A mystery fetishist calling himself “The Gimp Man of Essex” is wearing his black bondage suit into town to raise money for charity – and challenge stereotypes.
The fundraiser, who is keeping his identity a secret, has so far raised more than £670 for a mental health charity and has been visiting town centres since June 2013.
“I am not scary and will not hurt you. I am just out and about to make people smile and hopefully brighten a few days up,” he writes on his official Facebook page.
“If you see me, please stop for a chat, I don't bite!”
Bondage or “gimp” suits are used by sexually submissive people engaging in BDSM (bondage, domination, submission and sado-masochism) and can be made from PVC, rubber, spandex or leather.
Gimp Man told the BBC a friend suggested he could “do some good” with the attention he got from passers-by wearing his suit outdoors.
“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."
His wife and children are unaware of his alter ego and he does not go out during school holidays or at weekends, he said.
Gimp Man donates money to Colchester Mind every time someone posts a picture with him on Facebook and offers a non-profit “rent-a-gimp” service for parties.
He also answers questions on social networks about his lifestyle and people considering trying BDSM.
So far he has visited towns including Colchester, Brentwood, Clacton and Braintree, as well a garden centre in Sudbury.
Although some people assume Gimp Man is a “paedophile or a pervert”, he said the response is often positive, with shoppers coming up to chat to him and taking pictures.
"I'm adult enough to realise people look at the negatives in everything,” he told the BBC.
“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.”