Image via SwedishCrutch.com
Hey, would you like to look at healthy Swedish girls posing with crutches? Maybe because that's the kind of thing you like to masturbate to or whatever? Don't worry, Swedish Crutch has totally got you covered. The girls are fully clothed, but that doesn't matter if the attraction lies in the idea of these girls being either partly immobile or totally incapacitated.
The site is run by a mysterious man living in the south of Sweden who informs visitors that he started the website to share "regular weekly photos of our cast adventures!" I managed to get a hold of one of his models, who, for obvious reasons, didn't want her real name to appear here.
VICE: So how did you become a Swedish Crutch girl?
Anonymous cast and sprain girl: I started modeling when I was 16 to 17 years old. It was difficult to get paid jobs at the time, and this was an easy way to get some cash. They found me on a site called ModellBilder.se [a sort of Craigslist for models and photographers].
How were you approached? And is there much money in it?
They just asked me if I wanted to be photographed with a cast on my leg for money.At that time, it wasn't much money at all. I think it was around €20-30 ($27–40) for a couple of hours. Nowadays, you can get between €50 and €100 ($70 and $140) if you do videos.
What's the process like when you get the plaster put on?
They bring casts in different colors and just... do it.
Who are "they"?
It's usually one man. But once in a while there were two men. They are the photographers. They put on the casts too.
How genuine do the casts look? Are they real?
I think they’re real. But they're not very carefully made. They just sort of strap on a bandage and some cotton wool, and put two layers of plaster on top of that.
Have you ever been asked to take off your clothes?
When did you understand why you were wearing casts?
I don't know. All I knew in the beginning was that the girl in the photo was supposed to be hurt and have crutches. I didn't think it was that strange; I've been asked to model nude plenty of times.
The only video currently on the Swedish Crutch's YouTube channel
Do you not mind that someone might be masturbating to photos of you wearing casts?
I think they can [masturbate] to any photo. I've done a lot of art photos where I've been topless and people can jerk off to those too. I think I choose to ignore what they’re being used for because I think people can get off on anything. As long as I feel that I'm not exposing myself in an uncomfortable way, it's OK.
Has it ever been weird to do this?
No, I can't say that it has. Everything is very appropriate. It can be a bit weird when people walk past and the photographers start hiding their cameras. It seems to be a bigger taboo for the photographers than it is for us models.
Are you in any videos?
Yes, a few. But they basically just film my foot as I'm running around with crutches, so it's pretty chill. They don't really care about your face or whatever; they're more interested in taking close-ups of your feet with the casts on.
Does your family know about you participating in this?
Yes. Some of them think it's good that I get a bit of extra cash. Friends have asked for the phone number so they can do it as well. Others think it's a weird thing, and that I'm a bit crazy. Some people like to discuss the morals around it. But we usually conclude the same thing every time: That I expose myself a lot less doing this than when I model for art projects.
What did you initially think when you were contacted?
I mean, I was around 17 years old at the time, and I had just moved to my own place. I had almost no money and went to high school and was supposed to live on my student benefits. So I was extremely grateful that there was a way to get money. I didn't question it at all at that point. And the first time I did it, I just thought it was an idea around the image, that I was wearing casts in the same way as someone would be photographed on a beach with a hat on her head. But when I realized that they were looking for more models for the same kind of photos, as well as using the same models over and over again, I started questioning it all. So I wondered what the photos were being used for, and who's on these websites and what kind of girls are participating in this.
Have your questions been answered?
Some of them. But it's not because I've asked someone about it. The photographers don't have much to do with it, really. They're there to take the photos and send them off to the man behind the website.
Are you in touch with "the man"?
No. No one knows who he is. One of the photographers knows who he is, but he's very careful with not saying anything about him. There are plenty of secrets surrounding him.
Follow Caisa Edyrd on Twitter.