As you could probably guess, they're successful a large percent of the time. I watched nervous men who were pressured by boisterous friends, uncomfortable and unsure. Since puberty, I had been aware of men staring at me in public. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Putting myself up onstage and demanding payment for being watched were exertions of control. On the neon-lit stage of that back bar, I let loose my inner extrovert. This article examines how strip clubs and dancers incorporate female patrons into a sexualized space traditionally designed for men by identifying three interactional processes:
Since puberty, I had been aware of men staring at me in public. Self-consciousness is a funny thing though, and I didn't like my body enough to showcase it naked on a stage. With hindsight, the social stigma was hugely disempowering. We argue that when a dancer tailors her lap dance for a female patron, she succeeds in acknowledging the female customer's sexual subjectivity and potential same-sex desires by providing an individualized avenue for exploring an erotic experience. With hindsight, what appeared to have been a conscious choice might have actually been heavily influenced. My family, friends and society at large saw it as shocking. I felt bad for them, that they had sufficiently bought into a particular brand of masculinity and have found themselves enslaved to it. I've learned that we've convinced a large population of women that their sexuality is wrong, that their bodies are shameful and that if they love their bodies they're "whores," just so that others can secure a profit. The goal of making money became an end in itself. My parents paid my rent, my Kentucky Fried Chicken and my living expenses. The manager took one look at me and then called a different manager of another club to tell him "I have a beautiful girl for you that will be dancing in no time. It was obvious they didn't want to be there and didn't fit into that kind of environment but, sadly, felt trapped by misguided obligation. And I did choose stripping, again and again. The sun would rise and the comforting darkness wouldn't be able to hide their emptiness or self-doubt or whatever it was they were so desperately trying to mask. The start-up I was working for folded, I had a part-time office job that kept me washing my hair with hand soap and I was living in a big city where rent was criminal. I know now that male-dominated society needs this stigma to maintain the status quo. No, her real power comes from being unapologetically herself, and owning every facet of her being in a way that says, "I am proud" instead of "I am ashamed". For hours, that is all they would do. I felt angry, that they believed it okay to use money and women to make themselves feel better about their own perceived shortcomings. Besides, I could hardly put stripping on my fledgling resume. The constant judgment, often from people who had never been inside a strip club, left me excluded from normal life. I learned that a woman is at her most powerful not when she can convince a man that she is beautiful, but when she can -- and has -- convinced herself. This article examines how strip clubs and dancers incorporate female patrons into a sexualized space traditionally designed for men by identifying three interactional processes: Drawing on Goffman's dramaturgical analysis, we suggest the dynamic relationship between dancer and female patron involves what we term sidestaging, which refers to both dancers' disclosure and how the club's spatial organization inhibits the construction of women as customers through sharing gendered spaces, such as the bathroom. Night after night until I found a decent paying job and left the club for good, I watched humans interacting in a sometimes ridiculous but arguably completely natural way. I hated the popular belief that sex workers were oppressed and without agency, victims in need of rescuing. Finally, we discuss data implications for understanding how same-sex desire and sexual identity operate in an environment that eroticizes the female form, and how the strip club becomes a potential space for engaging in same-sex eroticism that includes elements of play.
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