All photos: Carolin Auer

This Photographer Captures the Painful Realities of BDSM

VICE Staff

VICE Staff

Carolin Auer's new book focuses on the cuts and bruises that you never see in films.

All photos: Carolin Auer

This article originally appeared on VICE Germany.

Photographer Carolin Auer was bored of pop culture's deeply sanitized version of BDSM. So, to show what your body really looks like after ten rounds with a bull whip, she decided to create a series of work that didn't hide the pain, but emphasized just how much people enjoyed hurting their partners.

"In real life, there is a huge desire to properly indulge and inflict pain on each other," Auer says. Over several months, the photographer documented 18 couples, ages 19 to 60, during their BDSM sessions. Her new book, Euphoria: Beauty in Pain, is the culmination of that work.

Some of the sessions took place in the subjects' homes, Auer explains, but some were in fully-kitted out "BDSM apartments." Regardless of the location, the shoots required participants to put their full trust and confidence in the photographer. "At one point, I had to climb onto the couch with a couple while the woman knelt in front of her partner, just to capture the perfect angle," she says. "I have always been able to see a very beautiful connection between the people, the pain, and their suffering."

Scroll down to see photos from Euphoria: Beauty in Pain.

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