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April 20, 2023 41 mins

Damon starts hosting his raucous sex parties monthly, at various secret locations around LA. Two longtime SNCTM performers recall their early days at the club – including Damon’s unconventional hiring practices. As his luxury sex empire grows over SNCTM’s first two years, Damon becomes increasingly tempted by the world that he’s created – and it starts to get messy. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:08):
School of Humans. Sanctum Unmasked is about a sex club
and describes various sex acts. Please use discretion where and
when you listen. So when we left you last episode,
two women from Craigslist were fucking in a birdcage and
the first Sanctum party was a huge success, and the

(00:29):
club's founder, Damon Lonner, realized that his purpose in life
was to curate sexually transcendent experiences for the one percent?
But how could you forget? As word got around that
Sanctum was a hit, the press ate it up. The
La Times wrote a steamy article about the club, along
with the popular website Urban Daddy.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
Behold the quivering majesty of Sanctum and invite only Beverly
Hills night spot to begin. We can't tell you where
it is, sorry, that would blow the whole secrecy thing.
What we can tell you is how to get a
admitted and what you'll see.

Speaker 1 (01:07):
That's from the Urban Daddy piece from February twenty thirteen,
right after the launch. But wait, it keeps going.

Speaker 2 (01:14):
Go to their Facebook page. Send Sanctom a note if
they like what they see in terms of your attractiveness,
number of mutual friends, and artfully chosen cover photo. Congratulations,
you're invited. We really can't say much else, but maybe
you'll see a girl wearing latex and a bathtub pouring
milk all over herself. Or maybe you'll see naked girls

(01:35):
rubbing themselves with oil, and hey, maybe some guys doing
the same. It's a real something for everyone, kind of place.

Speaker 3 (01:43):
The press loved this story. They loved it.

Speaker 4 (01:46):
They loved that Hollywood was involved, They loved that it
was moneied and you know, powerful people. They loved that
it was kind of this erotic vibe. And this played
on myth It played on mythology, It played on spirituality
and religion, It played on colt, It played on all
of these things that people are intrigued by and interested in.

(02:08):
It just felt like, especially in twenty thirteen, no one
was pushing this envelope.

Speaker 1 (02:21):
Welcome to Sanctum Unmasked. I'm your host, Carly Schortin. Out
Off the back of the flurry of publicity, Damon starts
hosting parties monthly at various nightclubs around LA. Every event
sells out, and while Sanctum began as more of a
sexy party with live erotic performances, it very quickly evolves

(02:43):
into just a full blown sex party, which actually came
as a surprise to Damon.

Speaker 3 (02:49):
It got very sexual.

Speaker 4 (02:50):
I mean there was sex at the tables in bathrooms,
and I was like, whoa, what the you know, what's
going on? Like, I didn't plan on doing that, necessarily
throwing a sex party.

Speaker 1 (03:00):
The problem, as you might imagine, is that nightclub owners
don't love a bunch of people railing all over the
place because it's illegal and grounds to lose their liquor license.
So Damon spent the first months of Sanctum's existence just
getting kicked out of clubs, and it became a bit frustrating.
He knew he needed to find a way to throw

(03:21):
a party where his desperately horny guests could just fuck
in public in peace. Goddamn it. He needed to find
a private home where he could set up a bar,
hire his own staff, and just let everybody purve out
to their heart's desires. But finding homeowners to rent him
their la mansions for raucous sex parties proved to be
annoyingly difficult, and the people who were down tended to

(03:45):
be a really specific type creepy rich guys in their
fifties who liked the idea of a bunch of hot
young women fucking in their infinity pool.

Speaker 4 (03:54):
Dealing with the owners of these houses was always very stressful.
The biggest thing was the homeowners feeling entitled to grope girls,
to get drunk and be assholes, and it was their home.
Plus I've got a staff of like twenty five people,
maybe thirty people. These were like weddings, you know, flowers

(04:16):
and chocolates and all the liquor and the champagne, all
the glass were all that. I mean, these were major
productions every single month.

Speaker 1 (04:24):
Damon was not living it up at those early parties.
Sometimes the homeowners would get cold feet and cancel last minute,
leaving him struggling to find an orgy mansion at the
eleventh hour. Not easy. Plus, at this point, Damon and Melissa,
his wife and the mother of his two kids, were
making just enough money to cover their overhead. The whole
thing was.

Speaker 4 (04:44):
Chaotic those parties. I was like running around for hours NonStop.
I was making sure everyone was happy. I was making
sure that there wasn't a drunk girl in some back room,
you know, getting assaulted. I mean, this was a fucking
sex party where people were wild and intoxicated, and if
anything happened, I would lose everything. It was the wild

(05:06):
West for me. I didn't have like insurance, I didn't
have NBA agreements. In the beginning, it was just like,
I mean, I was very exposed.

Speaker 1 (05:13):
You know.

Speaker 3 (05:13):
The parties were started at ten o'clock.

Speaker 4 (05:15):
At like nine to fifty five, I'd be getting out
of whatever I was working in and putting on my
tuxedo and sort of like putting on my masks, so
to speak. But like, you know, my mask that I
put on was Okay, I've got to be this guy.
I've got to be the guy that like leads these
people into like sexual rebellion and freedom.

Speaker 1 (05:37):
The pied Piper of debauchery, one might call him if
bad jokes are your thing. In that first year of
the club, Demon and Melissa were building Sanctums brand and
really just figuring out what the party was in real time.
They started putting on bigger and more intricate live shows,
which meant hiring erotic performers, makeup artists, costumers, et cetera.

(06:00):
Demon also brought on a creative director, Alina Ratuska, to
help with the choreography of it all. We reached out
to Aleena multiple times, by the way, but she didn't
want to talk to us. There was also an increasing
fetish presence at Sanctum. Remember this was twenty thirteen, aka
a year after every basic Bitch on the planet went

(06:21):
s and m hysterical over fifty Shades of Gray. So
Damon hired a dom to work the party to educate
the guests about BDSM. Here's Melissa remembering it.

Speaker 5 (06:32):
We had like a professional dom, like he was this,
like that's what he did for a living, and you
as a couple, you guys could go over to him
and he could talk to you about like different tools
that are like tintalizing on the skin or something that's
going to be a little more firm or a little
you know, like what do you like, And then he
would walk you through what that was and you guys

(06:53):
could experiment that together.

Speaker 1 (06:56):
The overall goal was to create an environment that felt
sophisticated while also being a place you'd feel inclined to
bend a stranger over an end table. It's a delicate
balance because Damon's very attentive to detail. He also created
more unexpected roles for his performers to add to the
ambiance and fantasy of it all.

Speaker 6 (07:17):
It didn't feel like a sex party. It felt like
an event that people had sex at.

Speaker 1 (07:25):
That's Claudia, one of Sanctum's early hires. She's a big presence,
a platinum blonde with a bright smile, and she's not
afraid to be blunt, which is a quality that I
personally love. She ended up working at the club for
three years, and the story of how she got her
start is pretty interesting.

Speaker 6 (07:44):
When I started Sanctum, I was I was young. I
was twenty twenty two, twenty three, so I feel like
I got into that right where your brain really starts developing,
like into thinking about sex and like thinking about what
do I like, what do I not like?

Speaker 1 (08:03):
What's my sexuality?

Speaker 6 (08:04):
You know, my straight and my vice actual Like I
was very naive living in La So that.

Speaker 1 (08:10):
Was like a very shaping period. I think when Claudia
heard about Sanctum, she was working at the Playboy Mansion,
getting paid to swim in the infamous grotto and look hop. Basically,
she got word that a new exclusive club was looking

(08:30):
for girls who were fun and open minded, but it
was all very hush hush, gets crazy. She was intrigued
and was given an address to meet for an interview,
but when she showed up, she didn't even know what
she was applying for.

Speaker 6 (08:45):
So I went and I met Damon at this like
small little club on I think it was like on Melrose.
And I go in there and it was just him.
The whole place is pitch black, literally pitch black. I'm like, okay,
I'm definitely in the wrong place. And I go in
there and he's sitting there just like literally just him,

(09:06):
no papers, no no mad nothing like.

Speaker 1 (09:09):
I'm like, okay, like what is this?

Speaker 7 (09:11):
And I go in and he introduced himself and he's
like are you comfortable being naked? Like one of his
first couple questions, and I was like, yeah, for sure.
And he's like, okay, get naked, like literally like that.
And I was like there's literally nobody here, like this
is okay whatever. So I literally I stripped down like
to my underwear and he's like, okay, you're hired, and

(09:34):
I'm like hired for what?

Speaker 1 (09:37):
I don't even know, Like what am I hired for
the job. It turns out was to be an atmosphere girl.
I'll just let her explain it.

Speaker 6 (09:46):
And my job literally ninety nine percent of the time
was just walking around and just existing as like the
party started progressing for me, Like he would then like say, okay,
get dressed up. We're gonna drape you in like diamonds
and rhinestones, and your job's just gonna be You're gonna
walk around with like a feather and like just dust.
People don't talk to anyone. You're just there to like

(10:08):
look beautiful. Or if Damon was like, I want you
naked today, then you know I would just PLoP down
on a chaise lounge somewhere naked and say hello to
the world.

Speaker 1 (10:19):
Claudia speaks of her time at Sanctum so fondly that
the experience was extremely fun and eye opening, and she
clearly has the perfect temperament for the job. I mean,
she's the sort of person who genuinely finds it amusing
to show up for an interview and be asked to
strip naked by a strange man sitting in a dark
basement like a vampire. However, not everyone found Damon's hiring

(10:43):
practices so charming. For instance, another early hire was Ambrose.
Damon was looking for someone to play the quote bunny
role at the club, which basically meant dressing up in
skimpy lingerie, donning a bunny mask with cute little bunny ears,
and following Damon around the party as his little pet.
Ambrose is shy with a sweet, nervous laugh. He's a

(11:05):
trans man, but during his years at Sanctum was still
presenting as femme. Ambrose, which by the way, is a
stage name, not his real name, heard about Sanctum from
a friend who was already performing at the party and
thought he'd be a great fit. Here's Ambrose.

Speaker 8 (11:22):
Well, so initially she was like, you need to meet
up with this guy Damon and just like set up
an interview and he'll ask you some questions and whatnot.
And she did mention that they were looking for model
esque type fem people or women or whatever. And since
I was like pre transitioning at that point, you know,
I kind of fit that mold. And at the time

(11:44):
I had really long brown hair into my ass.

Speaker 1 (11:48):
Ambrose was twenty at the time. For his interview, Damon
set up a meeting at a hotel restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Speaker 8 (11:55):
And then he asked me this very interesting question, which
at the time, you know, if I was very young, innocent,
naive like. He asked me if he could see my
body without clothes on to see if I was fit
for the role that he was wanting.

Speaker 3 (12:12):
And I was like, well, how would that happen.

Speaker 8 (12:14):
He's like, there's bathrooms upstairs above where we are, and
no one ever.

Speaker 3 (12:18):
Really goes in them.

Speaker 1 (12:20):
So we went upstairs with this bathroom.

Speaker 8 (12:22):
Area, and sure enough no one was in there, and
we went to like the handicap stall. He stood on
one side and I tried to stand as.

Speaker 5 (12:30):
Far away from as claus as we could.

Speaker 8 (12:33):
I got down to like being naked. He asked me
to do a little spin around and he was like,
all right, brilliant, perfect, We'd love to have you. And
I was like, all right, cool, this sounds good.

Speaker 1 (12:48):
At the time, Amberse found this kind of uncomfortable, but
he was young and just starting out in the industry
and thought, well, I guess this is just how this
stuff works, and to be real, in some corners of
the sex industry, this can unfortunately be how this stuff worked.
But Ambrose was curious about the job and decided to

(13:09):
take it. Despite this, he started out working the floor
in various atmosphere roles.

Speaker 8 (13:15):
They asked you to work the crowd essentially, but it
was always like implied, do it in a very flirtatious,
like sexual kind of way, and like I was really
good at it, Like there was a lot of people
that I knew and recognized and recognized me, and like
I feel like would look forward to seeing me and
vice versa at the parties.

Speaker 1 (13:37):
To give you a picture of how this all operated,
each Sanctum event had a cast of about ten to
twelve performers. Most of them were atmosphere models, basically people
who were paid to roam around in costumes acting as
different characters, like maybe you were the bunny that night,
or sometimes they'd have a girl dressed up as a lamp.

(13:58):
Loull Damon calls this interactive performance art. These performers would
be paid between three hundred and fifty and five hundred
and fifty dollars a night. But then there'd be a
few cast members who would have sex in front of
the guests as part of the live sex show, and
these were the highest paid performers at Sanctum. You can

(14:19):
think of the sex shows almost like porno ballet, dramatic strings,
impressively flexible women smoke machines, and lots of lube obviously.
For example, they sometimes did ritualistic type performances where the
atmosphere girls would hold candles and lead out the virgin

(14:40):
or the princess or whatever character it was on the night,
who would then be fucked to death by a guy
with an eight pack. You got the idea. After working
for a while as an atmosphere model, Ambrose wanted a
pay jump and started working as a live sex performer.
I love how he recalls how the cast members would

(15:00):
prepare for going on stage.

Speaker 8 (15:03):
So we're getting ready for the performance and we go
back in the green room. If someone is getting something
inserted into them, like penetration wise they like kind of
like a fluff themselves or someone helped them out back there.

Speaker 5 (15:18):
I'd always have my little Hatachi, like.

Speaker 1 (15:23):
Okay, I'm good Hatachi meaning his faithful vibrator of course,
a tried and true classic. Mike Saeger, who we met
last episode, is the journalist from Esquire who followed Damon
around for a few months back in twenty sixteen. He
gave us his take on the live sex show.

Speaker 9 (15:40):
At a certain time of the evening they would have
the show and it was basically choreographed fucking, but yet
also artsy and lit and costumed. It's almost like you
get the impression you're watching like the Follies or or something.
But it was a sex act and it was very
much a vibe like cabaret, you know that kind of

(16:02):
like welcome ladies and gentlemen to the sex show.

Speaker 1 (16:06):
So like Sondheim meets eyes wide Shot. Honestly, I'm down.

Speaker 9 (16:11):
I remember one had a piggy mask being led by
a chain on, another who was wearing like an eye cage,
and another one with like a leather police hat with
a flog. And they would go among the visitors. Instead
of handing out cannapas, they would like say, you know
it said stroke me or hit me or whatever, so

(16:32):
they could stroke her, you know, fondle her, or they
could like hit her with a whip, whatever their predilection was.

Speaker 1 (16:40):
As time went on, characters began to emerge within the
world of the club. One of Damon's favorite regulars was
this male porn star who, according to Damon, had one
of the biggest dicks in the industry. Glamorous and this
guy had a very special party trick.

Speaker 4 (16:58):
He would just like, lay on one of the master
beds in the bedroom and there would be a line,
I'm not fucking with you, a line of women and
he would just put on a condom and he stayed
hard because he's a fucking porn star. Whatever they inject
into their dicks or whatever they're on, I don't know,
but you know, four hours five hours of a heart on,
which seems like.

Speaker 3 (17:18):
It would be painful.

Speaker 4 (17:19):
But he would lay on the bed like a fucking
amusement park ride and women would walk in and there
would be a line and they would get on him,
they would ride him. They would come and they would
get off, and the next woman would step on.

Speaker 3 (17:31):
And it was like this.

Speaker 4 (17:33):
Guy treated me like I was his hero, and I
was like, bro, what the fuck? Like, you're like this god,
you know, like you're welcome any time.

Speaker 3 (17:43):
And he would come to almost every party.

Speaker 1 (17:47):
So this is the kind of stuff you'd see at Sanctum,
And for a lot of the guests, this was all
pretty shocking. The club attracted a specific crowd, often the
sort of people who never imagined they'd end up at
a sex party, but because it had this upscale reputation
and was being covered in mainstream public locations, they thought,
fuck it, maybe I am one of those depraved sex

(18:10):
party people. Just like the rich version, Sanctum felt approachable,
almost safe. Basically, there were a lot of Orgie virgins.
One notable Orgi virgin was David Winkler, a Hollywood movie producer.
He's in his fifties and has this really warm, non
judgmental energy. When he heard about Sanctum, he was recently

(18:33):
divorced and looking to explore his sexuality. He'd never been
to anything resembling a sex party and described his sex
life then as pretty vanilla. After he went through Sanctum's
application process, he spent months feeling way too nervous to
actually go, But eventually he started dating a woman who
was intrigued and encouraged him to make the leap.

Speaker 10 (18:54):
Here's David, the girl I was dating, and I decided, okay,
well, well I needed a new tuxedo if I'm going to
go to my first sex party. So we went and
spent a whole weekend beforehand shopping. I bought like this
platinum four hundred dollars masks, and we ended up at
a famous lingerie store Welcome, and we found this beautiful

(19:15):
outfit for her, and the saleswoman says, let me ask
you something. Is this for a specific event? We kind
of looked at each other and we didn't know what
to admit. We said, yeah, we're going to a party tonight.
Oh she said, oh, you're going to Sanctum. Yeah, she said, yeah,
I do really well on the fourth Saturday of every month.
I sell whiffs, I sell chains, I sell blindfold so

(19:38):
much laingerie like she made her entire commission on the
fourth Saturday of every month.

Speaker 1 (19:45):
Love that for her. For David, who considered himself pretty conservative,
even just having this conversation with the stranger was crazy.

Speaker 10 (19:54):
Well, what was incredible is is just that what sanctums
showed me is that there's this whole world of people
who know about things and just don't talk about them.
Everybody's afraid to talk about everybody's afraid to talk about
the kinky things they do. But the minute you open
up and you start talking about it, people feel comfortable
and they start sharing.

Speaker 1 (20:15):
When David finally did make it to Sanctum, let's just
say first impressions were good.

Speaker 10 (20:21):
You know, the first time you go to a sanctum,
it's like walking into a private, victorious, secret catalog runway party.
You know, you're met at the door by the most
beautiful women in these huge feathered headdresses and you know,
gold capes and nothing else and high heels and walking
around was just unbelievable.

Speaker 1 (20:42):
But the appeal extended beyond just the opportunity to leer
at models dressed as horny exotic birds. Personally, I think
the goal of any sexual space is to create an
environment where people can explore their sexuality without judgment or shame.
And unfortunately there aren't enough places like that in the world.
But as many guests and performers recall it, David included,

(21:07):
Sanctum was starting to build a community that resembled something
of this sort.

Speaker 10 (21:11):
That's the one thing that I got from it was
just like you walk into a club where people are
having sex and there's no shame. But I think for
the most people, even open minded people, you know, going
to a party where there's you know, dozens of people
naked and having sex in front of you and everybody
thinking oh that's cool and talking about it make me

(21:33):
feel like I was not the only perverent town.

Speaker 1 (21:36):
Honestly, kind of wholesome when we come back after a break,
Damon tries to bring his work into bed with him.

(22:06):
So by this point, Damon and Melissa have been running
Sanctum for over two years, and the bigger the club gets,
the more it starts to spill over into their personal lives.
Sanctum is becoming something that they, or at least Melissa,
often feels like she needs to hide.

Speaker 5 (22:23):
Like we're living in Beverly Hills. We're friends with all
of those parents and families, and you know, going to
birthday parties and like living that kind of domesticated lifestyle
all the while, on the down low, my husband runs
this naughty ass sex club in the hills, like double life.
No one knew, so as soon as this shit started

(22:45):
to get successful, I was like fuck.

Speaker 1 (22:49):
Basically, they were the orgy masters and a sea of
cardiologists and entertainment lawyers, and it was getting kind of awkward.
At this point, Melissa was still heavily involved in managing
the club with Damon, and her tasks were shall we
say why I ranging.

Speaker 5 (23:06):
In the beginning stages I was working in the club.
I would do the door, I would cast the girls.
I'd run out to the valley and buy a bunch
of dildos and like nippleshit and floggers. Like I was
doing the deal and like helping him with with this
fucking sex club, and I was like big supporter once
again after.

Speaker 1 (23:27):
Years of building the club. She's sick of getting awkward
stairs from other mothers on the playground and she's sick
of foraging for nippleshit in the valley. One night, she
hits her breaking point.

Speaker 5 (23:38):
There's just one party that we had in bel Air.
It was like at a huge mega mansion that was
like empty because it was like being sold or something.
And I was doing the door with like two other
people and managing bottle service for all of these high
rollers that were coming in and Damon was nowhere to

(23:59):
be found. They literally couldn't find him anywhere for hours,
and I felt like I was holding it up and
you know, trying to put out fires left and right.
And finally I find him and he's like upstairs in
some room with all these different people and like two
porn stars. They weren't doing anything sexual, but like they
were all just like hanging out up there, partaking and drinking,

(24:21):
and like he's like upstairs just like living his best life,
you know, So that was the last party I attended,
worked at, went to any of.

Speaker 1 (24:32):
It from then on. She tells Damon she's going to
stay home with the kids on the nights of the parties. Also,
it's relevant to note here, despite them hosting these big
events at mega mansions, Damon and Melissa are still struggling
financially because they're putting almost all the money they earned
back into the parties. So that adds this whole other

(24:53):
stress on top of the whole secret sex cult leader thing.

Speaker 4 (24:58):
Once the house party started, my budgets were in the
area of like twenty five thousand to thirty five thousand.
That was about what I was making, and I would
basically just spend it all on the party. I would
probably walk away with enough money to pay my rent,
buy groceries. So if I took out five thousand a
month in profit, I was okay.

Speaker 3 (25:20):
I was fine.

Speaker 4 (25:21):
And so any ticket sales, any membership sales, anything we
had went into the party, and it was really not
ever enough to do what I wanted to do.

Speaker 1 (25:30):
Damon knows he has to figure out a more stable
long term plan for the club. Finding a different rental
house for the party every month was expensive, and exhausting,
like literally lugging a whole sound system and a giant
cage for your sex slaves in a thousand boxes of
wet wipes into a different house every month. Like No,
he was over it. So he and Melissa come up

(25:52):
with a plan to rent a house where they could
both live and host the parties. Plus this had the
added benefit of getting their family out of their cramped apartment.
So they start house hunting and they get insanely lucky.

Speaker 4 (26:05):
I found this incredible nineteen sixties Tudor mansion in Hombee
Hills that was going to be torn down. They were
going to put up a SuperMansion on it. And the
guy told me, he's like, we're going to tear this
house down. So I had twelve months.

Speaker 1 (26:20):
Damon was in love with this place. It was his
Barbie dream house, the orgy version.

Speaker 4 (26:26):
You know, seven bedrooms, eight nine bathrooms on an acre,
grand staircase. You know, just a beautiful nineteen sixties totally original,
but very opulent.

Speaker 1 (26:38):
Mike Segar remembers the mansion a bit differently.

Speaker 9 (26:42):
No, it was not genuinely opulent or genuinely impressive, but
the people were genuinely into it and having a good
time obsessed. It's like if you're there in the daytime,
it's like this is moldy, and this cabin is shitty,
and like it had this gross carpet. But at nighttime
with the uplighting and the candles and I mean, they
did a wonderful job setting stuff up.

Speaker 1 (27:05):
House, which would come to be known as the Sanctum Mansion,
would be theirs for just over a year and what
would be the height of the club's success. And opulent
or not, it was perfect for what they wanted to do, AKA,
throw a giant party where people get drunk and break
things and come all over the place. Melissa couldn't wait

(27:26):
to get out of their apartment. She went into interior
design mode, you know, making mood boards, fantasizing about wallpaper,
all that fun stuff. However, as she would come to
find out, Damon wasn't exactly on the same page.

Speaker 5 (27:40):
I was excited because I as like the mom and
the wife and the domesticated person that I was, was like,
oh my god, finally we get out of this apartment
and we get into a house that was my Oh
you going to decorate it. I'm going to buy a
couch I'm going to do this. It's going to be great.
So that was where my brain was. But pretty much
the whole time that was happening, I think in his

(28:02):
head he's like, now, y'all aren't moving in here.

Speaker 1 (28:06):
Okay, let's zoom out for a sec. After dedicating nearly
three years to the club, things are starting to shift
for Damon. The day to day struggles had given way
to a larger, more internal struggle. Up until now, Damon
was behind the scenes, the charming host, facilitating other people's indulgence,
but he never participated himself. He and Melissa had been

(28:30):
monogamous for two decades. But now he's starting to become
interested in getting involved, like sexually. He's being tempted by
the world that he created and he wants to experiment.
Like literally, he's constantly surrounded by hot women and smm
bunny costumes and he's a man with a dick.

Speaker 4 (28:51):
There was like this kind of BDS something creeping in
where you know, I was kind of learning a bit
about shabari, how to tie someone up, like how to
spank someone, what flogging was, you know, like all this
stuff because the performers were doing it. You know, we
are choreographing everything, and I was around it and someone
would hand me a paddle and say like this.

Speaker 3 (29:07):
Is how you do it, and I was like, oh wow,
that's kind of cool.

Speaker 4 (29:10):
But I remember asking Melissa, like, are you okay with
me experimenting with this? Like it's not sexual, there's no kissing,
there's no fucking, there's nothing like that. I'm tying someone up,
or I'm flogging someone, or I'm spanking someone with my
bare hand. You know, that is erotic in nature. And
I asked her, like, how do you feel about that?
And it was an interesting discussion, you know, and she

(29:31):
said she decided to like allow that.

Speaker 1 (29:35):
He would come to me.

Speaker 5 (29:36):
And be like, mel what do you think if I
just flogged this one girl, you know at the party.

Speaker 1 (29:43):
I think it's good.

Speaker 5 (29:43):
It's a good show, Like this is my brand, and
you know, let me just like spank and flog this girl. Like, okay,
I think it's fine. I didn't. I didn't have an
issue with it.

Speaker 1 (29:54):
So they begin to experiment with pushing the boundaries of
their relationship. For Damon, this is all really exciting. He's
been spanking up a storm at the club and loving it,
and he's hoping this can spice up his sex life
with Melissa, so he tries bringing some of his new
skills into the bedroom.

Speaker 4 (30:13):
I kind of wanted to kind of, you know, push
some of that in bed a little bit, and I
don't know, I put my hand on her neck or something, and.

Speaker 3 (30:20):
She just like slapped it away and was like, what
are you doing?

Speaker 4 (30:24):
And I was like, you know, I don't know, I'm
like experimenting, and she's like, no, I'm not into this,
not at all, Like I don't I don't like this,
I don't want it.

Speaker 3 (30:30):
And I was like okay. So our sexuality remained what
it was.

Speaker 1 (30:35):
For a while anyway, but suppressing his desires only made
things worse, and it wasn't long before his desires extended
beyond BDSM light.

Speaker 5 (30:46):
He kept pushing the boundary, pushing the boundary and wanting
more and more and more, until he was finally like,
I think we should fuck other people. I'm like, no, dude, Literally,
we're already barely hanging on, financially strapped, two kids, tiny
little apartment. This new club thing idea that he's conceptualizing

(31:08):
it was already like way too much. And I was
like no, no, no, no, no, we're not doing that.

Speaker 1 (31:14):
Okay, he gets it. Everything Melissa is saying makes logical sense,
and yet he just can't get the idea out of
his head. The conversation about opening up their relationship keeps
coming up, and Melissa feels like she's stuck in a loop,
saying no over and over again, like she's the uptight
bouncer of their relationship.

Speaker 5 (31:35):
We wanted to open up our marriage all the time.
He would like, at the dinner table, so what do
you think about opening up our marriage and even with
other people? And I think, you know, it's a good idea,
and he would try to pitch me.

Speaker 1 (31:46):
This until finally she changes her strategy.

Speaker 5 (31:51):
And this one night at dinner and when the girls
left the table, they went to their room, and I
try to call his bluff. I was like, okay, yeah,
let's do it. Yeah, I know exactly who I want
to have sex with. And you know, it's like seeing
what you would do. And He's like started to get uncomfortable.

Speaker 1 (32:07):
Damon's squirming, which, let's be real, is kind of predictable,
but this is ultimately the conversation he's been wanting to have.
So he goes with it.

Speaker 5 (32:18):
And so we actually did this, We actually open up
our marriage. We agreed that this one night he would
go do whatever he wanted to go do, and I
had that same freedom. And we did that when we
had those intimacies with other people.

Speaker 1 (32:34):
After the break, can you have your cake and fuck
it too? So, after Damon's persistence about opening up their relationship,

(32:54):
he gets his wish for one night only they would
each bang other people and then they'd come back together
to discuss how it felt. And they each already had
someone in mind.

Speaker 3 (33:05):
Did open it up, and she was okay with it.

Speaker 4 (33:07):
You know.

Speaker 3 (33:08):
I told her what I was gonna do.

Speaker 4 (33:11):
I left for the evening, and of course my first experience,
you know, I had a threesome, you know, like I'm
like really adventuring, you know, Wow, I get my hall passed,
so I'm gonna go for it fun.

Speaker 1 (33:22):
And then it was Melissa's night, And how did that
turn out? For everybody?

Speaker 3 (33:27):
When it was her turn?

Speaker 4 (33:29):
She made love with with her like her personal trainer,
and it fucking destroyed me.

Speaker 3 (33:35):
I couldn't deal with it.

Speaker 1 (33:36):
Wow, I've just got to interject here, fucking your personal
trainer both extremely cliche and extremely hot. But anyway, dame
and spiraling.

Speaker 3 (33:46):
I don't know what it is.

Speaker 4 (33:47):
It feels like animalistic, it feels like it's an ancient feeling,
like a feeling of I'm a lion on the on
the wherever the fuck they are, you know, and I'm
just like ah ah no, and min you know, like no,
you know, this is fucking I'm fucking this.

Speaker 3 (34:04):
You go fuck something else.

Speaker 1 (34:06):
He's kind of regretting this whole thing. And I get it.
I mean, we've all had that feeling of wanting to
have personal sexual freedom while our partner stays locked in
a cage. Right. That can't just be me. But for
Melissa it was a little different.

Speaker 5 (34:24):
You know, in like glass breaks and it's just this
little crack and then it just starts to slowly slowly
the crack gets bigger and bigger and bigger until the
glass breaks. And that's kind of how I pictured that.
We were still together and we were still living this
life together, but it was punctured and it just kind
of was a downhill from there.

Speaker 1 (34:46):
So in the aftermath of all of this, they're trying
to find a path forward. They'd been together for twenty years,
they'd always figured it out. Why would this time be
any different. Meanwhile, Sanctum's expanding and they're doing their first
party in New York. So Melissa goes along with Damon
to make the trip of vacation for the two of them.
One she says, they desperately needs. So we go to

(35:14):
New York.

Speaker 5 (35:15):
It's like our first time that we're actually like on
a vacation away from La. My mom's got the girls.
It was fabulous for me. But little did I know
that he was actually like on Instagram and on all
these different sites like corresponding with girls. He invited this
one girl. He flew her in from Texas to come

(35:36):
to New York, put her up in a hotel. He's like,
mel I'm going to go to a meeting, why don't
you go shopping? And so I'd go into Soho and
go shopping. But he was really willing to see her.

Speaker 1 (35:47):
After the New York party, they come back home to
LA and Melissa is still in the dark about all
of this, And then, like a scene out of some
cheesy Lifetime erootic thriller, Melissa's at home and she starts
hearing all of these texts dinging, and she doesn't know
where they're coming. From So she starts searching the house
and she realizes that it's coming from her daughter's iPad,

(36:10):
and spoiler alert, she finds Damon's texts with the girl
from Texas.

Speaker 5 (36:16):
And I start to read it and then I start
to go back into the history and it goes back
far and I start shaking. It was the first time
I felt deceived in a way. You know, we'd always
talked about everything, and I just didn't feel like he
would deceive me like that. And just to see the

(36:36):
love that he was pouring out in the words and
the little emojis and the hearts and the roses and
all those things that he was throwing out at her hurt.
It just hurt. I'm like running out the door, crying,
running around my block. He was like running after me,
and it was it was hugely devastating, heartbroken just to

(37:01):
see all of that stuff. Even though I knew he
was running the Sanctum, I knew he was a part
of the sex club. I knew it was going on
at the clubs, but in my delusioned mind, I just
thought that that was that and he was mine.

Speaker 9 (37:22):
You know.

Speaker 4 (37:22):
It's it's interesting because that was a very devastating experience
for her. And what's so strange is that this girl
is so meaningless to me. I think I met her
in New York and she was going to come to
a Sanctum party. She probably applied, said.

Speaker 1 (37:37):
You flew her out from Texas.

Speaker 4 (37:41):
Oh, maybe I did fly her out. Maybe I did.
Whatever Melissa said is probably is true. I mean I
don't I don't remember the details. Yeah, I mean that
makes it even worse. Yeah, I probably flew her out
from Texas.

Speaker 3 (37:51):
You know I would.

Speaker 4 (37:52):
I would meet up with her and like hang out
with her and then go back to Melissa. It was
completely fucked up. Yeah, and then I think Melissa found out.
I don't remember how. I don't remember if she saw
us talking.

Speaker 1 (38:03):
There was a Sanctum party, then you went back to
La and then she found texts between you guys because
they were like going to your kid's iPad.

Speaker 3 (38:13):
You're reminding me that I went into like full blown
sex addict mode for a while. For years, just.

Speaker 5 (38:25):
That was me.

Speaker 4 (38:26):
Sanctum was almost like my excuse, but I was really
just like a full blown sex addict. It was the
perfect job for me because I was so fucking into it.
Finding all these girls and contacting all these girls and
like fucking all these girls.

Speaker 3 (38:43):
I was a liar. I was hiding things.

Speaker 4 (38:45):
I probably had tons of videos and pictures and messages. Yeah,
I was a really fucked up, fucked up individual.

Speaker 1 (38:57):
And then that glass that Melissa mentioned it finally shattered.

Speaker 5 (39:02):
After that, a lot of other stories came out that
he became honest and truthful with that went back to
our days in Hancock Park when I was, you know,
having the babies. At that point, the infidelity in what
he had done was just like it was part of
a huge explosion. I was just gonna go off because

(39:23):
I just couldn't handle the lifestyle anymore. And I just
fell alone in the house with the kids, and like
it was just imploding and crumbling from underneath us. And
the infidelity was the nail on the coffee with that
was it.

Speaker 1 (39:38):
In the midst of all of this horror, they signed
the lease on the sanct Di mansion, but the plan
of turning the house into a place of both domestic
bliss and sexual liberation doesn't pan out. Instead, Damon moves
into the sanct Di mansion alone. Melissa stays in the
apartment with the kids and Thus Damon begins his era

(40:01):
of sexual freedom or reckless sexual abandon depending on how
you look at it. Next time on Sanctum Unmasked.

Speaker 6 (40:11):
Okay, well we saw this person getting whipped. Is that
something you're into? And what if you're like, Hell yeah?

Speaker 5 (40:17):
He was discovering himself as a hedonist and he actually
said that to me.

Speaker 4 (40:23):
I was like in a bedroom, high on molly and cocaine,
you know, and this porn star says, I want to
suck your cock like it's never been sucked.

Speaker 3 (40:32):
In your life.

Speaker 9 (40:33):
Therein lies the reason this story is so fascinating, because
in betwixt and in between, there's the devil and the Angel.

Speaker 1 (40:50):
Sanctum Unmasked is a production of School of Humans and
iHeart Podcasts, hosted him written by me Carl Schortino. Edily's
Prez is our lead producer and story editor. Amelia Brock
is our senior producer. Sound design scoring mixing by George Hicks.
Original music composed by Jesse Niswanger, fact checking by Austin Thompson.
Logo illustration by Linda McNeil. Graham Gibson and Doug Bame

(41:13):
are recording engineers. Recorded at iHeart Studios. In Los Angeles, California.
Executive producers are Nick Stump, Jason English, Virginia Prescott, Brandon Barr,
Elsie Crowley, and me Carly Schartino. If you're enjoying the show,
help us get the word out by leaving a rating
in your favorite podcast app. You can keep up with
Damon on Instagram. He's at Father Damon. See you next week.

(41:36):
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