Aorta Magazine Benefit and Release Party!

Come to the Benefit Show and Issue Release Party for Aorta Magazine, a radical art magazine featuring emerging Women, Queer, and Trans Artists. The May issue features the art and an interview of Nikki Nefarious, award-winning photographer and bondage artist.

I saw the earlier issues of this magazine and I must say I am impressed. This is not your ordinary magazine! Full color glossy pages showcase various mediums of art, with even more varied subject matter. The artists that they choose truly are remarkable, each one with a story to tell. It is rare for a magazine to capture the essence of the images printed on the pages, but for Aorta they manage to bring the art alive somehow and they give you a unique opportunity to immediately snuggle up and get up close and personal with the artists and their creations. Aorta is a self-produced, collectively-created, bi-annual publication that features a diversity of emerging and established female, queer and transgender artists. I am highly honored to be part of this publication.

For those of you who can’t attend the show but still want to get your hands on this work of art in itself, please show your support by going to and purchasing a copy of Issue #3. This magazine is a limited-edition run, so only 300 copies will be issued, and the art featured in the publication is both inspiring and provocative, and positively frame-able.

Here is my interview….though you will have to buy the magazine to see the photography of mine they printed 😀

Aorta Magazine Issue #3: Interview with Ms Nikki Nefarious

Many people may not have considered rigging an art. We completely disagree. Not only is it a highly skilled act, it is performative, asthetic [sic], and creative. How would you describe the art of rigging?

The art of rigging is kinesthetic, for all parties involved. The body is a canvas for my ropes and with this canvas I create a work of art, from the placement and weavings of the ropes, the knots themselves, and of course the positions and contortions of the body once bound. The desired effect is not merely to render my captive immobile or restrained, but to transform them into something more than they were before. Every movement they are allowed to make is only by virtue of my ropes and is allowed only to heighten the sensation for both the bottom as well as the eyes of the beholder. I believe that the underlying art of bondage is in knowing the human form, knowing where pressure points are and how to avoid them, knowing how to create comfortable harnesses and positions so that all parties can enjoy the experience for as long as possible, and being able to incorporate the flow of energy into the sensation. I prefer to rig barefoot whenever possible as I grew up rigging in the woods in my youth, and I find it helps to center me to be able to create this art with my bare hands while in my bare feet. For me bondage art is akin to creating living art sculptures.

How does the literal and physical act of restraining, suspending, and binding translate into emotion and metaphor?

I think that this is highly dependent upon the individual experience and it varies from person to person. However I do have some personal observations I could use. One of my favorite suspension moments happened between me and a curious acquaintance who had always wanted to try suspension. She enjoyed bondage play in the bedroom, but had never been suspended before. I suspended her for her first time and there was absolutely no sexual play or implication or “scene”, this was simply for her to have her first suspension experience in a safe space with someone she trusted. Once she was suspended there was a moment when the very energy in the air changed, I saw that she was flying at that moment. She was completely free and without any other external stimulation except for the pressure of the ropes on her skin. When I asked her about it later she informed me that as a busy and stressed single mother of two who worked a full time job, had to provide specialized child care, and was back and forth from outpatient care for her child, she rarely had time to relax, and when she did have time there was just too much on her mind, too much she should be doing. She confided in me that once she was in the air the realized that even if she wanted to run her errands or do that extra load of laundry, she absolutely could not, and in a way that gave her the permission she needed in order to allow herself to fully and completely relax and enjoy that quiet moment. For her the suspension was a form of refuge as well as liberation, though she was tightly bound. For me personally I do self bondage and self suspension, but it isn’t to restrain myself, on the contrary it is an outlet for my expression, a way for me to be unrestrained by the limitations of my day to day life. Ironically enough I believe that physical bondage in itself is a mentally and emotionally liberating experience.

You are also a photographer, maybe a spider woman photographer? You put people in a web of bondage and then photograph them. What is the photograph or portrait of? The captive? Your web? Both?

All of the above! I like to tell a story with my photography, each photo a mere snippet from some visual novel or some slice of life, the meaning of which is entirely dependent upon the beholder. In doing so I try to capture the beauty of not only the rope work but also the captive and I put effort into all visual aspects of the photo. I do wardrobe styling, hair styling, and makeup so that the captive appears exactly as I wish them to be. I design lighting and sets, from complex to barren, so that the mood is expressed exactly as I wish it to be. I place the models in ropes or suspensions so that their positions are exactly as I wish them to be. Then, once all the pieces are in place, I capture my artwork with a photograph, which in itself is yet another form of artistic expression for me that I have enjoyed for over a decade. It is the combination of all these artistic expressions that I wish to capture through my bondage photography.

When did you decide that you wanted to tie people up for a living?

To be honest, I never actually decided to try to do this for a living. It just sort of happened. I guess it was always an inherent internal desire that manifested itself once I found myself in a position of opportunity. My working background includes financial planning and project management. I was laid off from an office job and found myself as an unemployed project manager in an economy where no one was creating new projects and had no need of a project manager. I prayed a lot and my mother gave me the advice to “give it up to God” so I decided that I would stop prejudging my life and stop worrying about what I “should do” and simply exist as I am and follow my bliss with the knowledge that something would work out depending on what energy I sent out into the world.  Soon after that I got a call to be an assistant photographer for the MTV Movie Awards giftbag suite in LA. That is when I decided to move from NC to Los Angeles. I had actually started out in LA as journalistic photographer for a news agency, which I still work for, however other things started to manifest for me out here. Once I took that leap of faith, everything fell into place.

Do you, or how do you divide your commercial work from your personal?

I do divide my commercial work from my personal art actually. In my art I do not rig for the sake of fetish, so it is rare to see a standard hogtie in my online gallery. In my art my bondage is not necessarily to render my captive immobile, so sometimes I do not include wrist ties or ankle ties. For my commercial work, specifically fetish production, including men in bondage or damsel in distress style productions, wrist and ankle ties are paramount, as are standard positions such as hogtie, frogtie, etc and I focus on the fetish of the bondage versus telling a story with the bondage. My rigging style is similar, but my focus is altered when I am in the space of work versus art, and that lends to a difference in the appearance and function of my rigging though all forms are my own expression. I consider photoshoots as AlteredAperture as well as ProDomina bondage sessions as Ms Nikki Nefarious as part of my personal art and expression, so thankfully I get to make a living in both personal art and commercial work as a bondage artist.

What are you up to currently and what is to come?

I offer ProDomina sessions for rope bondage, mental bondage, humiliation, objectification, foot worship, play piercing, fire play, body impact, and various other interests. I currently teach bondage safety and technique classes for individuals and couples in the Los Angeles area and for various BDSM organizations and conventions across the country. The end of November I taught a Sex and Bondage class at Servitus LA, where I taught about pressure points, safety, and various fluid positions for sex while in bondage. In December at Stockroom University in LA I taught a class on Human Furniture and Living Art Centerpieces to teach people how to incorporate bondage into their holiday party decorations. I am also working with a local bondage enthusiast to create a grass roots bondage conference in LA for the end of January. I will also be teaching the Sex and Bondage class at Dungeon Servitus in San Diego in Feburary as well. I am currently a Mentor for Fetish Noir, a small lifestyle education troupe in Los Angeles.

Here are some sites I work with regarding commercial work:

Here are sites I am involved with regarding my personal exploration:


~ by An Amazing Woman on May 19, 2010.

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