At the heart of Stripping, Sex, and Popular Culture lies a very personal story, of author Catherine Roach's response to the decision of her life-long best friend to become an exotic dancer. Catherine and Marie grew up together in Canada and moved to the USA to enroll in PhD programs at prestigious universities. For various reasons, Marie left her program and instead chose to work as a stripper. The author, at first troubled and yet fascinated by her friend's decision, follows Marie's journey into the world of stripping as an observer and analyst. She finds that this world raises complex questions about gender, sexuality, fantasy, feminism, and even spirituality. Moving from first hand interviews with dancers and others, the book broadens into a provocative and accessible examination of the current popularity of "striptease culture," with sex-saturated media imagery, thongs gone mainstream, and stripper aerobics at your local gym. Stripping, Sex, and Popular Culture scrutinizes the naked truth of a lucrative industry whose norms are increasingly at the center of contemporary society.
Catherine M. Roach is Associate Professor of New College, and Affiliated Faculty in Religious Studies and Women's Studies, at The University of Alabama, USA. She received her PhD from Harvard University in 1998 and is also the author of Mother / Nature: Popular Culture and Environmental Ethics (Indiana University Press, 2003).
Introduction: Marie/Foxy Part I. The Strip Club 1. Stripping: Demeaning and/or Empowering? 2. The Work of A Stripper: Six-inch Heels and Pole Tricks 3. 'A Lot of Guys Just Want to Talk' and (Other) Reality Costs of Stripping 4. Where Fantasy Becomes Reality Part II. Stripping and Popular Culture 5. Striptease Culture: Thongs for Everywoman 6. Strippers, Whores, and Sluts: 'Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics' 7. At the Feet of the Goddess: Stripping, Sex, and Spirituality Conclusion: Take It Off!