By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Illustration by Gustavo Vargas
No matter how many times she’s made the trip, Scarlet’s stomach knots when she ventures into the Seventh Street fleabag where Monday Morning Michael schedules their sessions. The horror hotel, which stands amid homeless herds pushing shopping carts, is utterly disgusting — the pool unfilled and blackened with mildew, the patio studded with more cigarette butts than a junkie’s ashtray. The fetid stink rising from the threadbare, faded-orange hall carpet is enough to induce dry heaves. This is nowhere for a mother of two young children to be working. But then, the trip is worth an extra C-note precisely because of the setting.
Monday Morning Michael is waiting in Room 209. All the way up from the South Bay, and neatly attired he is, in thousand-dollar Armani threads that make him stand out here, in Chez Miserable, like a Klansman in Compton. But his undergarments are just as singular. Beneath his lawyer’s three-piece, Michael sports silk panties, a Victoria’s Secret bra, and a garter belt that’s tighter than a guitar string. Inside his briefcase, next to his day’s caseload, he’s got a nifty pair of 6-inch spike heels.
Scarlet doesn’t bother knocking, shoving the door open and glaring harshly at the doe-eyed shyster seated on the bed.
"Why are you wearing your suit, dog?" she asks with exaggerated contempt.
"Sorry, Miss Scarlet," replies the attorney, who commences the rapid strip to his skivvies. His simpering tone fuels Scarlet, and as he’s strapping on pumps, she bashes him on the haunches.
"Stop wasting my time, you worm," she sneers, and Michael nods rapidly in assent. What’s ironic to Scarlet is her knowledge that 90 minutes from now, Michael will be bullying the daylights out of a witness in civil court, not 10 blocks away. Equally ironic is that 45 minutes ago, she was the very picture of a suburban mom — if you disregard the nose ring — preparing breakfast for her kids, ages 15 and 7, and bustling them off to school.
"Walk, dog," she commands, and into the corridor they go, she leading him on a leash. Every so often, she turns on her heels and barks a command: "On your knees" or "Shut up." Michael complies immediately. If not, he gets a swift kick in the butt, which serves two purposes: It makes Michael excited, and it’s a release for Scarlet’s uneasiness in this crack-smokers’ den.
But enough prancing. It’s time for the grand finale. Scarlet steers Michael back into No. 209 and shoves him on the bed, face down. As if there were an invisible forklift under Michael’s crotch, his rump heads slowly ceilingward, and Scarlet pulls off his baby-blue drawers with a quick motion. From her bag, she removes a worn, flesh-toned dildo and quickly greases the implement with lube. "Anchors aweigh," she sighs to herself.
Michael is eagerly anticipating one final, humiliating verbal barrage, and Scarlet does not disappoint. "That was the most pathetic little display I’ve ever seen, you shithead. You can’t do anything right. Prepare to get fucked, worm!"
Slam! He’s squealing like a pig, half in utter agony, half in total joy. In a moment it’s all over, and the bedcover is more rancid than ever. It’s time to settle. Gingerly making his way over to his trousers, Michael reaches for the cash. Scarlet’s already lighting up a smoke and dialing a taxi — the quicker she’s back on the 101 for Hollywood, the happier she’ll be. In the meantime, Michael’s buttoning up and avoiding eye contact as he recites the usual spiel: "Don’t tell anyone, okay? No one can ever know about this — please!"
"The funny thing is, other than the gross motel, Michael is pretty typical of most of my customers," says Scarlet, as she sits back and grins. "He loves the crummy environment because it’s forbidden and degrading, therefore desirable."
During our interview, Scarlet expresses puzzlement at the state in which she finds herself, where clients and employees see one person in her and she perceives another. She looks in the mirror and sees: future doctor. That’s what she’s wanted to be from the time she was a high school honors student and star athlete. But scholar/mom is not how the world pegged Scarlet. From the time that she first started taking off her clothes at Club Déjà Vu in Ontario, California, people have instantly sized her up as a cheap doyenne of sexual perversion. As long as she can remember, men have wanted her to curse them, beat them, pee on them and otherwise humiliate them into orgasm. There’s gotta be a better way to make money, but Scarlet has sure never found it.
"I’ve tried every avenue of the business you can name," she says. "Massage, peepshows, straight sex. But wherever I worked, I always ended up with the kinkies, the guys and gals that wanted more than just a handjob or blowjob, and here I am."
Scarlet grins and lights up another coffin nail. She is decamped on the porch of Chez Angel with the author, chain-smoking outside in the cool of a spring afternoon. The fetishist extraordinaire is 30 or so, with a mane of dyed black hair, a slew of piercings and an enormous set of 100 percent genuine breasts. It’s not hard to picture Scarlet at work in her gothic finery, charging clients $350 a session for just about every offbeat sexual peccadillo you can name and some you can’t.