cover image Flesh for Fantasy: Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance

Flesh for Fantasy: Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance

Katherine Frank, R. Danielle Egan, . . Thunder's Mouth, $15.95 (234pp) ISBN 978-1-56025-721-9

The editors of this anthology—all academics who have worked as exotic dancers— start out slowly and save their best for last. In other words, readers should skip the long-winded introduction and head straight for the entertaining account of how Miss Mary Ann and her co-workers at San Francisco's Lusty Lady formed the Exotic Dancer's Alliance: the descriptions of the lawyers hired by the club's management in an attempt to bust the union are priceless. Jamie Berger's description of his peep-show going (and the guilt induced by his politically correct upbringing) is also a don't-miss read in the section called "Flirtation," which explores club life from the patron's perspective. Respect for dancers and the customers who understand what they are—and aren't—buying when they enter a club or peep show booth is evident throughout. But conspicuous by their absence are the voices of owners and managers; derogatory comments about management in several of the essays go unanswered. That's a shame, as the editors have otherwise done a remarkable job offering real-life pictures of an industry that is usually sensationalized, misunderstood or misrepresented. (Feb.)