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All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C.by Craig Seymour
Synopses & Reviews
I felt that I'd made a transformation as surely as Superman slipping out of a phone booth or Wonder Woman doing a sunburst spin. I was bare-ass in a room of paying strangers, a stripper. After years of wondering what it would be like, I had done it — faced a fear, defied expectation, embraced a taboo self. It was only the beginning....
All I Could Bare is the story of a mild-mannered graduate student who "took the road less clothed" — a decision that was life changing. Seymour embarked on his journey in the 1990s, when Washington, D.C.'s gay club scene was notoriously no-holds-barred, all the while trying to keep his newfound vocation a secret from his parents and maintain a relation-ship with his boyfriend, Seth. Along the way he met some unforgettable characters — the fifty-year-old divorcé who's obsessed with a twenty-one-year-old dancer, the celebrated drag diva who hailed from a small town in rural Virginia, and the many straight guys who were "gay for pay." Seymour gives us both the highs (money, adoration, camaraderie) and the lows (an ill-fated attempt at prostitution, a humiliating porn audition).
Ultimately coming clean about his secret identity, Seymour breaks through taboos and makes his way from booty-baring stripper to Ph.D.-bearing academic, taking a detour into celebrity journalism and memorably crossing paths with Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige along the way. Hilarious, insight-ful, and touching, All I Could Bare proves that sometimes the "wrong decision" can lead to the right place.
"If an account of one's tour of duty as a stripper and sometimes prostitute in seedy downtown Washington, D.C. gay clubs could ever be called 'breezy,' Seymour's achieved it. Sure to please the hedonistic gay man in (almost) all of us, Seymour is frank and entirely explicit as he chronicles his journey from diligent Masters' candidate (developing a thesis on gay strip clubs) to onstage talent working every night to make a living. Unafraid to bare it all, in person and in prose, Seymour details his brief foray into prostitution as well as the (very) personal stories of his fellow dancers. Seymour can dissemble, first pinning his stripping career on low self-esteem, but later admitting to some early success with more traditional dancing and acting; it becomes clear that the author is a bit of a narcissist, but a charming one. The last fifty pages, accounting for his subsequent work as a celebrity interviewer, are pure filler; when he sticks to the clubs, though, readers will feel they're in the hands of an expert." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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