The Mama’s #CBR5 Review #30: Whip Smart: The True Story of a Secret Life by Melissa Febos

whipsmartFebos’ story came roaring out of the gate. I loved her writing, her style, her matter-of-fact way of talking about the gritty underbelly of both sex work and drugs. I was fascinated by how she felt lost and adrift, the push/pull of the drugs, her disgusted fascination with her clients’ sexual proclivities. But somewhere along the way I kind of lost interest. Febos became off-putting, selfish, self-indulgent. Even her writing changed; it became more awkward. She referred to things – her parents’ divorce, a fairly serious relationship with a man – as though she had talked about them earlier. Her writing became almost condescending and I found myself losing patience with her manufactured (at least to me) angst. I found it increasingly hard to relate to or have compassion for her. This is not a woman who turned to sex work out of need or desperation; this is a woman who chose this line of work and yet bizarrely comes across as looking down on others who made the same choice.

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