Latex and Lingerie: Shopping for Pleasure at Ann Summers Parties

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Bloomsbury Academic, Jul 1, 2003 - Design - 224 pages

Sexy, hedonistic, hilarious - Ann Summers parties are the ultimate girls' night in. Promising the perfect antidote to the toils of everyday life - sexual pleasure - they are the 'naughty but nice' version of the classic Tupperware® party.

Ann Summers parties are incredibly popular, with around 4000 parties held in Britain every week. The basis is simple: to provide an all-female environment where women can buy sexy lingerie, erotic fashion, sex toys and other sex-related products. In many respects these parties enable women to transgress social taboos in the comfort of their own homes. But they are also a subtle means of constructing and enforcing heterosexual femininity.

This book investigates what really goes on at these 'special' homosocial gatherings, where heterosexual women drink, laugh, shop, play party games and talk about sex. Storr develops a new analysis of the ways heterosexual women identify with and against each other - and of what this tells us about gender, sexuality and consumption in contemporary society. Drawing on both participant observation and in-depth interviews with party organizers, this fascinating and fun book is an indispensable guide to the politics of 'post-feminist' culture.

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Contents

The Ultimate Girls Night In
37
Objects of Desire
83
Feminine Bodies Feminine Pleasures
123
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Merl Storr is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology, at the University of East London.

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