Over the course of several hours, Acworth fielded questions from both fetish newbies and long-time Kink fans, touching on everything from his own sexual history and the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon, to his opposition to Los Angeles' Measure B.
"I was flattered to be asked to do an AMA,” Acworth said. “And it seemed a way to help demystify not only BDSM, but also our company."
Acworth was approached by Reddit about doing a special "I am a …. " (Ask Me Anything) session in early October. Previous IAMA guests have included President Obama, comedian Louis C.K., "This American Life" creator Ira Glass and TV host Larry King. Billed as the front page of the Internet, Reddit was one of the leading opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) earlier this year. Reddit boasts over two billion page views a month.
While the session attracted both long-time porn consumers and the kink-curious, it also illuminated many aspects of Kink.com's internal operations and should prove interesting reading to industry insiders. Acworth began the session talking about his first site, HogTied.com — which he built for less than $700 in 1998 while in a Ph.D. program at Columbia Business School — before moving onto discuss both his successes and his missteps.
Acworth responded to questions with his trademark frankness, with topics ranging from his ventures into unusual niches (water bondage) to his most unusual expenses (a $50K spinning "cyclorack" sex machine). Other subjects included piracy, the future of Kink.com and Kink's commitment to an ethical and responsible production environment.
The session generated thousands of comments, and tens of thousands of participants. While Acworth was challenged at points, the response on Reddit was overwhelmingly positive. One "redditor" called it one of the most honest AMAs he’d ever seen.
“Peter Acworth for President!” wrote another. The motion was immediately seconded — by ninety others.
The entire session can be seen here.