Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oruba Tours the Armory

There's a building in San Francisco. A great big building, with Presence and History. A place where sex happens. And when it happens it is filmed. There are often chains, whips, masks, displays of power and submission, weird machines probing. Wonderful things!

This building? The one and only Armory in the Mission District.

You're walking the sunniest streets in San Francisco. You're eating burritos, drinking Sol, avoiding the invading horde of smelly hipsters. You need something to do.

Oruba: I'm in town; What shall I do while I'm here?

And she did.

And I toured.


The place was originally an actual armory for the national guard at the turn of the century, but has been laying abandoned for 30 years until bought it in 2007. Under the leadership of founder Peter Acworth, the massive 200,000 square foot building was transformed into a literal porn palace.

We learned all this right away from our lovely tour guide, the effervescent Ava, who rounded us up and walked us around the place.

The very top level is the lair for an Edwardian period reality show which is live streamed. Complete with custom furniture designed to double as stays for tied down slaves. Oh my! Prim, dressed up doms and subs bustled by us as they prepared for a tea party.

Then to the set of Ultimate Surrender. Side Note: I am the only person I know who's gone on the Official Armory Tour. But I know two people who been to live tapings of Ultimate Surrender and Naked Kombat. I roll with a special and exclusive crowd of perverts. Clearly.

Then to Kink University.

Then to the sets of Whipped Ass, Hogtied, and others.

Oh and the prop rooms. Oh the prop rooms!

We even ended up in a place that looked like a dungeon but was really an unfinished basement.

And before you know it it was over. And I shuffled out on to Valencia for a giant empanada and and some Chilean beer.

Random Bit #1: Some scenes from the Original Star Wars was shot at the Armory which, aside from being rad in its own right, meant the building was already zoned for film making. Lucky pornographers.

Random Bit #2: Apparently is in the process of leasing out the Drill court in the hopes of turning it into a community center which will host among other things, a farmers market. You read that right. Only in San Francisco.

Thoughts: For the past few years, actually the better part of the last decade we have been hearing that the porn industry is in decline. The ubiquity of free porn pretty much means that people don't really pay for porn they way they used to. Despite the proliferation of websites, there aren't too many that are pure money makers. So how did grow so damn fast in 10 years? So much so that they're can not only by the Armory in 2007 (admittedly, not a bad year in porn), but remain viable (I assume profitable) in the present.

Is because niche providers, fetish sites are the impervious to the trend affecting the industry as a whole? Please, discuss.

Random Bit #3: This is what 55 gallon drums of lube looks like. Don't ask how quickly they go through this.

Life is good. Thanks Alison, Ava, and the good folks at

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