• Moonstruck, 1989

    “I know a place. You can fuck me if you want, I like it better than blow jobs and I’m good at it. You have to wear a condom, I’m not putting it in my mouth or my pussy without a condom.”

  • A Picture In the Backseat

    Earlier, I got paid for a two-week gig as an optical camera operator and now my wallet is full of 20s. I take Pine Avenue up to Pacific Coast Highway and turn left toward the freeway, driving slowly, looking for subject matter.

  • Danger Lurks Everywhere

    The street lamp is burned out, or maybe it’s just not there. A friendly face, gaunt with brown starlit eyes breaks the surface of shadows and smiles at me. I toggle down my window and pull to a stop. A tall Aztec shemale on long pointy heels. “Mister Photographer,” she says. “You…

  • You Know What

    A girl in black stretchy pants and a translucent undershirt holds her thumb in the air. She’s a curly headed blonde, sinewy and angular. I pull to the curb and buzz down the window. She bends at the waist, hands on her knees, and checks me out cautiously, like she’s peering into…

  • Too Many Motherfuckin' Ugly People

    She’s tall and solid with a Halloween afro and a leopard print mini-dress. Her name is Supreme and she climbs into my Camaro and asks if I’m looking to party. I tell her as a matter of fact I’m looking to party hearty and what’s it gonna cost me for a modeling session?

  • The Whore On the Floor

    In a brothel in the back of a Tijuana bar I find a room with a checkerboard floor and dead-center double-bed that looks like it was designed by Stanley Kubrick. The whore standing outside of it smiles at me. “You want pussy?”

  • Sunset and Vine

    I see a streetwalker on the southwest corner in front of the Bank of America. She’s between 30 and 60 and looks at me like I’m just another creep. It’s late and there’s not much traffic. I pull to the curb and zip down the window but she keeps her distance, checking me out for ki…

  • Nowhere All Night Long

    She has a sand and cast-iron voice. Last night, she tells me, a big mean son of a b almost raped her. She knew she shouldn’t get into his car, she could feel his bad vibrations like she could smell his bad breath.

  • East of the Promised Land

    I’m on Sunset coming from downtown, Skid Row. Across Vermont Avenue through a corridor of hospitals I stop for a red light at L. Ron Hubbard Street. The blue Scientology compound sits back a half-block from the street and the world is full of morons. At Western I turn south and s…

  • Fuckin' Nothing

    I'm unlocking my car door when a hooker materializes like a broken fairy princess, looking like she’s been kicked to all corners of the kingdom. I smile at her but she doesn’t smile back. She has a loud voice. "You lookin’ for something, White Bread?"

  • The Royal Portrait

    When I spot the strumpet I think she’s a he-she but then I see she has the kind of large overripe breasts shemales would die for. She’s older than most Hollywood whores and she walks like she’s wearing Versace on the red carpet. I pull to a stop and unlock the door with a double-…

  • Batman with a Wistful Boner

    I take Western from it’s uppermost point at Los Feliz down to Melrose then back up to Santa Monica going west to La Brea up to Sunset and back to Western where I start over. I see a girl over by the do-it-yourself car wash and I make a U-turn and ask her if she wants to take a ri…

  • Another Dumpy Motel Room

    1988. I’m alone in the night, driving slowly, when a whore materializes from a thick puff of fog. I brake and flip on my wipers and park the Camaro under a streetlamp. The whore appears at my passenger-side door and fumbles with the handle. I unlock it from my side, she jumps in…

  • Nasty All Over

    Turning onto Wilde Street from South Central Avenue, the surface is crackled like red veins across an alcoholic’s nose. Only a single block long, Wilde looks nothing more than mundane in the daylight image on Google Maps, but at five AM in the dark outskirts of my low beams, desp…

  • Goodbye, So-Long, Motherfucker

    1987. It’s summertime on Victory Boulevard, 101 degrees, dry and windy. I’m in the Camaro with the air conditioner on, playing in traffic. I’ve got $200 and I’m on my way to buy some cocaine. At a light I see a working San Fernando Valley girl. She’s got mean eyes and her hands a…

  • All Alone at Four in the Morning

    I’ve just photographed a tall thin naked transvestite whore in a MacArthur Park motel room, and I’m in a good mood. The air is misty and cold. I’m walking the wrong way back to the car, trying to maneuver with my cane and camera down a blacktop hill past a motel corridor. A door…

  • Cats Fucking

    1988. I’m on Central Avenue about a mile south of wise decisions. A warm wind is blowing through the desert that is Los Angeles. It's 4:00 AM when I spy a skinny wreck in spike heels, short-shorts, and a halter top. She gives a wink and a wave, and I pull into an empty lot next t…

  • It’s Only Pornography

    I pluck Havana from a gaggle of streetwalkers on Stanford Street somewhere around Pico. She tells me she’s from Mexico, here in the land of opportunity to reap rewards on streets of gold. I tell her I only want to take pictures, but she has a Pavlovian response to guys in cars wi…

  • Sticking a Used Condom to the Wall

    1989. Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana. I’ve only been here twice, both times to buy drugs. I’ve got a premonition I’m going to find love and affection as I drive toward a group of motels near Anaheim. I know exactly what I’m looking for, and when I find her, she climbs in the car,…

  • Fuck the Police

    Four AM, Sunday morning—Saturday night for those of us still awake. At Western and Hollywood Boulevard, where a giant hot dog used to sit on top of a funky food joint and now it doesn’t. I miss all the lowbrow landmarks of LA, the city I love. South on Western, I blow through a y…

  • Close to the Goodyear Blimp

    1986, I’m somewhere off the 110 freeway close to the Goodyear Blimp in Gardena. I’m dodging potholes, spinning yarns in my head, thinking about all the things I’m gonna be someday. I drive slowly looking for models in the shadows, but what I see is a clump of mean- and bitter-loo…

  • Big Motherfuckin' Boobies

    Scot Sothern is a Los Angeles-based photographer and a big prostitute fan. Over the past two decades Scot has slept with and/or photographed a plethora of LA’s sex workers. His photos invoke such a visceral reaction in the viewer, and raise so many questions, that we decided to g…