G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire by Katherine Frank

By Katherine Frank

Based on her reviews as a stripper in a urban she calls Laurelton—a southeastern urban well known for its strip clubs—anthropologist Katherine Frank presents a desirable insider’s account of the non-public and cultural fantasies motivating male heterosexual strip membership "regulars." on condition that the entire golf equipment the place she labored prohibited actual touch among the unique dancers and their clients, in G-Strings and Sympathy Frank asks what—if now not intercourse or perhaps touching—the repeat clients have been paying for from the golf equipment and from the dancers. She unearths that the golf equipment supply an intermediate space—not paintings, no longer home—where males can enjoyably adventure their our bodies and selves via dialog, delusion, and ritualized voyeurism. while, she indicates how the dynamics of male excitement and privilege in strip golf equipment are intertwined with principles approximately what it ability to be a guy in modern America.

Frank’s ethnography attracts on her paintings as an unique dancer in 5 golf equipment, in addition to on her interviews with over thirty common customers—middle-class males of their late-twenties to mid-fifties. Reflecting at the shoppers’ twin wishes for intimacy and visibility, she explores their paradoxical longings for "authentic" interactions with the dancers, the methods those aspirations are expressed in the hugely managed and controlled strip golf equipment, and the way they relate to ideals and fantasies approximately social category and gender. She considers how ordinary visits to strip golf equipment are usually not inevitably antithetical to marriage or long term heterosexual relationships, yet are according to specific ideals approximately marriage and monogamy that make those golf equipment fascinating venues. the relative "classiness" of the golf equipment the place she worked—ranging from the city’s such a lot prestigious golf equipment to a few of its dive bars—she finds how the golf equipment are differentiated by way of reputations, gown codes, disguise fees, destinations, and shoppers, and describes how those differences turn into significant and erotic for the purchasers. Interspersed in the course of the publication are 3 fictional interludes that supply an intimate examine Frank’s stories as a stripper—from the clothes to the gestures, conversations, administration, coworkers, and, after all, the customers.

Focusing at the reports of the male consumers, instead of these of the feminine intercourse employees, G-Strings and Sympathy presents a nuanced, vigorous, and tantalizing account of the stigmatized international of strip clubs.

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