The Beelitz Sessions - Ulli Richter and Christoph Knoch

to be a) gay; and, b) very kinky. So, I decided to do my degree show on the Gay Male Fetish, quite to the dismay of my fantastic tutors, who kept reminding me of the error of my ways in respect to any commercial future I was in the process of squandering. And they were somewhat right, but the show was nonetheless well received by a crowd of academics who wanted to be perceived as open-minded and cool.

Having worked my way through hours of American gay pornography in the 1990s not finding a single minute that could possibly arouse me, I started developing substitutional fantasies about my kind of guys roaming these musty, abandoned rooms and corridors of my childhood – and it worked! All that was now left for me to do (toward the beginning of the noughties) was to find charismatic men with strong personalities who were openly gay, and willing to practice BDSM play in locations that matched their daring and adventurous behaviour.

It all began for real when, in 2005, my friend Christoph one day invited me to shoot a session of fire play conducted by himself and our mutual friend Andy, in the vaults of an old fort near Ulm, Bavaria. That day will forever