“Beyoncé isn’t Beyoncé because she reads comments on the Internet. Beyoncé is in Ibiza, wearing a stomach necklace, walking hand in hand with her hot boyfriend. She’s going on the yacht and having a mimosa. She’s not reading shitty comments about herself on the Internet, and we shouldn’t either. I just think, Would Beyoncé be reading this? No, she would just delete it or somebody would delete it for her. What I really need to do is close the computer and then talk back to that voice and say, Fuck you. I don’t give a shit what you think. I’m Beyoncé. I’m going to Ibiza with Jay-Z now, fuck off. Being criticized is part of the job, but seeking it out isn’t. That’s our piece to let go.”
God, I fucking love Kathleen Hanna. Can I just go on and on and on about how I love Kathleen Hanna? Here she is in conversation with Melissa Febos, author of Whip Smart: A Memoir and a former dominatrix, whom I interviewed two years ago. This part is amazing and something anyone who works in a creative field should have tattooed on their brain (and ego): “Being criticized is part of the job, but seeking it out isn’t.” Let’s all get in touch with our inner Sasha Fierce! [Gala Darling via Bomblog] [Photos: Getty]
The following is an excerpt from Whip Smart: A Memoir, by Melissa Febos, who we recently interviewed about her four years working as a dominatrix at a New York City dungeon. Here, Febos is about to have her very first “domination session” with a male client at the dungeon, for which she is being paid $75.
An hour can be a long time. Hell, a minute can be a long time. The minute before your first kiss with someone is a painstaking collection of seconds, each one more bloated with anticipation than the last. The first minute of a tattoo is a long one as well. Pain has few rivals in its ability to slow time. Fear, excitement, elation — these are kissing cousins, all with the sensorial power to render each second humming with every tick and gasp of our bodies, the whirr of insect wings and distant car engines. Sometimes, I could savor these moments, relish them as opportunities to walk straight into the fact of being alive. In the seconds that crept into the minutes of my very first domination session, I had no idea what I wanted. The $75 certainly, but beyond that? Character- building life experience? I would have confidently named these motives right up until the moment that the door of the Red Room closed behind me. With the clasp of its latch, all bravado and ideology dimmed with the light of the hallway behind. It was only me, a naked old man, and 60 minutes of palpable expectation. An hour alone with a naked man with whom you do not intend to have sex can be a very long time …
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A dominatrix: all of us know what one is. But let’s be honest: few of us actually know a woman who earns her living as one (that we’re aware of, anyway). But you’ll become, ahem, intimately familiar with one after reading the recently published book, Whip Smart: A Memoir, by Melissa Febos.
Febos, who nowadays teaches writing and literature at SUNY Purchase College in New York, was just a college student looking to earn extra cash at a Manhattan dungeon. But surprisingly, something about domme-ing men for money appealed to her. Febos — who was also busy acquiring, and then kicking, a heroin addiction — spat, spanked and insulted her way through clients for a whole four years before she left the dominatrix life for good.
I spoke with Febos about what initially drew her to sex work, how she broke the news to mom and dad that she was a dominatrix (yes, they knew!), and what she did with all those kinky clothes when she finally hung up her whip. Keep reading »