Tag Archives: Whip Smart
This book sounds very intriguing and I can’t wait to download it to my kindle! In fact, I feel a little disappointed that I wasn’t aware it was released previously. Here is an article on NPR that discusses the book in greater detail and has the interview with the author:
[This interview was originally broadcast on March 8, 2010. Whip Smart is now available in paperback.]
Melissa Febos’ memoir, Whip Smart, details the four years she spent working as a dominatrix. Febos enacted fantasy sequences, spanked grown men and verbally humiliated them for $75 an hour in a dungeon located somewhere in midtown Manhattan.
Febos, who writes that she got started in sex work to pay for a drug habit, tells Terry Gross that working in a dungeon felt like “being in a womb.”
“Pretty much all of the dungeons were outfitted with some sort of coat rack-related thing that had all sorts of floggers, riding crops,” she says. “We had giant coils of rope in our utility closet — like thousands of feet that we would just cut off when you needed it. There were gas masks and cages and a big hanging Inquisition-style cage in the red room. And there were mirrors along all of the walls, and they were really vast — and with all of the walls and the ceilings painted, it had a very specific effect.”
That effect, says Febos, was creating a fantasy world for her clients — and for herself.
“In the beginning, it did feel pretty powerful to act out those roles, but after a little while it wasn’t my fantasy in most cases,” she says. “In a lot of ways, [enacting the scenarios] felt more humiliating to me than it did to them.”
Febos currently teaches writing at Utica College. She received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College.
To read more from the interview, here is the full article