Interviews

DallasKink Interview: How To Get People To Let You Hang Them Off Bridges

In my never-ending descent down the rabbit-hole of sexual play, I found myself a little frightened and more than a little turned-on by the audacious guerrilla suspension photography of bondage artist Dallas Kink. This week I got to spend a few minutes exploring his deviant mind.

How was Beyond Vanilla?

Beyond Vanilla was terrific. I go to most of these kind of conferences in a variety of capacities, sometimes it's vending, sometimes it's presenting. This time it was vending, and in those cases it's all sort of about meeting people and making connections, finding out what the other vendors are doing and many how we can play together. Like there was a violet wand distributor in the booth next to me. And on the first day I looked at what she had and what I had and thought, well there’s not really any way for us to play together.” So I went home and made some rope with something conductive in it, and the next day we were able to play.

This is a violet wand. It produces sensations varying from electrified tingles to biting shocks depending on what attachments are used and how they are implemented. Using a violet wand with rope woven with mylar, which is conductive, would send electric tingles anywhere the rope was touching skin. This is not an activity for kink newbies, and should only be practiced with Risk Aware Kinksters.

So you wove something conductive through the rope?

Right. Mylar.

Did you get to use it?

Yeah. There was a customer that bought some of it. So it’s all about networking and finding fits where people meet there how they can work with other people in your community.

It seems like a great place to network. Do people come from all over to the conferences in Dallas, or do people stay within their regions?

It depends on what the conference is. Beyond Vanilla has been around for so long that it attracts a great deal locally and regionally. I’m sure their reach nationally is like other conferences in that there is a name you’re following, that you want to get information from or meet or to tutorial from you’ll go a little further to get that chance to do that.

You’re a little different because you do guerrilla suspension bondage. You go around Dallas, suspend rope models from bridges and cranes, and shoot photography, right? How many people are doing things similar to what you’re doing?

And things and stuff yeah. You know, there are some. There's a guy in New York called Stark-Art who does quite a bit of it. He was very inspirational to me as I was finding out about Fetlife and other sorts of kinky sites and portals.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Oak Cliff - Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

But it was more of an effort to do a couple of things. A few things were happening at that time. I was becoming more interested in bondage and actively tying people. I was becoming more interested in photography and taking some good pictures, and at the same time I had lived in Dallas for quite a while, but I continued to struggle finding my way downtown. So it kind of was confluence of things - meeting people, finding my way in town, taking pictures, and tying people up, so it just sprouted from that. Maybe I meet some like-minded people, ask them if I can take their picture, and the first time it was like “Hey, here’s my idea. I want to tie you up and take pictures of you downtown.” They kind of laughed and said, “I don’t think so.” Then I hired a model and there were a couple of brave souls who said, “Yeah that sounds fun. Do you mind if I bring my photographer?” or boyfriend or girlfriend or whatever, and I always said, “Yeah yeah that’s cool, bring them. They’ll be look outs.” So that’s kind of how it started.

After a while people realized that they wouldn’t end up in my freezer, and this is a real thing, and “He’s got this art project.” It became much easier.

Do you have people seeking you out now? Do you have rope models seeking you out and asking you to tie them up and take pictures of them?

It happens sometimes. Everything has an ebb and flow to it. Nowadays if I post an interesting picture in an interesting location, then it tends to interest people and creates some buzz. Eventually somebody will say, “Hey I have a friend that’s interested and you should talk to them.” But if I'm busy and don’t post anything for a while, then sometimes I end up saying, “Hey I have an idea. Let’s get together and do this thing and so sometimes I ask, sometimes they ask.

Cedar Hill, Dallas - Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

You said that you sometimes let other people attend the shoots so that they can be lookouts. Have you ever been harassed by the cops?

At this point I’ve done shoots for this art project about 200 times and it’s about 10 percent of the time that there is some sort of police interaction.

What do they usually say to you?

Most of the time, they have really good perspective on it all. They assess the situation pretty quick and go, “What’s going on?" and I say, “We’re just taking pictures, its an art project.” And they say, “Oh ok, do you have a permit or...”

(laughs)

And I say, “No, nope...” and they say, “Okay, well you need to wrap it up then,” and by that time I’m already done anyway, so....

So you cut the ropes.

Right. And it just kind of depends on how egregious I think I’m being at the time as to how quick I feel I need to leave. So if it's somewhere I feel like I’m not breaking any laws, or harassing anyone, or on private property or anything like that, then I might stand my ground and wait around until they show up and start asking questions if I haven’t gotten my shot yet. But I’m not there to find them, I’m there to get my shot.

Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

It does heighten the whole thing. The first time it was really nerve-wracking, very tense. I didn’t know if there was going to be a citation, or if I was going to jail, or what’s the story here. But each progressive time that they roll up and ask me what I’m doing and I say, “You know, just doing some bondage and taking some pictures,” and they kind of blush and go, "Oh, okay, nevermind," and they go away.

They might be starting to get to know you by now, if you’ve done it 200 times across the city.

Right. Only 20 times have I had interaction though - so that’s still a fairly low number - but each interaction is unique and each officer is unique. There has been a time where I was hanging girls from a bridge and some officers rolled up and one of them was a corporal - two stripes, I believe - and she let me take a picture of the girl tied up in front of her car, and with her in the picture.

Caught by the Cops - Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

Oh wow.

Hey, this is pretty bold here. So I felt like at that point I kind of had some skins on the wall, and I kept that picture in my phone so that if I ever rolled into somebody who started hassling me I could say, “Oh well, I have this picture here of someone that looks like they outrank you.” They seem to be okay with it.

(laughs)

But I don’t want to pull that card. I want to be friendly and interact with them and let them know that this is all just fun and art project kind of stuff, and we’ll be on our merry way as quick as we can be.

That’s good that they are mostly accepting of it then. How do you choose your locations to shoot? Do you find people who will let you shoot on their property? Do you sneak in? How do you do that?

Pastime Tavern, Deep Ellum - Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

It’s a mix of inspirations. As I'm driving around town, I might see a view of the skyline and think, “Wow, that’s a really cool shot. Is there anything around here that I could hang someone from?”

Yeah, it’s only missing a tied up, naked girl. Right. Other times other people will have an agenda of their own. So a model will come to me and say, “Hey, I found this thing in my neighborhood where I grew up, and I kinda want to claim it. Can we tie there?”

That’s awesome.

Yeah, it's more of a collaboration. And it's their inspiration more than mine. It just depends on who comes to me and where I am, seasons, and pretty much, if I'm anywhere in public, I’m looking around for a place that I can hang someone from.

(Laughing) You’re always trying to kinkify your environment.

Yeah, you never know.

Waterfall Billboard on heavily trafficked I-75 - Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

Waterfall Billboard on heavily trafficked I-75 - Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

What kind of reactions do you hope your photographs incite? What do you hope people feel about what they are seeing in your photography?

Some sort of familiarity with the place. I occasionally have people that will see a picture and say, “Oh my gawd, I drive past that place every day!" And it just makes them consider that place differently. Other times it’s more, “I can’t believe you got away with that,” rather than the recognition of a familiar place. It just depends on what the picture is and how it strikes the viewer.

Why rope? Why choose rope over any other kind of restraint? Chains, or anything else?

There are a couple of answers to that. When I was eight or so, I had a neighbor who was seven or so who talked me into going to his older brother’s room and listening to a couple of albums that he thought were great. And it was great. Foreigner and Styx. It was wonderful, but his older brother didn’t like us being in his room. He came in and said, “What are you doing in here? Don’t move.” He went and grabbed some rope and a friend. They tied us up and threw us in the front yard and told us to stay the heck out of his room. It was just a very powerful experience, and I remember thinking, “I want to do that. I want to be that.”

So I asked my neighbor, “Hey, let’s go listen to your brother’s albums again.” We got tied up one more time, and I figured out what they were doing and how they went about it. Then I went and tied up my sister, and my parents were like, “No, no, no....”

So that bent was impressed upon me early. Rope things, bondage, in that way. And like most things that guys get into, it was kind of girl-driven. It was a kink that I liked and enjoyed. I have a lot of other kinks, like fire and electricity.

Pioneer Plaza Cemetery, Downtown - Photography by Ginger Berry, Rope by Dallas Kink, Modeling by Laura Ostteen

Along the way, it was just the one that stood out the most. - Dallas Kink

A girl I was dating a while back asked if I would tie her up before we had sex, and I said, “Wow, that resonates within me, yeah, absolutely.” The next girl I dated was just very obviously into rope bondage, so we started exploring, ran to Home Depot, got some rope, did some stuff. We compared it to the pictures we were looking at on the internet. “Oh, this just doesn’t look the same. What’s different? Oh its the rope. Let’s find that rope, whatever they’re using that isn’t this Home Depot stuff. So it just progressed from there. It was a kink that I liked and enjoyed. I have a lot of other kinks, like fire and electricity. Along the way, it was just the one that stood out the most.

The project itself was meant to be pan-kink, so if there was someone who wanted to be in the art project they could show up with their sub and their whip, and I would take a picture of them whipping someone in public, but the majority of the people that approached me were interested in being tied up. No one was really into fire or wax or needles or anything that said, “Hey I want to be a part of your art project,” so it just gravitated toward rope and girl and landmark because those were the things that were interesting to me.

Do you have any wild stories from any of your shoots?

There’s a story for every shoot. It’s an adventure every time. Especially the ones with the police involvement, there’s some sort of exchange that is either comical or nerve-wracking.

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink)

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink)

Once, I was hanging a girl from a two-ton iron structure, and the police office asked me if I felt confident that the iron structure was going to support the girl. She wasn’t worried about the six millimeter natural fiber rope that she was suspended from.

Other times it's sort of contentious. I had a security officer chase me from a parking garage of a local hospital that had a great view of the skyline, but he didn’t want anyone up there tying up people on the parking garage, and I get that. But he went so far as to chase me five blocks away from the hospital in his car to make sure that I was clear of the premises.

And other times you just find the random drunk guy who wants to do commentary on the whole process. [Imitating a drunk guy.] “Yeah I don’t even think he knows what he’s doing! He can’t even tie a knot!” Something every time, though.

Omni Hotel, Downtown (Photography and Rope by Dallas Kink

What do your models say about being suspended?

The best line was delivered about two days after the shoot. As we were talking about it she said, “By the way, huge leap of faith,” and that felt good to hear. Other comments include, “You're taking the rope off already,” “Are we going to get arrested,” and, “When can we do that again?” Often, it's just something unique for their modeling portfolio.

It's a dare. It’s the first to back down at that point. - Dallas Kink

Are the girls safe? Are there any risks to what they do that they aren’t aware of?

There have been a couple of times that they have had more sense than I have. I was on a golf course one time, and there was this tree that was dead. I thought it would be weight-bearing, at least. It's a really big tree and the girl said, “No. Nuh-uh. It’s a dead tree. You don’t want to hang me from that.” And I said, “Oh, I’ll just test it out,” and put my weight on it, and the branch came down and nearly hit me in the head. So there’s risk just stepping out of your front door.

Dallas Kink with burlesque performer Nikki Trash at Bondage Expo Dallas, 2014

There’s risk just stepping out of your front door. - Dallas Kink

Most of the models are risk-aware of what is going on. I don’t have them blindfolded and suddenly hanging off the side of a building without their knowledge. It’s usually sort of a collaborative effort. “Here’s my idea, sound like something you’re willing to try?” Then they expand on it, and then it's a dare. It’s the first to back down at that point.

I’m willing to hop one gate, that’s my mantra to doing guerrilla bondage, but two gates means that you just really shouldn’t be in there. But models will occasionally go, “No, c’mon, let’s go! It’s just right up here!” And so next thing you know I’m climbing another fence.

(laughing)  And so there’s the second fence.

Yeah, it's like, let me go get the ladder. We can do this. It’s no problem.

Is there a place where people can see your suspension bondage photography or get some rope?

Yeah, you can find me at DallasKink.com. There’s rope and pictures there. I also host the Bondage Expo Dallas event every year.

Thanks for raising the bar for all kinksters. Now I have to find someone who can tie me up and suspend me from a building.

 

 

Screenshot from pinkropes.com

Screenshot from pinkropes.com

DallasKink and his wife launched Pinkropes.com to advocate for breast cancer awareness. Each purchase of handmade, pink rope, helps benefit cancer charities working to cure cancer. According to their website, "For them, breast cancer is personal. James’ mother is a two time breast cancer survivor. Cat’s mother passed away after a grueling fight with both colon and breast cancer. We know first hand what this disease does to it’s victims and their families."