John Alexander Scott Coutts (December 9, 1902 – August 5, 1962), is better known to many by the pseudonym John Willie. He was an artist, fetish photographer, editor and publisher of the cult soft porn magazine Bizarre. Coutts grew up in the Edwardian era in England. The restrictive fashions for women at the time – such as tight corsets – and the constant sexual oppression typical of the era, are said to have influenced his work.
Willie is best known for his bondage comics and bondage photography. One of his best-known works is perhaps ‘Sweet Gwendoline‘. Other characters include U69 (censored to U89 in some editions), the red-haired dominatrix who ties Gwendoline, and Sir Dystic d’Arcy, the only prominent male character and likely a parody of Willie himself.
Coutts managed to avoid censorship through careful attention to guidelines and the use of humor. He was careful about portraying nudity, homosexuality, overt violence, or things that could be seen as perverse or immoral. In this way he prevented his work from being banned.
After moving to Brisbane, Australia, in 1926, he became a member of the High Heel Club. He thus came into contact with a community of ‘shoe lovers’ and other fetishists. There he also met his second wife, Holly Anna Faram, sometime in the early 1930s. She became his muse and often modeled for him. Comparing Willie’s drawings and photos of his wife gives the impression that Faram has his ideal body type (tall and slim) and that she shares the artist’s interest in bondage and high heels. Ultimately, Coutts founds a company that produced exotic footwear called Achilles.
Although ‘Bizarre’ was a small magazine, it had a huge impact on later kink publications. His work was revived in the 1980s with the popularity of the fetish model, Bettie Page.
Bizarre magazine started in 1946. At the time, Coutts was living in Canada. He published the magazine under the phallic pseudonym ‘John Willie’. Willie also worked with Irving Klaw, a BDSM photographer who was tried in New York City in 1955 for obscenity.
Bizarre was published from 1946 to 1959. The magazine contained many photos, often of Willie’s wife. It also featured costume design drawings, some based on readers’ ideas. He was accused of making up the readers’ letters himself, but he insisted they were real. The letters dealt with high-heel fetishes, bondage, amputation, sadomasochism, cross-dressing, corsets, and body modification.
His photography and drawing style influenced later artists such as ENEG, Eric Stanton and Carlo.
The G-string Tie
The G-string Tie bondage method was popularized by John Willie. He considered it extremely difficult to escape and claimed that even Harry Houdini wouldn’t make it. You can see his published description below.
Below, you will find some examples of his work:
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