Photographer Danny Ghitis is a heterosexual, "vanilla guy," he told Slate
, in September. So, he set out to better understand those who don't fit his own descriptors — the kinksters and fetishists of the BDSM world — through his work.
An introduction on his website explains that he looks for "interesting strangers and communities
with complex identities to document." In 2011, Ghitis began reaching out to members of FetLife
, a BDSM social network, and photographing volunteers in outfits that speak to their sexual and gender identities. "I began this project as a response to my own feelings of ignorance about a subject that was being widely discussed, particularly because of marriage equality legislation passing in New York," Ghitis says. "Of course, I do not equate being gay with having kinks, but the concept of sexuality outside the mainstream was on my mind, and I wanted to step outside my comfort zone."
By framing their so-called "deviant" sex lives in the context of daily life, he sought to humanize his subjects rather than to other them. The result is The FetLife
, his ongoing series of photos of New Yorkers' most intimate selves. Click through for the portraits, as well as Danny's commentary on the striking individuals who agreed to reveal their bedroom personas to the world.