Kink.com, the San Francisco-based BDSM and fetish porn studio at which a portion of the alleged sexual assaults by James Deen took place, has changed its policies in an attempt to prevent future abuses.
Vocativ reports that the studio—which, in addition to allegations against Deen, is currently facing several lawsuits unrelated to Deen alleging a variety of unsafe working conditions and retaliation against those who tried to report them—has developed a new set of rules for performers that “emphasize consent, attempt to guard against potential abuses and encourage reporting of any violations of Kink’s guidelines.”
Company spokesperson Michael Stabile told Vocativ that the idea was to “begin to address at least some of the gray areas that came up last month.” A handful of at least nine allegations of sexual abuse/assault—reported by performers Lily Labeau, Nicki Blue, and Ashley Fires—were said to have taken place at the Kink Armory, both on and off-set.
James Deen was dropped by Kink days after porn star/writer Stoya first accused him of rape in late November; at the time, the studio acknowledged that it “may have lapsed” in ensuring performers’ safety off-set. Deen has denied all allegations against him.
The new guidelines, provided to Vocativ, involve two documents that all performers must sign before participating in a scene. Performers will also be provided with transportation to and from shoots, and given the right to request a private (rather than communal) restroom or shower. According to Vocativ:
One, titled “Model Rights and Responsibilities,” includes several pre-existing protections, including the right to use condoms and employ the safeword “red” during shoots, but now additionally stipulates, “I understand that no one has a right to my body besides me, on-set or off. No one has the right to physical contact with me, on set or off, without my consent.” It also includes a section on reporting, which states:
‘If any of the above is violated, either explicitly or in spirit, by any staff, performer, crew or visitor, I can and should report it to the talent department. I understand that anything I tell the talent department will be kept confidential, if I request it, except in the case a criminal offense (e.g, sexual assault, theft), in which case law enforcement will need to be contacted.’
The second document, titled “Model Expected Behavior Guidelines,” includes the statement “Consent is inviolable, on-set or off. On-set consent is not off-set consent,” and instructs performers not to “wander or explore the building without a Kink.com employee present.”
Stabile told Vocativ that the guidelines are “living documents,” subject to continuous improvements. He added: “This was spurred by the Deen allegations, certainly, but we want the solution to be much bigger than him.”
Meanwhile, since giving his first and only interview to The Daily Beast in early December, Deen has returned to tweeting as normal.
For the most part, so has Stoya.
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