16 Fetishists Get Candid In Intimate Photo Series (NSFW)

Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
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.
1 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
ZentaiMan206 straight male, cosplay enthusiast

"When I arrived at the college dorm building where this was shot, a fire alarm had gone off and many students were standing outside waiting. It was interesting to become aware at that moment of how difficult it must be to discover alternative sexual interests at a young age while surrounded by mainstream influences."
2 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
Contele and CassandraMoon; husband and wife involved in theater and into role-play

"Theatricality plays a major role in this project, as most of my subjects are playing out roles to express different desires. This couple is involved in theater in their vanilla lives and combine their interests with performance and fetish on various levels."
3 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
Swinginglana, bisexual kinkster, both dominant and submissive

"The challenge with photographing Lana was that she plays different roles, while also living a fairly normal life. I chose this juxtaposition to emphasize the contrast between her role-play and typical NYC apartment life."
4 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
Gorilla_Bob, erotic photographer and writer into sensual body worship, particularly feet

"Bob did not become involved personally in the kink scene until later in life. For years, he photographed burlesque shows and the Coney Island 'freak' community with a stereoscopic camera (3-D). His gorilla outfit is what he wore for years being a part of that community."
5 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
MadeleineMorte and Tinta, married queer couple (now separated); extreme leather lover and bondage performer, and ex-military with a uniform fetish

"Since making this photo, the couple has split up, which to me makes the image more interesting. At the time they struck me as incompatible, but they seemed to be caring for each other's needs."
6 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
RileyKilo, transgender age-player

"This was the first subject I photographed for the project, and also one of the most challenging for me. Because her fetish deals with regression to childhood, it took me a while to understand the distinction between this and sexualizing children. In Riley's case, she explained that age play is a way of connecting to a childhood as a girl that she never experienced."
7 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
TheBaroness, pansexual dominant diva, latex expert, and fashion designer

"Being invited to meet with The Baroness was interesting because she lives with her non-kinky husband in a fairly normal Manhattan apartment, but her room and demeanor are quite fantastical. She has an air of aristocracy and seems to fully embrace the world of fantasy she creates."
8 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
TheTerribleGirl, submissive into rape role-play

"It was intimidating to photograph someone interested in rape role-play because, as a man, I can be seen as a potential threat to women. However, I listened to her story and this kink is a way of processing emotions in a controlled environment, which I feel is a positive thing."
9 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
Alienmaster, gay male, rubber master, and role-player

"These gentlemen are people one might never expect to be so creative and expressive in their sexuality given their mundane NYC jobs. They are somewhat childlike in the way they play and make films — it reminded me of how I used to pretend I was a superhero and run around with friends shooting each other with imagined laser beams. Minus the probes, of course."
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Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
Zoe1984, a polyamorous bisexual student interested in the sexual power struggle

"I learned about a book called The Ethical Slut from Zoe, a student at a prominent university in NYC. That book was set against heavy academic textbooks around her apartment. This was early on in the project, and I began considering a concept the book describes, 'Infinite Sexual Possibilities.'"
11 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
BLUNT and MissCouple, sadomasochist sisters and professional mistresses

"Through this project I've learned that labels are very flexible in the kink community. These two consider themselves sisters (not biologically), but they are also involved sexually and professionally."
12 of 13
Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
Erinhoudini, a rope mistress and anti-escape artist, trans woman activist

"Erin's approach to sexuality and relationships was eye-opening, not just because of her interest in bondage but because she and her longterm girlfriend have an open relationship. She explained that they are best friends and life partners, but rarely sleep together anymore and allow each other sexual freedom."
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Photographed by Danny Ghitis.
Slut Tammy, cross-dressing bisexual alter ego

"I photographed Tammy in her daughter's apartment, where she has found a comfort zone that allows her to meet men and play out her fantasies. Most of her life, and still to this day, she is mostly a vanilla male living a typical life but transforms into a very different person as Tammy. Her wife died about a decade ago and since then she has embraced this alter ego, but said she would give it all back in exchange for her wife."

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