Synopses & Reviews
With a recent burst of feature films, documentaries, and books on strippers, the business of exotic dancing is hotter than ever. Over the last decade there has been a steadily expanding interest in exotic dance, from its role as an "art form" to its benefits as a means of exercise. While the breadth of discussion generated on this topic has expanded, the fundamental debate remains the same: are female strippers empowering themselves or allowing themselves to be exploited?
With her follow-up to Jane Sexes It Up: True Confessions of Feminist Desire, M. Lisa Johnson moves beyond the old debates and gives the reader a glimpse of what exotic dancing is like through the eyes of the stripper. The essays here cover everything from workplace policies and conditions to legal restrictions to customer behavior and the struggle to overcome the stereotypes associated with the profession.
"The editors of this anthology all academics who have worked as exotic dancers start out slowly and save their best for last. In other words, readers should skip the long-winded introduction and head straight for the entertaining account of how Miss Mary Ann and her co-workers at San Francisco's Lusty Lady formed the Exotic Dancer's Alliance: the descriptions of the lawyers hired by the club's management in an attempt to bust the union are priceless. Jamie Berger's description of his peep-show going (and the guilt induced by his politically correct upbringing) is also a don't-miss read in the section called 'Flirtation,' which explores club life from the patron's perspective. Respect for dancers and the customers who understand what they are and aren't buying when they enter a club or peep show booth is evident throughout. But conspicuous by their absence are the voices of owners and managers; derogatory comments about management in several of the essays go unanswered. That's a shame, as the editors have otherwise done a remarkable job offering real-life pictures of an industry that is usually sensationalized, misunderstood or misrepresented." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)