'Times' Mag: Bondage, With Benefits

And so the erotic sphere has been colonized once and for all. In perhaps the most profoundly unsexy thing ever to appear in the New York Times magazine — and we're talking here about a publication that employs William Safire and Deborah Solomon — Jon Mooallem today profiles Peter Acworth, a former Wall Street analyst now responsible for "arguably the country's most successful fetish porn company, Kink.com — a fast-growing suite of 10 S-and-M and bondage-themed Web sites." Big revelation? The 70-odd jobs there are pretty much as banal as yours:

Everyone at the company works 10 to 6. Matt Williams, who directs both Hogtied and the hard-hitting girl-on-girl wrestling site Ultimate Surrender, told me: "I like this because when eight hours are done, I'm done. I go home [to the suburbs and a kid], and my job doesn't follow me." ...[Marketing VP Reena] Patel acknowledged the image of pornographers as "a bunch of sleazy guys that are drunk all day." "I probably had some of the same misconceptions," she said. "But we have 401(k) plans."
As they say, never too early to be thinking about retirement, especially when being "suspended from the ceiling...like a hairy spider" is involved in the job.But still, what life experiences these Kink workers have! No, I don't mean the basic stuff like getting "tied to a column and flogged" or wrapping "coiled leather twine around [your] testicles," but rather those precious intangibles only a hyper-talented HR force, out for the social as well as corporate good, could spot. Things like patriotism:
A young woman who calls herself Cat Rich told me that she volunteered as a civilian nurse in Iraq after graduation but wound up back in Indiana selling cars; she is now Kink's events coordinator.
And initiative:
A Harvard alum in Kink's marketing department worked in restaurants after moving to San Francisco and got his first adult-industry job after searching for the word "fun" on Craigslist.
Of course, in the end, merit matters most of all and thus, Kink seems to be aggressively positioning itself as the Goldman Sachs of bourgeois B.D.S.M:
By early February, a fraction of the basement had been readied for a first official shoot. They were filming an update for the site Men In Pain. It would feature two players billed as Wild Bill and Claire Adams. Adams, who is 25, gave up on a philosophy degree to become a bondage rigger. (Last year, she tied up the actor Peter Sarsgaard for a bondage-themed spread in Vanity Fair.) She wore a fishnet top and a miniature barbell through each nipple.
Obviously, the "philosophy degree" in question had to have been of the Anglo-American analytic variety, right? Hard to read Rawls without a nipple barbell or two... A Disciplined Business [NYTM]