Written with her "Vogue
" collaborator Shep Pettibone, this ode to S&M introduces Madonna's sultry alter ego, Dita Parlo, who beckons listeners into a world of pleasure and pain: My name is Dita
I'll be your mistress tonight
I'd like to put you in a trance
The real Dita Parlo wasn't quite so scandalous. She was a popular actress in French and German films of the 1930s, most notably Jean Vigo's L'Atalante
, and faded from the public eye after World War II. In Madonna's hands, Dita is a sex goddess with a gold-capped tooth whose erotic exploits are cataloged in the singer's controversial Sex book
. While working on the accompanying Erotica
album, Pettibone suggested using the book's carnal tales for inspiration.
"Madonna took the book and walked out of the room and didn't come back until about half an hour later," he recalled. "Suddenly she was on the mic, speaking in this very dry voice. 'My name is Dita,' she said, 'and I'll be your mistress tonight.' I knew that the original 'Erotica' would never be the same again, and it wasn't. The chorus and bridge were changed entirely and the whole psyche of the song became sexier, more to the point. It seemed as if Dita brought out the best in her, actually serving as a vehicle for the dangerous territory she was traveling."