Every week this year, the Lainsville Freak Town Herald is chronicling some of the alternative community's biggest players. This week, Todd hopes that area entrepreneur Michael Jasek will be more interested in talking about his custom rubber fetish gear business, and not interested in the reporter's bodily functions.
The Red Spotlight: Michael Jasek
by Todd Jones, FTH staff reporter and investor in paper towels.
My editors have informed me that my byline will humiliate me again. After last week's article, I don't think so.
Luckily for me, this week's subject is much more compatible. We are both male, we are both foxes, and we are both disturbingly kinky. In fact, he's the one who suggested that I refer to him as my 'subject'. Michael Jasek is a Russian Silver Fox who has been cultivating a line of customized rubber gear that looks as much at home in science-fiction movies as it does while its wearer brandishes a bullwhip in a dingy basement dungeon.
I joined him in his house, which was immediately weird. I thought it was a duplex. "It's kind of like a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back," he said, giving me a shotgun tour. One side of his house had been retrofitted into a business: the living room was the lobby, the bedrooms were a dressing room and 'tryout room', and the basement was where he did his actual work. "I don't really know when I got into rubber gear. I spent a lot of my childhood in the hospital, so it probably came from having guys in rubber gloves playing around with me while I was under. Masks, too."
All of that was evident in what Michael made. To use his words, imagine the iconic Batman suits from the Tim Burton movies on forward. Then, make them into sex play gear. Sculpted rubber in any color and design, enhancing the body until it looks intimidating or like a plaything. Full coverage, from gleaming boots or strange latex toe socks, to zentai-like hoods and immense complicated gasmask hoods. He and his business partner had packed the house with display examples at every turn, including a vicious-looking wolf mask hood perched right on the kitchen counter. They made and sold off the shelf gear as well, although most of that is sold through a shop at the venerable club The Pit.
"I've always been a nerd," Michael told me, as we transitioned from the business side of his house over to the personal side. "I've been watching science fiction movies, fantasy movies, comic book movies my entire life. My parents let me watch the War of the Worlds TV show when I was in third grade. That was a really violent show. Did you ever see it?" I proceeded to say no, and listen to Michael go off on a massive geek tangent that wound through horror and science-fiction. He seemed very eager to slip into these discussions without any warning or knowledge that he might be boring. Luckily, he isn't really boring, unless you don't like anything he likes. Then, you shouldn't be standing in his house.
On the personal side, he had one room with an ominous lock. He opened it up with a key combo and a pass card and let me in. The room was cool and dry and fans whirred up as soon as we got in, adjusting the temperature according to the fox. The room held a collection of movie, comic book, and videogame costumes. A traditional and animal-hybrid Darth Vader, spandex and rubber Batman suits, and one that I recognized even though I didn't think I should. "Is that a klingon?" I pointed out. "Yes! That's from Star Trek Six. I used to love ogling Sci-Fi fan magazines, but I usually just looked at the pictures. I could definitely get into the stories in actual shows and movies, but there was something so visually appealing. As I got a little older, I started wanting to dress up like characters, and then I started getting aroused by it."
Michael looked very unusual, very iconic, just standing there. He had the dark charcoal fur of a silver fox, but instead of ashy tips, he was dusted with red. His hands and feet were deep, burnt red, as was a shock of a 'mohawk' between his ears. He caught me inspecting as we went downstairs to the 'play' side of his basement. "No one had seen a silver fox at my school, and so they all made fun of me for being a weird fox. I really wanted to be a regular red one, like you. When I was a teenager, I got some fur dye and turned myself red, but it only colored the light parts. I ended up looking like an inverted fox. That got me more impressed attention, so I kept doing it and permadyed it later."
The 'play side' of his basement was a dungeon fit for the most disturbing sexual tastes. Flat medical exam bed, gynecological chair, St. Andrews whipping cross, head and foot stocks, bondage horses and benches, torture chairs, a stand-up cage and a puppy cage, a sling, and enough toys and gear to fill a sex shop. Most of it was old hat to yours truly; my day job is filming people having sex. Some of it was too medical for my own sanity. I pointed out a big console with various hoses. "Oh, that's an anesthesia machine. It really works, so no touching. I told you I was in the hospital when I was a kid. Well, I wasn't really sick." Michael started to look frightened, simply by talking. "You've probably never met anyone who was the 'proxy' part of Munchausen's By Proxy, right?"
Munchausen's By Proxy is a psychological disorder where a mother seeks attention by way of unnecessary medical treatment. The By Proxy part means that she doesn't seek it for herself, but for her child. Michael talked around the subject, trying to give me a global sense that he'd spent years essentially used as a medical practice dummy, but without being particularly specific. He looked like he would throw up any second. Then, as he started demonstrating various other medical implements - including a full set of anesthesia breathing gear - the terror drained away and he seemed just as excited as he'd been to show off his authentic Darth Vader suit upstairs.
I didn't fare so well and asked that we go look at something else. He opened the door back to the other part of his basement, where he actually made the flashy gear that he sold for most of his living. I hadn't seen the back part of the workshop; he decided to tell me how he had reinvented sizing and modeling using 3D software and a 3D printing service. I could babble on about that, but my attention was caught by a huge glass cylinder full of unpleasantly yellowy liquid and covered in tubes and hoses. It looked like a movie prop. I even recognized it. "That's from Aliens, isn't it? When they get into the medical labs after landing on the planet."
"Yep!" Michael beamed and lost his train of thought instantly. "That's a facehugger. It's not just a movie prop, it's kind of a... it's kind of a toy. It's, well, you see that thing on the end of the umbilical? That's a Laryngeal Mask Airway, kind of way of intubating someone without having to shove a tube through their vocal folds. It's for breathing if you're paralyzed in the hospital. I thought those facehuggers were some kind of demon sex freaks in a way; the attach to your head, knock you out, shove their ovipositor things into you and then grow an alien. It's really rapacious, really victimizing. I thought that would make them a perfect toy for breath play, which is just about as terrifying. Unfortunately, this thing I made only really fits on humans."
I was quite glad I was a fox.