hero image Xander



Predominantly dressed in alternative black outfits, some colorful tattoos peeking from underneath and painted nails that subtly hint at his distinct personality. He works in the computer sector, but he's far from your typical nerd. Xander views the world through an anthropological lens, shunning normativity, and eagerly pushing the boundaries of existence. He has a fondness for plants, moved a big part of his green friends to the Bouncespace building in Amsterdam, and can passionately explain how yoga and bondage (BDSM) share similar physical and mental challenges. Join us as we delve into Xander's story.

Your clothing style captures my attention every time I see you, how do you do it?
Haha, well thank you. ​I find it visually appealing to add elements that create a contrasting effect. Like wearing a suit combined with a metal shirt. I'm drawn to combinations that catch people off guard. I think I’m always driven by a sense of unconventionality, it’s perhaps even an unconscious urge of mine. I enjoy presenting people with something unexpected, something outside the norm and I like to experiment with that: a day without experiencing anything new is a day not lived.
Nice motto, but you’ve been at Bouncespace for 9 years now, and are even called the place’s Plant Doctor. So much for new things everyday?
You got me there. But it’s not your typical 9-to-5 corporate work situation. Things are very fluid and casual, there’s a lot of atypical people with an aligned mindset coming in and going out. Luckily, no day’s the same. And for the plants… I never had much interest in plants until the pandemic hit, and my wife and I received a plant starter kit as a gift. What really piqued my curiosity was the plant care app that came with it. It felt like having a digital pet, reminiscent of Tamagotchis. As the pandemic unfolded, my fascination with plants grew immensely. I started collecting plants at home, but space was limited, and my wife implemented a "one in, one out" policy. So, I took some of them to work instead. Now, about three-quarters of the plants at Bouncespace are mine, and I can't bear to neglect them. I've grown attached to this responsibility and I find the process of nurturing them quite meditative.
I'm quite a stimulus seeker, considering new things as a challenge. This mindset led me into the world of bondage
Yes, I never have structured days, because I'm usually juggling multiple things simultaneously. Yoga and meditation became essential to me to cope with that. It forces me to take a step back, breathe in and out, and find moments of peace in my mind which benefits me physically and mentally. I'm quite a stimulus seeker, always eager to learn something new every day, considering it as a challenge. This mindset also led me into the world of bondage. My wife often modeled for BDSM shows, where she was intricately tied with ropes in front of an audience. Curious about how difficult it could be, I took on the challenge to be tied myself. Surprisingly, I saw many parallels with yoga – the physical and mental challenges, pushing boundaries, and using breathing and meditation to surpass pain and discomfort. 
But bondage can be really painfull, right? Doesn't bondage sometimes cause immense pain?
Pain varies for each person; what's more important to me is that we're dealing with blood circulation and nerves. Bondage can seriously harm someone. Understanding the human body, knowing where nerves, muscles, and blood vessels run is crucial. With this knowledge and experience, you can tie people in a safe manner. I'm slowly but steadily expanding my knot-skills, and now I can confidently say that I'm good at tying knots responsibly. I started out as a workshop model years ago, as one of the few men in this scene who weren’t driven by sexual arousal or achieving a different headspace;  my interest lies in seeking challenges and engaging in unique experiences. That's why I don't consider ropes to be a fetish. For me, it's more about exploration and personal growth rather than being sexually driven by ropes or rope scenes.
But you're not averse to a fetish party here and there, right?
Haha, yes. I attended my first fetish party in 2001, purely out of curiosity. I was involved in the tattoo and piercing scene in Amsterdam, which is quite intertwined. Through them, I got on the guest list for Wasteland. I always had an interest in “the forbidden”, but I attended fetish parties because my friends were going and I mostly hung out backstage, just like at any regular party. The Netherlands isn't the most exciting country for fetish events anyways. Dutch party-goers are generally not genuinely interested in the actual fetish aspect. They're mostly swingers or couples who pop a pill and decide to go to such a party, looking for a one-time thrill of being with someone else. That has nothing to do with fetish, to be honest.
What is a fetish, then? 
The definition is finding sexual arousal from a specific thing, whether it's a material or an object. Personally, I don't have a fetish, but the reason I often come across fetishes is probably because I'm nonjudgmental. I don't easily find things strange or unusual. I have friends with diverse hobbies, interests, or lifestyles that others might consider odd. I don't judge them, so perhaps I attract such people as well. In the Netherlands, we pretend to be open-minded, but when someone actually does something peculiar, the public perception displays closed-mindedness. The intriguing aspect of the fetish scene is that it delves into things considered more extreme, which further distances itself from what people perceive as normal or average. What excites me is the exploration of various scenes and subcultures, and understanding the motivations and interests of the people within them.
Sounds very anthropological, for someone working in the computer business? 
True, it may seem like an unconventional combination, but I found a way for my genuine appreciation of understanding people to complement my academic background in Computer Science–I started my career by becoming an editor for a computer magazine. I loved the job, it allowed me to utilize my social skills, creativity and technical expertise and eventually I even became editor-in-chief. This role opened doors, connecting me with an extensive network within the industry. Currently, I work in public relations, at Technik PR, which still keeps me firmly anchored within the tech domain. My days revolve around staying at the forefront of technological innovations, crafting press releases, and disseminating product samples to media professionals. A significant portion of my work involves networking and nurturing valuable connections – something I genuinely love doing. My philosophy is simple, yet daring: be unapologetically honest, and never dish out any pretentious fluff. While it might make my job more challenging at times, this approach keeps me true to myself. In an industry often tainted by inauthenticity, I embrace my unapologetically unconventional approach – after all, it's the essence of who I am.
Text: Janna Nieuwenhuijzen