A Life’s Work: Venus Flytrap

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Lauren* is a "black widow" private investigator. This means that women hire her to seduce their boyfriends or husbands, thus proving they’re capable of infidelity. Lauren spoke with us by phone from her office, somewhere in the American Southeast. (She made us promise we wouldn’t reveal her exact location, and we don’t want to mess with her.) Did she come out and say she slept with these men? Not exactly. But we know what’s going on.Carrie Hill Wilner

Nerve: Hi, Lauren. how are you doing?
Tired. You?

I’m tired too. So I’m calling to find out a little bit about what you do. How would you explain your job as a private investigator to someone?
In what way? The technical side?


Your definition of the job.
Usually we get a female client who hires us to test out a man’s integrity in their relationship. Usually, the female lets us know what his daily routine is. We’ll go say, to that pool hall, you know, a bunch of girlfriends, and we’re havin’ fun. And then we usually just try to go in his area, kinda sit there, you know, kinda talk to him. Nothing to really try to entrap anyone. We just go in there as a bunch of people talking, and see if he wants to, if he’s interested in a little bit more . . .

And if he is?
Well, we always go by what the female client says. She tells us how far she’d like it to go. Some of ’em are happy with just seeing that he gave his phone number out. Some of them actually want a physical meeting to see if, you know, he just gave his number out because he didn’t wanna be a jerk and say, "I’m not interested.” Some of our clients like for us to actually meet them for a dinner, so the woman can see the guilt in the man.

Do some women want you to sleep with the guy so they can get out of the relationship?
There are women who want that, sure.

And you go along with that?
Do I sleep with them?

Or, you know, make out.
That’s kind of sensitive information.

I mean, we have special techniques.

Like, sexual techniques? Or the fact that you sleep with people at all?
The second.

But you already told me that. So you’re not really safeguarding it.
It’s sensitive information.

Okay. Most of the calls you get — are these women trying to gauge the state of their relationships, or trying to get evidence to use against their husbands in divorce proceedings?

Does it work?
Hell, yeah. You catch your husband in bed with a beautiful woman, you can use that against him however you want.

So you arrange a time for the woman to walk in on you having sex with the guy?
I can’t tell you that.

Can you give me a hint?

Are you beautiful?
You have to be. I mean, in this line of work.

Is this a line of work? Or is it just you?
There was another girl at the agency. She moved to Canada, though.

So, um, girl question: what do you wear? I mean, when you’re going to entrap the guy.
We don’t entrap anyone.

Excuse me. I mean "meet."
Normally, a little dress. Not real cheap, but enough to show off my body. Of course, it depends on the situation. If I’m going to, like, the monster truck show, I’ll wear jeans.

The monster truck show?
For example.

The women who come to you — have they been married for a long time, or are these people in new relationships?
It all depends. The majority of ours are usually new — well, not so much new relationships, but people who are about to get married, been together a year or two and kinda suspect that their other half is gonna, you know, shy away from them and maybe be interested in somebody else.

Are the guys usually open to suggestion? Or are they like, "Oh my God, who are you, and why are you touching me?"
Most definitely. I’d say, if we have ten clients, eight of them will fall for it.

Do you ever hear from the couples afterward?
I would say a lot of the women in this field are a bit like therapists. At the same time, we’re private investigators. We have actually built some friendships with our female clients. You know, I still hear from them to this day. And anytime they meet a new man, I’m the first one they call!

So wait, after you fuck — I’m sorry, sleep with — their husbands, you like, hang out?
Well, I don’t necessarily sleep with their husbands.

But you do sometimes, right?
I don’t think that’s appropriate. I have lovely relationships with some of these girls.

Um . . . okay. What’s your favorite war story?
This one woman I still talk to today, she was gettin’ ready to marry a chop-shop owner, and she wanted to test him. So she told us where he would hang out on Fridays and Saturdays, and we went there with a couple decoys on a Friday night. We all got a dart board, like, next to him, started chattin’, just as you would with anybody, you know. I mean, everybody’s allowed to talk; it doesn’t matter what sex you are. He ended up giving a business card to me. So we called, and he wanted to take me out to dinner. I met him at a pool hall, and he met me with a teddy bear and all that good stuff, and that’s when the girl walked in.

Buuuut, you didn’t sleep with him?
Did I say I did?

Right. Soooo . . . have you ever been figured out by the guy?

Has this affected your relationships outside of work? Do men find it difficult to deal with?
No, they always find it intriguing; they laugh and love to hear the stories. And they’ll keep in contact with Pete to make sure I’m okay.

Who’s Pete?
He runs the agency.

And he has other girls who do this?
Oh, he has other girls. All our girls are beautiful, all of them. We have double-D’s, we have little girls. We have women to fit every man’s specifications. It’s usually the female client that’ll pick out the girl. But I’m the only one who does what I do.

Which is sleep with them?
I didn’t say that.

Right. How did you get this job?
I was training for the police force surveillance unit when I met Pete and he was like, "If you think catching kids stealing soda from Wal-Mart is fun, wait ’til you see what I have for you."

Right. So it seems pretty wild. What’s the most fun for you?
Um, just goin’ out and partyin’ on a Friday night and just havin’ fun, bein’ yourself and getting’ paid for it. 

* – Name has been changed.

Carrie Hill Wilner is a Manhattanite by birth and breeding. Still, she has lived in a lot of places and done a lot of things, and will probably live in others and do more. She is pretty sure she graduated from Columbia, but they never sent her a diploma.

©2003 Carrie Hill Wilner and