an member station
Las Vegas life is a many-shaded thing.
Some shades are neon bright. Others very dark. And others somewhere in between -- places or ideas you might not delve into, even if politely asked.
Las Vegas resident Sarah Jane Woodall relishes some of those offbeat avenues.
Woodall, who is also known by and has copyrighted the name, Wonderhussy, is a model. Since dawn of the recession, she has made a living posing nude, or for fetishists, or just for aspiring photographers throughout the state.
Her story is one of many in Las Vegas that make the city an endlessly interesting place to live.
On being on a porn set:
It’s prurient. So titillating. The fact of the matter is it’s a job just like any other. I get paid to be a fully clothed background extra. Some of these porns actually have scripts and there’s dialogue and they’re set in an office. So, there needs to be a secretary in the background. I did one at a bank where I played a bank teller. They need fully clothed people in the background just like big budget Hollywood movies.
On growing up:
I was raised by lowly hippies in Northern California. They’re very supportive. My dad passed away but my mom is very supportive. I’m friends with both of my grandmas on Facebook and they see every sordid, horrible thing that I post. They still haven’t written me out of the inheritances.
I’m well educated hussy. I went to San Jose State in San Jose, California. For art. Let this being a warning to you: don’t let your daughters major in art.
On moving to Las Vegas:
I never knew what I wanted to do or be. I certainly couldn’t afford to live in the Silicon Valley, which is where I was from. I just thought Las Vegas seemed like an interesting place. So many interesting stories and weird things going on here. It seemed like a fun place and hey here I am 16 years later and it’s still fun.
On becoming a nude model:
I became a nude model for two reasons. I was in a relationship for a while with a pretty conservative guy who sort of convinced me to be normal. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to run around naked or anything like that in public. So, when I broke up with him, I sort of had this rebirth: yeah! I’m free now I can be myself.
At the time, I had been modeling but just traditional glamour shots, head shots – stuff you would need to submit for a trade show gig. And right at the top of my modeling bio it said: “I don’t shoot nudes so don’t even ask!”
The first nude photo shoot that I did was just to prove it to myself that I could. This was around the 2008 recession. So I was really strapped for cash. I had this bad mortgage on this house I was living in. I was trying to make my mortgage payments. I realized I could turn this nude modeling into a little lucrative side gig.
On the world of nude modeling in Las Vegas:
This is sort of a huge underground economy that people don’t realize exist. Amateur, freelance modeling – nude modeling or clothed modeling, whatever – is a huge thing in the United States and in the world in fact.
There’s a website called modelmayhem.com. It is sort of like a networking site for models and photographers, kind of like a Facebook for the modeling industry. Models put up their portfolio and a little blurb about themselves. And then if photographers are interested in working with you, then they’ll sent you a message. I think there are thousands of women in the U.S. who make a full time living doing amateur, freelance modeling, probably nude modeling because that’s where the money is. But nobody knows about it, because I guess it is kind of taboo. Nobody wants to talk about nude modeling.
There is nothing prurient or titillating about 98 percent of my shoots. It’s just some guy wants to take pretty pictures and he hires me.
On her first photo shoot:
The first nude shoot that I did was with a local photographer. This was the very first nude that I did to prove the point to myself. So it wasn’t someone who hired me. I approached him. I had seen his work online. He did really beautiful “artistic” nudes. Classy, tasteful, whatever.
I contacted him he was working on a coffee table book of nudes at the time. Come to find out, years later, they’re all working on coffee table books of nudes. I have yet to see a coffee table book of nudes.
We shot together. He did a little test shoot with me, according to him just to make sure I didn’t have three nipples or a weird birthmark or something. And he goes, ‘oh yeah, you’ll be great for my book. Let’s go out to the desert.’
I was a little nervous. It’s the classic tale of the model going out to the desert with a strange guy. Well, we drove out towards Jean under a freeway underpass, of all places. That was first place I dropped trou and was photographed in public. But the pictures came out beautiful! He really is an excellent photographer.
He took some really beautiful pictures that I was able to put up on my modeling site and start charging people to start taking those same kinds of pictures.
On some of the fetish shoots she’s done:
I only have one fetish and that’s for money. I don’t have any sexual fetishes, but I will happily work as a fetish model in exchange for money. I put a profile up on the site toward that end.
I’ve done sneezing, spitting, sitting in a kiddie pool pouring cake batter down a pair of granny panties all kinds of crazy things. I’m pretty much open to doing anything. I’m a nice girl. I went to college. I don’t do anything expressly adult or erotic. So no masturbation or implied masturbation.
I guess I call myself Wonderhussy, but I’m really not that shameless after all. I have some hang ups I guess I need to work through.
I’ll do almost anything as long it’s not illegal because it is illegal to do fetish involving bodily fluids like peeing, pooping that kind of thing, or crushing animals, I won’t do anything like that.
I don’t really care for being tied up. Foot fetish is the number one fetish, bondage has to be number two because it’s huge! Guys love photographing women tied up in these intricate, macramé-like Japanese rope designs, which I guess objectively speaking I guess it can be kind of pretty in a geometric way. I’ve tried it before and the feeling of being tied up… I felt powerless and angry. Something about the physical act of not being able to move just really freaked me out. I didn’t care for it.
On how her significant others react to the work that she does:
It takes a special breed of man to date me for sure. I have had conflicts over what I do in the past. Some guys get kind of jealous. For the most part, anybody who is attracted to me they know what I do. It’s all out there in the open. I don’t hide anything. So, if they’re going to approach me in the first place, they’re already aware of what I do and my persona is and they’re okay with it. That being said, sometimes they come in being okay with it and then they’re really not okay with it and that’s when I have to kick them to the curb.
Because at the end of the day I’m the one paying my bills, no one else is going to pay my bill for me, and if this is how I do it, this is how I do it.
On the people who photograph her:
This may sound corny, but they have a desire to create art. And this is what people are going to be surprised to her, because people assume that I’m a nude model and these guys are hiring me to come up to their room and get naked. There has got to be something seedy going on. Something prurient. Well, I’m sorry to break it to all of you but it’s just a business transaction, 99.9 percent of the time.
The vast majority of my shoots the guy is in town for conference or something and he’s a professional maybe a lawyer, doctor, defense minister – whatever. I’ve shot with people from all different walks of life, police officers as a matter of fact. They are hiring me totally above board, just as a model. So, they can indulged their artistic side.
Sarah Jane Woodall, aka, "Wonderhussy"