World Travel

Kidnapped for kicks

David Wilson
Kidnapped for kicks (Photo Getty)
"Picture the scene: A group of ski mask-clad strangers grabs and drags you to a waiting black chopper."
David Wilson

Mayhem and miniskirts — I paid to be kidnapped by an all-girl gang.

Once upon a time, if you wanted to pay to be kidnapped, you just joined a cult. Now if you have an urge to experience the thrill of voluntary abduction, you can consult the French adventure firm Ultime Réalité (Ultimate Reality).

Open to any kidnapping kink, Ultimate Reality offers to stage "new adventures out of your dreams, your nightmares, or simply a movie or a book". Aside from being kidnapped, you can play the leading part in a manhunt, fake drug smuggling mission, or "go-fast adventure". Plus, the company is "open to special requests" — a stream of snide remarks from a rude French waiter, perhaps? Nah, you can get that for free anywhere in Paris.

Maximise the surprise

The adventures that Ultimate Reality concoct make other extreme sports look tame. Yes, you can skydive, jump off cliffs or bungee-jump from the Macau Tower. But those feats have a "controlled edge" vibe. You know roughly how the falls will unfold.

The difference with a simulated abduction is that it happens without warning. Once the scenario has been established, you sign a contract and liability waiver, but — to fuel surprise — are not told when the kidnappers will strike.

Thrills supplied by ambush do not come cheap. A basic package which will see you bundled off, bound, gagged and confined for four hours is €900: a fair whack for an experience that others would pay to avoid. The cost ratchets up if you opt for a more elaborate, tailor-made psychodrama involving an escape or helicopter chase, for example.

Ultimate high

Picture the scene: you're ambling toward a corner shop to buy the milk or sprawled in a park in lazy afternoon, composing an SMS. Breaking into your bubble, a group of ski mask-clad strangers grabs and drags you to a waiting black chopper.

Whup, whup, whup! Whisked over the rooftops, you say goodbye to the zero-risk nanny state. Imagine the delicious shivers of fear and the exhilaration inspired by the views. That is assuming your captors play nice and let you peek over the blindfold.

An airlift abduction could be an unbeatable bucks' party stunt — much more of a buzz than a strippergram. No wonder, just after its January launch, Ultimate Reality was already attracting up to two requests per day, Reuters reported. Their main client? Top-level execs seeking an extreme sports alternative (yes, your boss is just as off-the-wall as they are well off).

Define real

The daredevil craze with a corporate slant can be traced back to 2002 when Ultimate Reality rival, US-based Extreme Kidnapping debuted. Now Extreme Kidnapping claims to provide "the most realistic, hardcore, movie-style kidnapping adventures allowable by law".

EK paints some adventures it offers as real-time, real-life threat assessments educational to at-risk clients. That is, people with "sizable assets", who have received threats and need bodyguards.

The firm promises to show where potential victims are exposed. "Better to find out now than when your family or business associates get a ransom call."

Better indeed. Still, Extreme Kidnapping can be kinky.


One package on the market is the chance to be grabbed by an all-girl team. In one shot on the not-suitable-for-work Extreme Kidnapping webpage for the female capture option, tartan skirt-clad vixens lean over a car, exposing their knickers.

In another shot, an Extreme Kidnapping vamp holds a bewigged man in a headlock — he doesn't appear to be struggling much. Men who take the all-girl option may run the risk of Stockholm syndrome, where you fall in love with your captor.

The all-girl captivity angle is so hot that, according to the company website which showcases reports, it has caught the eye of shock jock Howard Stern and Germany's Max magazine. The Max story features a glaring uber-minx saying in German: "I love the feeling of control over men during a kidnapping."

The Deutsche dominatrix might fit into the Sydney fetish club Hellfire or any S&M dungeon. "With the female team you may get a little spanking — it's basically a bondage and domination fantasy," the director of Extreme Kidnapping, Adam Thick, told UK tabloid News of the World.

A popular form of domination inflicted by the killer heels team is called "tickle torture". It entails exactly what the term suggests. Presumably, if you ask nicely, you can get the silent treatment, too.

White-knuckle black ops

Just don't call the cops. One staged Extreme Kidnapping incident was interrupted by the arrival of seven police cars that surrounded the performers.

According to Thick, the cops got out with their guns cocked. The situation was defused, but the run-in must have raised adrenaline levels even higher.

If you want to push your limits, Ultimate Reality offers an "extreme add-on package" with "black ops" overtones. The deal is simple but unsettling. You get to die and wake up in the morgue.

For information on Extreme Kidnapping, including pricing, visit The Ultimate Reality website (in French) is at

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