IN SITU: New Photodocumentary Work/ PUP PLAY AND BEYOND – EXPLORING BRISBANE’S BDSM SUBCULTURE

by Richard Fraser

The inherent intimacy of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) means that they are usually practiced behind closed doors. Because of their private nature, it is easy for misconceptions to arise and flourish. This body of work shines a light on BDSM subculture, exploring some of the people, dynamics and practices that are part of this often secret world.

The project commenced with an exploration of ‘pup play’, a relatively recent interpretation of the dominance and submission dynamic that underlies much of BDSM. This led seamlessly to an exploration of other practices, including boot-blacking, impact play and rope bondage, and the close relationship between BDSM and leather subcultures.

My aim has been to capture and represent the diversity of BDSM practitioners and the realities of their experiences, while avoiding the staged and dramatised representations of BDSM often found in mainstream entertainment media. My interactions with this community have left an overwhelming impression of the love, trust and compassion, which underpin dominant/submissive relationships. These elements are often overlooked or dismissed by mainstream society.

This body of work is continuing to develop, in collaboration with members of the BDSM community.

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