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When photographer Andrew Kist offered to share his snaps of NYC's S&M scene with us, we knew they were too good to keep to ourselves. Though we might not be into the whole Sadomasochism thing, we're always up for discovering a side of the city that, let's face it, we're all a little curious about—even if it is NSFW-ish. To get you in on the adventure, we asked Kist to caption his photographic forays, plus provide a first-hand account of his entrée into dungeons, whips, and thousands of dollars of latex.
"When I started taking these pictures, I remember feeling as though I had done something that I really shouldn't be doing. So, of course, I immediately set about doing a lot more of it, as well as working on my cover-up story: 'They’re just edgy fashion pictures!' Then, I had to find hiding places for the film and prints when guests came to stay.
"Even as a child I remember knowing that there was a little something different about me. When I unearthed my parents’ copy of The Joy of Sex, it was straight to pages on bondage and S&M. I think I moved to New York to become a pervert and a photographer among other things. The former was elusive but the latter happened easily enough. I knew there was a fetish scene out there as I saw fliers sitting out when I gathered up the courage to walk into a sex shop, but I just couldn’t find it.
"And then came the internet, and I was off to the races. At first I was sneaking out of the house in head-to-toe black, the standard uniform that allowed entry to a fetish club or party if you didn’t have a 'proper' fetish wardrobe. For a while, there was even a fetish-themed bar that I would skulk into where a real living Dominatrix was working, right there in the bar, spanking fat, old men in their underwear. Yeah, that part was weird.
"But then Ruth came along...and everything changed. The single greatest asset to trolling S&M play parties is a more-than-willing, totally complicit, beautiful, and fearless muse. We discovered our shared interest, fell in love, and after a few thousand dollars spent on a latex wardrobe, we were off to every party we could find. The dungeons where professional Dominatrixes worked would have monthly play parties that were just a tad seedy, but great fun if you have an exhibitionist streak in you. The big club parties were excellent meet-and-greets with a few thousand people. Being the nice, clean couple next door, who just happened to get dressed neck-to-toe in latex, got us invited to every after-party. Pretty soon we were running into people from the scene everywhere, and when our friends started to find out about our not-so-private life, the most amazing thing happened. We found out most of them didn’t care! Some were intrigued, some came clean about being closeted perverts, and some came to us for advice on how to tell a girlfriend they wanted to be spanked.
"To document my initiation into this incredible world, my camera came everywhere with us—as is evidenced here. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. From time to time, I can hear the faint sound of a bullwhip being used, somewhere on my block. I've always wondered who that is. On second thought, I probably already know them."
To see more of his work, head over to his website, or check out his upcoming exhibition in Philadelphia.
Click through—if you dare—just make sure the boss isn't watching!