Christina Voros's sprightly doc Kink, which goes where the punch-up-your-sex-life Fifty Shades books don't: Out of the intimacy of committed partners and into the assembly-line production of BDSM pornography. Except the proprietors of Kink.com, a San Francisco–based porn empire, favor something like auteurist stroke videos, or at least as close as they can get with four hours of filming time. The doc shows us the directors of Kink video gushing about their creative freedom, often on set, where we see them appraising slapping/choking/machine fucking going on just outside our view. Early on, one stops a scene and calls over a model -- Kink's term -- who is playing the role of the dom in a ropes-and-fists beat down.
"If you're afraid you're going to hurt the sub, we're going to have shit for content," the director says. "He has a fucking safe word, all right? You don't babysit him. I babysit him." Then he demonstrates the art of erotic punching, something like a pitching coach talking an ace through a splitter.
Throughout this, the sub waits patiently, trussed and erect.
Kink spends a lot of time celebrating the limit setting that is key to BDSM sex, so it's frustrating that the filmmakers aren't clear about the limits of Kink. Still, some of the advocacy work here is powerful, especially when a Kink director offers this advice for anyone upset by what the site offers: "Just say to yourself, 'This isn't for me, but this is for someone.'"