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May 06, 2016

Janus Rainer, ‘Queen of Bondage,’ Passes at Age 68

NEW YORK—Janus Rainer, a former waitress and dancer who went on to become a director of adult films and a a member of the AVN Hall of Fame, passed Tuesday evening in Pennsylvania. She was 68. Rainer, whose career was based out of New York and the East Coast, was known as the Queen of Bondage at a time when fetish and BDSM movies were very much a niche product.  “She was working as a dancer when she came in contact with some people who allowed her to get into the magazine publishing business,” said her brother and adult industry colleague Nate Silver. “She started and ran Out magazine and Women in Command. Her publishing company noticed she had a real talent for producing fetish and female domination content and asked her to try her hand at directing.” Rainer created her first movie, Bizarre Sorceress, in 1979, but her most productive years were 1983 through 1995. She was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame in the mid-1990s. “Janus actually created the the first 92 videos made by Bizarre Video,” said Silver. ”Then she created Star Maker Video and we put out 300 to 400 films there. “I had the pleasure or working with my big sister for years,” Silver told AVN. “We would sit together in the living room and she would come up with these great stories and I would write them down and make out the budgets for them.” Silver noted Rainer brought a sense of pride to her work at a time when controversial content—especially fetish and BDSM content—could land performers and director in hot water. “Janus came from a generation where pornography was taboo,” Silver said. “If you make material that could come across a judge’s desk and he or she could could say ‘this is obscene and illegal’ you could really have troubles. My sister focus on creating content that could never be considered obscene: She focused on the true sexuality of a woman. Her movies had stories and sensuality and beauty. “We would have conversations about how to shoot a woman’s leg,” he continued. “We would start at the tip of a woman’s toe, and travel all the way to her waist, and we would take 15 minutes to do it. “She produced movies for people who were looking for real BDSM content and female domination content,” he added. “My sister wanted to not only focus on the mistress, but also the beauty of the slave and their relationship. She always thought it was beautiful the way a slave would pay homage to their mistress, and eventually the slave would be rewarded for that adoration. But the slave would never, ever, ever be rewarded with her womanhood.” In addition to producing her own content, Rainer was known for helping other women in the industry—especially those who participated in the BDSM and fetish communities—further their own careers with a sense of pride and empowerment. Silver said he remembers women including Kelly Payne, Bunny Blue, Misty Rain, Holly Ryder, Tricia Yen, Teri Diver and more staying on his sister’s couch, leaning how to be true mistresses and how to make the most of their time in the industry. “She told these women to make the movies they wanted to make, to do what they wanted to do, to do what made them happy,” he said. “She always had a sense of pride and wanted other women to know it was OK to be in the industry if they wanted to be, if they were true exhibitionists who wanted to be in this industry.” Rainer also made more “mainstream” adult movies during her career, including Anal Intruder and The Bronx Tale. Silver said she also produced several girl/girl movies and some transsexual titles. In the mid-1990s, when the internet started to dominate and change the industry, Silver said, Rainer decided to retire to the mountains of Pennsylvania with her family. In addition to Silver, Rainer is survived by daughters Valerie and Sandy, and a few other family members. Family was always important to Rainer, Silver said. The oldest of seven children, Rainer cared about nothing more than protecting her four brothers and two sisters, Silver said.  “She was a true big sister,” he said. “I remember her once saying, ‘Never forget where you come from, because where you come from is where they have always loved you and will always love you.’”

 
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