Mistress Alex and I sit down with Melissa Febos who’s book Whip Smart details her experiences as Pro Domme in NYC.
We talk about her experiences writing the book, the reaction she has received from the mainstream press, how people in the lifestyle have reacted to it and more.
Mistress Alex can be found at Mistressalexnyc.com
As always a special thanks to those who have donated to help support the show and thanks to Eden Fantasys who continue to sponsor the show.
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I would feel bad about the men’s marriages â€“ because the marriages apparently sucked 🙂
A very interesting discussion, though I would have probably thrown down the gauntlet at some point, namely when Melissa said she wished the bdsm scene would have rallied behind her as one of them. And I agree that the scene quite easily can be just as judgmental as the larger world.
BUT I am very, very hesitant to demand people support me even if they dislike what I do, just because I share some quality with them. I can disagree with a skeptic’s or an atheist’s approach if I feel these people do not represent me well. I don’t celebrate any kind of mention of kink just because it’s kink.
I haven’t read the book, but even so I can imagine that a lot of criticisms are unfair. the solution isn’t to want to get rid of criticism, but of the unfairness, i.e. honest criticism.
I’m baffled as to why you would want to give someone like this publicity. In the world of S&M literature, visible people in the scene, even pro dommes in New York – her? She exemplifies the tabloid fascination with the seedier and exploitative elements of the S&M world – the attractive young domme. I’m personally tired of hearing pro dommes espousing their experiences and ‘knowledge’. Hell, any pro dommes worth their salt should resent this woman for cashing in on what many hold sacred – but then again I guess that’s the basis of the industry. Even if they are skilled and sexy – this is an area that’s been mined far too often Axe. This interview tops off what is a reinforcement of all that is sad, opportunistic and ultimately boring about the scene.
How about giving voice to the impetus behind the very existence of the pro domme – the submissive male client? How about some real heartfelt revelatory interviews? Yes I am aware you have done an interview or two in this area but that (and the myriad of other gender, persuasion, kink cornucopia) should really be your focus – not a girl who twirled a whip for pay for a few months. I’m asking for some balance and perspective. Thanks.
Another interesting pod cast, yes the girls seemed to be in a defensive posture throughout, but I always seem to pickup something from every episode.
In my opinion, the Whip Smart podcast was first rate! Deserves some kind of journalistic award, in my opinion. The podcast out-reported NPR’s Terri Gross, and that’s not easy to do.
The interview with Melissa Febos about her book Whip Smart was simply excellent. I was not a fan of the book when it came out. I own it, and I read it. And re-read parts of it.
Your interview with the author provided a whole new outlook on the book and her experience as a pro domme and addict. It made me appreciate more how she approached writing the book and how she approached being a Domme and being an addict. Having Alex as one of the interviewers, who comes at the profession from a completely different viewpoint, provided an irreplaceable counterpoint.
Question to Axe: During the part where you discussed with her the coming out process and what it is like to have “come out”, did you get the sense she was more embarrassed(?) about being a pro domme or being an addict? Which is worse, drugs or sex work, in the eyes of her peers and administration?
Axe, I will take some exception to your thoughts that parents should appreciate the honesty of a professor who admits to those particular demons. As a parent I do not want their teacher discussing their personal experiences with drugs. That is because, as a successful professor, they are sending the message to kids that it is okay for their students to try drugs because their teacher turned out all right. No matter what she says, the kids will think that heroin is survivable and can lead to a published book and a good job. I don’t think hers is the experience of most herion addicts. Nor do I subscribe to the “it’s the quiet ones who blow” philosophy; there is a communicative process logistical thinking distortion there. Not all quiet ones have secrets to “blow” over, some, if not the vast majority, are just quiet. (Ray Charles is not God because he is blind, and God is love and love is blind).
That aside, this was an excellent, triumphant piece of journalism and interviewing skills that tackled a tough, controversial subject and book extremely well.
Very well done!
Great interview, but I’m still struggling a bit here. I have not read the book and I’m jaded a bit by what I’ve heard from the community. I prefer to form my own opinions, so I should probably just buckle down and read the book, but truth be told I doubt I will.
There is something about here demeanor that I just find annoying. Couple that with all the bad press, and the book just won’t make it to my reading list. Ah, well.
And by the way, I really appreciated your comments about how you had felt shame about being submissive, and how the conversation turned to self-acceptance. I’ve struggled with both of these challenges in my own journey.
A litle late isn’t it? This book was out in the early Spring.
I loved this interview. Thank you for having Melissa on.
I enjoyed her take on her book, on the criticism and I agree with her reactions to many of the questions she’s been getting.
Why women believe it is woman’s job to “take care” of anyone in any fully consensual, adult situation always blows my mind. These men, who sound as if they’re all older, some twice her age, are fully capable of making decisions. I understand she was on drugs, these men either knew it or not and went through sessions with her. They could have requested another domme if they felt she was a threat.
In short, it was a consensual experience. So, stop blaming anyone.
I haven’t read the book, yet, though my interest is definitely peaked and I will be ordering it shortly after finishing this comment.
Thank you Melissa for being strong, smart and true to yourself. You’re a real inspiration, as corny as it may sound, it’s true. I hope the vanilla world can reconcile itself to the reality that is human sexuality – some day.
Thank you for the Masocast. I’m predominantly dominant in my relationship, though I’m so thrilled to learn new techniques so I’m more a sponge than a top or bottom.
Looking forward to the next interview, and reading the book.
What a “fucked up” (To use her favorite phrase) woman. Tons of rationalizations. Hard to believe anything she says because she takes responsibility for nothing. That said, she really does expose how exploitive the Pro Domme scene is ridiculing the subs, the drug addiction, the lack of personal responsibility. that’s not what she meantt to do, since she is exhibit A to all that. But that’s the impression I get. I could list all of the contradictions, but there are too many.
I agree that this interview was well done and it was a pleasure to have two interviewers. I also agree with Downlow on the value of having M. Alex’s perspective. Yet another podcast which I wish I had a director’s cut for. Also I could second skeletor’s request for interviews with bottoms about paid for play, but not for balance, just because I am keen to hear about their experiences from their perspectives.