Monday, 14 November 2011

where's my copy?! 'Stripped; The Bare Reality of Lap dancing'

Ooohhh, there is a new book out on stripping, and I'm eager to get a copy. But damnnit! Amazon has sold out.  This means that it's probably massively popular already, which is great news for me as I'm currently scribbling away on a lapdancing novel of my own.  Ahhh, how I dream of a major retailer selling out of my own silly scribblings....
So, the new book out is;

'Stripped; The Bare reality of Lap Dancing' by Jennifer Hayashi Danns & Leveque Sandrine and here's an Amazon link

I first heard about it after a Twitter follower (thankyou honey!) alerted me to a review in the Guardian.  I read and reread the piece with some interest as the views purported seem to be the exact opposite of mine - Jennifer worked for two years as a lapdancer and she didn't like it.  At all.

The review said that she drank daily, daily meaning before, whilst prepping and during work.  Lots of girls took cocaine or drank-drived home.  I agree that a lot of women in the stripping profession turn to drink or drugs, but so do many women nowadays in their twenties - drinking and drugtaking are so normalised into social culture and practices that I am more suprised if somebody doesn't drink or dab in a little coke now and then.

But I really emphasised with her stories, collected from various dancers in conjunction with a campaigning co-author, Leveque Sandrine.  God, they make them sound so nasty - and I suppose a lot of them are.  Guys making you feel like shit, whether it's through the levying of pointless fines by a misogynistic management or customers making degrading comments, which get increasingly tiring as they stack up though the night.

The books main thrust, as far as I can tell from the review, is that lapdancing is psychologically damaging.  (I'm really hoping that this isn't true, as I've been in the business for so long now, and would hate to turn out as a crackpot)  But seriously, I think that stripping is harmful for many girls.  In my experiences, their ability to deal with it centers on just a few aspects; the average customers attitude, the level of contact, and how strong a base the dancer has herself.  A girl away from home for the first time at university may find it very difficult.  A journeying dancer - a stripper on tour - in a different bedsit/friends couch/club every week, may find that she gets more worn out and snappy, more introspective.  A girl who is falling in and out of love shouldn't be working till she becomes steady Eddie once more.  A girl who has failed to budget properly, and then work turns quiet, and she doesn't get that windfall she was counting on, well they always say that desperation leads to drink and drugs and ruin.

Yeah, we all have bad days at work.  But if you are a lapdancer without a strong mental barrier to block it all out a bad shift or comment can linger and fester, as Dann notes;  
"While you are dancing you don't talk about it – because if you are not going to stop, what possible value is there in letting [those thoughts] fester? That's why I would question research which only talks to people who are still working."

The book is clearly written with an agenda - a moralistic, anti-stripping one.  I'm a bit scared actually that it will be so full of depressing stories which strike a chord with me that I will go slightly loopy. I started this blog as a way to filter out a lot of the bad comments and soul-destroying evenings - writing has always been a cleansing and cathartic experience for me.  My first blog, the stripper bride, was often written when I was in a bad place, and many of my shifts did make me unhappy.  Even more petrifying is the knowledge that many of their arguments will be heavily researched, and coming from all directions - political, psychological and sociological - directions which I have studied myself.  What if through reading, I am turned away from my profession; "Danns hopes her book will persuade others that this industry harms men and women alike. "There's something uncomfortable and unbalanced in a fully clothed man paying a woman to strip naked."

Anyways, I'm not going to form a valid opinion until I read the book, which I will probably read with a good bottle of red, just to make the nasty truth medicine go down a little better. 

1 comment:

sassy said...

FYI I've managed to get hold of a copy and I'll post a review on it within the next few days. I've been really interested in what I've read so far, it shows a wide set of experiences and feelings from all sorts of girls.