It’s My Party, I’ll Bring a Dominatrix if I Want To

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Melissa and me.

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With Stephen Elliott and Sonya Chung.

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Tuesday I did a conversation event with Melissa Febos at the gorgeous Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn. Melissa’s book Whip Smart chronicles the four years she spent as a dominatrix. Kind of. Really, it’s just a kick ass coming-of-age memoir. I so enjoyed talking to her about endings (narrative not happy), power, sexual currency and the challenges of using life to make art and vice versa.

We had an all-star guest list, including Sonya Chung, Cintra Wilson, Stephen Elliott, Sini Anderson, Julien Nitzberg and Catharine Dill. Not to mention appearances by summer camp friends and by family members who are miraculously still talking to me.

It’s amazing to be back in New York touring with this book. New York is the place where I made so many of the mistakes that gave me a book to write in the first place. I love when life brings me full circle.

2 Responses to 'It’s My Party, I’ll Bring a Dominatrix if I Want To'

  1. Debra says:

    Jill, I literally just put your book down and I was so curious to find out how your life is now, that I immediately went to your website.

    Honestly, the only part of your story that I could really relate to was the part about being a New York “Russian Jewish girl” who feels the same way about NY as you do. I have lived in CA for the past twenty-five years and when I go back to the city, it is hard for me to believe that although I am no longer a part of it, it will always be a huge part of me.

    I first heard of your book in an interview that you recently did with Judith Reagan on XM radio. I was intrigued by your story, so I decided to check out your book. I am a huge reader and was in the middle of about three different books, none of which had really hooked me in. I finished your book in two days. Yes, your story is fascinating, but that is not what captured my interest the most. You are a very good writer whose writing style is both gritty and lyrical. I truly enjoyed the rhythm of your words.

    Will you be doing a follow-up as to where your life went after you moved on the the next chapter of your life? I would be very curious to know how your early experiences influenced the road that you are on now. Mazel Tov on the adoption of your son, Tariku! Has he arrived in your life yet? Having children changes your perspective on things in ways that you cannot even begin to imagine!

    Best of luck in all of your future endeavors. I just wanted to drop by to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your book. I might even catch you down in Laguna Beach when you do your reading there!

    Warmly,
    Debra

  2. go ahead and bring the best dominatrix in town… When ability exceeds ambition, or ambition exceeds ability, the likelihood of success is limited.

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