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Why this former Jehovah’s Witness swapped her Bible for bondage

"I imagine the Jehovah's Witnesses would be absolutely horrified but I'm afraid I'm glad. They ruined the first part of my life to be honest."

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BDSM model Ariel Anderssen. (Hywel Phillips/Kennedy News via SWNS)

By Sophie Norris via SWNS

A former Jehovah's Witness has swapped her Bible for BONDAGE - and even roped in her science boffin hubby to trade in particle physics for private parts.

Ariel Anderssen was born into a devoutly religious family and claims she was taught that sex was shameful and masturbation completely evil.

The 45-year-old grew up wearing mostly Victorian-style pinafore dresses and believing sex before marriage was forbidden.

Her family left the church when Ariel was in her teens, which provided the break she needed.

So when she heard about BDSM in her 20s, she realized everything she'd been thinking was a guilty secret could actually be enjoyed in the open - and even become a career.

Meanwhile her husband Hywel Phillips, 54, had been a particle physicist when they first got together, working at nuclear research center CERN and a physics lecturer.

The pair now enjoy bondage shoots - with Hywel taking the shoots for their own BDSM website and Ariel raking in about $4,700 a month on OnlyFans.

In pictures shared on her social media channels, Ariel can be seen sporting rope restraints and mouth gags, handcuffs and a riding crop, while others show her bent over household furniture.

BDSM model Ariel Anderssen. (Hywel Phillips/Kennedy News via SWNS)

Ariel relishes her journey from religion to sex work so much that she is recounting the story in her own memoirs - admitting she is glad the Jehovah's Witnesses would be absolutely horrified.

Ariel, from Welshpool, Wales, said: "My job is a strange kind of niche but I always knew it fascinated me. Even in the Bible when someone got tied up or captured I'd always think it was an interesting bit.

"I imagine the Jehovah's Witnesses would be absolutely horrified but I'm afraid I'm glad. They ruined the first part of my life to be honest.

"[I was taught] no sex before marriage was a very important thing. They told us that masturbation was not only wrong but completely evil.

"I remember being nine years old and this article coming out called 'How Do I Avoid Masturbation?'

"I didn't even know what it was but before I knew it I was being told this was a thing you must absolutely never do.

"If you did, you had to go and tell one of the elders. How humiliating. I think all teenage boys masturbate so I imagine everyone was living in guilt.

"They also had rules about what it was okay to do in bed - even if you were married and heterosexual. We were told oral sex was wrong.

"We were basically told anything you'd want to do in bed was shameful. It was shameful and wrong and God wouldn't like it - and he'd know.

"I don't think we had any sense of sex being a positive thing at all. Looking back it was really horrible.

"[Finding BDSM] was like stepping through a door into a secret garden and realized all this stuff I thought would have to be this guilty secret forever could be my job and I could do it for my entire career."

Ariel claims it was only when she read about a political figure who may have died from autoerotic asphyxiation that she realized what she had been interested in was sadomasochism.

BDSM model Ariel Anderssen. (Hywel Phillips/Kennedy News via SWNS)

But wracked with guilt, Ariel claims she suppressed her sexual interests until she became a model and was taken to a BDSM art exhibition.

Ariel said: "I was born into the Jehovah's Witnesses. My mom had been converted when she was pregnant with my older sister.

"We had to dress modestly and my mom handmade our clothes so we wore mostly Victorian-style pinafore dresses.

"We were expected to read a bit of the Bible every day and pray every day, and we were pressurized to talk about our religion at school.

"In contrast, as an adult I like wearing whatever I like - including nothing at all when it's appropriate to the situation.

"I think I was quite lucky that aged 13, my parents had finally had enough and decided to leave.

"It lodged in my mind that I shouldn't pay too much attention to what people tell me the world was like and how we should behave.

"It set me up for adult life to just make up my own rules about how I was going to live.

"I think that's what led me to pursue a career that is so strange. I didn't really care - it was what I wanted to do.

"I grew up without any knowledge that BDSM was a thing, [without knowing] that you could go to clubs and meet people who were the same.

"I had no idea that this was something we could do until I was 16 when [a political figure] killed himself by mistake doing some kind of autoerotic asphyxiation. I read it in the paper and suddenly saw the expression 'sadomasochist.'

"I suppressed the whole thing and thought I'd keep it completely secret. That's what I did - until my first week as a model."

Ariel was soon introduced to BDSM photographers and artists who invited her to model for them all over the world.

BDSM model Ariel Anderssen as a child and still a Jehovah's Witness. ( Kennedy News via SWNS)

Before long, she was being offered spanking and bondage shoots and even met her husband Hywel when he was working as a photographer alongside his lecturing work.

Ariel said: "On my second ever shoot [aged 25], the photographer asked if I'd like to go to a gallery.

"It was a BDSM exhibition. I realized I was surrounded by the sort of work that had been in my head my whole life.

"If I was surrounded by artwork that represented my sexuality, probably the people in this gallery were kinky. And they were.

"I met all of these photographers, sculptures and artists who worked in the BDSM art world and a lot of them invited me to model for them.

"I put some pictures up online and the internet had just exploded - I was getting so many offers I couldn't keep up with them.

"It was like the golden age for freelance modeling and it was the first time you didn't need an agent. You could just launch yourself.

"I realized I could do bondage modeling. Several photographers asked if I'd like to work with them and I said 'yes.'

"I started adding in bondage shoots and realized I loved that.

"I started being offered spanking and bondage work and so I started appearing in spanking films as well. Everything I tried, I loved.

"I created a name for doing my spanking movies. I chose the name of an ex-president of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Every time someone says the name it makes me smile - it feels like revenge.

"I built my professional network and soon I started being invited abroad. I worked in the States and Australia - I was just being tied up all over the world. It was amazing.

"I met my husband because I wrote to him about working with him when I was a new model. We got on really well, became good friends and then eventually got together.

"He was a particle physicist when we first got together. He worked at CERN and he was a physics lecturer.

"He was so respectable and now what he does is so out there. He's been very successful at both - it's just not quite the career progression people would expect from an academic.

"When we tell people about our work now, the thing people say most often is they always think I must be the dominant because I talk more and I'm taller. In real life, people have been amazingly courteous and respectful."

Hywel said: "I used to work at CERN so I was online very early. I started making websites when there were very few places that even knew what a website was.

"I'd always had an interest in bondage since I was young. I started out trying to draw it then started doing photography as a bit of a hobby when I could afford it, when I was a lecturer in my early thirties.

"When we tell people what we do, they're generally very positive. I've learnt over the years the right form of words to lead into the topic gradually.

BDSM model Ariel Anderssen with bondage photographer and husband Hywel Phillips. (Kennedy News/Ariel Anderssen via SWNS)

"I usually lead with 'fetish fashion photography' because I've found if I say I'm a bondage photographer, the mental image people get is all wrong.

"But if you say fetish fashion then see some of our work, you go 'oh yes, I see. It's ballgowns and handcuffs.'

"With that in mind, we get a very good reaction. Our friends and family know what we do which is very fortunate and I've never really had a particularly bad reaction from anyone in our personal lives.

"Ariel is classically trained ballet dancer and actress. She's very expressive, she's a great actress and she can do it at the same time as making beautiful shapes with her body.

"It's an absolute winning combination for me as a photographer. It means I can focus on my half of the job which is lighting ratios, camera settings and composition, knowing the artist side is being carried by an absolute master.

"Ariel's [religious] background runs through our work as a subtext but it's not something we've done anything with overtly. Her being her best self is a rebellion against her upbringing."

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