I was beyond amused to see the I wanna be cool and reach 20-somethings NY Times magazine venture into writing an article on SF bondage and smut purveyors Kink.com and their founder, Brit economist Peter Acworth whose 10 BDSM fetish sites have given gainful employment to scores of Bay area digerati, artists and photographers, not to mention dozens of MBAs and such, especially since the article does such a straightforward job of describing how Kink.com’s lures solid professionals away from other digital media businesses with good benefits, a calm workplace and regular hours.
More challenging–and braver–is the Times’ writer’s attempt to report on Ashworth’s mission to not only make mucho bucks off his brands, but to “demystify” BDSM (bondage/discipline/sado-masochism) through moving it out of the hard core fetish scene and presenting it as something between (loving) partners.
The reporter says that Ashworth wants kinky but repressed people to “realize they’re not alone and, in fact, that there’s a big world of people that are into this stuff and that it can be done in a safe and respectful way. ”
Writing that “What starts on the fringes works its way to the center. And this affects all of us since, more and more, the center of porn culture has converged with the fringes of popular culture” reporter Jon Mooallem posits that BDSM mores–troubling though they may seem–are entering the mainstream of the culture through the kind of thoughtful porn educated people like Ashworth & co produce–an assertion I found fascinating because its strongest expression might be that the Times chose to assign and run this article in the Sunday magazine.
For all that people that marvel at Nick Denton’s cool (and Nick is cool); Peter Ashworth’s transparent edginess seems simultaneously geeky and nervily deliberate.
None the less, the business that wins the biggest prize is the New York Times, who manages with this piece, to truly push the envelope of good taste without ever losing its G rating.
.

I was beyond amused to see the I wanna be cool and reach 20-somethings NY Times magazine venture into writing an article on SF bondage and smut purveyors Kink.com and their founder, Brit economist Peter Acworth whose 10 BDSM fetish sites have given gainful employment to scores of Bay area digerati, artists and photographers, not to mention dozens of MBAs and such, especially since the article does such a straightforward job of describing how Kink.com’s lures solid professionals away from other digital media businesses with good benefits, a calm workplace and regular hours.
More challenging–and braver–is the Times’ writer’s attempt to report on Ashworth’s mission to not only make mucho bucks off his brands, but to “demystify” BDSM (bondage/discipline/sado-masochism) through moving it out of the hard core fetish scene and presenting it as something between (loving) partners.
The reporter says that Ashworth wants kinky but repressed people to “realize they’re not alone and, in fact, that there’s a big world of people that are into this stuff and that it can be done in a safe and respectful way. ”
Writing that “What starts on the fringes works its way to the center. And this affects all of us since, more and more, the center of porn culture has converged with the fringes of popular culture” reporter Jon Mooallem posits that BDSM mores–troubling though they may seem–are entering the mainstream of the culture through the kind of thoughtful porn educated people like Ashworth & co produce–an assertion I found fascinating because its strongest expression might be that the Times chose to assign and run this article in the Sunday magazine.
For all that people that marvel at Nick Denton’s cool (and Nick is cool); Peter Ashworth’s transparent edginess seems simultaneously geeky and nervily deliberate.
None the less, the business that wins the biggest prize is the New York Times, who manages with this piece, to truly push the envelope of good taste without ever losing its G rating.
.