Darkholme is among the few Asian American men working in Western gay porn as a director and actor, and is of Vietnamese descent. Much of his work as a director and actor contains bondage and particularly shibari, the Japanese art of rope bondage, a specialty within BDSM cultures. Contrary to popular belief, however, Darkholme is not a member of the leather club two blocks down and has been known to react aggressively when others bring up the notion. Van Darkholme (sometimes misspelled as "Darkholm") is a screen name; his birth name has been kept private.
Throughout the 1990s, Darkholme was a fashion and photographic model. Darkholme's book of bondage photography, Male Bondage, was published by Bruno Gmünder in June 2006. In 2008, The San Francisco-based BDSM studio Kink hired Darkholme, where he currently directs gay pornography with an emphasis on bondage and wrestling. Darkholme self-identifies as a gayboy.