Monday, April 22, 2013

Whip Smart

In addition to my Ayn Rand related play, I'm also working on the full-length MISTRESS ILSA, and so decided to do research by taking Melissa Febos' memoir "Whip Smart" out of the library. Not surprisingly, this book is a much quicker read than "Atlas Shrugged." Although I have to admit that this is due in part to the fact that I skimmed quickly over the bits about Febos' struggles with drug addictions and her personal relationships outside of the dungeon. I was looking for useful details about life as a dominatrix, and also sorry to say I don't like Febos' literary style, which is inelegant and has a whiff of women's magazine perky self-helpiness. So that doesn't really put her ahead of Rand, aesthetically. But clearly she's well ahead of Rand subject-wise. So with the skimming I got through Whip Smart in one night.

As entertaining as it is, I really didn't learn much new about the lives of dominatrices. MISTRESS ILSA actually does cover quite a bit of the basics. One thing I did find interesting and a contrast to my play, is that whips aren't used all the time in real dungeons. There's quite a bit more of mind games and gross medical equipment-based scenarios and verbal abuse than actual whipping. Febos says that whipping was one of her favorite aspects of being a dominatrix because of the skill factor.

But except for some of the more outre and gross predilections of Febos' clients, it wasn't especially informative. I had the general framework of the dungeon world right already. I've never been in a dungeon but I know two women who worked as dominatrices so I did have some prior knowledge from them and from other readings.

And now that I'm done this book, it's back to "Atlas Shrugged." *sigh*