The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Groupon under fire for offering tours of fetish porn studio

Into whips and chains? Got a Groupon account in San Francisco? Boy, are you in luck.

The anti-pornography group Morality in Media launched a boycott of social-media discount king Groupon, Inc. on Friday, complaining about a landmark deal for fans of hardcore adult fetish films.

For just $28, Groupon members in the San Francisco Bay Area can take an open-minded friend on a $65 tour of the San Francisco armory, a 98-year-old former National Guard facility. But they shouldn’t expect to see cannons and missiles — not the traditional kind, anyway.

Kink.com, a purveyor of porn categories that would make a Playboy subscriber blush — or perhaps retch — bought the decaying building for $14.5 million in 2006 and turned it into a giant 5-story skin-flick production studio.

The armory’s old, dungeon-like interiors, the smut merchants say, only adds to the realism of the bondage and other off-the-beaten-path videos they sell online.

“A menagerie of ornate and functional fetish film sets … includes a plush lounge and dungeon environments, complete with props forged in an on-site metal shop,” Groupon explains in its sales pitch for the discounted 90-minute tour.

“Depending on their timing, groups may also glimpse a live filming in progress, though the staff requests that patrons refrain from ogling the working boom mikes.”

KNTV-11, the San Francisco NBC affiliate, asked Groupon about its choice to pimp a trip into a porn dungeon. The company defended its behavior, saying “We thoroughly vet the businesses we feature. Fortunately, this business has proven to be a responsible member of their community.”

Groupon has already sold at least 130 of the tours, which has made Morality in Media none too happy.

The group is asking boycott participants to call Groupon executives and voice their displeasure.

“This ‘responsible member of the community,’” Morality in Media complains, “specializes in the live filming of ‘young sexy teens who are overwhelmed and outnumbered … who need to learn a lesson by multiple men;’ of women being ‘bound, whipped, objectified and humilated [sic]. They are immobolized [sic], caged and humiliated as objects.’”

Those descriptions, the group said, came from Kink.com’s websites.

“Please send Groupon executives an email about this!” the online petition asks. “We encourage you to cancel your subscriptions of their services. Their business is already suffering. We can put them out.”

Adult Video News columnist Tom Hynes wrote Friday that the boycott was “just another money-making ploy by the extreme right wing anti-sex brigade.”

Morality in Media activists, he said, “are in fact anti-porn addicts, which studies have proven is caused by obsessive compulsive lying that stimulates neural transmitters in the brain, resulting in an inability to distinguish reality from a baloney sandwich.”

“It’s refreshing to see a company like Groupon stand up to bullies like [Morality in Media],” Hynes concluded. “Hopefully, they will stand their ground.”

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