Quantcast
subscriber help

artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

the oh-no! DVD of the week: ‘Graphic Sexual Horror: Special Edition’

No, see, it’s educational, not exploitive:

-If you won’t allow me to teach your children, then I will corrupt them- Brent PD Scott, Creator of INSEX.COM. In 1997, a former professor at Carnegie-Mellon University started a phenomena. The website he created, INSEX.COM, was devoted to bondage, fetish and sadomasochistic scenarios. By the time the site was shut down by the Department of Homeland Security, it had 35,000 members who paid $60.00 per month to view its content. An often raw and shocking documentary, GRAPHIC SEXUAL HORROR is a fascinating look at the rise and fall of the world’s most notorious violent porn website and an exploration into the dark mind of its artistic creator, Brent Scott (aka PD). -Containing original INSEX.COM behind-the-scenes footage and candid interviews with PD, the models, members and staff, this film almost dares you to watch, assaulting the eyes from its opening frames with violent images of moaning, crying women, bound, tortured and terrorized- (Linda Barnard, THESTAR.COM)

Now, everyone who wouldn’t pay $60 per month — or laments the shutdown of the site — can get all the highlights here. And lest you fear that any men were harmed in the making of either the original site or this documentary, both trailers — which are available at the film’s official site, but I recommend you don’t watch them unless you want to scrub out your brain afterward — indicate that it’s only women being sexually tortured. But hey, it’s cool: They got paid to be tortured, so there’s no point in crying sexism.

But I could simply cry and moan, instead, and that would be sexy…



Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/flick/public_html/wptest/wp-content/themes/FlickFilosopher/loop-single.php on line 106
posted in:
dvd buzz
  • I have this disc to review. Worth pointing out that at least 10 of the models are interviewed (and as far as I can tell, based on the “model from-to dates” that go along with their on-screen credit when they first appear), that appears to be at least most of the girls who worked at the site.

  • gensing

    I don’t want to be supportive of the original site in anyway,and it is disturbing that such a site could reap such profit** from the exploitation of the ‘models’, but what possible reason could the Dept. of Homeland Security have for shutting down the site?

    **35,000 people at $60 per month is a cool 2.1 million a month!

  • MaryAnn

    what possible reason could the Dept. of Homeland Security have for shutting down the site?

    In one of the trailers, the founder of the site says that the excuse was that hardcore porn outfits are used by terrorists to launder money.

    I don’t know how much of such a statement could be true, but I don’t condone government censorship of even the most horrific material (if that is what happened here). But I do wish that there wasn’t an audience of people willing to pay so much to see women suffering, whether the suffering is simulated or consensual or not. Clearly the “value” in it for the viewer is in being able to believe that it’s real. Why do so many people revel in the suffering of women?

  • from the exploitation of the ‘models’

    This is a pretty loaded statement and anything I say in response will probably sound loaded too, but from the half of the documentary I watched thus far, they all seem to have enjoyed the work. And I guess they got paid quite a significant chunk of that cash for their time, so they generally seem to have been happy to do it to pay off their college loans/bills, or just to further their career (seems like half of them have their own sites now, also listed in their on-screen credits in the doc).

    But I do wish that there wasn’t an audience of people willing to pay so much to see women suffering, whether the suffering is simulated or consensual or not. Clearly the “value” in it for the viewer is in being able to believe that it’s real. Why do so many people revel in the suffering of women?

    Thus far into the doc, this is the entire problem with it: it doesn’t do enough to answer this question from either the perspective of the site’s users or the models/site creator (although the creator touches on it a little), and that’s really the only major question the doc could be asking, as far as I can tell.

  • I must add, though: there is quite a bit of footage of the site creator guy testing all of his inventions himself before putting it on any of the models.

  • Enthusiast

    I’d never heard of INSEX.COM before reading your blurb on the video but as one who enjoys BDSM and related pornography maybe I can shed some light on the attraction for both the consumer and participants.

    In my experience the draw from both sides is more about power-exchange than it is about the pain on its own. The submissive enjoys being controlled and subjected to treatment they would (generally) otherwise balk at. The dominant enjoys the control and pushing the subs limits.

    If you’ve ever enjoyed an erotic spanking then you should have some idea of the “entry-level” mindset for this type of play. If you’ve not, then I would encourage you to give it a shot.

  • Tim1974

    I personally find any kind of material where someone is exploited or sexually abused not of any interest whatsoever. I am aware that this is directed towards females being abused, but there is also material out there that does the same to males such as the garbage in “Hostel” and the HBO series “Spartacus.” So, it appears that there are those who enjoy seeing the suffering of both sexes.

  • MaryAnn

    In my experience the draw from both sides is more about power-exchange than it is about the pain on its own.

    I understand why some people like BDSM play. But there is no power exchange for the voyeur watching. Something else is at work here. And with this video, it looks like it’s aimed at those who get off on witnessing women being abused and humiliated.

    they all seem to have enjoyed the work. And I guess they got paid quite a significant chunk of that cash for their time

    Feminism 101, Tyler: That doesn’t mean they’re not being exploited.

  • LaSargenta

    In my personal experience (WARNING: Anecdata Alert!) , most IRL heterosexual bottoms are male. But, most bottoms in the hetero BDSM porn are female.

    I might say “Go Figure!” But, then I’d be accused of being judgmental. So, I think I’ll just say…real head-scratcher there, eh?

  • Chuck

    I never took Feminism 101 (it wasn’t offered at any of the colleges I have attended) but are they still being exploited if they enjoy their work? This is honest curiosity here, I’m not trying to bait anyone.

  • MaryAnn

    are they still being exploited if they enjoy their work?

    Yes. As long as there is such a dramatic power differential, yes, it’s exploitation. Sucking up to those in power and being rewarded for it doesn’t make one any less a victim. “House niggers” and “Uncle Toms” were still slaves.

    I feel like we’ve had this discussion before…

  • Yes. As long as there is such a dramatic power differential, yes, it’s exploitation. Sucking up to those in power and being rewarded for it doesn’t make one any less a victim.

    The documentary includes plenty of “behind-the-scenes” footage of the making of the videos and it appears to be a collaboration. Plus, as I said, many of these women have since opened their own sites that they run doing the exact same thing. I think it’s unfair to say they’re all being exploited.

  • Victor Plenty

    When slavery was abolished in the United States, many former slaves “freely” entered into the sharecropping system, and there many of them labored for the rest of their lives, doing work very much like what they had done as slaves, and they were “happy” to avoid the alternative of being thrown out to starve, landless and jobless.

    Yes, despite being “free” and “happy,” they were still being exploited.

  • The examples being used to explain how these women are still being exploited all rely on the women being secretly desperate or having no other option, and that is absolutely not the impression I get from most of them. A few of them seem to have done it out of pure curiosity because their girlfriends were doing it, while holding down perfectly stable “real world” jobs and without a need for the extra income.

  • Enthusiast

    I understand why some people like BDSM play. But there is no power exchange for the voyeur watching. Something else is at work here. And with this video, it looks like it’s aimed at those who get off on witnessing women being abused and humiliated.

    There’s no sex for those watching mainstream porn either but that doesn’t diminish its appeal.

  • Julie

    Enthusiast: You’re not answering the actual question the MaryAnn posed.

    Why do so many people revel in the suffering of women?

    That really isn’t a BDSM thing. From what I understand (and wish that I didn’t) S&M isn’t about gender as much as power (as you said). Different people have different “flavors” they prefer, but there seems to be less emphasis on dominating women specifically than just dominating or submitting in general. As opposed to certain religiously flavored “lifestyles” such as “Taken In Hand” which maintains that *women* specifically are submissive.

    Why do so many people revel in the suffering of *women* specifically? Probably because they’re resentful one of us said “No” that one time.

  • I guess it comes down to degrees of exploitation. Which is worse — getting paid well for a job you enjoy, which happens to be in sex work, or getting paid crappily for a soul-sucking job you have to take because you have no other options? I date kinky people who would LOVE to be paid even reasonable bucks to be professional fetish models, and do that sort of things for free in our friend’s garage every weekend for fun. So, yes, it may be exploitive, but so is having to work the night shift at McDonald’s and never getting to see your kids, or being a corporate drone and trading away your dreams for health insurance.

  • Julie

    You make a good point, Bzero. It’s a valid question. I personally find the kink more offensive than the selling out corporate style because my experience has brought me to the conclusion that most fetish games are simply an elaborate attempt to prevent making an actual connection with another human being. They’re a distraction from true intimacy, rather than an enhancement. I’ve reflected on these concepts and ideas after being involved with someone who participated in these activities, and at least for him it’s all based in fear. Fear is not sexy.

    Right now I feel completely exploited in my job as a reservations and box office agent at a resort. I don’t necessarily feel dignified in working here. That being said, I would take this over stripping/modeling or any other form of exposing myself for another’s entertainment. I find a lot of fulfillment and joy outside of work that compensates for my lack of career satisfaction at the moment.

    I still think it’s a really intersting question though.

  • I know what you mean, Julie, and as someone who’s worked security in a BDSM club, I’ve seen a LOT of guys who hide behind BDSM power dynamics because they obviously can’t deal with a woman on an equal playing field, or really have internalized misogynist ideas that, say, men are natually dominant and that woman naturally should serve men. There are a ton of creeps out there.

    However, I see that sort of crap in a lesser extreme in any bar I’m dragged to, and in many vanilla relationships. Not to mention the fact that videos on a website are acting — I’ve seen people be extremely vicious in scene, and then the most caring individuals afterward during aftercare. I’m not sure actresses exploited on a BDSM site are any more exploited than any actress who goes to Hollywood and takes shit roles just trying to break in. At least the fetish actresses might be getting paid, and if they’re into it, having more fun.

    There’s definitely exploitation and misogyny out there, everywhere. I’m just more of a pro-sex feminist that believes women should have the choice to do what they want with their bodies, even if what they choose doesn’t look very attractive to the average viewer.

  • FYI, the movie was just holding back its scenes of the models confessing they were exploited until the end. A bit of a cheap trick by directors Barbara Bell and Anna Lorentzon.

  • MaryAnn

    I’m just more of a pro-sex feminist that believes women should have the choice to do what they want with their bodies

    So am I. I just would like a more even playing field when it comes to how those choices get made.

  • Julie

    Oh, Tyler. You’re just mad about Scott Pilgrim.

    Pro-sex feminist, sure. I’m totally down with that. However, I’m going to go ahead and bring a completely unrelated film into the mix now.

    MaryAnn says

    I just would like a more even playing field when it comes to how those choices get made.

    The film “Secretary” would NEVER have been a main stream film if the gender roles had been reversed. If it had been James Spader “forced” to sit at a desk until he wet himself, it would have been direct-to-dvd. Sub-culturally, in the “lifestyle” community, women can be dominant. I can kind of respect that. In main stream culture that doesn’t fly as much, as evidenced by the fact that in this documentary and in “Secretary” *women* are the tortured, humiliated and dominated.

    I don’t particularly enjoy seeing *anyone* dominated or humiliated. Even if the genders were reversed, I personally would not find that satisfying. I don’t get off on participating in any way — watching, dominating or submitting. An *even playing field* is more appealing to me. Balance. Mutual respect that doesn’t have to be acted out in any way, but just exists.

    My ex tried to tell me that BDSM relationships foster more trust and closeness because they force the partners to be more communicative. I may be silly, but I don’t want to be part of a relationship where you can’t just be honest and *attempt* communication without theatrics.

    And yes, Bzero, he was actually asked not to return to a meeting (some kind of brunch for S&M folks?) because they sensed he was not exactly “safe.” *Why did I not see the GIANT FUCKING RED FLAG*?

  • Enthusiast

    @Maryann

    So am I. I just would like a more even playing field when it comes to how those choices get made.

    The only reason there is not a level playing field is that women are not conspicuous consumers of pornography. Buy more DVDs and show the porn industry you can support their efforts and then you will see far more men “exploited” than you do currently.

    @Julie

    My ex tried to tell me that BDSM relationships foster more trust and closeness because they force the partners to be more communicative. I may be silly, but I don’t want to be part of a relationship where you can’t just be honest and *attempt* communication without theatrics.

    Sounds like he was doing it wrong or you misunderstood. The increase in communication should come before anyone gets naked. You have to establish trust and set limits before engaging in this kind of play. By its nature it is more emotionally charged and can lead to some dark places for some people if they are not prepared or if it is handled improperly.

    What you characterize as theatrics I experience as an honest expression of my libido. I don’t turn away from those dark energies in myself but channel them for the mutual benefit of my partner and myself to engage in an activity we both enjoy.

    You should think of these activities as being closer to a Native American Sun Dance than an afternoon romp. The sensations involved and the emotional intensity that one is capable of achieving are simply in a different vein than satin sheets and warming lube. It’s ok if you don’t enjoy them personally but don’t be too judgmental about those who do, on either end of the whip.

  • Oh, Tyler. You’re just mad about Scott Pilgrim.

    I don’t understand this. I came in saying that these women didn’t appear to be exploited, but by the end, the documentarians spring it on the audience, and I was wrong.

    The quoted response seems to imply I’m venting in some way, but I don’t follow how, or against what.

Pin It on Pinterest