Alex Foxe: In A Holding Cell

Being Kissed. Alex Foxe from Obsessions. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024
Being Kissed. Alex Foxe from Obsessions. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by Alex Foxe, Copyright 2024

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In a Holding Cell

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The one and only time that I’ve been arrested truly, was one of those moments of wrong place wrong time. I was completely innocent of the crime that I was arrested for. I had the day off work from Rick’s club in Seattle, Washington, but it was near my birthday and a couple of girls had asked if I was going to come in and work that day. No, I wasn’t scheduled to work, but they really thought I should. They said we would have a little party and besides, I would make money on my birthday. 
  Washington state has a law that if you’re fully nude, you cannot serve alcohol. I did not partake in cannabis, but I assure you that the dressing room was very fragrant at times. I assumed someone was bringing in a flask or a small bottle of liquor which some girls did. For one they needed a lot of liquid courage. I’m sure there were pills involved with some girls, it’s easy to conceal, but I am in no way insinuating these girls were addicts. Most were from other states with different laws, and they were used to having a couple of cocktails when they danced.
I was so excited and nervous that girls were starting to warm up to me. I was brand new at the club and I knew no one. I knew there was a hierarchy, as there always is. I kept my mouth shut, head down, was super respectful and kept to myself. 

  So, I threw my gigantic gym bag filled with the usual stripper basic kit, (which includes several outfits, shoes, makeup, wipes, deodorant, fragrance) into my car and went on down to the club. Now the way that Rick’s club runs, and a lot of clubs nowadays, (it was very new to me at the time) is you have to pay their fee called “house” to work at the club. The house fee was $70 the minute I walked through the door. It was super anxiety provoking, being brand new at a club with no established customers and having to get seven dances right off the bat. I was already struggling to pay for my house and then come home with any amount of money. Sometimes it was only $30- $40 after house and there was no way I could live on that. 
  I was new so customers were more than willing to get a first dance with me. The dances were $10 a pop and I was successful a lot of the time getting one dance, maybe two, any more than that and the guy and I were having a good conversation and he knew he should pay for my time. Funny side story, my landlord came in a few times to the club. I gave him a few dances and was hopeful he would become a regular and this would pay my rent. We had a great conversation, and he was very nice. He soon realized that he was spending more money than he planned and one day he told me he would not be coming in anymore because he was spending too much. I wasn’t the only girl giving him dances. 
 I was really struggling to figure out why I couldn’t get any more dances. Well, it didn’t help that I didn’t really like asking for a dance. The thing I hated about asking for a dance was not so much asking for the dance, it’s the way that some of the patrons acted and the way they looked at you up and down, like you were beneath them, and they would decide whether you were worthy or not. Mind you most of the guys that look at you like that, look like a turtle with their sweatpants or gym shorts on with no underwear. Still grosses me out thinking about it now.
  The “absolutely beautiful” girls were making money, the “not too beautiful” girls were making money, but I was not making money. I was hired for dayshift starting out, which traditionally means you make less money because there aren’t a lot of people that go to the club during the day. But the people that do go into the club during the day are supposed to be working, or running errands, at hardware stores, etc. these guys had a limited amount of time and a specific set of money that they could blow. They were usually only in the club for maybe an hour or two, and they were gone. Of course, we got the occasional group of daytime bachelor parties, golf buddies, etc. Night Shift is a different ballgame. You can feel the energy in the club. There’s usually double the number of girls and in my opinion, I would say the night shift is where most of your hustlers’ work. Sure, you have a couple of hustlers dayshift, but dayshift is definitely way more chill. At this club anyways. 
  So, back to why I wasn’t making money. The pieces of the puzzle all came together when I turned the corner from the DJ booth where there was a large room with sofas lined up for private dances.
Let me describe how Rick’s was set up when I worked there: 
when you first walked into Rick‘s to your left was the dressing room, on the right a second office, then walk into a big room with tables and chairs all around, four tops and a lot of two tops, a stage right in front of the DJ booth and a smaller stage closer to the table dance area. 
The manager on the day shift was a very short, older, close to 70’s, Italian man. He was really nice, and I’m quite sure he knew what was going on because whenever he would come around the corner to make sure nobody was “dirty dancing”, he made a lot of noise before walking to the dancing area.

  So I come around the corner from the DJ booth to ask for some dances, (the club was always very dark in my opinion but I wasn’t in charge of lighting so I went with it) and one of the strobe lights was shining just right, and as soon as my eyes adjusted, I see this really nice bodybuilder type girl named Tammy (who was ripped and very masculine in her build and she was always super cool to me) was given this guy hand job. And then there was this dancer who I think went by Barbie, (with the bleach blonde hair super fit like a fitness model, tan, who drove a convertible yellow mustang, and always carrying wads of cash) was bent over with her hands on her knees, like she was playing an outfield position for a baseball team looking out towards the stage, with her customer directly behind her in a Johnny Bench position, her yellow G-string pulled over to one side and the turtle is finger banging way. 
Barbie smiled at me with a look like she was bored out of her mind. 
  I was shocked. I had never seen anything like that at any of the clubs I worked at. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just saying I didn’t see it. To this day, when I look back, I think how gross this guy’s hands were, probably so dirty she could get an infection. It was one of those scenarios where once you see it, you’ll see it every time. So when I worked after that, I saw it going on with a lot of different girls. Not all the girls, but a good percentage. 
I knew two things; I was never going to make a lot of money at that club because I was not interested in that type of sex work. Number two, I was going to have to get a different job.

  Back to my birthday celebration at the club. I can’t remember for the life of me what the girls had brought in for my birthday… Anyway, I had just gotten off stage and I was walking towards the table dance section when, all of a sudden, all the house lights came on and these men stood up and said, “THIS IS A RAID!” It happened just like it does in the movies. I know it sounds cliche’ but this was just like the movies. When the raid began there were girls, screaming, and crying. You could clearly see the policeman’s firearms. They were not in a mood for small talk. But I guess the part that gets me is that, apparently, this was some sort of sting operation for prostitution. So, these guys, the cops, paid by the local government, by your tax dollars, try to get hand jobs and who knows what else for the “case.” 
One of the things that surprised me the most was the fact that the officers let us go into the dressing room, a few at a time, to get dressed with clothes. They did not make us go downtown half naked. There were a few girls really upset and scared and trying to stash marijuana and alcohol so that they would not be charged with anything else. 
There were 13 of us and we rode in one of those paddy wagons, with our hands zip tied behind us, off to the police station. You really find out about a persons’ nature when you get arrested with them. Some of these girls were so dramatic, it was really hard to not lose my cool and ask them to please shut up. They’re crying, pleading, begging…It was getting boring at this point.
We all stood in line to get booked and placed in a large holding cell where there was no private bathroom. There was a toilet with a three-quarter wall on one side and benches up against the walls. A tiny sink to wash our hands. Some ladies were creative and cleaned a lot more than their hands. I was cool with it because I didn’t want to be hanging out with stinky chicks. The place had concrete floors, metal benches and white walls. It was cold and loud. Very echoey and had sort of that damp Seattle cold feeling. This was an experience I did not want to repeat ever again.
One of the really pretty dancers threw up a couple times and one of the other girls had some GI issues. Two girls made a sort of makeshift door in front of the toilet to try to give her some privacy. She looked like the kind of girl who only poops at home. She would never poop at a lovers’ house, and especially not if the lover was home. 

So, you can imagine it was a crazy mix in this holding cell. Most of the girls looked like models, or cheerleaders. One of the problems was, there were other ladies in the holding cell with us. Now, some of these ladies looked like frequent flyers to the joint, so they were looking at us like we were aliens in their cell. 
I remember one lady with long chestnut color hair and fair skin, looked to be about 32-ish? Hard to tell. She most likely was wearing a concert T-shirt and some jeans. Well, she reminds me of my old neighbor growing up, so we’ll call her Laura. Laura was fascinated by us and our situation. She wanted to know if we all knew each other, what we did to get arrested, but she mostly wanted to tell us how she caught her boyfriend cheating and instead of bashing his headlights out with a baseball bat like a normal girlfriend, she took the baseball bat and hit him in the knees, repeatedly. If I remember correctly, he was sleeping at the time of the attack with his mistress. So, she’s talking to a couple of the girls, who, mind you, it’s probably a little early for all the makeup, and glitter, and big hair, with lots of perfume, so yeah, we were the stars of the show.
We had a payphone in the room and one lady was on it for a very, very long time. I can’t remember what she was talking about, if it was one long conversation or several. I was worried that if I paid attention, it would have some sort of reaction with my body, or my resting bitch face, plus, with all the crying and retching on and off, and the flatulence, it got pretty stinky in there I will tell you. Even with the hairspray and perfume. But I remember being fearful of her. Not only was she about 5’10”, 185 pounds, she had a tough looking face. But the eyes. Eyes that you knew she had seen some shit and she has very little regard for human life so yeah, I kept the fuck away from her. 
She is talking to somebody on the phone, and she says “You ain’t never gonna believe this”, as she counts with her finger saying out loud, “how many of you?” and she counts 6, 8, 9-10…13.  Then into the pay phone “13 bitches! They look like models. Well, not all of them. Most of them do.” Without missing a beat, she says, “I don’t know what these 13 bitches did, but I’ll tell you what, I know these bitches did it together”. Everybody sort of laughed and then went back to feeling sorry for themselves.

Pretty soon, we were alerted that we would be fed. A guard delivered us each a sack lunch consisting of a Bologna sandwich on white bread, some of us got oranges, some got chips, and everyone got a carton of milk. So, you can imagine there was some trading going on. I ate my chips, took a bite out of my sandwich and could not even finish, plus from all the stress, I had lost my appetite. I drank my small carton of milk and put my bologna sandwich back in the paper sack and placed it underneath the bench I was sitting on. 
All of a sudden, I hear the payphone lady screaming across the room, “Hey, you!” I’m looking down, minding my own business. I look up because one of the girls is tapping my leg and several girls are looking at me. I look at the payphone lady, “yeah?” “Are you going to eat that sandwich? I said, “no.” She said, “Well, I want it.”, and she was off that bench, in what seemed like half of a second, and over to me. Before I could pull the sandwich out to give it to her, she had it in her hand and was already back to her seat. That sandwich was gone in just a couple of bites. Thinking to myself maybe that was really stupid I didn’t force myself to eat because maybe, it was going to be a long time before I got out of this place.
Next thing I knew, they said we’re all being released. That was it. We were free to go. 

The one and only time that I’ve been arrested truly, was one of those moments of wrong place wrong time. I was completely innocent of the crime that I was arrested for. I had the day off work from Rick’s club in Seattle, Washington, but it was near my birthday and a couple of girls had asked if I was going to come in and work that day. No, I wasn’t scheduled to work, but they really thought I should. They said we would have a little party and besides, I would make money on my birthday. 
  Washington state has a law that if you’re fully nude, you cannot serve alcohol. I did not partake in cannabis, but I assure you that the dressing room was very fragrant at times. I assumed someone was bringing in a flask or a small bottle of liquor which some girls did. For one they needed a lot of liquid courage. I’m sure there were pills involved with some girls, it’s easy to conceal, but I am in no way insinuating these girls were addicts. Most were from other states with different laws, and they were used to having a couple of cocktails when they danced.
I was so excited and nervous that girls were starting to warm up to me. I was brand new at the club and I knew no one. I knew there was a hierarchy, as there always is. I kept my mouth shut, head down, was super respectful and kept to myself. 

  So, I threw my gigantic gym bag filled with the usual stripper basic kit, (which includes several outfits, shoes, makeup, wipes, deodorant, fragrance) into my car and went on down to the club. Now the way that Rick’s club runs, and a lot of clubs nowadays, (it was very new to me at the time) is you have to pay their fee called “house” to work at the club. The house fee was $70 the minute I walked through the door. It was super anxiety provoking, being brand new at a club with no established customers and having to get seven dances right off the bat. I was already struggling to pay my house and then come home with any amount of money. Sometimes it was only $30- $40 after house and there was no way I could live on that. 
  I was new so customers were more than willing to get a first dance with me. The dances were $10 a pop and I was successful a lot of the time getting one dance, maybe two, any more than that and the guy and I were having a good conversation and he knew he should pay for my time. Funny side story, my landlord came in a few times to the club. I gave him a few dances and was hopeful he would become a regular and this would pay my rent. We had a great conversation, and he was very nice. He soon realized that he was spending more money than he planned and one day he told me he would not be coming in anymore because he was spending too much. I wasn’t the only girl giving him dances. 
 I was really struggling to figure out why I couldn’t get any more dances. Well, it didn’t help that I didn’t really like asking for a dance. The thing I hated about asking for a dance was not so much asking for the dance, it’s the way that some of the patrons acted and the way they looked at you up and down, like you were beneath them, and they would decide whether you were worthy or not. Mind you most of the guys that look at you like that, look like a turtle with their sweatpants or gym shorts on with no underwear. Still grosses me out thinking about it now.
  The “absolutely beautiful” girls were making money, the “not too beautiful” girls were making money, but I was not making money. I was hired for dayshift starting out, which traditionally means you make less money because there aren’t a lot of people that go to the club during the day. But the people that do go into the club during the day are supposed to be working, or running errands, at hardware stores, etc. these guys had a limited amount of time and a specific set of money that they could blow. They were usually only in the club for maybe an hour or two, and they were gone. Of course, we got the occasional group of daytime bachelor parties, golf buddies, etc. Night Shift is a different ballgame. You can feel the energy in the club. There’s usually double the number of girls and in my opinion, I would say the night shift is where most of your hustlers’ work. Sure, you have a couple of hustlers dayshift, but dayshift is definitely way more chill. At this club anyways. 
  So, back to why I wasn’t making money. The pieces of the puzzle all came together when I turned the corner from the DJ booth where there was a large room with sofas lined up for private dances.
Let me describe how Rick’s was set up when I worked there: 
when you first walked into Rick‘s to your left was the dressing room, on the right a second office, then walk into a big room with tables and chairs all around, four tops and a lot of two tops, a stage right in front of the DJ booth and a smaller stage closer to the table dance area. 
The manager on the day shift was a very short, older, close to 70’s, Italian man. He was really nice, and I’m quite sure he knew what was going on because whenever he would come around the corner to make sure nobody was “dirty dancing”, he made a lot of noise before walking to the dancing area.

  So I come around the corner from the DJ booth to ask for some dances, (the club was always very dark in my opinion but I wasn’t in charge of lighting so I went with it) and one of the strobe lights was shining just right, and as soon as my eyes adjusted, I see this really nice bodybuilder type girl named Tammy (who was ripped and very masculine in her build and she was always super cool to me) was given this guy hand job. And then there was this dancer who I think went by Barbie, (with the bleach blonde hair super fit like a fitness model, tan, who drove a convertible yellow mustang, and always carrying wads of cash) was bent over with her hands on her knees, like she was playing an outfield position for a baseball team looking out towards the stage, with her customer directly behind her in a Johnny Bench position, her yellow G-string pulled over to one side and the turtle is finger banging way. 
Barbie smiled at me with a look like she was bored out of her mind. 
  I was shocked. I had never seen anything like that at any of the clubs I worked at. I’m not saying it didn’t happen, I’m just saying I didn’t see it. To this day, when I look back, I think how gross this guy’s hands were, probably so dirty she could get an infection. It was one of those scenarios where once you see it, you’ll see it every time. So when I worked after that, I saw it going on with a lot of different girls. Not all the girls, but a good percentage. 
I knew two things; I was never going to make a lot of money at that club because I was not interested in that type of sex work. Number two, I was going to have to get a different job.

  Back to my birthday celebration at the club. I can’t remember for the life of me what the girls had brought in for my birthday… Anyway, I had just gotten off stage and I was walking towards the table dance section when, all of a sudden, all the house lights came on and these men stood up and said, “THIS IS A RAID!” It happened just like it does in the movies. I know people always say it doesn’t happen like the movies…this was just like the movies where I’ve seen dancers get arrested in a raid before, but you get my drift. Of course, there were girls, screaming, and crying. You could clearly see the policeman’s firearms. They were not in a mood for small talk. But I guess the part that gets me is that, apparently, this was some sort of sting operation for prostitution. So, these guys, the cops, paid by the local government, by your tax dollars, try to get hand jobs and who knows what else for the “case.” 
One of the things that surprised me the most was the fact that the officers let us go into the dressing room, a few at a time, to get dressed with clothes. They did not make us go downtown half naked. There were a few girls really upset and scared and trying to stash marijuana and alcohol so that they would not be charged with anything else. 
There were 13 of us and we rode in one of those paddy wagons, with our hands zip tied behind us, off to the police station. You really find out about a persons’ nature when you get arrested with them. Some of these girls were so dramatic, it was really hard to not lose my cool and ask them to please shut up. They’re crying, pleading, begging…It was getting boring at this point.
We all stood in line to get booked and placed in a large holding cell where there was no private bathroom. There was a toilet with a three-quarter wall on one side and benches up against the walls. A tiny sink to wash our hands. Some ladies were creative and cleaned a lot more than their hands. I was cool with it because I didn’t want to be hanging out with stinky chicks. The place had concrete floors, metal benches and white walls. It was cold and loud. Very echoey and had sort of that damp Seattle cold feeling. This was an experience I did not want to repeat ever again.
One of the really pretty dancers threw up a couple times and one of the other girls had some GI issues. Two girls made a sort of makeshift door in front of the toilet to try to give her some privacy. She looked like the kind of girl who only poops at home. She would never poop at a lovers’ house, and especially not if the lover was home. 

So, you can imagine it was a crazy mix in this holding cell. Most of the girls looked like models, or cheerleaders. One of the problems was, there were other ladies in the holding cell with us. Now, some of these ladies looked like frequent flyers to the joint, so they were looking at us like we were aliens in their cell. 
I remember one lady with long chestnut color hair and fair skin, looked to be about 32-ish? Hard to tell. She most likely was wearing a concert T-shirt and some jeans. Well, she reminds me of my old neighbor growing up, so we’ll call her Laura. Laura was fascinated by us and our situation. She wanted to know if we all knew each other, what we did to get arrested, but she mostly wanted to tell us how she caught her boyfriend cheating and instead of bashing his headlights out with a baseball bat like a normal girlfriend, she took the baseball bat and hit him in the knees, repeatedly. If I remember correctly, he was sleeping at the time of the attack with his mistress. So, she’s talking to a couple of the girls, who, mind you, it’s probably a little early for all the makeup, and glitter, and big hair, with lots of perfume, so yeah, we were the stars of the show.
We had a payphone in the room and one lady was on it for a very, very long time. I can’t remember what she was talking about, if it was one long conversation or several. I was worried that if I paid attention, it would have some sort of reaction with my body, or my resting bitch face, plus, with all the crying and retching on and off, and the flatulence, it got pretty stinky in there I will tell you. Even with the hairspray and perfume. But I remember being fearful of her. Not only was she about 5’10”, 185 pounds, she had a tough looking face. But the eyes. Eyes that you knew she had seen some shit and she has very little regard for human life so yeah, I kept the fuck away from her. 
She is talking to somebody on the phone, and she says “You ain’t never gonna believe this”, as she counts with her finger saying out loud, “how many of you?” and she counts 6, 8, 9-10…13.  Then into the pay phone “13 bitches! They look like models. Well, not all of them. Most of them do.” Without missing a beat, she says, “I don’t know what these 13 bitches did, but I’ll tell you what, I know these bitches did it together”. Everybody sort of laughed and then went back to feeling sorry for themselves.

Pretty soon, we were alerted that we would be fed. A guard delivered us each a sack lunch consisting of a Bologna sandwich on white bread, some of us got oranges, some got chips, and everyone got a carton of milk. So, you can imagine there was some trading going on. I ate my chips, took a bite out of my sandwich and could not even finish, plus from all the stress, I had lost my appetite. I drank my small carton of milk and put my bologna sandwich back in the paper sack and placed it underneath the bench I was sitting on. 
All of a sudden, I hear the payphone lady screaming across the room, “Hey, you!” I’m looking down, minding my own business. I look up because one of the girls is tapping my leg and several girls are looking at me. I look at the payphone lady, “yeah?” “Are you going to eat that sandwich? I said, “no.” She said, “Well, I want it.”, and she was off that bench, in what seemed like half of a second, and over to me. Before I could pull the sandwich out to give it to her, she had it in her hand and was already back to her seat. That sandwich was gone in just a couple of bites. Thinking to myself maybe that was really stupid I didn’t force myself to eat because maybe, it was going to be a long time before I got out of this place.
Next thing I knew, they said we’re all being released. That was it. We were free to go. 

I think I ended up being in that holding cell for about 10 hours.

 

 

Seductive Allure of Red: Exploring the Passion Behind Women’s Lingerie

Portrait of beautiful blond wearing red lingerie
Seduction of Red. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Seductive Allure of Red 

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Exploring the Passion Behind Women’s Lingerie

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In the realm of lingerie, there exists a color that transcends mere fabric and stitching, a color that ignites desire and embodies passion: red. From delicate lace to satin silhouettes, the allure of red lingerie on women is undeniable, evoking a timeless allure that captivates the senses and celebrates femininity in its most seductive form.

Red has long been associated with power, passion, and sensuality. Its boldness commands attention, drawing the eye and stirring emotions with an intensity that is unmatched. When draped in red lingerie, women exude confidence and empowerment, embracing their sexuality with a fervor that is both intoxicating and empowering.

But what is it about the color red that holds such sway over the world of lingerie? Beyond its visual appeal, red is deeply rooted in cultural symbolism and psychological significance. Throughout history, red has been synonymous with love and desire, symbolizing everything from fiery romance to forbidden temptation. Its association with the heart further cements its connection to matters of passion and emotion, making it the perfect hue for intimate attire.

Furthermore, red lingerie has a transformative effect on both the wearer and the beholder. For women, slipping into a crimson ensemble can be a powerful act of self-expression, allowing them to embrace their femininity and tap into their inner goddess. Whether it’s a lacy bralette or a satin teddy, red lingerie accentuates curves and highlights beauty in all its forms, instilling a sense of confidence and allure that radiates from within.

For those fortunate enough to behold a woman adorned in red lingerie, the experience is nothing short of mesmerizing. The color’s vibrancy draws the eye like a moth to a flame, inviting admiration and desire in equal measure. Whether in the dim glow of candlelight or the harsh glare of daylight, red lingerie commands attention, leaving an indelible impression that lingers long after it’s been removed.

Moreover, red lingerie transcends boundaries of age, size, and shape, making it accessible to women of all walks of life. Regardless of individual style or preference, there exists a shade of red and a style of lingerie to suit every woman’s unique tastes and desires. From classic crimson to deep burgundy, the spectrum of red hues offers endless possibilities for self-expression and exploration.

In conclusion, the allure of red lingerie lies not only in its visual appeal but also in its ability to evoke passion, confidence, and desire. With its rich cultural symbolism and transformative power, red lingerie celebrates the essence of femininity in all its complexity, making it a timeless staple in every woman’s intimate wardrobe. So whether you’re looking to spice up your love life or simply indulge in a little self-love, don’t underestimate the seductive power of red lingerie.

Unraveling the Allure: The Sensual History of the Corset

Beautiful young woman wearing a pink corset with nothing else on
Delicious Corset. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Unravelling The Allure: The Sensual History of The Corset

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Photography by Tony Ward

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For centuries, the corset has captivated the imagination, adorning the bodies of women across various cultures and eras. This garment, with its intricate lacing and sculpted silhouette, has transcended mere functionality, becoming a symbol of desire, seduction, and feminine mystique. Beneath the alluring façade of the corset lies a rich tapestry of history, one that interweaves fashion, power, and a profound exploration of the female form.

The origins of the corset can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome, where women employed rudimentary forms of body-shaping garments. However, it was during the 16th century that the corset truly came into its own, evolving from a simple undergarment into a meticulously crafted piece of art. The Renaissance era witnessed a renaissance of the female silhouette, as the corset became an integral part of the aristocratic wardrobe, accentuating the hourglass figure and projecting an aura of sophistication and wealth.

As the centuries unfolded, the corset’s design underwent a myriad of transformations, mirroring the changing ideals of beauty and societal norms. In the 18th century, the corset embraced a more exaggerated shape, cinching the waist to an almost unnatural degree, reflecting the era’s obsession with a tiny waistline. This trend reached its zenith during the Victorian era, where the corset became a symbol of propriety and restraint, encasing the female form in a rigid, unyielding embrace.

Yet, beneath the veneer of respectability, the corset harbored a secret allure. Its ability to sculpt and accentuate the curves of the female body ignited a sensual undercurrent, becoming a source of fascination and desire. Artists and writers alike were captivated by the corset’s power, immortalizing its seductive lines in paintings, literature, and the collective cultural consciousness.

As the 20th century dawned, the corset underwent a profound transformation, shedding its restrictive shackles and embracing a new era of liberation. Designers such as Paul Poiret and Coco Chanel challenged traditional notions of femininity, introducing looser silhouettes and freeing women from the confines of the corset. However, the corset’s allure remained undiminished, as it transcended its utilitarian origins and emerged as a symbol of empowerment and seduction.

Today, the corset has been reinvented and reimagined, gracing the runways of haute couture fashion shows and adorning the bodies of modern-day icons. From the intricate corsetry of Jean Paul Gaultier to the daring designs of Vivienne Westwood, the corset continues to captivate and intrigue, its sensual history intertwined with the ever-evolving ideals of beauty and femininity.

In the end, the allure of the corset lies not merely in its physical form but in its ability to evoke desire, power, and a celebration of the female spirit. It is a garment that has transcended time and trends, weaving a narrative of seduction, restraint, and ultimately, liberation.

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Mikala Mikrut: A Girl

Portrait of Tony Ward Studio writer and model Mikala Mikrut for The Vixens Series
Mikala Mikrut. The Vixens Series. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023.

Poetry by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2023

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A Girl

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In the depths of my longing, I dared to believe in my worth, Foolishly hoping for reciprocated affection, For if I could embrace myself, perhaps someone else could too.

Then reality crashed upon me, relentless and harsh, Unveiling my lack of desirability, Unmasking the futility of my hopes.

Why did I delude myself into thinking anything had shifted?

What delusion fed my fleeting confidence, rupturing my pragmatic vision?

When did I start weaving webs of “hope” and “possibility”?

As a girl, taught to tread cautiously, such sentiments should have been alien.

Yet, there I stood, lost in fantasies of a future meant for another girl.

 A girl who is beautiful.

A girl who is smart, caring and interesting.

A girl that is healed enough to refer to herself as a woman.

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About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a regular contributor to Tony Ward’s blog. To access additional poetry by Mikala Mikrut, click here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/bob-shell-my-continuing-publishing-saga/

Locktober: Lyra on Lyra


Text by Lyra From London, Copyright 2023

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Styling by KVaughn

Hair & Makeup: Olivia Monroe

Dominatrix: Miss Joy

Lighting Assistant: Anthony Colagreco

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Lyra on Lyra

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Patrick – fucking pussy.

Alice – fucking pussy.

And what’s all this about being a sub? I could be a switch. Depends on how much tequila I’ve had before 10am. 

Alice even tried to change my name. She thought it would be funny if I was called Celia, an anagram of Alice. Talk about an ego! You have got to be fucking kidding me. When did a “Celia” ever do anything to offend anybody? Lyra is much better. 

My name comes from Orpheus’s legendary “lyre”.

And, of course, lyre sounds like liar. Works for me.

I burst into existence pretty much in parallel with Alice. As Alice alluded to, you cannot have day without night, light without darkness. I don’t flat line (well not for a long time I hope). I am the sine curve. The parabola – two standard deviations from the mean if you get the gist.

After Alice had done her sweet little photo shoot with Tony, and after we got rid of Patrick, off came those nice clothes, and then it was my turn. Alice, wrapped up in a shawl – how lovely. How feminine, like they said. But it doesn’t get your juices flowing, not like a black plastic maid’s outfit with a little bit of lace; like a bit of constraint, if you know what I mean? Alice – that sub – and chastity? I mean, honey, really? Pass me the fucking superglue.

You know it’s October 1, right? Locktober. When people challenge themselves to be locked up in chastity for a full 31 days – or whatever you can manage. Just try it boys. Give me a call on day 28, so I can laugh down the phone at you. And, you also know October 1 is Tony’s birthday, the same day, right? The day we publish.

Now there is a true visionary.

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Portrait of a transvestite in train concourse with ball and gag
Lyra. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

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Of course, it’s a simple question. Am I, Lyra, actually real? Or are these just made-up words to create a story? Is this Fight Club all over again? Yes? No?

You’ll have to draw your own conclusions. But here’s the thing. There’s Patrick prancing around in NYC Central Station in his tie and sunglasses and cravat, doing his nails, and mostly, people are pretty cool with that. And he seems comfortable with it. Well done him.

And then there is Alice, and she’s looking a little pensive and nervous at the start, but slowly finds herself in those pictures. Tony teases out that more confident sense-of-self for Alice as the shoot goes on (cameras never lie when an expert is wielding them), and I have to admit it, however begrudgingly, she looks really good in that wrap-around dress. It’s just a single piece of cloth for fucks sake, held in place where the camera cannot see with grips and pegs, damn it.

The reason for Alice looking “really good” in nothing to do with Alice of course (though I would say that, wouldn’t I). It is due to the style brought to the shoot by KVaughn, who arrived with a suitcase full of the most beautiful materials as well as his signature scarves and in addition, lots of extras including rings, necklaces, and killer sunglasses. You can see some more of him in the BTS material – this section is reserved for me, so he’s not having a look in here! Anyway, we’d all like to thank him.

Where was I? Oh yes …

But she looks good. Even I fancy her. I mean I wouldn’t mind strapping on a … (Lyra, careful – Patrick and Alice).

Yeah, well, whatever. We all have a Lyra, don’t we? I can see her, hiding behind Patrick’s glasses as he looks to the sky, that twinkle in Alice’s eye as she lets that gold dress ride up a little too far. (That was me doing that actually – not Alice.)

Alice knows she wants to, but she lacks courage. I don’t. I imagine myself in a net, thrashing and spitting, angry that my own sense-of-self (as “inappropriate” as it might be), is being suppressed. And so, the pictures that they (yes – those two – Patrick and Alice) are letting Tony and I publish, are just the tip of the red-hot iceberg, dear readers. You have no idea, though I hope you can imagine.

You see, we have a problem. Anything on the Internet can be ripped out, de-contextualized, presented as something that it was never intended to be. And whilst the current cancel culture has its absolute place for people who are being hurtful, in the world of transport (from where I am led to believe, Patrick part-funds my outfits) as well as cancellations, there are reinstatements. And indeed, alterations. But Patrick (and to an extent Alice – though she just goes with the flow – ha, there I go again!) fear being ostracized. And perhaps they should. Or perhaps they/he should grow a pair, and then not put on that cage.

So, I’m censored. Isn’t life a bitch!

Lyra would love to show you everything (and I mean, everything!), but deep down, even she is nervous. Maybe. I’m Lyra and I am holding a grenade, my elegant, flirtatious fingers on the pin, playing with it, twisting it, teasing it, but for now, leaving it in place.

Oh, honey.

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Lyra aka transvestite gagged at a computer train station
The Commuter. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

You just know I’d love to pull out that pin and toss the grenade, that sense of self-destruction bringing the most exquisite frisson. Oh, the edging. But there would be collateral damage, so much so, that it might actually take me out as well in the force of the societal explosion. And perhaps a little like Leland, Bob, and Laura in that amazing world of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, if I’m going, then I’m taking Patrick and Alice with me. I might live on my own, but they’d be done. And everything they built could crumble and collapse about them. Like at the end of The Dice Man.

Of course, if that Tony Ward character who really “got me”, came to Lyra and said, “I hate those cropped pictures, but I get that Internet misrepresentation bit, blah blah”, and then added “Tell you what, Lyra. How about a solo show – just you, not those other two hangers-on with all their baggage. I’ll protect your anonymity. Maybe we’ll do a book – or maybe an exhibit with massive pictures of you.”, then my mind would start whirling.

I’d think of Tony’s other work, of the world of burlesque, of edgy lifestyles, of sensuality, of eroticism, of sexuality. Of the conflict between biological sex and gender, of the blurring of identify.

If you take different colored lights and mix them, sometimes the result is an intense bright diamond-white, but do the same with paint and you end up with sludge brown. But mixtures, diversity, difference – they are wonderful things. They keep the world from being stale and boring. They should be celebrated. Not ridiculed.

 “Ridicule is nothing to be scared of.”

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nude male in white bondage rope and Victoria Secrets white wings by photographer Tony Ward
Angels Have Wings. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

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But Lyra cannot exist on her own. She is part of Alice, in the same way that Alice is part of Patrick. I’m not sure Lyra and Patrick have very much in common, but they have a go-between.

Stephen King got “Lyra” in his writing. Nineteen years of digging. “I find I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.”

So, for better or worse, for now, you’ll have to make do with a few doctored images, a sub-set (do you see what I did there?) of the type of censorship that the conspiracy theorists would have you believe is around us 24/7.

And yet, here it is. Or is it. Was there ever anything more daring? Tony knows. Lyra knows. Alice knows. And, I guess, Patrick knows.

It’s been a pleasure. Tony Ward and his whole crew have our admiration and love.

I hope I’ll be back in some form, but for now – “Lyra, out”.

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About The Author:

Lyra is 56 (what, the same age as our other protagonists? No way!). If Alice is the light, then Lyra is the darkness. Patrick distances himself from Lyra, as she is nothing but trouble, and is often bang-out-of-order. She is the whole package – fuse, spark and explosive. She has no responsibility at all. Patrick and Alice are, to be fair, slightly concerned.

You will unwrap more about her when you read what she has to say about herself, though she is, of course, totally untrustworthy, so take it all with a pinch of salt.