Stripped: Inside the Lives of Exotic Dancers


View theTable of Contents. Read thePreface."Strippedis a revealing book about a revealing (and controversial) trade that focuses on a philosophical clash between old-and new-school feminism."-Courier-Journal

"Fascinating, insightful, and surprisingly balanced. This book will take you way beyond Hollywood's clich's 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 ofUnbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture and the Body

"A terrific read!Strippedis the best kind of feminist work: original, honest, and deeply engaging. Barton's remarkable insights into the work and private lives of exotic dancers move far beyond notions of strippers as exploited or empowered to uncover more hidden aspects of this world--its burdens of emotional labor, social stigma, exhaustion, and boredom as well as experiences of athleticism, ego-gratification, intimacy, and even spirituality."-Kathleen Blee, author ofInside Organized Racism: Women in the Hate Movement

"With Stripped, Barton makes an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about the effects of stripping on the women who actually take their clothes off. The polarized nature of the debates sometimes makes it difficult to say anything complicated about sex work--it is either said to be empowering for women or degrading to them. Yet, of course, things are never that simple--and Barton's arguments provide a significant alternative to such binary thinking."-Katherine Frank, author of G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire

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. Going behind the stage and into the dressing room, Barton discovers a group of complex women performing, to say the least, a difficult job. From the six inch heels to the mastery of the pole and the couch dance, Barton provides a fascinating insider's account of what it's like to perform this sex work. Based on over five years of research and from visiting clubs around the country, particularly in San Francisco, Hawaii, and Kentucky,Strippedoffers 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. Strippedprovides 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.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2006


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