Kink Threatens to Convert The Armory To Office Space and Move Production To Las Vegas

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has not responded to a request for her position on this move.

From SFGate

The BDSM porn purveyor that has been operating in the Armory Building since 2007 may soon be cracking its last whip in the Mission. It’s not leaving because of the rising cost of real estate; it’s because of the cost of producing porn.

Last week, the Planning Department released a preliminary review of a plan submitted by Peter Ackworth, CEO of and the Armory Building’s owner, that would convert the building’s production studios into office space. If approved the proposal would create more than 100,000 square feet of office space in the Civil War-era building on 14th and Mission.

In an email message to Mission Local, Ackworth explained that recent and upcoming legislative changes creating stricter health regulations in adult films have made the production of hardcore pornography prohibitively expensive in California. Ackworth says that he may move the production arm of to Nevada and rent out the Armory for office use.

“The fact is that new regulations threaten to essentially criminalize the production of hardcore pornography in California,” Ackworth said. “Measure B in L.A. county was just the start, and now we face AB 1576 and new draft CAL-OSHA regulations that are being proposed.”

Assembly Bill 1576, which was introduced in January, would amend the California Occupational Safety and Health Act with provisions specifically for adult films. If approved, studios would have to provide documentation that all performers use condoms during scenes involving penetrative intercourse and that all performers are tested for STIs every 14 days.

“These new regulations are not yet in place and we are disputing them,” Ackworth said in his email. “We hope to prevail on the basis that our protocols include strict, mandatory testing and/or mandatory condoms for all our shoots, and based on the fact that there has not been an on-set transmission of HIV in the U.S. since 2004 on any set where testing was required — not just at but anywhere in the industry.”

Earlier this year, two performers named Cameron Bay and Rod Daily contracted HIV while working for and both performed in scenes without condoms. Ackworth has stated previously that he was confident these performers were infected through encounters in their personal lives and not on set. Furthermore, representatives have also stated that both performers were offered condoms during shoots but declined to use them.

However, in an interview with the Huffington Post, Bay has described a more complex situation in which she felt subtle pressure not to use condoms and was severely injured while on set. Her contraction of HIV led to a brief moratorium on porn shoots in LA.

In response to previous OSHA citations filed against in January, Ackworth has argued that given the intensity of scenes shot by Kink, condoms can often be a hindrance to comfort and many performers prefer not to use them.

“There are various reasons I believe condoms should be optional for performers. The primary reason is that this is the opinion of the majority of performers,” wrote Ackworth in a blog post published in January. “Many cite issues such as discomfort, and that in the context of hardcore sex lasting several hours, condoms can lead to abrasions and tears that in some instances can make sex less safe.”

In addition to the production studios converted to office space, Ackworth’s proposal submitted to the Planning Department details converting the 39,000 square-foot drill court, which is currently used as a community event space, into an entertainment venue. In his email, Ackworth explained that this is an idea he’s had for a long time and is “still dedicated to fulfilling that vision.”


96590cookie-checkKink Threatens to Convert The Armory To Office Space and Move Production To Las Vegas

Kink Threatens to Convert The Armory To Office Space and Move Production To Las Vegas

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33 Responses

  1. So, this now gets interesting. You have a hardcore porn business publicly announcing its intention to pick up stakes and move to Las Vegas – not some production flying under the radar. We’ll now see if Vegas rolls out the red carpet and allows anything to go (Kink fits the definition of anything goes) or says, not in my backyard.

  2. Trying to wrap my head around all the conflicting messages…

    In 2004, three years before he opened the armory HIV was passed on a heterosexual set. He tests heterosexual…no ‘and’ condoms…tests are for bareback. He provides condoms on gay sets …no ‘and tests’ unless a gay performer later crosses over to a heterosexual set where those rules apply. In no way shape or form does he use condoms AND testing a single set to prevent STI risks.

    Are the condoms optional on gay sets for the reasons he mentioned?

    Because kink actually does (through some third party agreement) pay for performer testing for bareback and offers condoms on condom shoots this relocation sends a lot of prejudicial messages…

    We assume and promote the stereotype that gays have STI.
    We assume and promote the fallacy that HIV is a gay disease.
    Only heterosexuals are affected by condom issues mentioned.
    We use testing or condoms as an efficient protocol.
    If you make us treat gay & heterosexual equally we’re leaving.

    On that note…how does a vagina change the risks of anal sex that led to their gay policies…how does penetrating a female anus vs a male anus mitigate the risks of anal sex?

    The only effective standard to prevent human to human transmission of STI while filming…is testing to measure the risk…exclusion or barrier use (as appropriate, since barriers aren’t effective for all risks) if higher than permissible risk is present and ongoing risk measurement.

    We cook everyday knowing kitchen fire is a risk, some buildings are completely gutted while others receive minimal damage from similarly originated fires…the later have baking soda or fire extinguishers on hand and use them vs waiting for 911 to respond. How is moving going to change these realities?

  3. @Lurk –
    NO questioning… it’s never going to make sense. I think I’m actually getting used to the ass backwards, delusional and ridiculous “rules.” They’re even *slightly* entertaining at this point.

    Not even just surrounding health issues, but almost all statements and “theories” contradict each other… but, they kind of have to in order for industry to operate in the same fashion. They have to know the reality… ok, I *hope* at least some of them know reality… whether they admit it or not is another story.

  4. Movie Studio: Regulating us to use fake guns makes us criminals.
    Me: WTF? I don’t want that motherfucker using a real gun. Fuck that shit.

    Could you imagine? Haha..
    It’s called getting creative and using your imagination. Then, just about anything is possible.

  5. @Lurk –
    Was that the hearing today? I tried to find it, but only had a minute to look and didn’t see it televised anywhere.. is there anywhere to watch it now or even just listen to it??

  6. Not sure if audio is archived for playback…I found it live at California legislative site. Took a few brief notes but nothing comprehensive so if you find it archived anywhere let me know.

    Will comment on ab1576 post about overall impression

  7. I hope Peter does move Kink to Vegas. It would teach the California legislature and Governor Moonbeam that when you fuck with business they just move to greener pastures and you lose substantial tax revenue and population. Since Kink’s parent company is privately owned their financials aren’t public but I would estimate that Kink pays $10 million plus in taxes yearly plus workman’s comp through the state owned company and pumps another $800K plus per week ($41.6 million yearly) into California’s economy through its 140 employees payroll (at an average salary of $1000 a week) employees make $1.4 million ($72.8 million a year), this is probably lowballing their payroll as their directors are likely making at least $6000 per week plus ($300K yearly, this is likely a lowball estimate as well) and computer programmers make a similar wage, I am deducting $600K for taxes and money spent outside of California and not including talent payroll which is harder to estimate, they have approximately 55-60 actors per week according to a video posted on their site last week so probably add at least another $28,000 gross and $17,000 net every week for their wages at the lowball estimate of $500 per actor, most of which is spent in California adding to the economy). Gov. Moonbeam, Izzy Hall and their cronies at AHF just fucked California big time! Unfortunately I had to guesstimate my figures as Kink does not release financials but I would bet my numbers are very conservative.

  8. That area (armory) is zoned for light industrial work, not office space. However, the demand for office space is skyhigh right now in San Francisco.

    As far as I know, there hasn’t been a law in Nevada that says that shooting porn is legal in Nevada. Outside of Vegas and Reno, the state leans pretty conservative and has a considerable Mormon population.

    Plus wouldn’t Acworth have to reach an agreement with the unions that are involved in entertainment production there?

    I wonder if Acworth is using the condom law to justify the move, but in reality, could make a killing financially by converting the armory into rented office space which at the moment in San Francisco knows almost no boundaries as fall as what people are willing to pay for it.

    Another issue is that San Francisco is pricing people out of the city and is going through a massive gentrification right now.

  9. @mharris

    The lesson has been proven wrong time and time again which is why it’s falling on deaf ears. Back when nail Polish was a server no-no and mandatory gloves were presented for food prep…a very real issue of the danger this presented led to the use of gloves over safety cut resistant gloves…sushi chefs are fighting it now…any numbers porn can present are dwarfed by the food industry.

  10. What you are likely to find is if the red carpet does get rolled out, it will be in places like Pahrump or similar, where prostitution is legal and thus most of this wouldn’t be a surprise. I doubt that Clark County would be that interested in being an open source for porn production.

    That said, Vegas may turn a somewhat blind eye and accept it, as it adds a little to the sin city mentality that they are trying to claim back.

  11. “there hasn’t been a law in Nevada that says that shooting porn is legal in Nevada”

    First amendment says otherwise. There are not specific “porn is legal” laws, only caselaw built up that makes it impossible to rule against in some places. First amendment rights generally trump most of the stupidity, even then adult in Clark County is zoned to certain areas. But if you can run cam studios there (and some do), it doesn’t seem unreasonable to film porn there too.

  12. @raw
    Exactly which is why I say you can run but you can’t hide…any prosecution for adult filming needs to pass the Freeman Theirault (sp) thresholds of anticipated defense. On the same token labor laws aren’t a regional issue despite their initiation in California.

  13. Ha! Yes, I spoke out of turn without knowing the arcana. But the chair reprimanded me with a smile. But if it makes you feel better to call it a smackdown, sure.

  14. @MikeStabile

    Didn’t think it was a smack down so much as a “smack” and it seemed like you weren’t familiar with procedural policy. Posted it here as maybe a bit of snark but clearly didn’t want it to be part of the overall hearing impression. No doubt for the Arts committee hearing you’ll pre-register for agenda time barring a two per side limitation. If you have a good idea what you want to say, it also helps to write it out and give a practice run with most important points highlighted in case they limit time.

    Listened to the audio, glad Chair kept a cheerful demeanor.

    Since you were there and had direct access to wider impressions, is there anything you think those of us who listened to audio missed?

  15. Bullshit! This bill will get kicked to the curb. They need to be a lot more HIV cases to happen until it seeks into those California Corrupt politicians heads. They’re saying that 700 performers in the Industry want condoms used but….You have internet stalkers that harassed the fuck out of the performers for wanting safety in the Industry.
    You know who you are.

  16. I think if the Nevada authorities prosecuted under state law for prostitution/pandering due to a legitimate porn shoot they would lose. However other states such as Michigan (where prostitution and pandering carry a life in prison without parole sentence) or Utah I think would carry a different result. Michigan in particular I think would present a problem for porn producers if they made porn here (I only know of one producer and she is in Wayne County where the prosecutor isn’t prosecuting many prostitution or pandering cases for it to even get to the courts, the rest of the state is much more conservative). As for Florida it depends on the county, Polk County’s Sheriff (otherwise known as head pig) and Prosecutor (who is known as an asshole dickhead) prosecute anything to do with adult entertainment. Miami-Dade County is much more liberal and several porn producers are currently based there without any problem. Authorities in Atlanta, GA can’t be too against porn either, Mike has been making porn there for 22 years now without a peep from their prosecutor.

  17. @ricco

    Crystal ball broken but I give it better than even odds that if AB1576 gets kicked to the curb it will be back in January with a new number.

  18. I hope Ricco is correct, it did get kicked to the curb once before. My Crystal Ball isn’t broken and it predicts as long as Izzy Hall is in office this shit will be a yearly thing. I hope he gets caught like Sen. Leland Yee did recently, it is obvious to me that the AHF and Michael Weinfuck is depositing something in Izzy’s wallet whether it be campaign contributions (which may actually be legal) or outright bribery (which isn’t).

  19. Aw crap…I did it again ..another meaningless ramble 🙂 started @jilted and just kept going 😉

    Most successful non-profits aren’t wasting their cash on what amounts to social events that do little if anything to get their message out beyond their circle where support already exists. They’re too busy looking for new audiences who are unaware or mis-informed on the issues.

    I’m all for a good conference or party and have many a host to thank for their generosity in opening their homes and events as well as associated guest lists to support my cause du jour. The doors and pockets seem to open in direct proportion to the level of transparency and fiscal responsibility.

    Additional reasons behind the disparity between AHF and FSC effectiveness in meeting their stated mission goals isn’t a mystery. IG Duke signing on to the LA Times where she already has overt support vs Weinstein developing contacts beyond his circle to run press releases. Douglass at the AB1576 hearing citing Huffpo (known to be industry friendly) and press to support his assertion that the industry has already migrated to Nevada vs. giving a number of businesses, films, full time employees, and performers now operating in Nevada. Without numbers the largest talent agency moving is meaningless as a factor.

    Douglass mentioned hundreds of small business owners with 3-10 employees who will face hardship with the burden of record keeping. The cost and privacy issues he raised fell on deaf ears. Privacy concerns are addressed with the option for co-operative Health providers used by innumerable small businesses, even intermittent employment is addressed by other industries while cost is the reality of doing business.

    Limiting the debate to HIV is great where that’s the fear but has no effect in negating thirty+ additional known risks. Limiting the debate to deaths on the job doesn’t negate industry statistics for lost wages and revenues that far outweigh the most dangerous jobs in America.

    The migration argument is negated with the reality that a great majority of those small businesses can’t afford the costs and disruption associated with relocation. Even the most profitable corporations are hiring regionally to cut costs of relocation packages, leaving small businesses dependent on key employees risking viability to transition in new workers. California workers replaced with regional hires in Nevada are going to be scooped up for their experience by businesses who seize opportunities vacated by those who moved.

    Those issues are just a few that prompt me to urge those hundreds of small businesses to work together. Research DOL stats that directly correlate to lost days on the job, those comparisons trump every study or opinion used to battle disease issues; CDC testing/frequency/methods for each risk to develop adequate contingent responses. If you want condom free production then base that argument on how you’ll support that plan.

    Performers prefer freedom from the restrictions of barriers is negated by MSM filming and creates discrimination issues. If you hate condoms then help create a plan that limits their use on the job to only when the associated risks are present…this also de-stigmatizes the industry and HIV

    Developing an effective alternative is the way to beat distasteful regulations, having that plan before OSHA presents the draft policy for public comment is how other industries with unavoidable naturally occurring hazards have succeeded. Mines didn’t get a separate rule book by saying the workers like eating coal dust, nor were they forced into the most drastic options presented when they presented adequate alternatives.

    Lastly the recent acrimony …over an independent producer who can’t prove no onset STI because there isn’t post production testing data, the same is true for the entire industry; those looking to the performer for knowingly working with untested talent…she made a choice and that truth negates performer choice on the job where the buck has to stop somewhere.

  20. I have to ask, Mike Stabile — do you work at Kink/Cybernet by any chance? I was just reading the Reddit AMA Peter Acworth did and it referenced a Mike Stabile working for him. I hope I am not out of line for asking.

  21. @mharris

    Mike Stabile works at, he repped them at the AB1576 hearing and is quoted as spokesperson in SF publications.

    I wish he’d offer any impressions from the hearing that audio listeners missed & get the word out to pre-register for the next hearing to make your voice heard.

  22. Thanks Lurking. Mike Stabile, please tell Peter and the directors to keep up the good work with Kink’s sites. They are the best in the BDSM end of the biz. If my rigging skills were better I would apply to Kink to direct a site for Peter myself. I think directing a BDSM site would be a fun and enjoyable job and good directors are likely hard to find. I think I would enjoy coming up with ideas and bringing them to fruition.

  23. Yeah, I do work with Kink, as well as a number of orgs (profit and non) that deal with adult film and sex work. I know a lot of us have differing opinions, and anyone I work with will tell you I’m not uncritical, and push for meaningful change. At the same time, I’m pretty dogged about not confusing science with politics.

    As for the hearing, I’m not sure if it came across through the audio, but the committee was cordial, and acted with both respect for and skepticism of both sides. Not to say that they aren’t concerned with the safety of performers, but I think that they also understand that this is, at least partly, a moral crusade that’s going to push even more production into Nevada. I will tell you that it’s funny to see how the sausage gets made.

  24. Mike, even those of us such as yourself and Peter Acworth that do not support mandatory condoms and dental dams are concerned for the safety of performers. In my case it was a tough decision I had to make as to what side I would be on. What tipped it for me is the many performers explaining what an issue condom use is in porn with the breakage of condoms up to 30% of the time due to the heavy duty sex, the severe irritation condoms cause (being foreign matter, after all) even with lube and the difficulty of removing a broken condom from deep back into a pussy is what made me think that required condoms in porn is not a good idea. However (as Peter does), I support condom choice where (especially) the female performer would choose whether she wants to use a condom in a scene (I support a male performer choice as well but if there is a difference of opinion I would have to personally back the female as she is the one who gets the irritation and has to go to the ER if a condom breaks and gets stuck in the back of her pussy). Of course if I were working at Kink or Intersec I would follow whatever guidance the company head put out (at Kink my understanding is that if one person chooses to use condoms the scene becomes a condom scene which is much easier for me to support than a no condom allowed rule) but above is my personal opinion.

    As for politics, yes it is a weird animal — with liberals and conservatives fighting every step of the way. Go to DC and watch a House or Senate debate sometime (there is a gallery for this purpose) or watch on C-SPAN, it makes me think our Congressmen are mostly immature brats at times.

  25. @mikestabile

    Ty for impression…more likely than not those making the sausage would feel like a fish out of water on a set even if they appreciate the editing that creates a final product.

    How a bill fits with all the other ingredients usually takes precedent over the hopes,fears or predictions of either side.

  26. @mharris

    As impassioned as this argument’s how a legislator is going to hear it…women vs men choice is out the window with gender equality. Now for breakage issues, what is the breakage rate & foreign body rate on MSM sets and how does this compare to rate of infection incidents? Not just HIV, all infection incidents.

    Choice and preference sound good but are not sound arguments. Chaffing, abrasion and more…miners stood up for the industry and told how the weight of carrying additional safety equipment could further compromise their breathing with the weight burden, that the bulk of equipment would preclude some of the crevice work (confined space) they have to perform.

    Based on what I have seen in too many industries to count the only sound argument is risk assessment (testing) and commensurate risk prevention/reduction with a responsive action action.

    Six months ago I was personally freaked that HIV could or would be allowed on a film set. After all the research what I found is that even with varied plasma to sperm and vaginal fluids the risk of transmission with undetectable levels is minimal with adherence to ART. Prep is another factor that reduces risk, but is not a viable option for the workplace despite the advantages the industry will gain from those who choose PReP as a personal choice, just like folks who pursue advanced education and bring that knowledge to work.

    Once I got over my HIV hysteria other factors quickly emerged. Look at the qualifications for study inclusion….the most compliant. Studies that want data on 2000 start with 2500 participants because even with compliance to protocol other factors will affect ongoing participation. Applying studies of the most compliant to those most resistant to compliance raises a few flags.

    Even assuming compliance by those with HIV we now have HIV hysteria and gender disparity in the industry. MSM it’s okay but if a woman is diagnosed she is now Typhoid Mary and her career is over, should it be? If she takes her meds and tests demonstrate minimal risk should she be excluded or outed? What about meningitis related to STI?

    Some performers may actually feel more comfortable with known HIV reduced to undetectable over the unknown & higher risk of ACUTE HIV in the window period and testing frequency.

    Performer choice isn’t the issue, it’s INFORMED choice that’s the issue.

    As to political labels…in or out of office folks in every party are guilty of placing rhetoric over objectivity. Rhetorical tag is a fun game but it sucks when it takes precedence over the actual issue.

  27. For what it’s worth, if EITHER performer wants a condom on a Kink set, one gets used. A request for a condom trumps opposition. So any woman who wants a condom used gets it. It’s not just something we say, either. Some of Kink’s biggest performers always use condoms, others never do, others do it on a case by case basis. That’s what condom-neutrality means.

  28. @mikestabile

    Condom-neutrality based on personal preferences at kink isn’t the issue with AB1576 or OSHA…it’s the industry as a whole.

    Blaming personal lives when incidents invite scrutiny is futile when there is no way to distinguish personal behaviors from the business whose idea of condom-neutrality is..sure..we got a whole box over there, take it with you on the way out the door.

  29. When the even the Financial Times reports on the condom LA issue then you know there are big bucks involved. I wonder if actresses were actually consulted on this. The opinion of the people whose rights are supposedly being upheld often gets neglected in these things.

  30. Does the Financial Times still say that porn is a 13billion dollar industry, a myth that was debunked by Forbes over ten years ago. Yes, there is some good money involved here, but no where near the amounts the industry claims.

    Can anyone provide on single shred of evidence that the porn industy is worth even 5billion dollars,,just one shred?

  31. @jilted

    Depends on how you define the industry…nationwide, including toys, straight/gay & camming, sales and affiliate income that is being attributed to other industry segments…if you use the standards applied to other industries 5 is low end and 13 isn’t out of line.

    Porn accounts for 30% of daily internet search much is that affiliate or click through revenue?
    Web hosting, site service?
    Merchant services?
    How many lawyers, plastic surgeons and laboratories are kept afloat serving the industry?
    Manufacturing…Toys and hard goods, lighting, cameras, devices?
    Real estate, hotel and other temporary real estate used as studios?
    Start adding up what really goes in and out of the industry and then you have the numbers that are assigned to other industries.

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