Jerome Gouvrion, aka ‘jG’, is probably most highly regarded for his bondage website CaptiveCulture.com, although his LatexCulture.com site is also a fetish force to be reckoned with. He now operates a companion site to these two called LadyFemdom.com, and has Gouvrion.com to showcase his photography and act as a portal to his other sites.
Lucy: In your own words, what makes your site, CaptiveCulture.com, different than other bondage sites?
jG: I don't think my website is different but I know there is a difference which is important to me: women love my pictures! They appreciate the atmosphere in my productions, probably because I propose something different than just showing pussies of bound girls. Bondage should always be fun and aesthetic. A lot of websites only show the ‘hard way’ where women are sexually abused and belittled. I don't like it and this is probably a limit I don't want to cross even if it's a survival question for my website.
L: What was your profession before being a webmaster for bondage sites?
jG: I love to speak about it because it's very unusual. All of this adventure is an accident. I was a manager in the Desktop Publishing industry. It was a serious job and I was pretty good at it, working for the French Government and some companies who were internationally known. One day, I decided to shoot my own pictures and then started the Captive Culture adventure. One year later, I decided to quit my ‘serious’ job because it didn't challenge me any more. That's how I became a full time ‘adult’ webmaster and producer.
L: Why have you decided to focus on softcore pictures? Do you ever plan on do-ing any hardcore material?
jG: A lot of people think bondage websites are similar to the porn industry. But some people forget that we start these internet adventures as true bondage lov-ers. Nowadays, we are nothing more than small and independent producers fighting to go on sharing our passion worldwide. That's why bondage websites have changed a lot in the last two years and became more explicit. The truth is, you can't survive proposing only soft bondage like we did a few years ago. I personally regret this evolution because bondage is a serious passion and too many people think negatively when they hear words like ‘bondage’ or ‘sadomasochism’.
But there are there are two reasons why I continue to focus on softcore produc-tions. First, I am not a sex addict. I mean, I've never been interested by the basic sexual art. Sex must be love and/or perverted. Porn is often basic and boring to me. I am not a ‘pussy’ maniac so I have more ideas to shoot than just ‘pussy’ with my photography. Second, I was a pioneer in France. When I started, there were no real membership websites and bondage was considered something weird here so I didn't have a lot of models available for shooting except amateur models or girls working in the porn industry.
I didn't want to work with girls doing porn (probably because I was more comfortable with less extroverted women). So I started shooting amateur models interested in my softcore vision and they were totally against doing or showing more. Things have changed a little bit since this time but we have stayed on the same basis: no professional models.
L: How did you acquire your bondage skills and what inspires the ties you do for your shoots, which are often quite elaborate?
jG: Like a lot of people... I started by making horrible ropework! I was able to try more creative bindings when, after two years of practice on models and friends, I became good enough to manage my stress. Fighting with ropes causes a lot of stress specially when you know the girl is waiting for you or when you see the result is not what you want.
Sometimes I have some ideas before I start my ropework, sometimes not. My inspiration and creativity will also depend on my partner. The more I know her, the more I can do something complicated. You have to know her better than she knows herself. You have to anticipate what she feels and you have to know when to stop before she needs to ask.
But experience taught me something: it's better just to improvise because your partner's comfort is the most important thing. You have to manage her fatigue and change your plans if needed, so I prefer to not have plans. Bondage is a lot like love — you know the theory but you need to live each minute either calcu-lating or cheating!
L: Are you married? What do your family and friends think about your bondage sites?
jG: I am single and satisfied about it. Love is a far-off memory for me. Some people are made to be alone and I think I'm on that team! I think it's better because I can't give happiness to the woman I love... and it would be more difficult having a serious relationship with this job. My girlfriend would have some problems to manage unless she was a model, but I don't mix my job and pleasure.
‘I've lost a lot of friends since I started Captive Culture and it's difficult to be sure about the cause. Maybe it's because I work seven days a week’
My family and especially my friends know my work. Their feeling? Well they say ‘Oh that's so cool’ but really they think ‘it's evil, he's mad’. I've lost a lot of friends since I started the Captive Culture adventure and it's difficult to be sure about the cause. Maybe it's because I work seven days a week, maybe it's me (I changed, I admit, mainly because this work is a social-life killer) or maybe just because they hate what I do. In reality, I think it's a mix of all three reasons!
L: Your models ooze sex appeal and temptation must be everywhere! How do you stay professional in your environment?
jG: As I said, I'm not a kind of guy who is obsessed by the two words ‘pussy’ and ‘fuck’. This favours me. It's also a question of respect towards the girls (and not only my models). Even if I am sometimes a bit rude, there is a line I would never cross: their intimacy. I know how to control myself and to manage my emotions when we speak about serious things like this. I've always had a harsh opinion about men who rape girls, I think this is because I don't understand why they can loose control and be so horrible. That's probably why I can never be tempted to take unfair advantage of a situation.
L: How do you make a new model gain your trust and feel comfortable with you taking pictures of her?
jG: Several models have already told me I inspire confidence. Maybe because they feel I am not a sexual predator. Also because I always consider their feeling and their comfort. I know when I have to smile, joke or stop speaking to avoid the girl thinking the ‘tight’ situation is real.
Every shoot is acting, even though the girls give a lot from themselves. Thinking too much is easy when you're tied, naked and waiting for the photographer. It can make you more anxious or uncomfortable about the situation. As the producer and as a respectful man, I have to protect the model against these bad thoughts. The most difficult part of the job is managing the fragile balance between ‘what you need’ and ‘what she wants’.
Things are easier these days. Now I am known in France and I have a good reputation. The girls know I am hard to please but I don't touch them... except when I need to tie them and, even at this time, I don't have wandering hands like some other photographers I know. Also, I have a female assistant who is a model. This helps avoid any misunderstandings. So I don't need to earn their trust, they give it to me because they know my studio is a safe place to work.
L: Do you ever date and/or party with your models? Have you ever fallen in love with one of them?
jG: I've always tried to separate my job and my private life. It's not easy because I work with girls who accept revealing their physical intimacy. I have to return some kind of warmth to build a relationship with them. I've always had the opinion that the best winning move is to be distant in my profession... but it's not my nature in life. I listen and I talk to them but I avoid all things the model could misunderstand. I rarely go to restaurants and I never go to parties except for business purposes.
Of course, there are some exceptions. I actually had one ambiguous relationship with one of my first models. She was 18 and full of life when I was going on 30 and had a boring life full of work. She was searching for somebody able to love her honestly. But she started taking more and more of my time from day to day and then I started to question myself. Finally, we went different ways but we got together two years after, just like good friends. So, technically, you can say I already loved one of my models but, in fact, I was more interested by the young tormented student than by the model dressed in latex. That’s the only case — and that was six years ago.
‘The most important feature of a bondage model is her face and her ability to express something intense or sexy with her eyes and mouth’
L: What makes a good bondage model? What physical and personality traits do you look for when you select them?
jG: The most important feature of a bondage model is her face and her ability to express something intense or sexy with her eyes and mouth. Because all bond-age games are based on fun, pain or pleasure, it's really important to work with girls who are able to create and share these three emotions. You can do basic bondage, but if the girl's face makes you think of something sexy or perverted, it is so much better!
Physically, a good bondage model is a woman who is flexible and resistant. She knows her body and her limit and the best way to manage the restraint. Basically, the more flexible the girl is, less restricting the binds will be. I've noticed dancers are generally really good in bondage modelling because they've learned discipline, suppleness, tenacity and pain. Lastly, if the girl loves to be bound and truly loves the bondage aestheticism, you will definitely do better shoots with her!
L: What makes French women so sexy and beautiful?
jG: I think there are beautiful women around the world and some features are more specific for different regions or countries. In France, girls are obsessed with their weight and their skin — that's the reason why French girls are so thin and they probably look so nice. French girls could be the best models if they could work regularly with pro photographers (but they can't) and if they would be more concerned about their career (a lot of them don't make the right choices). That is a pity because I've worked with several non-local models and I can assure you French models are the most interesting to work with!
There is another reason why French models are so sexy — they are more re-served than others. They are sexy without being nasty or obscene.
L: What do some of the models do when they are not posing for you?
jG: When I first started, almost all my models were modelling and working as secretaries or hostesses. In the past few years, my models have been mainly students. French girls love to be shot just after their 18th birthday and to stop before their 22nd. This happens mainly because they can't live on modelling alone or just because they get burned out.
L: Do you have a favourite model that you work with?
jG: I actually have had four models I've really appreciated working with over the years. I know people who would compare them to my muses. One sure thing is these four girls have inspired me a lot. I've loved their faces, eyes, body, style and what they gave to me. It's not easy to be a ‘Captive Girl’ and these four models trusted me and worked more than others. They will forever personify my vision of femininity and symbolise what my photographic path was at different ages.
All of them were good people and I have a lot of tenderness for them... even if I have some regrets too.
The text above is extracted from Lucy Boots’ April interview with Jerome Gouvrion for her Kinky Sex Slut blog at Blogspot.com. You can read the full interview, entitled Confessions of a Bondage Webmaster: An Exclusive Interview with jG of Captive Culture, by clicking on the link in the left-hand column of this page.