup to Fifty Shades, the media behaved like a pack of randy frat boys in anticipation of the release of Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger’s excursion into softcore sex, which mostly made the world safe for Showtime’s “Red Shoes Diaries” and HBO’s “Real Sex.” Now, as then, reporters have begged their editors to be allowed to bring a professional dominatrix with them to a screening of Fifty Shades of Grey, merely to have her point out the differences between R-rated BDSM and the real deal, readily available on niche websites.
Produced by the tireless James Franco and helmed by Christina Doros, who shot Franco’s last two directorial efforts, As I Lay Dying and Child of God, Kink describes one of the major success stories in pornography, accomplished at a time when the industry was undergoing a serious period of adjustment.
was launched in 1997 by bondage enthusiast, Peter Asworth, a Ph D student who foresaw a brighter future in “subjecting beautiful, willing women to strict bondage,” and filming them for Kink.com’s first site, Hogtied.
Its success would lead to an expansion into other BDSM, LGBT and fetish material, ranging from rope work to water sports.
Ten years later, the company acquired the long-vacant San Francisco National Guard Armory and Arsenal, located at 14th and Mission streets, for the purposes of creating a one-stop, all-purpose production facility.
Inside “le Paradis,” the well-heeled customers range from military officers to opportunists armed with well-rehearsed lies and hidden daggers.
The prostitutes are flirtatious, gorgeous and willing to put up with a lot of crap from some pretty hideous men.
In return, they’re accorded a meager income, fine clothing, clean sheets and regular meals.
Most are thankful that fate led them to the doors of the Paradis, instead of forcing them to work off their debts and opiate addictions in another dead-end brothel.
Looking very much like an ancient Moorish fortress, the landmark structure is listed on the national register of historic places and, yes, tours can be arranged.