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‘Whip Smart’: A Story of Dark Fantasies

‘Whip Smart’: A Story of Dark Fantasies


Discover the secret and dark side of the life of a sexual dominatrix through the voice of Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart: The true story of a secret life. Melissa shares the power struggles she had with her self as she wandered into the deep psychological work, that is played out in a sex dungeon. She tells an honest story of the mix of power, curiosity and impoverishment that was generated by the secrecy imposed by her life choices. Her shocking double life is not nearly as remarkable as the naked vulnerability she shares about her descent and recovery. This interview will change the way you think about the darkest fantasies of human sexuality.

Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press), about her career as a professional dominatrix, which Kirkus Reviews said, “Expertly captures grace within depravity.” She has been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Anderson Cooper’s daytime show, and the cover of the New York Post, among many other national publications. Her writing has been published and anthologized widely, in venues such as Glamour, Hunger Mountain, Salon, Dissent, The Southeast Review, ReDivider, The Brooklyn Rail, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Bitch Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, and on The Nervous Breakdown , where she regularly blogs. For five years, she has co-curated and hosted the popular Mixer Reading and Music Series at Cake Shop in Manhattan. The recipient of an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, she has taught writing at SUNY Purchase College, The New School, NYU, and Sarah Lawrence, and is currently Assistant Professor at Utica College. A 2010 & 2011 MacDowell Colony fellow, she speaks widely, and splits her time between Brooklyn and Clinton, NY. She is currently at work on a novel.

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.


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12:02PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

thanks Mit W. you gave me a smile

8:15PM PDT on May 30, 2012

I applaud Melissa for having the courage to write openly about her life and a lifestyle that many can't comprehend or identify with. Perhaps if people read her book with an open mind without prejudging they may learn something.

11:07PM PDT on May 25, 2012

Very interesting! Who doesn't have dark fantasies..?

9:29AM PDT on May 4, 2012

Thank you!

2:52PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012


12:30PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012


1:56AM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

Sounds like an interesting book.

3:53PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Jane, saying in your ignorance that this is a perversion and sickness because no on LIKES pain is about the same as an ignorant person saying two men can't like each other- they aren't MADE for each other, so after all that must be sick and perverted when they do.
Think before you type.

11:38AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

This reminds me of that Eurythmic's song, "Sweet Dreams". Of course, i'm showing my age now.

1:46AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012


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