She really was a stripper working her way through college....
Talk about a non-traditional student. Pour some sugar on me. From Salon.
Anthropologist Katherine Frank spent six years stripping and interviewing 30 of her regular customers to research her book “G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire.” Adapted from her Ph.D. dissertation, it’s an academic yet accessible exploration of the exchange between the naked lady on the platform and the man who keeps returning to tuck money in her garter.
Frank discusses with equal ease the bounce/rump-shaker move and the self-reflexive nature of the post-tourist, and her experience reflects less mind-body dissociation than one might expect. She created a set she calls her Ode to Baudrillard at one of the clubs, stripping off layers to songs (one from “The Matrix” and one by White Zombie) that reference the philosopher who argues that reality — sorry, “reality” — has become indistinguishable from its representations, or simulacra. (Had she not retired to academia, I would suggest that Frank add Hole’s “Doll Parts” with its Baudrillardian refrain, “I fake it so real I am beyond fake.”)
Frank worked in several clubs in a Southeastern city she calls Laurelton, a mecca for strip club enthusiasts. In the huge, upscale, mostly white Diamond Dolls, 200 to 300 “girls” danced on stages and moved through the crowd selling $10 table dances to individual customers. Upstairs were private rooms that cost between $100 and $500 an hour and $200 an hour for dancers. Celebrities would often go straight upstairs, and rumors flew about orgies in there — rumors, Frank points out, that were neither true nor squelched. She also worked at Tina’s Revue, a smaller, cheaper, mixed-race club where the fantasized activities were drug dealing and prostitution. In both places, men could and often did pay dancers to sit and talk with them.