Flesh for Fantasy: Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance

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R. Danielle Egan, Katherine Frank, Merri Lisa Johnson
Seal Press, 2006 - Performing Arts - 234 pages
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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 in Flesh for Fantasy cover everything from workplace policies and conditions, legal restrictions, customer behavior, and the struggle to overcome the stereotypes associated with the profession.

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Really interesting read, for someone who's not a "regular." Many men have been inside a strip club during their years in the service, or in college, or maybe on a business trip or at a batchelor's party, but most don't hand out there. Most don't no the rules, or are too busy absorbed in watching to think clearly.
What I really liked about this book is what I found out myself at the strip clubs I had visited. What many men get at a strip club is the opportunity to engage in a fantasy relationship (not necessarily sexual, but certainly as men)with a nude woman, if only for a few hours.
Why can a man open up and talk about his shortcomings, weaknesses, kids and cares more easily with strange nude women at a club, than with his wife? Read this a find out what strippers already know. It's not about the sex so much as intimacy.

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About the author (2006)

R. Danielle Egan is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. She is the co-editor with Katherine Frank and Merri, L. Johnson of the anthology "Flesh for Fantasy: The Production and Consumption of Exotic Dance," Egan has published work in "Critical Sociology," "Body and Society," "Deviant Behavior" and "The Journal of Psychoanalysis, Society and Culture," In addition to her work on exotic dance, she has written on post 9/11 rhetoric, pedagogy, and popular culture. 

Katherine Frank is a cultural anthropologist (Ph.D. Duke University, 1999) and sex researcher. She is the author of Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex (2013) and G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire (2002), and a co-editor of Flesh for Fantasy: Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance (2006). Frank has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals--Archives of Sex Research, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Sex Research, Qualitative Inquiry, and Sexualities, for example--and her writing on strip clubs, marriage and monogamy, infidelity, reality television, swinging, sex tourism, eating disorders, and feminism appears in numerous anthologies. She has also published short fiction and non-fiction in magazines ranging from the prestigious Harvard Business Review to Spread Magazine (a publication for and by sex workers).

Merri Lisa Johnson has published widely on representations of female sexuality in literature and popular culture. She is Editor of "Jane Sexes It Up" (2001) and of two online collections: a special issue of "Women Writers" on "Autobiographical Literary Criticism" and a special issue of "The Scholar and Feminist" on "Feminist Television Studies: The Case of HBO." She is Director of the Center for Women's Studies at the University of Carolina-Upstate.

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