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This book offers an account of an unprecedented North American study of contemporary female and male strip shows. It particularly focuses on the contradictory sex roles, cultural positions, and performance practices of 'straight'strip shows during their second heyday in the early 1990s.
Katherine Liepe-Levinson's research took her to over seventy different strip bars, clubs, theatres and sex emporiums ranging from elaborate lap-dancing and couch-dancing 'gentlemen's' clubs in New York, Houston, and San Francisco; to Peoria's onetime duplex cabaret where women strip for men downstairs, and men for women upstairs; to the nightclubs of Montreal where female and male performers displayed the 'Full Monty'.
Liepe-Levinson's intriguing, comprehensive study concentrates on the cultural and theatrical elements of the strip shows themselves including the geographic locations and interior designs of the clubs, the choreography and costumes of the dancers and the all-important participation of the audience. She draws upon a variety of methodologies as well as interviews with performers to explore how the strip show's cultural and theatrical aspects simultaneously uphold and break traditional sex roles. Her findings readily complicate several of the most prominent and prevalent theories about sexual representation, gender and desire.
|List of Illustrations|
|Introduction: Strip show: Performance of gender and desire||1|
|1||Urban locations of desire: A tale of five cities||19|
|3||Costume dramas and sexual subjectivity||76|
|4||Choreography I: The basic moves||108|
|5||Choreography II: Structure, pleasure, and "confessional" narratives of the body||133|
|6||Performing spectators: The pleasure of mimetic jeopardy||151|
|7||Epilogue as intermezzo: The saga of the strip show, or the battles over sexual representation rage on ...||180|
Posted January 2, 2002
This book offers intriguing insights into the world of male and female strip shows as well as the complexities surrounding sexual desire. Among the topics it covers are: How strip shows simultaneously uphold and break traditional sex roles; the symbiotic relationship between performers and spectators; why New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was incorrect in his assessment that strip shows, by their very nature, produce negative secondary effects; and why strip shows allow both men and women the freedom to explore roles denied to them by traditional society. Through logically reasoned arguments, years of field work, and fascinating examples, the author makes a solid case that there is a lot more to strip shows than mere titillation and the removal of clothing.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2009
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