Frank’s ethnography draws on her work as an exotic dancer in five clubs, as well as on her interviews with over thirty regular customers—middle-class men in their late-twenties to mid-fifties. Reflecting on the customers’ dual desires for intimacy and visibility, she explores their paradoxical longings for "authentic" interactions with the dancers, the ways these aspirations are expressed within the highly controlled and regulated strip clubs, and how they relate to beliefs and fantasies about social class and gender. She considers how regular visits to strip clubs are not necessarily antithetical to marriage or long-term heterosexual relationships, but are based on particular beliefs about marriage and monogamy that make these clubs desirable venues. Looking at the relative "classiness" of the clubs where she worked—ranging from the city’s most prestigious clubs to some of its dive bars—she reveals how the clubs are differentiated by reputations, dress codes, cover charges, locations, and clientele, and describes how these distinctions become meaningful and erotic for the customers. Interspersed throughout the book are three fictional interludes that provide an intimate look at Frank’s experiences as a stripper—from the outfits to the gestures, conversations, management, coworkers, and, of course, the customers.
Focusing on the experiences of the male clients, rather than those of the female sex workers, G-Strings and Sympathy provides a nuanced, lively, and tantalizing account of the stigmatized world of strip clubs.
Katherine Frank is Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the College of the Atlantic.
Lia has known true darkness—and not just because of the power grid failure nine months ago. She has faced evil and emerged a survivor. Now if she could just make the two men she wants see her as whole and not broken … maybe she’d have a chance at the future she’s determined to claim.
Cam and Travis have been brothers-in-arms since their days as Force Recon Marines, and there’s nothing Cam wouldn’t do for his best friend—except let him have the woman Cam’s been patiently waiting for. But when Lia shocks him by saying she wants them both, he has the decision of a lifetime to make. Lose the girl, or lose his best friend.
In a world where nothing is certain, can three people find their way to love?
*Warning: This book includes two sexy as hell Marines, one strong woman determined to have them both, and a whole lot of sex—the dirty kind. Proceed at your own risk.
Based on over five years of research and from visiting clubs around the country, particularly in San Francisco, Hawaii, and Kentucky, Stripped offers 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.
Stripped provides 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.
"An absolute must-read" – Shondaland
“[Rabbit] tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor” – New York Times
They called her Rabbit.
Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. One of five children, Pat watched as her mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.
Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor. With wisdom and humor, Pat gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s really like to be a black mom in America.