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The elevator doors part, and Mikayla Miles joins a trio of clean-cut executives on the way up to the ninth floor. It's 8 p.m., and the businessmen, still in their suits, cease chatting to stare at the dimpled, green-eyed blond. A muscular 220 pounds, she towers over them at six feet, four inches tall. The top of her head nearly grazes the elevator entrance.
A stocky gentleman with a blue striped tie and a Jay Leno chin scans her from top to bottom. Then he flashes a younger colleague a wide-eyed look and mouths the word wow.
Mikayla doesn't notice. She steps off the elevator and heads to room number 908 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Hollywood Beach. With a huge hand, she knocks twice. The door opens slowly to reveal a pale, diminutive fellow on all fours, wearing only kneepads, a black leather collar, and a pair of Fruit of the Loom tighty-whities. His eyes are fixed toward the floor, like a dog that has just been scolded.
"Turn the air conditioner up, you little shithead," she snaps. Then she heads into the bathroom.
He obeys. "Yes, goddess."
When she emerges, she's dressed in a candy-red corset and seven-inch-high, size-16, platinum-leather boots. In heels, she's just shy of seven feet. She puts her hands on her hips and orders him to lie on the floor.
He's a grown man with a furry back, love handles, and the first signs of a bald spot, but he's squirming like a kid in anticipation. On a bedside clock radio, an upbeat oldies station softly plays Petula Clark's "Downtown."
When you're alone and life is making you lonely,
You can always go
When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know
Mikayla lifts a praying-mantis leg into the air and puts one boot on top of him. It stretches across his entire chest. She steps onto him with both feet and looks down at his puny body.
His face turns bubblegum pink, and a wormlike vein pops out from his neck. He lets out a grunt that sounds like he's simultaneously lifting a refrigerator and tasting delicious food. Then it's just heavy breathing.
"You like that?" she says, more as statement than question. Before he can respond, she places the bottom of her right boot on his face.
"I could crush you right now — snap you like a twig. Should I?" she wonders.
"Yes, goddess. If it pleases you."
For a second, she seems to consider it. He pants harder. His erection presses against the thin briefs. There's a pause.
Downtown, where all the lights are bright
"No," she says. "I think I'll spare you. This time."
For Mikayla Miles, a day of work is just beginning. The 33-year-old former second-grade teacher is among a tight-knit tribe of South Florida Amazon women — giant ladies who cater to men's desire to feel small.
Four local Amazons range from six feet to six feet, nine inches and 210 to 380 pounds. They hold private fetish sessions for up to $500 an hour. They work both independently and collaboratively, and most are avid bodybuilders, strong enough to lift a midsized man above their heads. Usually, clients request the same things: trampling ("crush me like a cigarette"), overhead pressing ("press me like a barbell"), lifting and carrying ("cradle me like a baby"), and/or wrestling ("just generally beat the shit out of me").
Mikayla, who outside her fetish persona is more like Betty Crocker than Bettie Page, sheds her wholesomeness in the moments before a session. A longtime fetish icon known as "The Mile High Model," she's the Madonna of Amazons. Hers is a tale of transition from freak to star and the conflicts that ensue in the space between reality and fantasy. In South Florida, with rigid beach-culture body-type standards, Amazons turn those ideals upside down.
After eight years in the business, Mikayla has gotten smart about making her national and international fans come to her. She has recruited a group of Amazons to the area, where they share clients and film videos for their websites. Mikayla's site, for example, shows clips of her "flexing big, strong biceps" and "stomping without mercy." Her yearly income is in the six figures.
During an hourlong session, a skilled Amazon might play the role of a dominatrix, a mother, a bully, a psychologist, and a coach. While the private meetings are inarguably sexual, they don't involve nudity or erotic touching — unless your idea of erotic is having your diaper changed or a big gal wrestle you. Clients tend to find conventional sex acts blasé and predictable compared to feeling a crushing female presence.
The term Amazon woman has become sexualized since it was first referenced in the Eighth Century B.C. in Homer's Iliad. Today's Amazon connoisseurs are paired with admirers of the giantess (mythical ladies of superhuman size and strength) and are ogled by macrophiles (lovers of the big).
Usually, Mikayla ends sessions by "studying the hell out of the guys psychologically." Sometimes that means talking about emotions, mommy issues, or feelings of shame. It helps her deflect the expectation of sex. "I don't allow release," she says, referring to ejaculation. "I like to get inside their brains."