We’re very sorry to report that bondage and fetish pioneer Jim Stewart, who was interviewed in QXMEN in February, died on April 1st.
Jim was 79 and had been ill with cancer for some time. Beginning as a child actor, he became a stage manager and later directed for stage and TV as Maurice Stewart.
He was semi-retired from the age of 65, when a heart condition was diagnosed. But from childhood, when he found he liked games that involved restraint, to the end of his life, by which time he’d become one of the elder statesmen of the fetish world, BDSM was one of his main preoccupations.
He formed Fetters, the first major fetish gear company, in London in 1976 and New York in 1985. He was a founder member of Gay Male S/M Activists in New York and SM Gays in London.
In recent years he expounded on his philosophy (escape, challenge, endurance, survival and restraint) on his website www.houdini-connections.co.uk which also includes many of his short stories.
His substantial library will be administered by a trust set up by his friends. Leather historian Jack Fritscher writes, “We met in 1969 in London, and, then, of course, as the wild maelstrom of liberation marched on, we were in and out of touch, until calendars and maps separated us, but not from each other’s memory.
He was a charming and warm and humorous man. People remember him fondly and he is very much missed when they hear the news.”