SAN FRANCISCO — Kink.com founder Peter Acworth has launched a personal blog, where he will talk about the future of his company and the challenges the adult industry faces, among other topics.
Acworth said he has always prided himself on his company’s commitment to ethical production. Since founding Kink.com more than a decade ago, he has been an advocate for the rights of models, for workplace safety and for transparency in production. But with his business changing toward live content, Acworth found the company facing scenarios that fall outside Kink.com’s stringent shooting guidelines.
So two months ago, Acworth launched PeterAcworth.com to talk about how to maintain integrity in a workplace that’s rapidly changing.
“I don’t pretend to have all the answers,” Acworth said. “But I hope that by raising some of the questions, we can start a discussion that will get us there.”
Since founding the company in 1997, Acworth has pioneered a number of policies aimed at protecting his models — including a bill of rights, publically posted scene rates and pro-rated payment for models who chose not to finish a scene. But most of those were based on a traditional notion of what making porn was.
The most pressing issue today, Acworth said, is the company’s growing webcam business. When it started two years ago, Acworth proposed a baseline guaranteed payment for models plus commissions — an outlier in an industry sector that usually pays models on a commission-only basis. Unfortunately, the baseline payment proved financially unsustainable, and when he switched to commissions last June, he faced an uproar from disappointed models.
He admits that the decision wasn’t communicated well, and he hopes the blog can be a starting point for discussions about the changing landscape. Acworth has previously written about the challenges of industry generally for sites like Huffington Post, but wants the blog to be a place he can address issues in a more granular fashion.
“This industry is at a crossroads,” Acworth said. “There are many issues we need to address — from cams, to condoms, to consent — and I don’t think these are things we can solve by decree from on high. I hope that by being honest about the challenges, we can find solutions that work for models and Kink.”