'Gimp Man of Essex' aiming to spark debate while fundraising
A rubber fetishist who raises money by going out in public in a bondage suit said he hoped his efforts would start a debate on stereotypes.
'The Gimp Man of Essex' gives £1 to Colchester Mind every time someone posts a photo with him to his Facebook page, which has more than 2,000 likes.
He said most people he met on the streets were friendly, but others made assumptions that he was "a paedophile or a pervert".
So far he has raised £375 for charity.
A bondage suit, or "gimp suit", is usually made from PVC, leather or rubber, and is used in bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism (BDSM).
"When I first starting going out in my suit, someone suggested I could make a charity thing out of it," he said. "I could go round and do some good.
"People call me a legend, but I only donate a few hundred quid and walk round looking a fool."
James McQuiggan, the chief executive of Colchester Mind, said the charity was thankful for Gimp Man's support and donations.
Gimp Man, whose wife and children are unaware of his alter ego, said he does not go out during school holidays or at weekends.
"Most people are very welcoming when I tell them what it's all about," he said. "I don't go round to scare the life out of people.
"I've been called a nutter before, but I don't react to comments like that."
Some social media users have questioned his authenticity and motives, but Gimp Man, who started taking to the streets in June 2013, said there was "no ulterior motive".
He said he wanted to "start a debate" among the members of the public he met.
"Some people make assumptions that I am a paedophile or a pervert, and think I must be into some horrible things," he said.
"I'm adult enough to realise people look at the negatives in everything.
"But people are a lot more open minded nowadays. And at the end of the day, you can walk along the beach and see a lot more than I'm exposing!"