Home > News > Dee Severe: Performer Consent and Safety on Set Starts With the Director • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Dee Severe: Performer Consent and Safety on Set Starts With the Director

Dee Severe: Performer Consent and Safety on Set Starts With the Director
Get XBIZ News
Dec 11, 2015 3:03 PM PST    Text size: 

CANOGA PARK, Calif. — Sometimes, the best things come out of the worst things. So hopefully, the recent chain of events will serve as a wake-up call, and result in an industrywide rethinking of standards of what is and isn’t acceptable on a porn set.

In recent discussions, the thing that is most disturbing to me is performers revealing that on some sets, they don’t feel comfortable with calling for a hold in the scene when something is not right. They’re afraid the director will be angry and fire them. 

In what universe is it even remotely OK to plow through a scene without regard to performers’ well-being? Or react with anger and threats when one of them speaks up about feeling uncomfortable with what’s going on? We as directors and producers are the ones with the power, and it is our responsibility to make sure everyone on our set is safe. 

Performers should always feel they have a right to pause a scene when they’re not comfortable. And the director should specifically tell them, before shooting, that it’s OK to do so. In recent weeks I’ve heard stories about performers who end up sucking it up through a scene to collect the paycheck, because they felt they had no other recourse. That’s awful, and a few directors are placing our industry in a negative light by putting performers in such a position.

There has also been a trend in social media, to throw BDSM production companies under the bus as the villains in recent allegations of abuse. But rough sex done without regards to limits is just as damaging as BDSM without negotiation, consent and a safeword. Additionally, BDSM directors tend to be more knowledgeable of the strict protocols necessary to shoot edgy material safely.

Since the advent of “Fifty Shades,” there has been an increase in pseudo BDSM — essentially, rough sex with BDSM trappings. Those scenes should play by the same rules as real BDSM.  Safewords, a discussion of what’s going to take place and consent beforehand, as well as a complete plan for a scene that the director and performers agree to. As an example, while we primarily produce femdom and lesbian BDSM content, we just shot a male dom scene for our upcoming feature. The performers and I talked about the tone I had in mind (edgy and dark but with a little humor to it), what impact toys they felt comfortable with, then the two of them talked among themselves about their limits, likes and dislikes. And then they did the scene. Everything was fine, everybody was happy and we got a great scene.

Now, is that so hard? Is there any reason everyone can't have a similar conversation before a scene? And let performers, especially newbies, know if they’re having a problem, if something hurts (which can be from regular sex just as much as it can be from BDSM) all they have to do is say "hold" and production will be stopped to address the issue and come up with a solution that works for them.

Another suggestion when shooting edgy, kinky content: hire edgy, kinky performers. A lot of performers of both genders are lifestyle kinksters who genuinely enjoy such roles. You’ll get a better performance and will have a happier set if you hire these performers instead of a newbie who is unfamiliar with the genre’s demands. And hire performers who understand that an extreme scene involves acting. For instance, I know a male dom performer who does the darkest, creepiest scenes ever — but scrupulously adheres to limits and is also the nicest, most respectful guy when the cameras aren’t rolling. A kinky set can be a happy set where everyone is having a great time. We do it all the time.

Also, it’s up to everybody — agents, producers, directors, crew and veteran performers — to inform performers new to the industry about what’s OK and what’s not, what their rights are on a set and to help them figure out what their limits are.

In light of recent events, there should also be some sort of system for reporting members of the production community who are unprofessional towards performers. I don’t know what the best way to do this is, but if a workable system can be established, it would identify the people who are putting our performers at risk.  

All of these problems are not unique to porn. There are hostile workplaces and bullying employers in all industries. But that’s no excuse to be one of them. Why give anti-porn nuts more ammunition to attack us? I love shooting fetish porn, I love the adult industry and I know we’re better than this.   

Dee Severe’s company, Severe Sex, produces an instructional video series called “Kink School.” They’re now offering a free copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to BDSM,” which covers consent and safety, to the adult performer community. The DVDs can be obtained by picking them up through APAC or by contacting Severe at deesevere666@gmail.com. They’re also offering DVDs to agents for distribution to their talent.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

EDUCATIONAL FEATURES

Cam World: Camming and Toys Go Hand in Hand

There is nothing more satisfying than pleasure, especially if it is sexual. The size or the presentation of the stimulus does not matter if the sensations and tension the body receives transform the way... More »

Cam World: Injecting Personality Into Your Room

Since the last issue of Cam World, I’ve made some significant life changes. I’m working from Colombia now. This was a decision that was not entered into lightly, but change gives you a chance... More »

Fraudulent Brazilian Trademark Registrations Running Rampant

Although you might not think often about protecting your trademark rights in Brazil, you need to — even if you don’t yet have a single Brazilian customer. Scammers are constantly looking for... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

EXXXOTICA Denver

Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!