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Peter Acworth is a web entrepreneur based in San Francisco. He is the founder and CEO of Kink.com, an internet pornography producer that focuses on BDSM and fetish themes. According to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Acworth's work has been guided by "Kink's principles of intimate, conversational, playful, and mutually enjoyable interactions", and he has expressed the belief that "a product line should come from an individual's actual fantasies."
Acworth entered the pornography industry when he was a PhD student in finance at Columbia University. After reading a story in a British tabloid about a fireman who made £250,000 in a short period by starting an internet pornography site, Acworth decided to start a porn site of his own. Since Acworth had what he described as a lifelong interest in bondage, he oriented the site toward BDSM porn.
In 1998, Acworth moved from New York City to San Francisco. Finding that sales were leveling off because other sites were using the same content, Acworth began producing his own content, initially featuring himself with various models whom he found through Craigslist or through his photographer friends.
In 2000, Acworth founded his second site, Fucking Machines, under Cybernet Entertainment, Inc., the corporate entity that ran Hogtied.com. A number of additional sites followed, and in 2006 Acworth changed the corporate name of Cybernet to Kink.com.
In late 2006, Acworth announced the purchase of The San Francisco Armory. He announced that Kink.com would move into the building to use as corporate offices and as a studio for producing its movies. As a result, he sold Kink.com's then-current office at 942 Mission Street for $6.5 million, more than double what he had paid for it four years earlier. The San Francisco Business Times, part of Bizjournals, reported that since moving to San Francisco in 1998, Acworth had also made large profits on a home in the Marina and Hogtied.com's original studios on 8th Street. Acworth told the paper that he would not be buying any additional property in San Francisco. "All of our real estate profits are in the Armory", he said.
Acworth continues to perform occasionally in Kink.com projects in addition to serving as CEO. In a September, 2008 interview with the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Acworth discussed a new project inspired by the novel Story of O in which "Acworth wants to transform the armory's top floor into a series of Victorian/Georgian-inspired rooms... Participants will be given hierarchical positions—from maid to master of the house—and live according to the rules of domination and submission." He also said, "The Armory dates from exactly this Edwardian era, so the historical nature of the Armory does nothing but add to the mystique surrounding this idea."
Acworth was arrested in February 2013 for obstruction of justice for allegedly delaying police while they investigated a report of firearms having been shot in the Armory's historic shooting range. Police then found a gram of cocaine about Acworth's person and he was additionally charged with possession. All charges were later dropped.
- "Kink Dreams", San Francisco Bay Guardian, September 24, 2008.
- "Catalina Loves Kink.com CEO Peter Acworth" by Catalina Loves, CatalinaLoves.com, September 28, 2008.
- "A Disciplined Business" by Jon Mooallem, The New York Times Magazine, April 29, 2007.
- " The Man Behind the Fucking Machines", Village Voice, July 16, 2008
- "Kink.com Celebrates its 10-year Anniversary", Behind Kink, February 1, 2008.
- "Working Out the Real Estate Kinks", Bizjournals, February 22, 2008.
- "Peter Acworth Directs Test Shoot for Fantasy Takedown Site", Behind Kink, August 25, 2008.
- "Peter Acworth Arrested: Kink.com Founder Charged With Drug Possession During Firearms Search", February 12, 2013.