It was with great concern that the Archaist Book Fair hosted two possibilities to talk about what’s going on at their host space, Kink.com.
One was the very generous Saturday night evening discussion over the withdrawal of one of the speakers, conflated Kink.com with Bank of America and deemed that un anarchist like.
And the other was the sex worker section on Sunday afternoon.
Having only attended the Sunday session for the last 15 minutes and hearing from those who attended the Saturday night event, there didn’t seem much discussion of the topic of how anarchy would benefit the workers at kink.com Thinking about the workers and their present situation is on my mind. I would have liked to have effected the conversation towards the fate of the workers at Kink.com in light of the recent arrest of the owner, Pete and recent public complaints from former workers about his management practices.
I, like many of my fellow kink/sex/worker positive community members can remember when in 2007, we all piled into city hall planning commission to show public support for kink.com’s right to buy the armory. It wasn’t so much I personally was standing up for Peter’s right to buy and occupy the armory but more of the right for a kink based business to occupy the armory. Like many of my fellow kinksters, we knew that peter had his detractors then. In hindsight, a key question that ought to have been asked and answered about if the workers had a collectively bargained contract to cover their labor and work conditions in place.
So it was of no surprise to read about recent complaints of the disrespectful management practices where he unilaterally changed a pay scale for webcam performers without negotiating with them first, the lack of concern for injuries and questionable scene negotiating practices. The former being a major value in our community.
At least one worker found out she didn’t have the skill set to take on unionization in a competitive adult work site to make the necessary changes. Not many people do. That skill set comes with training, support and determination. Maggie Mayhem’s explicit indictment of the peter culture in the wake of his arrest for cocaine and shooting off guns rings harsh in my ears. I would say that any new approvals in city planning have to include a collectively bargained contract for the workers no matter what kind of business.
So I know I cannot be the only one who feels that our community should take up our part in being responsible for this situation that the kink.com workers are in and start the conversation with them about where to go now. Where do they want to go now? I think its really important to be available to listen to concerns as a community.
The criminal charges against Peter are not really of that concern as most of us have had problems with Johnny Law, but there’s a question of the what could happen to him and what state will the business be left in or more to the immediate, what state is the business in now as the workers depend on it, the kink community vouched for it, the city approved it, with the haters are nipping at our heels always. There’s more on the line here besides Peter’s status. He might be able to buy his way out of his legal situation but to what end? To go back to business as usual? Is that what the workers want? Is that what the community who stood up for kink.com that day in 2007 wants?
I hope that part of the conversation can include looking at models of unionization that includes a cooperative component as depicted in this article. Sustainable Jobs, Sustainable Communities: The Union Co-Op Model Its about the United Steel Workers and co-op hybrids coming together to create some new possibilities in our new economy that might apply to a fairly new industry.
I know the Lusty Ladies have had experience with these institution and how they might relate to Kink.com especially considering Kink.com has some interests now with the LL. But that’s a topic for another blog….