You may have heard: recently I joined the staff of the Kink Academy (affiliate link) as their “Editor Extraordinaire”. I get to get my hands dirty with video again, creating short segments of the best sex educators around sharing their stuff. Yesterday I edited a piece on eye contact for intimacy, a piece on warming up your partner’s ass for anal play, and a piece on stretching for bottoms preparing to be bound.
Good stuff. And all yours for the introductory price of $9.95/month, or $75 a year.
The funny thing is, there are people who not only think that’s too much, there are people who apparently harass Kali for daring to charge at all. There seems to be some anathema to the idea of making a profit while educating.
So let me get this straight:
People are willing to pay, oh, let’s say $125 for an event (we’ll assume it’s early bird pricing). This is an event that lasts one weekend, during which time, if they’re lucky, they’ll get to sit through, oh, ten classes (that’s assuming they can crawl out of bed after a play party). The event may have a huge number of great presenters, but you can only sit in their classes one at a time. And while you can still take notes in classes (that hasn’t been banned – yet) you can’t record what happens in any form. Not audio, not pics, certainly not video.
You pay $200-$450 for hotel and food.
You walk into the vendor area and drop $175 for a flogger, $300 for a corset, and $45 for those fantastic four-inch Ingrid stilettoes from the Shoe Guy. (Quick question: did you see anyone yelling at any of the vendors for “profiting from other people’s sexuality”?).
Total cost for a great weekend? Around $1000. With some material goods you can keep, but mostly the joy of an experience. I got to talk to Mollena Williams. I got to watch Scott Smith. I learned photography from David Lawrence. I was part of Shibaricon 2011!
Great presenters, all. The event was full of ’em. And, with a few exceptions, most weren’t paid a dime for their experience or teaching time. If they were lucky they had books or DVDs they could hawk at their classes, but if not, well, then your thanks was all the reward they asked for.
And that’s fine, as far as it goes. What I don’t get is why someone who is passionate enough about their kink to drop a grand on a weekend that will fade into memory balks at paying $75 (that’s what, half a flogger?) for a full year of over 50 educators – the same ones you see at the events – teaching on a huge variety of subjects whenever you want. You can check out their free videos, too, which give a pretty good taste of what’s inside, and are also a free resource in and of themselves.
It’s streaming video. You can watch Madison Young’s oral sex tips over and over and over (and believe me, you will want to). It’s there when you need it, a refresher before a play date, an exploration into a new kink, or even to check out a presenter who’s going to be at the next event you’re at. Four new videos a week, all year long, never archived: you can join today and have literally hours of explicit kinky instruction at your disposal.
Oh, and every single person involved in that video was paid for their time. The presenters and the models. Paid quite well, in fact, because Kink Academy believes their time and knowledge are valuable and they deserve to be rewarded for it. When you join Kink Academy, you are saying thanks to the presenters in a directly financial way.
I’m not saying you should join, mind you. That would be disingenuous, as I’ve got an obviously personal stake in the matter. No, I just want people to stop pretending that money isn’t support, and that somehow going to an event that doesn’t pay presenters is more valid than joining an educational site that does.