3. Battery, Torture

Part: 
Four
Chapter: 
1

Witnesses who appeared before the Commission and those who submitted statements reported acts of battery and episodes of torture associated with the production or use of pornography. Individuals described acts of battery or torture inflicted upon them during the course of producing pornographic materials. For example, a woman who reported having been sexually abused since infancy said:

That night that I was filmed for a pornographic movie, my stepfather tortured me both physically and sexually because I did not perform adequately enough to be convincing.[796]

A young man who had been the victim of a "sex ring" testified:

I became involved in bondage. I was shown pornography and was bound in various ways and photographed.[797]

Linda Marchiano testified:

When I decided to head back north and informed Mr. Traynor of my intention, that was when I met the real Mr. Traynor and my two and a half years of imprisonment began. He began a complete turnaround and beat me up physically and began the mental abuse, from that day forward my hell began.

During the filming of Deep Throat, actually after the first day, I suffered a brutal beating in my room for smiling on the set. It was a hotel room and the whole crew was in one room, there was at least twenty people partying, music going, laughing, and having a good time. Mr. Traynor started to bounce me off the walls. I figured out of twenty people, there might be one human being that would do something to help me and I was screaming for help, I was being beaten, I was being kicked around and again bounced off of walls. And all of a sudden the room next door became very quiet. Nobody, not one person, came to help me.[798]

One witness before the Commission described how women and young girls were tortured and suffered permanent physical injuries to answer publisher demands for photographs depicting sado-masochistic abuse. When the torturer/photographer inquired of the publisher as to the types of depictions that would sell, the torturer/ photographer was instructed to get similar existing publications and use the depictions therein for instruction. The torturer/ photographer followed the publisher's instructions, tortured women and girls accordingly, and then sold the photographs to the publisher. The photographs were included in magazines sold nationally in pornographic outlets.[799]

The Commission also had received several accounts from individuals who described the use of pornography in the course of physical abuse, and who attributed the type and forms of abuse to specific pornographic materials. For example, one woman who reported having been sexually abused by her father from the age of three testified that he would:

... hang me upside down in a closet and push objects like screwdrivers or table knives inside me. Sometimes he would heat them first. All the while he would have me perform oral sex on him. He would look at his porno pictures almost every day, using them to get ideas of what to do to me or my siblings."[800]

Testifying before another body, another woman said:

He would read from the pornography like a textbook, like a journal. In fact, when he asked me to be bound, when he finally convinced me to do it, he read in the magazine how to tie the knots and how to bind me in a way that I couldn't get out.[801]

A former prostitute testified before another body:

The man returned with two other men. They burned her with cigarettes and attached nipple clips to her breasts. They had many S and M magazines with them and showed her many pictures of women appearing to consent, enjoy, and encourage this abuse. She was held for twelve hours, continuously raped and beaten. She was paid fifty dollars, or about $2.33 per hour.[802]

Another woman wrote:

... solid charges ... could be brought forth. Amongst these charges would be sexual deviance due to repeated inflictions of sadomasochistic acts. I was also told I would be entitled to an annulment as the marriage remained unconsummated throughout.

... While doing household chores, I found very pornographic materials which illustrated sadist techniques and answered my questions as to where my husband got these bizarre ideas.[803]

A former prostitute testified:

He stripped me, tied me up, spread-eagled on the bed so that I could not move and the began to caress me very gently. Then, when he thought that I was relaxed, he squeezed my nipple really hard. I did not react. He held up a porn magazine with a picture of a beaten woman and said, "I want you to look like that. I want you to hurt." He then began beating me, and when I didn't cry fast enough, he lit a cigarette and held it right above my breast for a long time before he burned me.[804]

Another woman testified before another body:

During the time that I was held captive by that man, I was physically and psychologically abused by him. I was whipped with belts and electrical cords. I was beat with pieces of wood. I was usually forced to pull my pants down before I was to be beaten. I was touched and grabbed where I did not want him to touch me. I was also locked into dark closets and the basement for many hours at a time and I was often not allowed to speak or cry.

The things that this man did to me were also done to the children of the woman, except that they suffered from even worse abuse. I believe that part of the psychological abuse I suffered from was from the pornographic materials that the man used in his terrorization of us. I knew that if he wanted to, he could do more of the things that were being done in those magazines to me. When he looked at the magazines, he could make hateful obscene, violent remarks about women in general and about me. I was told that because I am female I am here to be used and abused by him and that because he is male he is the master and I am his slave.[805]

A women's shelter wrote to the Commission:

One woman known to us related that her spouse always had a number of pornographic magazines around the house. The final episode that resulted in ending their marriage was his acting out a scene from one of the magazines. She was forcibly stripped, bound and gagged. And with help from her husband, she was raped by a German shepherd. His second wife became known to us when she sought out support because of the magazines and bondage equipment she discovered in their home.

Penthouse and Hustler were always a part of the literature in the third woman's home. Occasionally, her spouse would add Cheri, Oui, Swedish Erotica to the collection. His favorite form of abuse was bondage. He enjoyed playing what he called a "game" of whipping and slavery. She knows that what he did to her was directly related to articles about bondage and sex [slaves] which he read. He wanted to involve a second woman, her friend, in the scenarios.[806]

A mother of two girls testified:

[My husband] had a large collection of bizarre S&M and bondage pornography that he kept in the nightstand drawer in our bedroom. On one occasion [he] tied me to our bed and sodomized me. This occurred after I refused to agree to be bound and tied as the models appeared in some of [his] pornographic magazines.

Also, the girls told me that [he] sometimes played a game with them in which their feet were tied up tightly with a rope. The molestation included "bad touching" and exhibitionism by [him], but did not involve actual penetration. [807]

In testifying before another body, one man said:

I understand pornography to be a force in creating violence in the gay community. I was battered by my ex-lover who used pornography. The pornography, straight and gay, I had been exposed to, helped convince me that I had to accept his violence and helped keep me in that destructive relationship.

Then one time, he branded me. I still have a scar on my butt. He put a little wax initial thing on a hot plate and then stuck it on my ass when I was unaware.[808]

Women who were asked in a research project if they had ever been upset by anyone trying to get them to do what they'd seen in pornographic pictures, movies or books described experiences similar to those reported by Commission witnesses:

Miss F: He'd read something in a pornographic book, and then he wanted to live it out. It was too violent for me to do something like that. It was basically getting dressed up and spanking. Him spanking me. I refused to do it.

Miss I: It was S&M stuff. I was asked if I would participate in being beaten up. It was a proposition, it never happened. I didn't like the idea of it.

Miss P: My boyfriend and I saw a movie in which there was masochism. After that he wanted to gag me and tie me up. He was stoned, I was not. I was really shocked at his behavior. I was nervous and uptight. He literally tried to force me, after gagging me first. He snuck up behind me with a scarf. He was hurting me with it and I started getting upset. Then I realized it wasn't a joke. He grabbed me and shook me by my shoulders and brought out some ropes, and told me to relax, and that I would enjoy it. Then he started putting me down about my feelings about sex, and my inhibitedness. I started crying and struggling with him, got loose, and kicked him in the testicles, which forced him down on the couch. I ran out of the house. Next day he called and apologized, but that was the end of him.[809]

A woman whose father had sexually abused her from age three testified:

I have had my hands tied, my feet tied, my mouth taped to teach me big girls don't cry. He would tell me I was very fortunate to have a father that would teach me the facts of life. Many of the pictures he had were of women in bondage, with their hands tied, feet tied and their mouth taped.[810]

In testimony before another body, a woman said:

I was hit and punched because I refused to allow my partner to put his fist in my vagina in the same fashion as in one of his pornography magazines.[811]

Another woman, testifying before the Commission, reported:

... a trick first showed me how to do bondage and discipline acts. I had numerous customers who would have pornographic material with them. I was asked to shave my pubic hairs because it reminded them of a child or engage in specific sex acts they had seen in a magazine. Having me urinate on them, commonly referred to as golden showers, was a popular request.

Again my customers, who were mostly professional types, would bring many examples in magazines or books of the types of bondage they wanted or of other acts they thought would satisfy their sexual desires, like me acting like their mother, enemas, spanking or cross dressing (men dressing in women's undergarments or clothing). I would also get couples (a man and woman) who were into bondage and discipline, with me as the instructor and ultra dominatrix. My customers would want me to dress like women in the magazines or to bind them in some specific way. Urinating on my customer was also not uncommon.[812]

Notes

  1. Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. II, p. 262.
  2. Washington, D.C., Vol. II, p. 49.
  3. Public Hearings before Minneapolis City Council, Session 1, (Dec. 1983), pp. 47-49.
  4. Los Angeles Hearing, Vol. II, p. 65, 77. One such publication was purchased in Washington, D.C.
  5. Chicago Hearing, Vol. II, p. 95.
  6. Minneapolis City Council Hearings Session II, (Dec. 1983), p. 68.
  7. Public Hearings before Minneapolis City Council, Session II, (Dec. 1983), p. 73.
  8. Letter to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.
  9. Public Hearings before Minneapolis City Council, Session II, (Dec. 1983), p. 77.
  10. Public Hearings before Minneapolis City Council, Session II, (Dec. 1983), pp. 15-16.
  11. Letter from Donna Dunn's Women's Shelter, Rochester, to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.
  12. Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. I, pp. 126-27.
  13. Public Hearings before Minneapolis City Council, Session II, (Dec. 1983), p. 57.
  14. Public Hearings before Minneapolis City Council, Session I, (Dec. 1983), pp. 65, 66 (Testimony based on Diana Russell's research).
  15. Chicago Hearing, Vol. II, pp. 95-96.
  16. Testimony before Minneapolis City Council on June 7, 1984, submitted to the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.
  17. Washington, D.C., Hearing, Vol. II, p. 312A-1.