by Rich Moreland, August, 2015
For the present, this is the last in the Mercy West series. Here’s hoping she will talk with us again soon. 🙂
* * *
“Just hearing someone using it sends shivers down my spine.”
Mercy West is on the set of Hardtied and the day is getting long. But no worry, it’s all good.
* * *
Some years ago when Kink.com established the practice of pre and post-shoot interviews, the reasoning was simple: avoid obscenity charges. The best way to deflect the law was to demonstrate that the model was fully in control of her cognitive awareness, consenting to everything and having fun.
At first, tears were avoided because of the impression that the girl was in pain. After several performers said that crying was their natural response to the intense pleasure created by their fetish, that restriction was set aside.
Within the BDSM community negotiations are always precursors before anybody does anything to anyone. What are the player’s limits and what will happen during the scene? Kink follows this standard as do the other BDSM-oriented porn companies.
Mercy West gives us an inside look at similar preparation at Intersec, the company that runs the Hardtied site. She’s punished to the extreme, as is her desire.
“The general public isn’t aware of the negotiations that go into professional BDSM scenes,” Mercy begins. What is on-screen for commercial purposes doesn’t reveal the work that leads up to the shoot. There are emails and phone calls that fill the weeks before the actual filming date arrives.
Before she arrived in Oakland for each of her Intersec appearances, Mercy talked with the directors.
“How I was feeling, where my head was, and what I was prepared for,” she relates.
This is important because uncertainty can slow everyone down “if limits aren’t laid out,” Mercy says. Some directors and crew will “tiptoe around talking about the hard stuff” on set and when they finally get to it’s a little late.
It’s the same with submissives or bottoms. Mercy feels comfortable with “full disclosure” and emphasizes there are no “stupid questions” with BDSM play.
An in-person interview on shooting day lays everything out. Though the Intersec folks had a written list of her limits, they insisted that she state them on camera.
“They wanted me to talk about how I was excited to be there and it was of my own free will, that I am aware that the activities are the same as in Hollywood . . . it’s acting. I choose to participate in what they want and I’m not coerced in any way.
They’re basically covering their asses which I can definitely understand. I am sure it all has to do with lawyers and things that may have happened in the past.”
“As far as prerecorded interviews and interviews after and the type of questions they ask,” Mercy says, procedures vary from company to company. As would be expected, “the post-shoot debriefing” is held after the performer “calms down and takes a breather.”
From her experience with rough bondage scenes, Mercy’s recovery time is fairly short.
“I’m normally pretty smiley and bubbly and happy because it just feels amazing and I love it. I really think they like to show that.”
The twenty-five-year-old is making a name for herself as a submissive who can take it, but mentions that not all porn models are cut from the same BDSM cloth.
“Everybody processes things differently. A lot of girls can seem really sad or be totally unenergetic and very out of it. That’s fine, there is no wrong way to do it, but it might not come off as well [on film]. It’s just not visually pleasing.”
For BDSMers who lean toward masochism, the issue of subspace sometimes arises. Endorphins that elevate the senses while outflanking awareness can be a safety concern so models are carefully monitored as the scene progresses.
Later subdrop, or the crash after the rush, occurs. For some submissives, it can be immediate causing them to be “sort of shy and standoffish,” Mercy says. But that is not who she is.
“When I come out of a scene, I am fully of energy. I’m jumping up and down.” She confesses, “I have such a big smile on my face it’s hard for me to get the words out sometimes.”
But the 5’2” bondage sweetie can’t entirely escape the emotional letdown.
“Generally the subdrop comes . . . way later [for me] sometimes, but definitely not right after [the scene]” she explains. “So the interview with me and the debriefing is important because some people have really strong reactions and I’m one of those people.”
Weaving Terrors into Pleasure
Back to the set and Mercy’s dom in the shoot, Jack Hammer, has his upcoming treat for her. Later she recalled what happened.
“I’m terrified of the single tail whip. I love it, it feels really great. I like having it used on me, but I’m terrified of it and it just makes me tremble. Before Jack brought it to use on me, he started just whipping the air and sort of walking around. I started to lose it.”
She is suspended in a chest harness, dangling from the ceiling on tiptoe, giving her wiggle room to highlight her fear, but disallowing escape.
It’s the kind of predicament that sells the shoot to Hardtied fans.
“I started to lose it and bawl uncontrollably before he even touched me.”
To intensify matters, the workday is wrapping up.
“It was the last shoot of the day,” she recalls. “This was the last section [of the scene] and I was totally exhausted but I lost it . . . because in the moment I wasn’t thinking I am on a stage, performing, giving people what they want.”
As the fatigue sets in, Mercy begins to weave the tension into her ecstasy.
“Oh no, that man has a big whip and he knows how to use it and he wants to hurt me.” She thinks, “I’m trapped!” The excitement increases because none of it is being done to her “in a bad way.” she says.
Swirling emotions in a cauldron of pleasure and pain integrates the staged fantasy into a sensual experience.
“That’s what goes through my head when I’m playing,” Mercy concedes. “That is the sort of space that I want to be in. The adrenaline and the terror and I know I’m safe. I know I’m not going to become injured in a way that I don’t approve of or that is really terrible.”
Record the Marks
For non-BDSMers, it’s a hard sell, but Mercy is reassuring. “I know that I am safe so I can let my mind go to those places. I can let that fear bleed out of me.”
It’s also a statement of why so much care goes into a sexuality charged play scene that comes across as abuse for those who want to see it that way. Mercy explains, “It’s why the debriefing is important because they like to have performers elaborate when things like that happen.”
Companies want models to be honest. They will say, “You were crying not because we are holding you here and forcing you to go through these things, but because it excites you and was very overwhelming and you get emotional when you play.”
She is delighted to tell the interviewer that she was not coerced, had a safe word to use if she wished, and “was in total control of the situation.”
Of course, BDSM shooters always walk a legal fine line. Some studios do a full body scan “to record the marks so they have on camera what they did and how you looked after the shoot,” Mercy says. It’s evidence, quite frankly.
The director and crew ask the model to walk, lift her arms and legs. Mercy doesn’t mind. It’s for everybody benefit.
“It makes me feel like they are on top of things.”
No doubt, everybody’s got a lawyer . . .