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What kind of woman dances naked for money? Bernadette Barton takes us inside countless strip bars and clubs, from upscale to back road as well as those that specialize in lapdancing, table dancing, topless only, or peep shows, to reveal the startling lives of exotic dancers.
Based on over five years of research and from visiting clubs around the country, particularly in San Francisco, Hawaii, and Kentucky, Stripped offers a rare portrait of not just how dancers get into the business but what it's like for those who choose to strip year after year. Through captivating interviews and first-hand observation, Barton recounts why these women began stripping, the initial excitement and financial rewards from the work, the dangers of the life—namely, drugs and prostitution—and, inevitably, the difficulties in staying in the business over time, especially for their sexuality and self-esteem.
Stripped provides fresh insight into the complex work and personal experiences of exotic dancers, one that goes beyond the “sex wars” debate to offer an important new understanding of sex work.
“Compelling. . . . This accessibly written, matter-of-fact book makes important contributions to what is known about the lives and experiences of the growing number of women who ‘dance’ naked for money. . . . Throughout, the author listens attentively to the shifting, insightful, diverse voices of women with whom she has a palpably respectful connection. Barton uses the complex picture that emerges to engage longstanding debates over the meanings of commodified femininity and sexuality.”
“The thrust of stripper scholarship is that both dancers and customers are more like your next-door neighbors. Some are your next-door neighbors.”
“Fascinating, insightful, and surprisingly balanced. This book will take you way beyond Hollywood's clichés and into the realities of stripping, and you'll emerge with a deeper understanding of the pleasures and the costs of being the object of male fantasies.”
-Susan Bordo,author of Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body
“Stripped is a revealing book about a revealing (and controversial) trade that focuses on a philosophical clash between old—and new—school feminism.”
“Makes an impressive contribution to the sociology of work and its intersection with sex and gender studies at the theoretical and applied levels. It is an excellent examples of the rich data and critical methodological insights that can emerge in the course of engaged field research.”
-American Journal of Sociology
|Introduction : come inside and see the show||1|
|1||Becoming a stripper||24|
|2||Dancing on the Mobius strip||41|
|5||"You have to be sexually open"||110|
|7||"Everything is not okay"||145|
Posted December 16, 2006
...a book about strippers that does not preach, that does not take sides or pass value judgements, and that does not denigrate or glorify the people who work in the sex industry. Stripped: Inside the Lives of Exotic Dancers, does exactly what the title suggests: it takes the reader inside the private lives of women who work in the sex industry, and it presents exotic dancers in such a way that the reader sees them first as people, effectively taking the women out from under the overwhelming shadow of their job title. Barton's writing style is precise, intimate, and candid, and it propels the reader right into the livingrooms and dressing rooms of exotic dancers. The book tackles the tar pit traps of the 'sex wars', why/how women get into the sex industry, sexual identity, and the reality of working in the sex industry without getting bogged down in conflicting feminist theory. Yet Barton adds her voice to the sex industry debate in a way that commands attention from both the average reader and from those well versed in the intracies of the 'sex wars'. This book makes its debut in a pop culture where young Hollywood starlets show just how blurry the lines are between acceptable female behavior and sex industry work. Barton takes her readers back and forth across that line with facility and empathy, allowing the reader to finally determine for her/himself where that line actually exists. I look forward to her next book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.