Melissa Febos

(1980)

Melissa Febos Quotes

  • ''“Back and forth from Brooklyn to Manhattan. New York at night, from its bridges, is a miracle. When I first came to the city, it took all my fantasies and set them on fire, turned them into flickering constellations of light. Then it did the same with my history. As a dark speck of energy hurtling over the water toward that galaxy, I felt myself disappear. Relative to the image of infinity I was nothing, a clump of quantum matter skidding through the ether. It was as good as any drug.” ''
    Melissa Febos, Whip Smart: A Memoir
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  • ''“That is the gift of taking the long road: you know youre not missing anything.” ''
    Melissa Febos, Whip Smart: A Memoir
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  • ''“We kissed for two hours. Eventually, I led him into my bedroom and pulled off both of our shirts. He stopped me.
    "This might sound weird; its not typical guy response." I froze, suddenly awkward. "I mean, if I didnt feel the way I do with you I would be all for it, but I kind of think maybe it would be good to wait. Ive rushed into sex, and had it be a mistake." He shrugged apologetically. "I mean, if its safe to assume you are experiencing the same date that I am, then I think we will have time."
    I was a little flabbergasted and more than a little embarrassed. How could I explain that the idea sounded like a huge relief to me, that I didnt quite understand where the impulse to start taking my clothes off came from? I had had the same experience. I rarely enjoyed first-time sex with partners, largely because I usually did it before I really knew or trusted them. Here was where the difference between what I knew and did remained wide. The shame I felt wash over me was tinged with that hatred of my own innocence. Was I still so green? So unconfident? Had I gone straight out of the extremity of sex work to the innocence of my adolescence? Where was my self-knowledge? Still, I was relieved.
    "Of course. I agree totally." I clutched my T-shirt to my chest and smiled at him. "And yes, I am on the same date you are on."
    "I thought so," he said. "I mean, I dont think you can feel like this when its not reciprocal."
    He left at 2:00 A.M. and called me at 11:00 the next morning to schedule our second date.” ''
    Melissa Febos, Whip Smart: A Memoir
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  • ''“There is a moment in your 20s when you know what it means to love rightly, but not how to do it, and then you begin to learn.” ''
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  • ''“I have always enjoyed watching women dress. The appeal isnt sexual. Most girls first glimpse of private female life is watching their mothers dress and put makeup on. It makes sense that wed find it comforting. Childhood fascinations often crystallize this way. Isnt beauty forever defined, in a sense, by the first things we found beautiful? Surely part of my pleasure results from the inundation of images that we all experience. But I also love ritual, and it is a mesmerizing one. I enjoy the ritual of dressing myself, too. It is a form of basking in a kind of femininity that I am opposed to as an ideal, but for better or worse, I think we all fetishize the female body, and intellectualization doesnt spare anyone the obsession.”''
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  • ''“I used to think that happiness, like God, was an idea weaker people were sold on, to manage the grief of a world with so much suffering. It is just easier, I thought, to decide that you are doing something wrong and you just need to buy the right thing, read the right book, find the right guru, or pray more to be happy than to accept that life is a great long heartbreak. Happiness is not what I imagined that mirage to be: an unending ecstasy or state of perpetual excitement. Not a high or a mirage, it is just being okay. My happiness is the absence of fear that there wont be enough -- enough money, enough power, enough security, enough of a cushion of these things to protect me from the everyday heartbreaks of being human. Heartbreak doesnt kill you. It changes you.” ''
    Melissa Febos, Whip Smart: A Memoir
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  • ''“Sometimes pain is the call of a wound that needs tending, and sometimes it is the sting of its healing.” ''
    Melissa Febos, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York
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  • ''“Such is the disconcerting miracle of good acting; at its best it implicitly challenges our faith in who we are, who anyone is.” ''
    Melissa Febos, Whip Smart: A Memoir
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