It's never been easy to explain the instinctive attraction I've felt for Houdini stuff' since early childhood; the elements of physical challenge, testing, risk, dare - taking control over someone or risking them gaining control over me.
The instinctive leaps of imagination when I saw a piece of chain, good solid strap, tall lace-up boots or heavyweight jacket or army kit-bag. The abstract potential of the materials, equipment - the lorry tarpaulin - the tent groundsheet - the judo classes with hand grabs and arm-locks plus the tough canvas of the suit - and to speculate whether, if I whipped off the soft fabric waist belt I could use it to secure the prisoner I'd just subdued - or would my opponent be tempted to do it to me while I was held immobilised. Childhood games of cops-and-robbers, cowboys and indians - the movies. The possibilities offered by comic book heroes capturing or being captured, made powerless in such imaginative ways.
The sensual excitement prompted by tough hide and rough canvas, chain or a heavy oilskin rain jacket plus tall rubber waders. Was this budding fetish or the potential it might offer for using to protect or confine - make me struggle and sweat - or use on somebody else to challenge them to escape from it or deal with it.
The psychological potential of willing surrender of power. The adrenalin rush of catch-as-catch-can physical game-playing. The coming out on top or taking the consequences of being overpowered - power exchange - control and counter-control.
This tangled web of inter-connected images, ideas, possibilities has always fired-up my imagination. The related but separate elements always were (for me) embodied in the exploits of an Escape Artist. The open challenge to do your damnedest' and I'll either escape or at least put up a bloody good struggle.