‘Strip clubs save marriages’: Anthropologist spent six years as a stripper researching a book (but still wouldn’t want HER husband visiting one…)
- Katherine Frank is based in Washington DC
- Her book is G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire
- Adapted from her Ph.D. dissertation
- Book is about relationship between dancers and male customers
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
A female anthropologist who spent six years working as a stripper while researching a book about strip clubs says she came to the conclusion that the establishments can actually help save marriages.
Katherine Frank, who is based in Washington DC, interviewed 30 of her regular customers at the several strip clubs in which she workd to write G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire, a book about the relationship between strippers and their customers, which was adapted from her Ph.D. dissertation.
She also debunked the myth that stripping leaves dancers and customers with unrealistic body image ideals, saying that the clubs proved to her that men have a far wider range of tastes when it comes to female bodies – far wider than women believe.
Nonetheless, the academic says she still wouldn’t want her husband visiting strip clubs regularly – because it’s too expensive a hobby.
Speaking to Virginia Vitzthum on Salon, Frank explains how one of the chapters in her book –The Crowded Bedroom: Marriage, Monogamy, and Fantasy – she contradicts the popular belief that a man’s ability to be intimate with his wife is eroded by such clubs, attesting that clubs in which she worked actually held together the marriages of many of the regulars she interviewed.
Explaining that most of her interviewees were married, Frank said: ‘For the men who said that they were in love with their wives and wanted to stay married, what happened in the clubs was transgressive and real enough to be exciting, but was still a fantasy.
‘In the chapter “The Crowded Bedroom,” I really wanted to question the whole idea of true intimacy. What does that even mean?’
That said, when asked whether or not she would mind her husband visiting the clubs regularly, Franks said she would – but mostly because of the money.
She said: ‘Honestly, I wouldn’t like it! For me, a lot of it is about the money – I don’t have the disposable income to spend on that kind of entertainment, and if he did have that kind of extra money, I’d want it to be fair.
‘Maybe if I could spend dollar for dollar somewhere else, but unfortunately, there aren’t yet places where women can go pay hot young men to stroke their egos. That may come in the future.’
Frank, who says she is a feminist, also became sympathetic toward her regulars at the clubs. She said: ‘Talking to the guys in the strip clubs, I realized that they were damaged by the sexist culture, too.
‘They felt repellent, that their wives and girlfriends could never accept their desires and that they could never ask advice about sex because they were supposed to somehow know everything.
‘These guys were struggling with how to deal with what they saw as women’s conflicting demands for both traditional masculine traits and more emotional presence.
‘They were also confused by women’s desire to be called beautiful but not be objectified.’
She said: ‘I had really positive experiences dancing. I learned that men have a much more varied perception of what sort of bodies are beautiful or sexy than a lot of women think they do.
‘The upper-tier clubs had less variety than the lower-tier clubs. But even in the upscale clubs, you’ll see more variety of shapes and sizes than you’d see in a Cosmo or a Maxim.
‘I had stereotyped men as wanting something narrow, when in fact they have a wide variety of tastes.’