(Editor’s Note: This interview with adult entertainer Mistress Persephone was conducted back in December 2011 by Tom Heckbert for the now-defunct website Eyestrane.com. It’s been republished at Idol Features courtesy of Tom and Mistress Persephone, who wrote her own introduction.)
Some of you might already know everything about me and my work from the days of my first website, Mistress Persephone’s Tartarus (1996-2002), or my many appearances in fetish magazines and BDSM videos or my live performances that I have done internationally. A few lucky ones have actually served me in private sessions or maybe even taken me for dinner, drinks and shopping.
For some, this could be the first encounter you have had with me so I will sum it up as best I can.
I am a full-time pro domme and part-time pro fetish model by trade and have been active professionally since 1993. When I first started modeling, it was rare for a woman to have tattoos and get work, much less be seen as glamorous! There was no such thing as a “fetish model,” no box to tick on any model portfolio site for that category.
I just fell into it by accident because I happened to be working at a fetish boutique in Fountain Valley, CA. I loved being around the gear and sneaking off into the footwear department and was always getting scolded for leaving my lube and toy counter. The owner’s daughter suggested me to her father who in turn hired me for his Centurian Spartacus bondage catalogue and that was my first paid fetish photo shoot and I went on to do runway shows for fetish companies such as Versatile Fashions, sharing the stage with Dita Von Teese who also came from the same “stock.”
Not long after, I decided to become a pro domme after meeting people in the scene and awakening my dominance at private play parties in Orange County, CA. Eventually I moved to New York City and sharpened my skills while working at the dungeons of Arena Blaze by day and hunting for victims to feed the femme fatale in me in the NYC pervy underground clubs at night.
Eventually, I was living back and forth between NYC and Hollywood, then Hollywood and London. Now, I am taking control of the mid-west and injecting my delicious venom into those brave enough to see me for a live session.
I am a naturally dominant woman and it was natural for me to refine those skills into an art form. Above and beyond all, I am a fetishist; a lover of all things silky, stretchy, lacy or shiny. I adore vintage and contemporary undergarments as long as they appeal to my feminine senses and I am hopelessly addicted to impossibly high heels and wicked boots. Leather sends me into a frenzy and nothing could be more delicious than being laced into one of my corsets and seeing my legs encased in nylons.
I am a collector of hats, lingerie, stockings, gloves and furs; an elegant smoker who delights in teasing with every ounce of my seductive nature. I don’t do this for fashion or mere aesthetics although they certainly play a part in the end result. I do this because it is what I NEED and DESIRE. I don’t give a rat’s ass about being the coolest club kid in the kinkiest new line, I wear what makes me feel powerful, sexy and HORNY! After all, my image precedes me and most of the kids in said clubs.
How did someone in the age of practicality develop a taste for the esoteric such as I have? So few women appreciate the true power that a high heel, a seamed stocking or a tight corset can bring. I am not an anti-feminist by insisting that all women should embrace their feminine side but a realist who understands the strength of a woman who hones what she is. I say to hell with practicality!!!
I have had many inspirations but the biggest has come from the Hammer Films of the 1960s, the works of giallo masters like Mario Bava and Dario Argento and fetish artists the likes of John Willie, Allen Jones, and Eric Stanton. I love a psychedelic opus like The Prisoner, Danger: Diabolik or Barbarella with their fantastic costuming and art direction because I see more to it than most do.
Early on, I was a reader of EC Comics like the Vault of Horror and Tales From the Crypt, but the naughty side of me used to peek into the girdle and undergarment sections of my mother’s JC Penney catalog to peep at the nipples peeking through the filmy fabrics.
I was a lover of TV shows like Wonder Woman or the Superfriends, where scarce an episode was without someone getting bound by her golden lasso while she donned that incredible pair of boots and tight corset. As I got older, I fell in love with Elvira and would sneak out of bed to watch Elvira’s Movie Macabre and wish I was her! Who can forget Vampirella? A vampiress with all those powers …and again …the boots!!!!!!
So to make a long story short, I am this way now because I was this way then and always will be.
I was born with a taste for the bizarre and it has been my quest to bring my fantasies to life and in the process attract others of like mind to me and unite in our sweet sickness. It is like a fever that runs through our veins but one that we could not bear to be without. I hope you enjoy your visit through my underworld.
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: Those were tough times. It wasn’t that easy to get work with even the few tattoos I had then, and in a pre-Internet era, I was limited to modeling locally. Southern California has always been more receptive to the tanned blonde look so being pale with black hair made me stand out and once i started getting out there people took notice that I wasn’t like everyone else. I could have gotten more work if i had decided to adopt the look that would sell, but i stuck to my guns and stayed true to myself and eventually it paid off.
EYESTRANE: You have a large and impressive body of work in every media format imaginable. What have been some of your more memorable jobs?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: Working with Screaming Mad George for a photo book of the Japanese manga story Lady Devilman was really awesome because I got to play several characters that involved hours of prosthetic makeup. It was somewhat grueling, but the end result was incredible!
EYESTRANE: There are not many fetish models out there that become as well known as you. Masuimi Max comes to mind. What do you think attributed to your success?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: Pure tenacity, timing, and hunger. There weren’t very many people online when I first went online and it gave me the ability to reach a worldwide audience rather easily. Things have changed now, and it isn’t as easy to stand out when there are so many more people out there. I do things that I want to do and hope that other people get some sort of enjoyment out of it too.
EYESTRANE: How much of a role do you take in creating the images of you that you have on your website?
EYESTRANE: How do you feel about mainstream modeling and the industry in general?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: Mainstream modeling focuses too much on the product and not the model and doesn’t allow for enough creativity. I always wanted to create images that i would want to see if I was flipping through a magazine or browsing a website so i take on that attitude when I shoot.
EYESTRANE: You also performed in Burlesque shows. What were your specialties?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: Not so much burlesque as what is known as “Grotesque Burlesque.” It involves elements of horror and sideshow as well as glamour. Simple striptease has it’s appeal, but that’s not really what I like to do. I like to leave the audience either staring silently, or vomiting if at all possible.
EYESTRANE: You are also known for your blood/vampire photographs and role play. What do you think about the horror genre and the films of today?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: A lot of great horror is coming out just not from the US market. I can’t say there is any current American horror film from the last 10 years that has left a positive impression upon me but there has been great stuff coming out of Korea and France and the UK.
EYESTRANE: You appeared in a number of B-movies. How was your experience acting and is it something you would like to continue to do?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: I have never really considered myself to be much of an actress but I loved doing b-movie horror because I’ve always been such a fan of it. If something came up, I’d do it but I’m not out there actively auditioning to become a horror starlet. To me it’s all about fun! I’m working on a series of erotic horror right now that will combine elements of all of the things I love! fetvideo.com is the name of my company which will launch soon!
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: The unholy Trinity of Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing will always be the horror icons that I admire the most. However, Ingrid Pitt, Britt Ekland, Carolyn Munroe and all of the ladies of that era made a huge mark on my and my body of work and how I like things to look and feel.
EYESTRANE: Are there any actors today you look up to?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: I love Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Song Kang-ho, and Christopher Walken.
EYESTRANE: How about today’s films. Anything from independent films to blockbusters you would recommend?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: Memories of Murder, Dead Snow and Hobo With a Shotgun are ones I recommend a lot to people! They are very funny but also well-done!
EYESTRANE: How important do you think it is to interact with your fans?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: I think it’s important to interact with them but also to do it on my terms which is why I love my Facebook group! Facebook.com/QueenofHades.
EYESTRANE: Your website is much more than a pay for photos site. It is meant to teach, inspire, and show people about who you are and what you do. Do you mentor other models who may want to get into the business?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: A lot of models get exploited in this industry so I try never to treat any of my models poorly and have established an ethic where they never feel they got the short end of the stick. I am in the middle of redesigning SickChiXXX.com for a complete relaunch and will utilize it to shoot new incredible content with unique and interesting girls so I can continue to discover talent and create clips and photos for my fans to enjoy.
EYESTRANE: You are also a writer and have written articles for websites. Is writing something you would like to pursue further and in what capacity?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: I have been saying for years that I want to write a book and one day I will! It’s tough to find the time but it’s definitely a real goal!
EYESTRANE: Where do you see yourself in your career five years from now?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: Producing erotic horror content, discovering up and coming talent and infecting the world with my brand of sickness!
EYESTRANE: Where can your fans find out more about you?
MISTRESS PERSEPHONE: My Facebook fan page, Facebook.com/QueenofHades, pay site, SickChixxx.com, and Mistress Persephone’s Fetish Clips.
From 2009: Showing off her culinary skills