We have grown accustomed to corporate influence in retail outlets, restaurants, and even higher education-but what happens when corporations take over desire? The Naked Result: How Exotic Dance Became Big Business explores the changing world of striptease, tracing its path from the unruly underground to brightly lit, branded 'gentlemen's clubs.' Drawing on her own experience as an exotic dancer, Jessica Berson examines the ways that striptease embodies conflicting notions of race, class, and female sexuality, and how the exotic dance industry deploys these differences to codify and commodify our erotic imagination. Chain clubs, fitness programs, and music videos are moving exotic dance into the mainstream, stripping its historical potential to embody and express subversive desires-erotic and otherwise-and generate resistant modes of female erotic subjectivity. Through case studies including Boston's Combat Zone in the 1970s-80s, the development of lap dancing in London in the 1990s, and the triumph of corporate striptease in post-Giuliani New York City in the last decade, The Naked Result reveals an industry that increasingly eradicates individuality and agency in order to increase profits. Ultimately, The Naked Result argues that corporatization has cheerfully smothered the diversity of desire and expression for both dancers and customers, repackaging the most mysterious human emotions into easily branded experiences no more personal or powerful than those to be found in any themed restaurant or coffee mega-chain.
About the Author
Jessica Berson teaches Dance Studies at Yale University, and has been a member of Dance and Drama faculties at Harvard University, Wesleyan University, and University of Exeter (UK). She holds a Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from University if Wisconsin-Madison and is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst. She lives in Boston with her husband and two sons.