The other night, my friend Fivestar said, “Hey, I’m going to be directing a Star Trek gang bang movie, you want to visit the set?” Just in case you are wondering, the answer to that question should always be yes.

Warning: This article is very NSFW. Seriously. There are genitals. You have been warned.

Fivestar is a director and producer at Kink.com, one of San Francisco’s most famous and prolific online porn studios. With dozens of lucrative sites devoted to fantasies, kinky sex and BDSM, the company grew large enough in 2006 to buy the city’s massive landmark Armory building, right at the edge of the hipster Mission District.

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I arrived there last week at lunchtime, climbing the wide marble steps into what looked like a 19th century university building, full of heavy wooden desks and an alluringly dusty, bookish smell. Fivestar and her production assistant Grace met me in the foyer, paused briefly for taco lunch with other staffers, then took me to meet the cast of Star Trek: The Next Penetration.

The makeup room, next to a cavernous wardrobe area, was exactly what you’d expect to see at any video shoot. Costume designers were fussing over shoe sizes and zippers, while the stars sat still for makeup. Some were even getting their foreheads glued on, like Worf (Mickey Mod). But occasionally the difference between this dressing room and a non-adult one was obvious, especially when models arrived from other shoots completely naked, with the most perfectly-coiffed pubic hair you’ve ever seen.

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The star of Star Trek: The Next Penetration was Ingrid Mouth, who looked oddly familiar. “Hey, I was at your house!” she said cheerfully when I introduced myself. Wait, what? And then I remembered — she’d come to a party at my place with a mutual friend, and we’d had a long conversation about entomology. Now I would get to watch her in a gang bang with five members of Starfleet. So that was happening.

But it wasn’t just any gang bang. Ingrid herself wrote the script, based on her fantasies about the sentient android Data and other members of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast. The premise was simple: Ingrid was an alien from a planet where the sexual ideal is a “fully functional android” like Data (yes, there actually is a TNG episode where Data has sex, after telling his partner that he’s “fully functional”). Ingrid’s alien has stowed away on the Enterprise with one bold hope, to “reprogram [Data’s] objective to anal.”

Ingrid told me she’d always thought Data was hot because he’s basically a sentient sex toy. “He’s able to process and apply the data from thousands of cultures’ sexual histories,” she explained. “Plus, he can do it really quickly—his response times are fast. He’d pick up on your subtle body language and figure out the best sexual response. And Data will never get emotionally attached to you.” She admitted that she’d also had fantasies about the hive-mind cyborg fascists known as the Borg, but thought that it would be too difficult to stage a Borg sex scene.

Eventually we went down to the Armory basement, past industrial lights and props including doctors chairs and piles of half-burned candles, to see Kink’s scifi set. Industrial and austere, it looked like a cargo bay from Star Trek, or maybe Battlestar Galactica. As I took in the ambience, a debate broke out over Ingrid’s bra. Should it light up? Would the guys be able to tear it off fast? Finally, Fivestar and Grace stepped in to sort everything out with a more rippable piece of lingerie.

The craft table on a porn set includes granola bars, juice and water — as well as lube, antibacterial gel, baby wipes, enemas, and condoms.

Outside the set, the cast and crew gathered for a final huddle before the action. Ramping up for a Kink shoot involves a lot of checking in and discussion. Fivestar asked Ingrid about her limits, her safewords, and what she was ready to do that day. She ticked off a few possibilities to be sure that Ingrid would be OK with each: Choking, spitting, slapping, anal and vadge, plus a little bondage with a slightly uncomfortable neck restraint that wouldn’t be on for long. Then she popped the big question.

“So, are we gonna do some DP?” Fivestar was referring to the gold standard of porn tropes, the double penetration shot.

“Yeah, it’s my first time!” When Ingrid smiled, her eyes actually twinkled. Yes, this was a job. But she was clearly having fun.

When you’re watching porn, you rarely think about what’s happening outside the frame. But every single shot you see–from BJ to DP–is taking place at the center of a group of techs holding cameras, lighting ... and usually a pump bottle of lube.

Fivestar reads Wolf his lines while Ingrid laughs.

The director and PA are often just out of camera range, pointing at exactly where they want a spanking to land, or how far apart the stars should hold their genitals for a really good penetration shot. “Open it up” is a common direction on set. It means keep your bodies separated as much as possible, while also still having sex, so the camera can see every centimeter of the action.

Data (Wolf Hudson), reprogrammed by Ingrid’s horny alien, had to throw her against a table and start having sex from behind–while also angling his hips for the camera lens. The videographer, El Toro, lit key parts of the scene with two fluorescent tubes. One was strapped to his chest, and the other he held like a thick wizard’s wand between Ingrid and Wolf’s legs, making sure every thrust would be shadowless.

You basically have to be a pro to fuck under these conditions.

A fat wire snaked from the videographer’s rig, through the PA Grace’s hands, and into a monitor that Fivestar watched intently. She could see everything that the camera saw, from six feet away.

After a little oral and vadge, the plot took a turn. This was a shoot for Kink’s site Hardcore Gangbangs, so the requisite gang of officers had to arrive from the Bridge to assess the situation. (Un)luckily for Ingrid’s android sex fetishist, Riker (Will Havoc) walked in on her with Data. Then Picard (Owen Gray). Then a blueshirt (Gage Sin). And finally Worf (Mickey Mod) strode in, to interrogate this alien and figure out what her true mission was.

To clarify the situation for his chief security officer, Data recited one of his lines in a perfect android voice: “It may interest you to know, sir, that in many cultures group sex is considered a pleasurable bonding experience.”

You can tell a horny Trek fan wrote this script.

Notice that Ingrid is balancing on one leg. She had to have sex in that position for quite a while!

That’s when the action started to get crazy. Fivestar offered helpful stage directions:

Let’s start with inspecting those holes, then you can fuck her. Flip her over into a new position–whatever is comfortable for you guys. Remember to rip her clothes off first. It doesn’t have to be much vadge, because she likes anal. Yeah, use a condom for vadge please. Open it up! And let’s go for some finger fucking. Is that OK, Ingrid? Also, keep talking. Is she a slut? Does she like to get fucked? You know, that kind of thing.

Of course this was a Starfleet scenario, so the actors customized the dialogue. Mickey, as Worf, was particularly hilarious. He interrogated Ingrid about her “true mission,” and demanded that she give up all her anal alien secrets to his captain.

In between takes, the cast and crew would relax briefly, drinking water, re-applying condoms, using baby wipes to clean up any spot that had seen a lot of action, and just generally goofing around. Grace had a giant pump bottle of lube jammed in her back pocket, and the actors would just reach out and pump some whenever she was in range. At one point, Fivestar and Wolf spontaneously starting singing a duet, showtune style: “Lube, lube, lube, lube!”

At last it was time for the DP, which would require a lot of choreography.

“You have to have an anchor man on the bottom in a gang bang, otherwise it gets awkward,” Fivestar explained to me. Mickey, the anchor man, lay back on a ridiculously small table, facing Ingrid when she climbed on top. He was on vadge duty. Ingrid tried to position her arms and torso so that everybody else (including the videographer) had anal and mouth access. This was a gang bang, after all–every one of her holes would be explored. Behind Ingrid, Gage tested an anal angle, trying to figure out where to position himself for maximum viewability.

“Is she ready for dicks in both holes?” Data asked. “Make it so,” Picard replied.

Eventually, the DP scene got rolling. The actors started to look sweaty and slightly mesmerized.

“Dom it up a bit,” advised Fivestar from behind the monitor, where I could see the camera capturing an extreme closeup of a blow job. Then everybody took a quick break, and joked about how there was so much lube that everybody’s dicks were falling out of their target locations. When things are this physically intense and intimate, you have to be able to giggle a lot.

You also need a lot of endurance. As they waited for their scenes, the actors sat on benches at the edge of the set, stroking themselves to stay hard. Which they did–for over three hours. I felt like I was watching Olympic-level athletes whose specific physical talents would never be acknowledged in the mainstream sporting world. But that didn’t make their accomplishments any less magnificent.

Ingrid had to be an athlete too. She took a lot of dicks in a lot of holes, often at the same time, and often while screaming for more, but whenever the camera stopped recording she would relax into a smile. “I’m doing great,” she said, every time Fivestar asked.

Fivestar tells everybody where to put their dicks.

The DP scene, with its many configurations and round-robin hole-explorations, was truly the climax of Star Trek: The Next Penetration. Fivestar darted in several times, repositioning everyone. “We got a lot of good content,” she said with a laugh.

Of course the movie had to end with a money shot, everybody coming on Ingrid’s face, hopefully within seconds of each other.

Ingrid got on her knees, mouth open to receive the best of what Starfleet had to offer. “I’m like a baby bird!” she cooed. All the guys managed to come pretty much on cue, which again left me feeling like I was in the presence of unsung athletic greatness. Seriously, you try to time your orgasm to four other people’s, after three hours of physically demanding work, while two people film you, one directs you, and a nerdy tech blogger sits there tapping out notes on her laptop.

This is why internet porn costs money, people. It’s not something everyone can do, and the cast and crew work really hard to make it seem effortless.

At last the shoot was over. “That looked great everybody,” Fivestar said with an infectious grin. The stars got into fluffy robes and cleaned up with the ubiquitous baby wipes. “Thanks for letting me fuck you in all your holes,” Wolf said sweetly to Ingrid, giving her a long kiss and a hug.

“It was fun! I could do this for another hour!” Ingrid enthused.

I was worried about Mickey, who had been the anchor man for the whole epic DP scene. His neck wasn’t supported by the table, and I couldn’t believe he’d kept everything going in such an uncomfortable position. “Mostly it wasn’t hard on my neck,” he assured me. “It was all that weight on my back.”

Post-porno debris includes used baby wipes, empty water bottles, discarded bondage equipment, condoms, and lots and lots of lube bottles.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day on the Kink set, but of course not every work of pornography is this thoughtfully designed. What made this production run so well, I think, was the fact that Ingrid had actually written the script–plus, most of the actors were already her friends, and she’d performed a lot with Fivestar before. There was a lot of trust on the set. And they were acting out a real sex fantasy of the woman at the center of the action.

There are good days and bad days at every job, and making porn is no exception. Some models who work at Kink have complained about uncomfortable bondage, and neglectful producers. Actors who work at other porn studios have even more difficult issues to deal with, from abuse to homophobia. That said, porn in the 2010s is a lot safer than it’s ever been before. No matter where porn actors work in the US, they have to be tested every two weeks for HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections. And they have to undergo a pretty rigorous background check to prove that they’re over 18.

As I learned at Kink last week, though, the ingredients in excellent internet porn go beyond regular medical tests and hot bodies. They are, in fact, no different from the ingredients in any awesome action movie: an ineffable combination of actor chemistry, good direction, technical skill, and a fun script. Most of all, the final product must appear flawlessly sexy. You shouldn’t be able to tell that people were in weird positions, with lights in their crotches, aching backs, and lube emergencies. All you should see is a gang that’s coming boldly where no one has come before.

There’s a difference between a generic wank flick and a fantastic work of pornography. And what you can’t see, beyond the camera frame, truly matters.

Want to watch Star Trek: The Next Penetration? You can for just $17.17, on Hardcore Gangbangs, over at Kink.com. I promise, it will be worth it.


Contact the author at annalee@gizmodo.com.
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