Insex was one of the biggest BDSM pornography websites on the Internet and arguably the most extreme pornographic production featuring female submissives. It existed from 1997 to 2005 and was run by "Intersec Interactive Inc.", a company owned by the website's creator known as "PD". Insex developed a cult following among BDSM enthusiasts due to its uncommonly severe and realistic depiction of sadomasochistic practices. It was also known for its interactive "Live Feeds" which allowed members to make direct suggestions and requests. In late 2005, Insex ended the production of original material, citing increased pressure from American conservatism within the US Justice Department as the main problem. 
Insex.com offered primarily two forms of content, "Live Feeds" which could be watched through a live streaming media and actively influenced in a simultaneous chat, and conventionally shot videos that were the basis of regular updates; most of the live feeds were later edited and presented as downloadable videos. Additionally, Insex offered so-called "Tests", compiled videos of women who decided not to return after a first test shoot, and the website also provided a message board that was frequented by the staff and several of the more prominent models.
The videos were presented in RealVideo format in order to preserve image and sound clarity (compared to other contemporary formats), in the beginning with bitrates of 225 kbit/s, and later up to 450 kbit/s. Commonly, the updates were between 30 to 90 minutes in length, while the live feeds usually lasted several hours. On some occasions, a model could be online in BDSM live events that went on for as long as 48 hours continuously. Such long sessions were achieved by allowing the model a brief rest break while the next scene was prepared, during which she could answer questions from viewers that were relayed from the message board or chat room. Starting in 2003, videos were occasionally shot in 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio to take advantage of advances in digital technology, with partly more artistic camera work.
Models normally did not use ordinary stage names, but they were given numbers ("101", "912"), although some models were referred to by unusual verbal names ("Spacegirl", "Az"). The numeric names were usually based on the date that the model made her first test video shoot, "101" being October 1, "912" referring to September 12. Among the more popular models who worked for Insex were Sarah Jane Ceylon ("625"), Lorelei Lee ("Lorelei"), Adrianna Nicole ("Seven"), Liz Tyler ("Cowgirl"), Gina Rae Michaels ("1020") and Wenona. Many prominent names in fetish modeling either started at Insex or passed through it at one point in their career, as did bondage riggers including such figures as Claire Adams, Cyd Black, Princess Donna and Matt Williams, who all went on to work for the internet pornography company Kink.com. Because of this, Insex's artistic principles would influence the design and staging of many BDSM pay sites after its demise. Before Black's departure, Brent Scott asked him to create two new BDSM themed web sites, named Hardtied and Infernal Restraints, so Scott would have an avenue to continue to produce and sell content for the web, but fearing interference from the government or the loss of card processing, Scott has greatly subdued the nature of his BDSM play featured on the new sites, and lacking the raw intensity that the Insex shoots formerly had, the new sites failed to hold the attention of the majority of the former membership.
The material included different aspects of BDSM, e.g. rope and metal bondage, heavy caning, flogging and whipping, as well as needle play, intimate examination, erotic asphyxiation, gagging, humiliation, electric stimulation/torture, interrogation, human animal roleplay, enemas and urolagnia. Crucifixion and water torture were also explored, and would later inspire pay sites dedicated solely to those forms of bondage. Sexual intercourse and oral sex were briefly shown on a small number of occasions; however, videos often showed penetration with dildos and the use of vibrators. With the exception of a few deliberatively scripted movies, the female models usually did not act, but simply tried to endure what they were exposed to − which gave each session a rare sense of realism that contributed to the website's appeal.
One of the recurring themes of the videos was that models had to ask for permission before they had an orgasm during a scene. Models had a safeword that they occasionally used when they had reached their pain tolerance threshold and wanted 'pd' to back off or wanted to quit the scene entirely, and which was generally not cut out of the video in order to show the viewer that the model was indeed being honest in her reactions. It was not uncommon that models would be visibly bruised at the end of a shoot, for instance from cane strokes or whipping (sometimes applied heavily if the model wanted to test her limitations), with marks that lasted for several weeks, but no permanent injuries would be inflicted.
Because of the severity of an Insex shoot, mainstream pornographic actresses normally did not work for the website. The majority of models were local women who answered an anonymous ad in a newspaper, although a small percentage of women had previous modelling or BDSM experience. Some women stated that they were not interested in BDSM sexually, but rather saw it as a physical and mental challenge.
Among the more popular models who worked for Insex were Jenni Lee ('YX'), Liz Tyler ('Cowgirl'), Wenona, Lorelei Lee, and 'Seven'. Many of the most prominent names in fetish modeling either started at Insex or passed through it at one point in their career, as did bondage riggers that later went on to work at other leading bondage sites, including such figures as Matt Williams, Claire Adams, Cyd Black and Princess Donna, now all working at San Francisco based fetish producer Kink.com and all loosing their own personnal qualities there. Because of this, Insex's artistic principles would influence the design and staging of many pay BDSM sites after its demise.
In the fall of 2005, Insex announced it was looking for a buyer, because "continuing to produce Insex.com from the U.S. would be too great a potential liability." It came as a result of attempts by the U.S. government to limit internet pornography, specifically by implementing a FBI anti-obscenity initiative in August 2005; a FBI memo stated that productions where the content "includes bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior" would "most likely" be legally targeted. . A statement on the Insex website went on explaining, "while Intersec is certain that a potential prosecution would have no chance of success... the staff is unwilling to fight a lengthy and expensive court battle only to emerge victorious but bankrupt." 
The website's entire content, over 500 movies, was offered for sale for $4 million and eventually bought for an undisclosed amount by a Dutch company which now offers parts of the Insex material as Insex Archives. Also, big parts of the Insex videos are still traded on peer-to-peer networks. After Insex had closed, some of the staff went on to work on more toned down BDSM productions.
In 2008, Anna Lorentzon and Barbara Bell, the former video editor and the former copy writer for Insex respectively, released a feature-length documentary about Insex, called Graphic Sexual Horror. The film explores the phenomenon of Insex through interviews with its creator, Brent Scott (aka pd), and the most significant crew members and models who played a part in the sites development. The documentary was shown at the Slamdance Film Festival in January 2009 to remarkable and increasingly widespread critical acclaim. So far the film has continued on to win Best Documentary at the 2009 CineKink Film Festival, Official Selection at the 2009 Calgary Underground Film Festival; Official Selection at the 2009 HotDocs Film Festival, and Official Selection at the 2009 Buenos Aires Film Festival.
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