Some people on this site need no introduction to John Strickland. But how many of you do not know him or his great writings?
Without making him sound too old, John has been writing great fiction for many years and has a wonderful interest in straitjackets.
I would describe John as the master of the straitjacket story and his stories were amongst the first I ever came across when I realised I had my straitjacket fetish. From early works like “Locked in Leather” which I consider to be iconic books on the topic of straitjacket bondage through to his newer writings featuring Zac and Stefan in books like “Pouring Down in Oregon”, John has amassed quite a collection of books over the years. Each one offers the reader something slightly different, but guarantees lots of hot straitjacket fun to be enjoyed.
John very kindly agreed to take time away from his very busy schedule to give us an insight into his writings.
The first story I wrote? Not really sure about that, – I think it was just a page or so about a guy struggling in a straitjacket. It started off with no explanation as to how or why the guy had ended up in the jacket, and finished with the guy still writhing around, still very much tied-up, but definitely not prepared to accept his predicament.
I don’t think anyone encouraged me to write, but it was Maurice ( Jim ) Stewart of Fetters in London, England who picked up on my stories and originally ‘published’ them. They went out in pamphlet form to anyone who wanted them, – first of all by post, and later via the “Houdini Connections” website.
2: What is your favourite story you have written?
I’m never happy with my stories, but I do kinda like “It’s Pouring Down in Oregon”.
I feel I have got the Zac and Stefan characters sorted out more clearly in that story and much better developed. In the first Rainy Days story they were getting to know each other as a couple and getting to used to wearing their rain gear and restraints and stuff. I do like the passage in “Rainy Days in Oregon” where Stefan is forcibly straitjacketed by the sheriff and his deputy, though, but I feel with “It’s Pouring Down in Oregon” the boys know exactly what they are at and are unashamed about it. I also think the development of the story is just a bit better. It all kind of works better. My stories are usually just a chain of episodes one after the other, with the characters going from one ‘adventure’ to the next, whereas “Pouring Down” has a better, more flowing, storyline.
I’ve tried to create a “Man’s World” where every male is into other males and where leather, PVC and bondage are the order of the day. My characters have lives, – they go to school or college, have brothers, mums and dads. I have tried to make the situations almost natural, and I think that comes over in the Rainy Days stories. I’ve seen cartoon-like drawings on the Internet where young guys are bound and gagged with beads of sweat flying off them, their eyes wide and frustrated. They are the situations my characters get into, and they are fun to write.
I love writing dialogue ( although the actual word-processing is a hassle, with all the exclamation marks and speech marks, etc ), and I love an element of humour in the stories. I love the characters to trick each other and play pranks on each other. I love the guys to be tied up ( straitjacketed ) in public
3: What advice would you give to others who want to take up writing their first story?
Just go at it!
I originally gave my stories away to anyone who wanted them and was in direct email contact with the people who had asked for them. There was one young guy who sent me his story to read. He was obviously not that ‘academic’, and his story was full of spelling and grammar mistakes, but I found it amazing! He had just sat down and started writing, – and there were his fantasies, expressed in a naïve and direct way which I found great, and which made me wonder why I often keep re-writing sentences or sit there searching for an alternative word because I have already used that particular one in the last sentence.
Always write what you are into, too. I have had many suggestions for stories from others, and I appreciate receiving them, but I find I can’t write convincingly unless I am writing about exactly what turns me on. Someone wanted to pay me to incorporate him and his particular kinks into the stories, but I couldn’t do that. I was not into what he was, and therefore could never have described the situations convincingly. I wouldn’t have liked my characters in those situations, either. Putting down your fantasies in words is a very personal thing.
Whatever you write you are not going to please everyone. Judging by the mail I have received, some fly over the stories, just stopping at the bits that particularly turn them on, others read every word and take time to enjoy the stories. I had to write to someone because he was convinced something terrible would happen to Zac and Stefan, – their relationship was just too good to be true. He only read on when I reassured him the two guys were still happily together at the end!
4: How do you find the time to write so much?
I don’t! It takes me ages to finish a story. The problem is that I have a job that involves a lot of writing and computer work. Often I’d love to be writing stories, but just have other things to do or just don’t want to sit at the computer any longer.
I often sit up half the night with my little notebook when I am in hotels or in America or England, ( I live in Germany ).
One of the advantages of living alone is that I can write a lot without upsetting anyone else or having them screaming for me to come to bed, for heaven’s sake!
Another problem about writing is that I turn myself on by writing my fantasies! I get horny and “have to take a break”!
But, once I start, the writing usually just flows, and I am surprised of the time when I do eventually look at the clock.
5: What kind of writer are you – do you lay down the structure of the book first on paper and then write the book, or does it just flow in one go?
As I said, – it just flows! Off I go and I am travelling with my characters on their adventures. I can imagine the scene in every detail, and I just describe it and write about what is going on. I never lay down a structure for a story, but that doesn’t mean there is no method to what I write about. If I have a story on the go, it takes over my thoughts, – I think of developments while I am driving, and even found my mind wandering and thinking of plot developments while I was in the cinema watching a movie! I guess that didn’t say much for that movie!
I do have to make notes, though. Sometimes I can’t remember a character’s surname or who is coupled up with whom. I have the names of all Stefan’s football team written down, and also the names of the guys who share the dorm with Zac, for example. There are slips of paper lying around on my desk with things like “Mike’s surname is ‘Forster’” written on them.
I guess if I were more organised, I would have cards about the characteristics of the various protagonists, but I’m not organised, and I don’t!
6: When it comes to fetish interests, is it fair to say that straitjackets are your biggest `turn on`?
I LOVE straitjackets! I always have. If I had to wear a straitjacket permanently, I would be in seventh heaven! I can remember that even when I was barely a teenager I used to jerk off to thoughts of guys in straitjackets and having to wear one myself. The Internet wasn’t around yet back then, and I remember getting into contact with someone via a magazine that sold absolutely everything. It was called “Exchange and Mart” and was a kind of Ebay in magazine form. There was even a part for personal contacts. I wrote I was interested in escapology, and this guy wrote a letter back. My heart skipped a beat when I read he had a straitjacket. I travelled into London to meet him and nearly had a heart-attack whne I was put into a straitjacket for the very first time. My heart was racing at a dangerous speed and I went dizzy. I never looked back. The late Jim Stewart of Fetters made me several amazing jackets over the years and I spent many visits at his place very securely bound up for the night. I bought a motorcycle, became a biker and lived ( and slept ) in black leather. I also acquired quite a collection of very shiny, very thick PVC stuff, – just like I have Stefan and Zac wearing. I often knock around in a pair of very black, very shiny PVC bib-and-brace dungarees like Stefan often wears in the stories. Awesome!
I had a friend who would oblige by putting me into my straitjackets although that wasn’t really his turn-on. I guess all-in-all over the years I have spent weeks, probably months strapped up like a maniac. I have yet to experience a padded cell, but I’ll end up in one sooner or later!
My love of straitjackets never pales. I love everything about them, and every detail, every strap, every buckle, is important to me. I love straitjackets in all forms, whether leather, whether canvas, whether arms around the body or whether arms down the sides. I have always had an aversion to rubber, though. I like the shiny look of rubber jackets, but could never wear, or even touch one. Strange, eh?
I also like the historical-style jackets. Back then in Houdini’s time they were made to intimidate, punish and keep their prisoners helpless. Great! But, I also love the modern Posey jackets, which I can wear for hours and hours on end ( and have to if I’m not let out! ). Being in a genuine jacket that is actually made for prisons and hospitals is awesome.
7: Where do you sit in the bondage world. Are you a top, a bottom, a gearhead or just somebody who does what he likes, when he likes and hates being pigeon holed?
I don’t like being pigeon-holed. I was always the one being tied up, then I had a phase where I liked to tie others up, and now I’m going through a phase where I find myself straitjacketed quite often. Like so many involved with bondage, I love the bondage, – it turns me on, – but there is not much active sex involved. I guess that is obvious from my stories.
The characters will jerk each other off or come in their pants, but although the more aggressive characters ( such as the deputy, Mike ) threaten to fuck others, it never actually comes to it. I even wondered whether I wanted to leave the episode in where Zac’s dorm neighbour, Kyle, ends up straitjacketed with a butt plug up his ass. The episode is funny, so I left it in.
I would neither describe myself as a top nor a bottom. I just enjoy bondage. I am very much into the gear, whether it be leather or PVC clothing, straps, handcuffs, hoods or straitjackets.
In my stories I never mention the word “gay” or “bondage”. I don’t like this pigeon-holing. The guys just naturally get together, and the use and love of straitjackets is almost taken for granted.
8: How long do you think you will continue to write? Are you getting bored or writing yet?
I still have a few new ideas, but there won’t be many big surprises. It seems everyone ends up in a straitjacket sooner or later. I hope that is not just my fantasy but others, too.
I am currently in the middle of a new story, but as someone said to me recently – “Your stories are so long!” Somehow they do seem to stretch on a bit, but I could no longer write a short 30-page story like my first “Motorcycle Messenger” stories.
Apart from that, thanks to the “Bound Editions” website, it so amazing to see my stories as actual books
Unfortunately I write so slowly. Sometimes I only manage one page in one session. Really I should just write and write and then edit and change things later, but unfortunately I will write a paragraph and then go back over it, which means I don’t get on with the story-telling very quickly. I enjoy writing, though, – I always have, so will continue writing until I end up permanently straitjacketed, locked away in a padded cell.
I guess that might just cramp my style!
Thanks to John for that. Maybe we should try and find him a nice padded cell so he could enjoy wearing a full straitjacket all the time! But then who would write the stories we all crave!
His new book “The Project” has just been published and is out now at Bound Editions – and will soon be on all the various digital platforms like iBookstore, Kindle, Amazon, Nook etc – so show your support for his writings and grab yourself a copy.
You can view his collection of stories at BoundEditions HERE