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I Took My Girlfriend On A Hardcore Porn Studio Tour

I’ve been living the #airportlife for so long now that it’s starting to wear on me. Since this past Halloween was my first weekend home in awhile, I wanted to do something low-key. The Capital R Roommate found a Groupon for a “Halloween Tour for Two of the Historic San Francisco Armory.”

This is the San Francisco Armory. Look familiar?

armorystudios

This 200,000 square foot building is one of the oldest in San Francisco and is located in the heart of the Mission neighborhood. It used to be home to the National Guard, but, since 2007, it’s been home to an entirely different organization.

new kink logo

NOW does the building look familiar? Kink.com, the internet’s premier location for BDSM, bondage and alternative sexuality, bought the historic old castle and now uses it as their company’s headquarters and film studios. And fucking Groupon was offering a tour of the joint. I had no idea what we’d be getting ourselves into, and I was pumped.

We waited outside the front doors of the castle on Halloween night with an eclectic assortment of San Franciscans: a big group of Asians (of course), some gay guys and a few curious but clearly apprehensive couples like ourselves. Upon entering the building, we were greeted with this disclaimer:

acknowledgement

Oh man, this is going to be fun/horrifying.

After loitering in a waiting room, we were greeted by our tour guide. He was a tall tattooed man with gages in his ears, great hair and a Kink tank top. Perfect. The first words out of his mouth were, “You guys here for the anal fisting seminar? Hope you’re loosened up!” I liked him immediately. An Indian couple got up and walked out. I’m sure Groupon’s customer service was going to be getting a call from them.

Our guide introduced himself as Ruckus . He was the only tour guide who was also a performer at Kink. Below is a little bit of info about him.

ruckus website & facts

I was happy to hear he had a “normal” cock girth for porn.

Quick disclaimer, if you ever Google, “Ruckus Kink.com” you will see things that can’t be unseen. You’ve been warned.

He led us down to The Basement where the different film sets were. This building was gigantic. It covered a whole city block, so there were a lot of different sets we explored. Now, when it comes to internet porn, I’m into your average middle of the road stuff. However, as you know, every once in awhile as you’re browsing, you’ll stumble upon something that burns itself in your memory. These set pieces stood out like a sore thumb. Or in most cases, a sore butthole.

The first room was the Hogtied room, Kink’s first website that started the twenty or so other websites that followed it.

hogtied wall

“Do any of these outlets work? I want to plug in my iPhone.”

I particular enjoyed this painting that was hung in the hallway outside:

Hogtied painting

This is literally the only part of the painting I can show you.

The next room was introduced to us like this, “What would a porn studio be without it’s own slaughterhouse?”

slaughterhouse

Didn’t realize my ex got a job here! One of the first questions asked was how old some of these rooms were. Ruckus explained that the advantage to having a space so big is that they can set up and take down sets in a matter of hours. Their art department is a team of professionals and everything we were seeing was state of the art and brand new.

They just aged everything to look worn and rusty, to add to the effect. To that point, this is what they affectionately call The Chain Room:

chain room cage #2

Those chains? Bought brand new at Home Depot, according to Ruck.

Which included the first of what was many cages we saw that evening:

cage #1

So this is where my ex is living now!

Next, we were taken to where some of the more “traditional” porn sets where held. He explained that while Kink does specialize in hardcore bondage, torture and BDSM porn, they also have a few sites that are more stereotypical, or in BDSM speak, “vanilla.” It was in these rooms where the Capital R Roommate became visibly less uncomfortable.

There was a kitchen:

kitchen

Nothing worked — I wanted to microwave some Taquitos.

A doctor’s office:

doctors office #2

Not the most sterile environment for anything more than an outpatient procedure.

And a padded cell.

padded cell

I’ll be honest, I recognized this room. The girlfriend was not pleased when I announced that. Out loud. To a group of a dozen strangers on a porn tour.

My boy Ruckus explained that they take cleanliness very seriously, to prevent the spread of bacteria. The EPA watches these guys like a hawk, and there were warning signs all over the walls to prove it. There was a gigantic laundry room and barrels and barrels of cleaning products everywhere. As well as barrels and barrels of lube.

lube barrel #1

He explained that one thirty-gallon barrel is a month supply for the studio and they have two types of lubricant, a water based and a silicon based. One was better for sex toys — I think it was the water based one. Don’t look at me, I’m not a male performer. Yet.

Speaking of performers, we took about twenty minutes to have a little Q&A session with our guide. The first question he got was how he got started in the industry and at Kink. Most of the answers were your standard “boy builds BDSM equipment, takes erotic photographs with them and gets hired as a performer” story. The interesting stuff was when he talked about his “Yes” and “No” list.

ruckus standing

Clearly “having perfect hair” was on his “Yes” list.

Every performer that comes into Kink to film has to fill out an extensive questionnaire regarding their “Yes’s” and their “No’s.” Each performer is completely different with what they’re comfortable and uncomfortable with. These could be as simple as they don’t like getting their hair pulled to they love being hung upside — down by their nipples. Some brave soul asked Ruckus what was on his No list and he calmly answered, “Probably getting cattle prodded in the balls. Tried that and I just don’t think I’ll do it again.” I’ll give every man reading this a second to squirm in his seat and clench his legs together.

Our tour then took us upstairs to the 2nd floor. We were led out onto bleachers that overlooked a giant open events space in the back half of the Armory. They were in the middle of setting up for a Halloween party that night, but Ruckus explained to us that this portion of the armory used to be an open-air drill court back when the National Guard was housed there.

drill court bleachers #2

After the National Guard was moved out, it was used as a boxing ring for a short time (hence the bleachers). And then Ruckus told us the greatest tidbit about the armory yet: before Kink.com moved in, George Lucas had used the drill court space to film scenes for Empire Strikes Back. If there were two things 13-year-old JR loved more than anything, it was Star Wars and internet pornography. This building had both!

star wars xxx porn parody

It’s like Christmas AND the last day of school!

The last portion of our tour took us to the third floor of the building, or The Upper Floor, as it was called. This is where the management offices were, as well as engineering and HR. It was a little surreal to see that just like any other company, Kink had a boring copy room and somebody who was in charge of expenses and payroll and all that bullshit. PGP indeed.

Before we entered the glass doors of the Upper Floor, we were shown this statue, which was created exclusively for the owner of Kink.com Peter Acworth…

statue

…by his mother. Not kidding. Apparently he had her redo the statue a few times because the breasts weren’t big enough. Also not kidding.

The Upper Floor was draped in red carpeting and had a very old timey feel to it. One wall displayed the studios illustrious awards:

AVN awards

Doesn’t hold a flame to the 2006 Illinois 5th Place Men’s High Jump Indoor State Championship trophy one guy I know has.

And the artwork hanging on the walls left little up to the imagination.

Painting fat chick

I really can’t believe they got my ex to pose for this painting. The last thing we did was enter the Graduation Room. You see, if somebody attends a weeklong training session at Kink.com for one of their websites like, for example, The Training of O, on their last day they are brought to this room:

upper level

A formal party is held in their favor and the evening ends with the graduate putting on a “show” for the rest of the party. It’s some real Eyes Wide Shut shit. The “show” ends naturally in a gangbang, as most dinner parties in San Francisco do. Most of the shows are live streamed for Kink.com members. This room had everything in it from a fully stocked toy chest:

chest of tools

To multiple wooden crosses:

cross

Hey, that’s not the same cross I remember from Catholic school!

All in all, an unbelievably unique and insightful experience. Not to come across as some West Coast libtard but everybody’s got different things that make them tic. People call them kinks or fetishes but in reality it’s the stuff that sets us apart from each other.

The Armory is a place that has fully embraced that and turned it into a lifestyle. While they turn a tidy profit they also spend quite a bit of time and resources on spreading awareness and educating people about healthy alternative lifestyles. They have classes you can take taught by trained professionals – everything from rope tying to how to properly use hot candle wax. Sadly, the Upper Floor brought us to the conclusion of the tour.

But there was one last thing to do. No, it wasn’t to go stick an apple in my ex’s mouth. Before we left we had to stop at the official Kink.com gift shop!

bdsm tools for sale

Yep, in case we wanted to make this evening even more enriching I could now shop with my girlfriend for a butt plug the size of a water bottle or a leather dog chain in front of everybody I’d just spent the last hour and a half with!

sex toys for sale

I went with the strap on. For her. Her birthday is coming up.

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JR Hickey

Stand up comedian and writer from Chicago who now resides on the West Coast. JR can be seen performing at Cobbs Comedy Club in San Francisco and Zanies Comedy Clubs in Chicago. His work has been published in the Chicago Tribune and recently he was a part of SF Sketchfest 2015. JR's also the host of the PGP dating podcast Don't Take It From Us. He loves you very, very much.

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