Am I "Bent?"
"Hey Jim, I was reading through your site and looking at the images and stuff and I got to wondering, are you really into the kinky stuff or is it just for photography?" That's a paraphrase but it's pretty close to the question she asked.
My answer was and is pretty simple. I am absolutely kinky. For sure there are elements that are fun. But I've found that my relationships that explore kink are deeper, broader and more fulfilling than my vanilla ever was. There's something about kink that lets us be real about who we are. Our desires aren't hidden. Taboo is a taboo word.
She wanted to understand if it was all whips and chains... I laughed. No. It's more, really about exploration and it's about mutual desire. Growing up in our world many of us were taught to live within swim lanes dictated by religious preferences or conservative perspective. We were, literally, taught, not to want certain things. The problem, of course, is that one doesn't just teach away want. The space where I live in kink is a space where exploration of those wants isn't "wrong." In fact, it couldn't be more right.
She asked if I "did stuff" with people I shoot. The simple answer is no. But that's not a complete answer. There are degrees of "doing stuff." Sometimes someone wants their shoot to include elements of play. If so, that's discussed so boundaries are understood and I've very careful of those boundaries. The basic answer, beyond "no" is that I never, ever violate someone's trust.
I also still do a lot of shoots that don't have any kink elements at all. A session can be extremely sensual and sometimes downright erotic, without cuffs and collars. In the end, what we shoot, and why, is up to the person in front of the camera. And in my world, that's the way it should be.