For those who want a real insiders glance at the alternative fetish world that San Francisco is famous for, the historic armory is your mecca. The headquarters of Kink.com, which runs over 25 different adult sites from inside its massive interior, the armory is a sub-cultural landmark without peer on San Francisco's dynamic sexual landscape. Start with the studio tour, and if you want more the staff at Kink.com have many more options for you - some that involve direct participation in the filming.
The armory is located in San Francisco's Mission District, and is easy to access via public transportation from Union Square area hotels by taking the BART to 16th and Mission and walking north two blocks.
- Address: 1800 Mission Street, San Francisco
- Hours: Open to the public by tour only (see below)
- Admission: Tour is $25 at time of writing
- Contact: armorystudios.com
Inside the Kink.com Tour
Kink.com offers its 90-minute tours just about every day of the week, and several times a day on the weekends, you can go ahead and choose your date and book the tour on the schedule page.
I did it on a weekday night, but there were still about 20 people in the tour - a mix of bay area locals and out of town visitors.
Our guide was a Kink.com actress, who had appeared in a couple dozen of the in-house productions and we met up with her in the staff lounge and eating area.
After a brief overview of the company, which included a bit of history on the historic armory itself, we set about exploring the various sets.
I won't spoil the fun for you with the details, but there are five levels and over 50 rooms, including multiple dungeons, meat lockers and rooms decked out to look just like offices and apartments.
We also got to poke around the props room, which included all kinds of medieval devices, cages and other nastiness.
One thing that really struck my funny bone was the original Johnny 5 robot from the 1986 smash hit movie "Short Circuit". He is now owned by Kink.com and plays a starring role in several of their shoots.
There were several shoots in progress as we toured the building, but we were not allowed to take a peek at all, even though some of the actors and actresses passed us in the hallway.
At the end of the tour each participant was given a coupon for a free drink at the Armory Club, a swanky little bar located just across the street where many of Kink.com's staff hang out.
Getting Deeper inside Kink.com
At the end of the tour we were also offered the opportunity to be a part of the live audience which is present during many of the particular website's shoots.
You can sign up for the site you are interested in and they say that you will be contacted when there is a need for audience members. But so far I haven't heard anything....
There are also a large number of sexuality workshops that take place at Kink.com, many conducted by performers in the company's video series.
Everything from rope bondage workshops to female orgasm intensives happen on a frequent basis at the armory, check out the current list of upcoming events for more info.