As she’s a self-confessed Lycra, latex and heavy rubber fetishist, you might expect Dutch Dame to dress up for her bondage performances with Bob. But that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.
“I do dress up sometimes — but it depends whether the venue allows nudity or not. Bob likes ‘as naked as possible’ because if I wear a zentai suit and we do suspension, the ropes can slide, and that’s not good for the bondage.
“And I don’t wear rubber with rope because the rope takes off the shine and can even break the rubber.
“When it’s not a suspension, there’s not so much weight pulling on it, but it’s always a risk doing bondage over latex. And I love my latex, so I don’t want to take that risk!”
Away from public performances and workshops, Dutch Dame and her partner have a little Amsterdam studio where they can do photography. But while Bob is an accomplished photographer as well as an expert rigger, he tends to focus just on the rigging in most of their bondage shoots.
And when Dutch Dame is modelling latex she works with a variety of photographers. It all seems pretty relaxed. “I’m a big rubber lover and I love rope too, and Bob is a big rope lover who loves latex too.”
As we chat on the terrace outside my hotel room, taking full advantage of the unexpectedly warm autumn sunshine, I discover that she hasn’t yet seen the Kim West latex that will be shown on the Dominatrix fashion catwalk later the same evening.
When I explain that Kim’s designs use chlorinated latex reversed so that the original matt side, made silky by the chemical treatment, is on the outside, and that the appearance is rather like Lycra — making it eminently suitable for daytime wear — my interviewee perks up.
“Interesting! In the last few years latex has become more mainstream, and now you’re saying with this new latex, I can actually wear it outside all day? Genius, I love that. It would be fantastic if I could wear latex when I go to the shop for groceries!”
Spoken like a true perv.
When I ask what latex designers she currently likes, she says there are too many to name, adding:
“Tonight with the catwalk, every model that comes on, I’ll be like, ‘Oh I want that, oh, oh, yeah I want that.
“Of course it depends on what your goal is, what kind of shoot or party it is for. Every designer has their own quality — I like the heavy rubber stuff a lot, I love corsets and hoods.”
This prompts me to mention Rubber Cult, the London club that surely boasts the biggest concentration of latex hood-wearers at any UK fetish event, and where you will see hoods worn as fetish items and fashion statements with equal enthusiasm.
“Interesting that it’s developing as a fashion statement,” she responds, “because for me hoods are one of my fetishes. When I wear a hood, I’m not on this world any more…”
Does she mean that it takes her straight into subspace? “Yeah, it can.” Even if it’s not an actual bondage hood?
“Yes, absolutely. It’s something about the latex on my face that does the trick for me. But if it’s a bondage hood it gets even better.”
She has attended London events (but “not often enough”, she admits) and in terms of other countries’ fetish cultures, is more familiar with the scene in neighbouring Germany than in the UK. So I wonder what differences she has observed between the Dutch and German scenes.
“I think in Germany it’s so different from Holland,” she says. “The atmosphere at parties is different and the way people dress is different.
“I’ve seen the wildest creations at German parties, they were really amazing. And people are very polite with each other’s rubber — they know it’s expensive.
“Plus I noticed in Germany that the parties start earlier.”
This might be, I venture, because German fetish partygoers don’t take drugs so much, and also, they’re mindful of having to get up for work the next day. Because unlike us Brits, most of them actually have jobs. That’s what a German told me, anyway.
And as for Dutch parties… I ask if she’s aware of a perception of some Dutch fetish events that they’re a bit too popular with swingers who see them as hunting grounds for ‘sexy and available’ women, and with straight couples who’ve been advised by their therapists to try something ‘kinky’ to rejuvenate their sex lives.
“I never thought of it like that,’ she says. “In the fetish scene it’s not about finding a partner, it’s about exploring the fetish — maybe with a partner of course, or a play partner you just met, but not for swinging.”
She makes a joke about people whose idea of bondage is a pair of fluffy sex-shop handcuffs, and then adds, with a smile: “I’ve tried to convince Bob to get pink rope, but he refuses — there’s no pink rope for me!
She adds, however, that her partner is not a total traditionalist, in that he doesn’t restrict himself to using only natural-coloured hemp rope.
“We recently bought more rope from Japan in bright colours. I like it, it looks more cute, like the girl is not suffering.
“But it depends what your purpose is. If you want to make that art picture, that perfect artistic bondage, then yeah, the bondage is the same, the experience is the same, the brutality is the same…”
I have to admire Dutch Dame’s honesty in using the word ‘brutality’ in connection with rope bondage. It’s an aspect of the experience that is often glossed over, perhaps because of its potential to disturb those who don’t appreciate the dynamics of BDSM.
The model says that she and her partner have actually experienced a few occasions when people have come up after a show and “told Bob he abuses women and he’s bad and it is shocking…”
Surprisingly, then, it’s apparently not always obvious to everyone that his bondage partner is a willing participant.
“We both want it,” she protests. “I am submissive and I want to serve Bob in this case. I like the pain — because bondage can be very painful.
“I like to take a submissive role in the bondage and pain is part of it, and when it’s brutal, it’s very nice, it’s a pleasure for me, I enjoy that and it does the trick for me.
“And Bob likes to play the other role and that’s why we work so well together. But it’s totally consensual. I want it. I crave to be in that role.”
February 3, 2015
Bob (pictured right and below with Dutch Dame) says his love for the bound female form showed itself at a young age when he started reading comics. One day, he took his pocket money to his favourite comic book shop, which had a small adult section.
While waiting to pay for his comic he caught a glimpse of the magazine the man in front of him was paying for. The magazine had a black and white cover photo of a hogtied model dressed in lingerie; this was his first sight of such an image, and it had quite an effect on him.
A few weeks later Bob found himself once again standing in the adult section of that comic book store, looking for a magazine with a bound female. “I never blushed as much as when I paid for that magazine,” he confesses.
He encountered more bondage imagery after this but found the approach of European publications — which featured mainly leather cuffs for restraint — unconvincing. “The use of rope was minimal and aesthetics were also in short supply,” he recalls. “It was nice and exciting, but not exactly what I was looking for.”
After his 16th birthday Bob got access to the internet and started looking online for information about bondage. Besides some useful texts he also found photos of Asian women bound with rope.
These images were like nothing he’d seen before. There was beauty in the bondage, a purpose, an aesthetic. The bondage itself could almost be seen as art. The model serving as a canvas for the artist to apply his ropes on. The model became a living piece of erotic art. Not only did it look wonderful; it was also very arousing.
When he discovered that this ‘Japanese bondage’ or kinbaku was what he liked, he began concentrating on it — studying it by absorbing texts and dissecting photos. His focus on kinbaku became more intense until in 1999 he officially launched his own company, RopeMarks.
As RopeMarks, Bob continued studying and specialising professionally in Japanese rope bondage (shibari and kinbaku), and studied under the late Akechi Denki (明智伝鬼) and Naka Akira (奈加あきら) in the Land of the Rising Sun.
RopeMarks’ current work reflects the traditional techniques taught by those two leading nawashi, broadened by Bob’s own distinct and unique style.
In 2009 the paths of RopeMarks and Dutch Dame crossed. Their debut collaboration was nothing less than love at first sight, and since then Dutch Dame has become the main model for RopeMarks’ activities.
Today Bob RopeMarks is recognised as the leading Dutch specialist in the field of Japanese rope bondage, is considered a household name of very good reputation in the European bondage/fetish/BDSM scene, and is a very well-known name with equally good reputation in the wider international scene.
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