G-Strings and Sympathy:  Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire (2002)

Frank's ethnography draws on her work as an exotic dancer in five strip clubs, as well as on interviews with over thirty regular customers--middle-class men in their late-twenties to mid-fifties. Reflecting on the customers' dual desires for intimacy and visibility, she explores their paradoxical longings for "authentic" interactions with the dancers, the ways these aspirations are expressed within the highly controlled and regulated strip clubs, and how they relate to beliefs and fantasies about social class and gender. She considers how regular visits to strip clubs are not necessarily antithetical to marriage or long-term heterosexual relationships, but are based on particular beliefs about marriage and monogamy that make these clubs desirable venues. Looking at the relative "classiness" of the clubs where she worked-ranging from the city's most prestigious clubs to some of its dive bars-she reveals how the clubs are differentiated by reputations, dress codes, cover charges, locations, and clientele, and describes how these distinctions become meaningful and erotic for the customers. Focusing on the experiences of the male clients, rather than those of the female sex workers, G-Strings and Sympathy provides a nuanced, lively, and tantalizing account of the stigmatized world of strip clubs.

Read Preface of G-Strings 





Academic Reviews of G-Strings

Journal of Mundane Behavior

Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality





Flesh For Fantasy:  Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance (2006)


Flesh for Fantasy is an exploration of the world of contemporary exotic dance in its cultural, social, economic, and historical contexts. Each of the contributors to this volume, in addition to being activists, professors, lawyers, or social workers, to name just a few of the occupational identities represented here, has also worked as an exotic dancer (or been a regular customer). This volume aims to bring complexity to discussions of the production and consumption of striptease, to situate the experiences of exotic dancers and their customers in their material context, and to guide future researchers to new questions and areas of inquiry.