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Related: erotica - peep show - entertainment

Succubus (1968) - Jess Franco
image sourced here.

Dixie Evans, photo unidentified

The 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.


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 are 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, not on the state of being undressed: in some cases the performance is finished as soon as the undressing is finished. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striptease [Sept 2004]


A strip club is a nightclub which specializes in striptease. Striptease performers are called, among other things, strippers or exotic dancers.

A variation on striptease is lap dancing or contact dancing. Here the performers, in addition to stripteasing 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 customer's table) and couch dancing (customer sits on a couch), or sexual acts between two female strippers, like touching, kissing, fingering and cunnilingus. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striptease [Sept 2004]

Ancient striptease

Striptease is an ancient art: The Bible describes Salome performing a bellydance, which presumably included (at least partially) a striptease for then-king Herod, who offered her anything as a reward. Reportedly prompted by her mother, she asked for the head of saint John the Baptist on a platter. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striptease [Sept 2004]

Burlesque [...]

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." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striptease [Sept 2004]

Male strippers

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, however the practice eventually became common enough on its own.

Visits by women to clubs featuring male strippers, usually as a group for an activity such as a hen party, have now become part of mainstream culture in Western countries. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striptease [Sept 2004]

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. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Striptease [Sept 2004]

Notable Late Strippers

Notable Modern Strippers

Aesthetics and Striptease [...]

by Patricia Petersen

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