Monday, March 8, 2010

Whip It Good

Let's face it. I am so fucking stupid. Instead of spending my young life and then my older life and then my middle-aged life and then my, well, life up 'til now doing things like raising babies and dealing with teenagers and going to PTSO meetings and planting things in a garden and discovering chickens and being in a quarter-of-a-century marriage and oh, I don't know... making the bed and observing the weather and doing the laundry and making soup, I should have been a dominatrix!



I was just listening to an interview with a woman named Melissa Febos on NPR who spent four years doing just that- being an dominatrix- and, oh yes, getting her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and she has written a book called Whip Smart and you can read about it here, if you want.

Jesus. Who knew? I mean, I always knew I wanted to be a writer but instead of spending my young life doing something that people would want to read about, such as whipping people I had tied up and masked and driving them into a sexual frenzy, I have wasted my entire life doing such amazingly boring things that no publisher worth her salt and salary would give anything I write a second glance. I mean really- who DOESN'T raise children? Who DOESN'T make soup? Who DOESN'T ENJOY SPRING FOR FUCK'S SAKE???!!!

So what? Big deal.

No big book deal, I'll tell you that right now.

But if I had just been smart and put my good-looking legs to use in a pair of fishnet stockings, I could be a published author now instead of a woman who sits on her back porch in a pair of overalls and writes about cardinals and azaleas and gay rights and hypocritical politicians and religion and the joys of being a grandmother. For no money at all. None.

Look- I could have done it. I have a screwed-up background. I had huge issues with men and I am nurturing. I have a strong right arm and could certainly have learned to crack a whip and oh, hell, I don't know what dominatrix women do. Yell a lot? Yes! I can do that! I have a very good voice which projects so well that I get kudos from elderly men after the plays I'm in because they could hear every word I said! I could attach nipple clamps. I swear, I could. I could, oh, hell, I don't even want to talk about it but I could. I swear, I could have! I could have been a contenda!

And then I could have taken all that experience and written a book which would have caused agents and publishers to salivate and suggest that we go to fancy restaurants where we could sit in dark corners and drink martinis and they would beg me, BEG me, to write my memoirs, to tell all of the Lutherans in Minnesota what being a New York City dominatrix was like with every detail dropped in sweet, evil, lubricated drops.

But no. I had to go and be a peace-loving, tree-hugging, back-to-the-land hippie and make my own bread and try to figure out sex one relationship at a time and sacrifice my breasts up to nursing my children. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

I don't know. I guess I was thinking that this was the life I was meant for. I guess I was stuck in the sticky old south where it's so damn hot that the idea of whipping someone's buttocks just seems like too much work. I guess the stupid old-lady yard-work gene kicked into action and I had more interest in buying pruners than lace-up, high-heeled, thigh-high leather boots. I guess my womb was too insistent and my desire to create the family I never had was just too strong.

Ah-lah, as I am apt to say. I will probably never be published and I will tell you right now that I am too old to put on thigh-high boots with stiletto heels and wobble around a dungeon in New York City and abuse men for money to get material to write about.

No. I'm stuck here in Lloyd and I'm never going to get a six-figure advance but that's probably okay. Do have any idea how much fun it is to loll around on a pink comforter in your daughter's back yard with two of your other daughters and play with two babies, one of whom is your grandson? I'll bet you any amount of money it's more fun than beating the hell out of some guy for the big bucks. Do you know how sweet it is to see your daughter laying in the sun, giving your grandson nursies and listening to your children laugh about things that happened when they were children? Can you imagine what it's like to see your grandson's hair stick up like chicken down and shine in the spring light or to take off his diaper and set him down on the comforter to see watch his darling butt as he tries to crawl?

Could a book deal be better than that?

I don't think so.

And I have a feeling that money made from using your body to give men sexual pleasure and then writing about it is not nearly as rewarding as collecting a half dozen eggs

or taking a nice picture of a Bradford Pear's blossom that is opening in your own backyard.

I'm not saying that Melissa Febo's time was wasted. Hell no. She can probably still do all of the things she's done and still manage to have some babies and watch them grow up if she wants to.
And I'm certainly not saying that a woman doesn't have the right to use her body and her mind to fulfill men's sexual fantasies for money. Not at all. Because that is a service industry and a good prostitute does as much good in this world, for my money, as a good anything. If she can do the work and keep her soul and sense of humor, then I am certainly not casting a stone. And if she can then produce a well-written book about it, then bless her heart.

I'm just going to bumble and stumble on, doing what I do here in Lloyd. I'm going to prune the roses and the jasmine, I'm going to feed the chickens and the babies, I'm going to laugh with my young'uns and I'm going to make soup. I'm going to deal in chicken shit and dog poop, camellias and collard greens, and I'm going to write about that.

But somewhere, deep inside of me, there's a tiny small voice that says, "You had the legs, baby. You coulda done it." And I'm going to smile and disagree politely. I'm going to go eat the really spicy soup I've made. I'm going to gently rub lotion on the part of my husband's back that he can't reach where his dry skin is itching him. I'm going to worship baby bottoms and change baby diapers instead of putting grown men in diapers and boy, am I glad about that!

But I'm going to wonder, as do we all, what would have happened if I had taken a right turn instead of a left. If I had stoppered up my womb instead of leaving it open. If I had taken heroin instead of smoking a little weed.

And then I'm going to say, "Thank every Higher Power that is."

And tomorrow I'm going to take care of my grandson while his mama, who is my baby, is at work.
And I may be stupid but I am not dumb. Which is something my mother used to say. Or maybe she said I may be dumb but I am not stupid. I don't know. Either way.

And I will probably write about it, whatever happens.

And you can count on the fact that whatever it is that happens, none of it will involve a whip. Unless I decide to make meringues.
In which case I will carefully separate egg yolks from whites and I will whip the holy hell out of them until they stand up and pay attention.


I might even put chocolate chips in those bad boys.

You excited yet?
I know I am.

And still I won't get a book deal.



  1. You must mean, "I'm not dumb", because, baby, you got some damn voice on you, whip or no whip. And I'm not talking about the one that resonates in Opera Houses.

    Beautiful, wondrous writing. As always.

  2. Right on, Angie!

    Thinking about the road not taken can be an interesting diversion, but I'm sure glad about the road you're traveling right now 'cuz I just LOVE hearing about your daily pleasures.

    And if I had lots of money I'd publish a book for you ~ I believe lots of people would buy it!

  3. "Whip it good"
    Only you can go from dominatrixes (not idea how to spell that) to merangues (no idea how to spell that).
    I love the way your mind words you clever, deliriously funny woman.
    Keep writing this very important book.

  4. Angie C- Just so glad to hear your voice again, honey.

    Lulumarie- Well, I can only write about what I know. Now if I'd just get off my ass and try to write some fiction again...
    I love you, honey!

    Bethany- Sometimes I shock myself.

  5. Sex sells. And so does drug use. And the crazier it is, the more money it brings. I'm not saying she made that stuff up, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is highly embellished. But I kind of wish that NPR would have selected something else or someone else on International Women's Day. It's supposed to be about progress. Just kind of how I feel about it.
    Anyway, have a good night.

  6. I was listening to the dominatrix interview on Terry Gross today, too. I had the legs and my chances when I was a sweet young thing in New Yawk Cidy, to have a sugar daddy, to be squired out to Sardis, to ride in the limo from the airport, all leading to who knows what, but I was the type to just say No to that winding road.
    To take that other fork in the road leading to the wholesome country life for my kids. Not that the road taken did not have its own twists and turns...

    Not having that BIG BOOK DEAL doesn't make you any less the good writer. And you are published, Right Here. And we love reading you.

    x0 N2

  7. Well. I like reading about pancakes and chickens and baby butts. Cause that's the life I'd like to live someday.

    Whips and stilletos? Not so much.

    So just keep writing about whipping those egg whites into firm and frothy attention.

  8. I'm as excited as i can be!! Keep going baby!

    Word verification: "herowin" I kid you not.

  9. PS Harley and I came by and fed the chickens. Turns out they like cherries.

    I accidentally left a paper towel we used to carry the cherries. Sorry. Didn't remember till we got back.
    xo PS Betty looks great!

  10. Angie M- I know. It's true. Sigh. I love and respect Terry Gross but this? Not so sure.

    N2- Thank-you, honey.

    Michelle- Well, it wouldn't be me at all and so yes, I'll just keep writing about what I know and love. Even if it does get boring.

    Petit Fleur- Ha! Word verification can be spooky as hell. I found that paper napkin and knew that someone had fed my babies some treats. Thanks!

  11. Okay Ms. Moon, I know you don't feel this way, but FUCK THE BOOK DEAL AND HORSE IT ROAD IN ON. This is YOUR blog and you can write what YOU want without some editor telling you what it needs.

    Sell essays to magazines. Put a donate/paypal button on your web site. Let them come to you.

  12. Whatever you listened to must have riled you up pretty good to inspire all this :)

    Listen -no one here cares if you have a book deal because you are writing the book of your life and of all of ours while you're at it. We're writing it together. At some point, we've just got to agree that it's all good enough and so much more than that. Love you.

  13. I laughed at this and thought it brilliant -- I bet you could read it on This American Life and it would be damn funny.

    As for the dominatrix stuff, well, that kind of thing always makes me giggle, and not nervously, I don't think. I always wonder how they keep straight faces through such contrivance. Or is it because I'm lacking in that sort of imagination?

  14. I can't get over how blue those eggs can be. That's just miraculous.

    Oh, and you could still become a dominatrix if you wanted. If you thought that would help your life or your book. Or not.

  15. There's always Granny Porn, Grandmamma....

  16. Thanks for the smile this morning, Ms. Moon. I bet you could dominate the hell out of anything you wanted to! I always wonder about the road not taken too. I love my babies and even though I'm living the cliche, I wouldn't change a thing either. This blog is better than a book, because it keeps on going, and books always end too soon. And your photos are beautiful. The eggs are a work of art and the preview of Spring is helping me be patient here. Hope you have another great day!

  17. Oh I forgot to add, my Dad used that saying a lot, I may be dumb but I ain't stupid!

  18. I love you so much, just the way you are. I don't know how things would have turned out if you had been a dominatrix. Personally I am glad you did things they way you did. I had such a good time yesterday, thank you for coming. See you tonight and have a good day with the boy.

  19. I think you CAN get a book deal out of it, Ms. Moon. Roll your life and imagination into a Southern Gothic with Opera House intrigue and family gone awry and steamy sex and great pies--with the recipes please--and throw in illness and struggle. It will be a best-seller. Then you can do a sequel and maybe even play yourself in the movie.

  20. I would far rather read a blog post by you than a book by that woman. I am all for whatever works for each person, sure, but I also think women who do that AND the men who want it are twisted and beoken in some unnameable way. Or I could be totally wrong, not knowing any dominatrices (?) or men who go to them-maybe it is just all about the money, I don't know. But I do know that is one book I won't be lining up to buy, but instead I wait avidly for your posts. go figure.

  21. Yes, Kori, I think totally wrong probably covers it, on this one. Judge not lest ye be judged?

  22. This is the cutest post. It made me laugh. Everything turned out alright, just as it is, Mary. I know you KNOW that.

    I adore you.

  23. Stephanie- I tell you what, I just got an e-mail from a reader that was a bigger paycheck than anything I could imagine. And comments like this one are too. Thanks, honey. Always.

    SJ- That's sort of how I feel about it- as Elvis Costello said, "Every day I write the book."

    Elizabeth- I always think the same thing about the dominatrice and then I think that dammit, if they CAN keep a straight face, then something is very, very wrong.

    Mwa- I can barely stand to put on a bra. I think a corset would kill me.

    Mel- I've probably said the same thing too- I may be dumb but I am not supid- but I sure hope I haven't, knowing exactly how impressed children are when it's beng said by a parent.

    Lily- You crack me up. Nah, I would have made a terrible dominatrix. I'm much rather be a grandmother.
    Love you, honey.

    Kathleen Scott- Maybe. If'd I get off my ass and do it.

    Jo- Oh. I think not. On the granny porn. I do have a shred of dignity left.

    Kori- Yes. And I tell you what- I am so grateful that I am not broken in any of those ways. So grateful.

  24. Any book you should happen to ever write, I would surely buy.
    You are truly amazing.

  25. You had me laughing out loud Ms. Moon! I choose your style any day...and in my way I have...and it was my choice too! And it rocks being a mom!
    Your words just flow like a river and may that river keep flowing...oh yeah!

  26. You see, I need to think of you and you not having a bra on (not intended dirtily... this time) and if you can, I can. Those things are unnatural.

  27. Pro Domme memoirs? How very 90s.

  28. Every day I wonder about how much I really want to be a writer. My daily bully pulpit gets my voice out, and I get enough responses, which makes me very happy.

    But yet...what if I have something inside me that I explain away or avoid altogether?

    I may be scared, or I may be a realist.

    I'm blabbing. All I know is that I don't want a good story enough to suffer the heartbreak some have endured.

    And, I'm already too old for this whip stuff.

  29. I'd rather read anything you have to say about gardening, family and flowers. Every "drip" and Giardelli moment of it. You crack me up and your writing is amazing, Ms Moon.

  30. this made me laugh so hard. ms moon, im sure you still got the legs...

  31. I think it's not to late to become a's all about attitude.

    In December I went to a bachlorette party and I had a riding crop as part of my costume. It was amazing the number of guys (complete strangers) who approached me wanting to be smacked. I felt weird at first but after awhile it was kind of fun. :)

  32. *adoration*

    I was listening to NPR today, but I missed that special. Damn. I love that radio bring peopls together, though. It's much more rewarding than, say, Oprah bringing people together.


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