Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the book or movie Striptease see Striptease (book) or Striptease (movie)
A striptease is a performance, usually a dance, in which the performer gradually removes their clothing for the purposes of sexually arousing the audience, usually performed in nightclubs. The "teasing" involves the slowness of undressing, while the audience is eager to see more nudity. Delay tactics include additional clothes under clothes being removed, putting clothes or hands in front of just undressed body parts, etc. Emphasis is on the act of undressing along with sexually suggestive movement, not on the state of being undressed: in some cases the performance is finished as soon as the undressing is finished.
A strip club is a nightclub which specializes in striptease. Striptease performers are called, among other things, strippers or, the term preferred by those in the profession, exotic dancers.
There are two main types of dancer: feature dancers and house dancers. House dancers work for a particular strip club (or local group of clubs). Feature dancers tend to have their own reputation as a starlet , and travel from town to town, making "feature appearances". Porn stars often earn much of their income as feature dancers.
A variation on striptease is lap dancing or contact dancing. Here the performers, in addition to stripping for tips, also offer "private dances" which involve more attention for individual audience members. The contact can vary from a simple up-close dance with no touching, to physical contact with the stripper to, in some clubs, sexual intercourse. Variations on this theme include table dancing (performer dances on or by customer's table) and couch dancing (customer sits on a couch), or sexual acts between two female strippers, like touching, kissing, fingering and cunnilingus. Along with physical attractiveness and clothing, the main asset and toolhead used by the stripper is recent years is the stripper pole. Women are often allured into the profession due to the attractive salaries they can receive in the form of tips.
History of striptease
- Note: much is missing here, and needs to be written.
Striptease is an ancient art: various accounts in the Bible describe the daughter of Herodias (often called Salomé) as dancing for king Herod, who offered her anything she wished as a reward. Modern interpretations of these stories presume that this dance was, at least in part, a striptease. The Biblical account goes on to relate that, prompted by her mother, she then asked for the head of saint John the Baptist on a platter.
BurlesqueThe People's Almanac credited the origin of striptease as we know it to an act in 1890s Paris in which a woman slowly removed her clothes in a vain search for a flea crawling on her body.
Striptease enjoyed a revival with the advent of burlesque theatre, with famous strippers such as Gypsy Rose Lee. In 1940, humorist H. L. Mencken coined the term ecdysiast as a euphemism for strippers; it derives from the Greek ekdusis meaning "to molt."
Until the 1970s, on an official level strippers were almost invariably female, performing to male audiences. Since then male strippers, performing to female audiences, have also become common. Male and female strippers also perform for gay and lesbian audiences respectively, as well as for both sexes in pansexual contexts. Prior to the 1970s dancers of both genders appeared largely in underground clubs or as part of a theatre experience, but the practice eventually became common enough on its own.
Visits by women to clubs featuring male exotic dancers, usually as a group for an activity such as a hen party, have now become part of mainstream culture in Western countries. And unlike the enforced sedate atmosphere at clubs featuring female exotic dancers for male audiences, the female audience for male strippers is very vocal, rowdy, and even aggressive. Female patrons getting up on stage with the male exotic dancers and helping them strip or joining them stripping is commonplace. This atmosphere is possible because the male exotic dancers do not view such women as a physical threat as female exotic dancers would if their male patrons were to do likewise—not only is the average man stronger than the average woman, but attractive men tend to be unusually muscular. Because of this, the nightclub management and their bouncers do not try to restrain their female audiences. This is picked up by the female patrons, and they push the envelope to just see how far they're allowed to go. Most commonly, it is the female patrons testing the boundaries who are the ones that start restraining themselves before the bouncers do.
Conversely, gay male strip clubs comparatively rarely feature male performers who do a strip-tease. Generally they feature men who appear initially in skimpy undergarments (which are quickly removed if full nudity is allowed) and socks. There is no illusion of modesty made at these locations, and though often it is technically prohibited, fondling the strippers is commonplace and considered fair game. In cities such as Washington, D.C. where full nudity is allowed, the male strippers at gay venues stand on the bar or stage and masturbate to maintain erection, allowing the customers to also masturbate them for tips.
Relationship to the erotic movie industry
Many erotic actresses and actors in the US make their main living from their earnings from personal appearances as featured strippers, in much the same way that many musicians make their main living from live performance, with their recordings serving as advertising. And many in the striptease industry appear in erotic media to be paid more for appearing at stripclubs as "feature dancer" due to being a "porn star", which clubs advertise to bring in a bigger paying audience. The more famous the "porn star", the more the exotic dancer will be paid by the stripclub to perform at their club.
Notable modern strippers
- Calendar Girls
- Dance of the seven veils
- Exotic World Burlesque Museum
- Fan dance
- The Full Monty
- New Burlesque
- StripperWeb: an exotic dancer community that not only provides advice, support, and free services for strippers but also serves as a window into the lives of exotic dancers, their thoughts, and work.
- Professional Striptease: A community for professional strippers / exotic dancers.
- Exotic Dancer Forums: another exotic dancer online community, focused on the professional and business side of the industry.
- A guide to the British strip pub scene
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