by Rich Moreland, July 2015
Erotic work came early to Mercy West. Her adolescent fascination with outré books and art, those treasures gleaned from scouring book shelves and bins, promoted her love of fetish. Why not make a few bucks doing what she adored?
“I had my first fetish modeling job two or three months after I turned eighteen.”
Playing in a privately owned dungeon in Tucson, her hometown at the time, kick-started Mercy’s interest in exploring sexuality beyond the bedroom. “I was offered my first artistic fetish modeling job after I had done a awesome scene with the dungeon master the first night.”
Mercy was no stranger to kink. A boyfriend had introduced her to bondage when she was just a young pup, only fifteen. A later, much older partner nudged her into a BDSM relationship that was “really intense,” she affectionately remembers. “He was in his mid-thirties and we really developed our D/s dynamic but it was a switch relationship. I really learned a lot because he had been in the scene for quite awhile.”
From the outset, our fetish honey learned both ends of the whip, a complete education because BDSMers believe that to be a good domme, you must first experience being submissive. Know how it feels before you introduce it to someone else. Be absolutely sure you understand what it means emotionally and psychologically. For now, Mercy’s porn experience in front of the camera has been as a sub . . . that’s where the money is and what the fans want to see.
A Few More Fetish Shoots
Recalling the elation that swept over her following that first dungeon scene, Mercy says, “I was really feeling good and was thanking him (the dungeon master) when he said he had a friend that might like to use me for an artistic fetish shoot . . . this really cool suspension shoot in front of a green screen. . .like floating in space suspended on this giant mobile.”
“I get to be tied up by professionals and get to have cool, sexy photos of myself! I had no qualms about it. It just seemed fun. I wasn’t worried about nude pictures of me or people seeing me naked.” Her open mindedness is Mercy’s most endearing personality trait.
At this point, the future was cracking its egg; a tiny chick was breaking out.
Mercy realized she loved fetish modeling and that BDSM was a part of her private life, as it is for the best fetish models. What she needed was trusted guidance to compliment her determination to network and show her wares, including the bit of ink she carries.
The bondage photographer became a guidepost in her development. “Sexy alternative glamour” assignments complimented by “a few more fetish shoots” constructed an agenda in those early days. Mild was the tone, nothing hardcore or extreme just “suggestive and fun stuff,” Mercy recollects. Having spent her teen years searching out sexy images of enticing models, seeing her own now was more than exciting. “I liked working with someone who had a vision, who had an idea, who liked using me for their projects,” she declares. Mixed among her interests was a brief stint with web camming. That was Mercy West for a couple of years.
Phone Sex Therapist
A move to New Mexico for school introduced an uneventful time. Online modeling afforded some income, but Mercy admits she was “not really pursuing anything serious” in adult. Her next migration to Portland, Oregon, offered a shot at phone sex “with someone I met through the BDSM community,” she recalls. “We hit it off and she thought I would do well working as an independent phone sex operator.”
The prospects attracted Mercy as did the female owner who helped our queer punk cutie understand how to be successful in the job. They remain friends to this day.
The gig turned into a memorable experience, though Mercy discovered typical phone sex girls don’t “actually enjoy what they were doing . . . for them, it was just ‘cocks and wallets’ as they say in the business.” On the other hand, she found the job rewarding on more than one front.
She was herself on the site as were the other Portland girls who remained apart from the norm. “No fantasy profiles,” she says, “I like the fact that it was so real and focused on girls that actually enjoyed their job.”
The real satisfaction for Mercy was on the other end of the line. “I really enjoyed listening to people’s fantasies, hearing people’s desires, and having people tell me their secrets.” In turn, the callers wanted to know about her and a camaraderie emerged. Honesty created feelings of allegiance.
She was a BDSM switch, she told her “clients,” gender fluid, and pan-sexual. Her open mind hid nothing. “I wasn’t secretive and I actually got an interesting array of people calling me because of my gender fluidity and my openness to other sexualities.” Her callers “didn’t feel judged,” she says, “They were comfortable talking to me . . . not just because I was being paid to listen but because I was genuinely interested.”
Empathy goes a long way in phone sex just as it does in hotline services still offered in some communities. Mercy believes callers talked with her because they couldn’t communicate with their partners or didn’t have a partner or anyone else with whom to share in confidence their thoughts and feelings. Quite frankly, Mercy West became a commercial phone sex therapist borrowing the empathy model of trained counselors.
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Despite her phone sex success, Mercy felt the itch to return to web cam. Chatting with girls who were making a go of it piqued her interest. An unexpected benefit came along for the ride. Mercy “brought to the table something other web cammers didn’t . . . an awesome set of verbal skills.” The learning curve was improving. “I’m used to being a phone sex operator and not having to use my body, so I had to be one hundred percent sexy and give people what they want without doing anything live in front of them.” Not as simple as it sounds because fans are titillated by the visual.
Mercy West is quick to suggest that fans appreciate a girl who tweaks the timeworn package. “They want someone who can think sexy, talk sexy, and give them new ideas and show them new things.” For a moment she pauses to observe that there is a difference between “live” and “staged” performances and comments that she doesn’t know, at least at this point, “how well some porn stars translate to live performances versus staged, edited ones.”
Actually, for performers who feature dance and others who shoot live at Kink.com, it is pretty seamless.