Siobhan Brooks author of Unequal Desires: Race and Erotic Capital in the Stripping Industry

Thursday, November 10, 7pm – Non-Fiction
Siobhan Brooks author of Unequal Desires: Race and Erotic Capital in the Stripping Industry ($19.95 SUNY)

Winner of the 2008 SUNY Press Dissertation/First Book Prize in Queer Studies, this groundbreaking ethnographic study of racial stratification in Queer and straight strip clubs examines the lives and working conditions of Black and Latina dancers in strip clubs in New York City and Oakland, California. Through interviews with dancers, customers, managers, bouncers, and other strip club employees, Siobhan Brooks explores the connections between race, desire, and commodification in what she learns “desire industries.” The study finds that even in times of economic gains for a minority of Black and Latino/a middleclass populations, sexual stereotypes and racial hypersexualization continue to affect many women of color who work in the sex industry, leading to more exposure to violence, wage gaps, and less access to more lucrative shifts and performance venues. Through her insightful and illuminating analysis, Brooks makes the case that racialized erotic capital is central to what owners think will sell, what customers will buy, how dancers negotiate those desire landscapes, and the male and female consumption of desire.

“In this impressive study, Siobhan Brooks really thinks through the meanings of butch- femme, performances of pimp/ho dynamics, and race, class, and sexuality, and she links her analyses nicely to other work on Black lesbian genders. Brooks has a very nice touch with theory and she leavens her whole study with insightful commentary on sex, gender, and the meaning of erotic labor. This is a superb book, well researched. Well written, and with real contributions to make to the existing scholarship.” -Judith Halberstam, author of In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives

Siobhan Brooks is Visiting Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at Temple University.

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