Malicia Morrigan's 6-foot-2 frame (6-foot-9 in heels) drapes across a chaise longue, nestled between walls adorned with leather cuffs, whips, chains, ball gags, gimp masks and an assortment of prods. A St. Andrew's Cross looms in the background. A human-sized dog cage sits in the corner. Her perfectly manicured toes peep out of her patent leather heels, and in the background a man is heard screaming in painful ecstasy. "Someone's having a good time," she says.
For those with a more unique desire for thrilling adventure, the Red Door Dungeon is the oldest and largest professional in-person dominance dungeon in Cleveland. Malicia Morrigan works here as a giantess and domina. The Red Door Dungeon does not offer illegal services like sex solicitation, and Morrigan fulfills all of her work duties without ever removing a single article of clothing.
There's a stigma attached to sex work and those who patronize sex workers, but, "The main demographic are white-collar workers, usually between the ages of 35 and 55, although I've had clients in the age range of 29 through their late 70s," she says. While Morrigan cannot disclose the identities or professions of her clients, studies on kink and BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism) show that it is often men with high-pressure jobs or those working in high-power positions who find a cathartic release by experiencing femdom, or the act of being dominated by a woman.
"They come here to let go and be free for a moment," she says.
Morrigan offers a variety of services, including the surprisingly common fetish of sissification (to feminize a man, most often by forcing him to wear women's clothing, typically gaudy and overly feminine to enhance his humiliation), offering her size-12 feet for worshipping, bondage, power exchange, mental and physical torture and full body weight distribution. "I've been asked to wrestle clients before, wanting me to use entire body weight to trample or sit on them," she says.
Morrigan enjoys her work and is willing to provide whatever sexual liberation her clients desire, but notes even this job has its tedious aspects: "Everyone sees these fancy rope designs and harnesses on Instagram, but then I feel like I'm tying shoes for a half hour."
When Morrigan isn't working at the Red Door Dungeon, she also performs one-on-one online humiliation and domination shows via Skype, through private scheduling.
As a member of the alternative community her entire life, Morrigan found her friends and social circles supportive of her decision to become a dominatrix. "Had I not grown up so alternative, I'm sure this decision could have been catastrophic," she says. If you see her out and about around town, you might find her in something like a perfectly fitted corset and fishnet tights. It is clear that this isn't just a hobby; it's part of her identity.
"There's a misconception that the sex work I do is prostitution, and it's not," she says. "If anything, it's a form of a therapy that happens to be sexual in nature. Being dominated is an immersive and vulnerable experience, and these clients are putting their physical and psychological safety in our hands. That's not something we take lightly. It's not easy work, because it's incredibly cerebral. But I love my job. I love what I do. And I'm good at it."