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Whip Smart: A Memoir

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A dark, wild, powerful memoir about a young woman's transformation from college student to professional dominatrix

While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim. In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissa's ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making. Rest assured; the reader will emerge from the journey more or less unscathed.

Review:

"Febos's candid, hard-slogging debut about her four years working as a dominatrix at a midtown Manhattan 'dungeon' cuts a sharp line between prurience and feminist manifesto. Having grown up on Cape Cod, Mass., then dropped out of high school before moving to New York City and enrolling in the New School in the fall of 1999, Febos slipped into drug use and needed a way to finance it. An attractive law-school graduate neighbor in her Brooklyn apartment building mentioned that she worked as a 'domme,' and Febos decided to give it a go. She spanked grown men, professionals, fathers, and rabbis, sometimes inserted enemas, sodomized them with dildos, and otherwise verbally humiliated them, all for $75 an hour, plus tips. At first, Febos managed the grueling, unsavory work while high on heroin and cocaine, and gained a tremendous sense of confidence, even invincibility at being able to justify her livelihood as 'one of the few well-paid acting gigs in this city.' In time, she also became addicted to her job; she eventually joined AA to help get clean of drugs, but kicking her addiction to sadomasochism was harder, and in this emotionally stark, excoriating work, Febos mines the darkest, most troubling aspects of human interaction." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"In her provocative debut, Febos chronicles her descent into drug and sex addiction and her harrowing escape from both....Febos's electrifying prose and unremitting honesty continually challenge the reader." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"WHIP SMART is remarkably honest, brave and provocative about growing up: the pleasures and perils of being visible, the temptations of being numb, and the weird kick of being desired." Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone critic, and NY Times bestselling author of LOVE IS A MIX TAPE

Review:

"Mesmerizing. A brave, darkly wild and powerful memoir, Melissa Febos's fearless journey through drugs and dungeons into the uncharted territory of true intimacy will shock, inspire, and leave you breathless." Rachel Resnick, author Love Junkie

Synopsis:

While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim.  In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissas ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making.

Synopsis:

A dark, wild, powerful memoir about a young womans transformation from college student to professional dominatrix

While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim. In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissas ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making. Rest assured; the reader will emerge from the journey more or less unscathed.

About the Author

Melissa Febos is co-curator and host of the Mixer Reading and Music Series, she holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and teaches at SUNY Purchase College and The Gotham Writers’ Workshop

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312561024
Subtitle:
The True Story of a Secret Life
Author:
Febos, Melissa
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin
Subject:
General
Subject:
Authors, American - 21st century
Subject:
Febos, Melissa - Sexual behavior
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Human Sexuality
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110719
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Erotica » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Erotica » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Sex Industry
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Historiography
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Young Adult » General

Whip Smart: A Memoir Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Thomas Dunne Books - English 9780312561024 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Febos's candid, hard-slogging debut about her four years working as a dominatrix at a midtown Manhattan 'dungeon' cuts a sharp line between prurience and feminist manifesto. Having grown up on Cape Cod, Mass., then dropped out of high school before moving to New York City and enrolling in the New School in the fall of 1999, Febos slipped into drug use and needed a way to finance it. An attractive law-school graduate neighbor in her Brooklyn apartment building mentioned that she worked as a 'domme,' and Febos decided to give it a go. She spanked grown men, professionals, fathers, and rabbis, sometimes inserted enemas, sodomized them with dildos, and otherwise verbally humiliated them, all for $75 an hour, plus tips. At first, Febos managed the grueling, unsavory work while high on heroin and cocaine, and gained a tremendous sense of confidence, even invincibility at being able to justify her livelihood as 'one of the few well-paid acting gigs in this city.' In time, she also became addicted to her job; she eventually joined AA to help get clean of drugs, but kicking her addiction to sadomasochism was harder, and in this emotionally stark, excoriating work, Febos mines the darkest, most troubling aspects of human interaction." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "In her provocative debut, Febos chronicles her descent into drug and sex addiction and her harrowing escape from both....Febos's electrifying prose and unremitting honesty continually challenge the reader."
"Review" by , "WHIP SMART is remarkably honest, brave and provocative about growing up: the pleasures and perils of being visible, the temptations of being numb, and the weird kick of being desired."
"Review" by , "Mesmerizing. A brave, darkly wild and powerful memoir, Melissa Febos's fearless journey through drugs and dungeons into the uncharted territory of true intimacy will shock, inspire, and leave you breathless."
"Synopsis" by ,
While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim.  In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissas ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making.
"Synopsis" by ,
A dark, wild, powerful memoir about a young womans transformation from college student to professional dominatrix

While a college student at The New School, Melissa Febos spent four years working as a dominatrix in a midtown dungeon. In poetic, nuanced prose she charts how unchecked risk-taking eventually gave way to a course of self-destruction. But as she recounts crossing over the very boundaries that she set for her own safety, she never plays the victim. In fact, the glory of this memoir is Melissas ability to illuminate the strange and powerful truths that she learned as she found her way out of a hell of her own making. Rest assured; the reader will emerge from the journey more or less unscathed.

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