Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Melissa Febos

From Terry Gross's Q & A with Melissa Febos, author of the memoir Whip Smart:

GROSS: How strange was it to tie people up - people who wanted bondage as part of what they were paying for? I mean, that just has to be a really - particularly when you're first doing it - it has to be a really crazy, odd, kind of creepy experience.

Ms. FEBOS: Yeah, I mean, a lot of the experiences were. And you know, this is one of those jobs, I think like a lot of probably a lot of people in the medical industry have this kind of experience, or maybe even people in sports, too. But you work very, very closely with human bodies in a way that most people don't.

It's very intimate. You know, you really get to know the human body. And when people are paying to be put in this position and make themselves really vulnerable, they do give you a kind of power, and that was sort of a clumsy position for me to be in at first, and it made me really nervous. And it wasn't always a power that I wanted, you know. But I was also - I was also fascinated and kind of mesmerized by it. But yeah, tying up another person is a bizarre experience.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. FEBOS: Most people don't have that experience, I don't think.

GROSS: What's the protocol when a session begins, when you're entering the room? Is the client already in there? Is there a protocol for them?

Ms. FEBOS: Well, before the session begins, there's usually a consultation. And if it's a new client who doesn't sort of have a regular dominatrix that he sees, he comes in. And all of the women working a particular shift will walk into the room one by one and talk to him for a couple minutes, and sort of suss out what his penchants are, and see if they're interested in doing that session, and sort of try to get information but also sell themselves.

And then the phone girl goes back in, and the client will pick the woman that he wants to do the session with, and then you'll have another consultation where you'll sort of iron out the fine details of the session so that by the time the clock actually starts on a session, you already know what the scene is, you already know what your outfit is, what equipment you'll need. And so you can really walk into the room and...[read on, or listen to the interview]
Read more about Whip Smart.

Visit the official Melissa Febos website.

--Marshal Zeringue