Burlesque dancing...?

(195 Posts)
whatdoesittake48 Mon 21-Oct-13 08:19:17

In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I have signed up to do one of these courses. But I am already torn about what this means as a feminist.

I like the idea of doing something out of my comfort zone and having fun while doing it. But I am anti-porn, see striptease as demeaning for women and do not think that women should be expected to perform for men....

Unless it is their husband/partner and they absolutely are keen themselves.

My husband is very keen for me to give this a go - but in no way did he push the idea. I searched it out. What does this say about my principles and am I over thinking this.

I hate all this empowerment bullshit - stripping for men is not about empowerment. But is it different when it is for the man you love. Isn't that just carrying on the image that men love to see women doing this kind of thing. Do the men think their wives look powerful and sexy or do they think she is doing something for me because I am the "special" one and more important.

Aaargh! I really want to do this because I think it will be a great female bonding thing - but not sure if I want to bring it home to my husband. I will feel deeply uncomfortable with the idea of putting on a show...

TheDoctrineOfSpike Mon 21-Oct-13 08:27:26

If you don't want to show your husband afterwards, don't. That doesn't have to be a political position, that's just sensible - don't do things sexually that make you unconfortable to please someone else.

whatdoesittake48 Mon 21-Oct-13 08:55:39

I suppose that is the part I am torn about - I like the idea of being sexually strong, but still have problems with the whole idea of the striptease as a form of sexual expression. Obviously I wouldn't do anything I wasn't comfortable with. But I wonder about my reasons for not feeling comfortable.

SoWhatSoWhatSoWhat Mon 21-Oct-13 09:08:39

Aargh! Burlesque - the great con trick played on women to get them to get their kit off while telling them it's empowering, sexy etc.

It's about as sexy as stripping on a Sunday lunchtime in a run down pub full of dirty old men - just substitute that for 'alternative' men in slightly more salubrious surroundings. Just stand in the audience and listen to the punters. The comments on the women's bodies are the same; leery, critical, unpleasant. If it's so much fun/empowering, why are there only a very few men's burlesque groups. I must admit I like some of the pretty basques etc, but no way would I want to put on a show wearing them for a load of drunken men I don't know.

I realise you're not planning to do it publicly but perhaps just for your DH, which could have its points (as long as he's not wielding a camera - just in case). I'm not sure about the female bonding bit however - how 'empowered' are the other women you'll meet on course like this likely to be? If it's dance you fancy, there are plenty of courses in more 'arty' types out there, rather than something sexually exploitative. What about belly dancing! A bit sexy and it's an ancient effnic art form innit - and you get to keep your top on.

Your initial feelings, suspicions and doubts are bang on the money - don't get taken in by the hype of this current 'fashion'. Which may be coming to a end anyway - the burlesque club night in my town has had to close down due to falling ticket sales, and its spot at our local music & arts festival has gone because of doubts like yours/mine, and the performance standards were dreadful anyway. (Think a Very Bad can-can line, with no-one kicking at the same time and everyone falling over at the wrong moment.)

ScaryFucker Mon 21-Oct-13 09:15:35

I don't get why you are doing it if it makes you feel so uncomfortable.

2tired4internets Mon 21-Oct-13 09:22:59

What Scary said.
It's not possible to convey strenght and your own sexuality by doing something that makes you uncomfortable isn't?

ScaryFucker Mon 21-Oct-13 09:30:32

Burlesque is stripping for fat birds with glasses. You know the cliches, right? For once I agree with them. I don't see how doing stuff like this will enhance your self respect in any shape or form. Personally, I would feel I was compromising myself in the name of "empowerfulising"

What goes on in the bedroom between my h and me is private, between us two. I can't imagine having those giggly conversations with other women as you all practice your moves together. "Ooh I bet my Nigel will looooove this one....." Etc.

Cringey

curlew Mon 21-Oct-13 09:32:31

Can't you just go to badminton instead?

A MNer once described Burlesque as "stripping for fat middle-class Goths".

She was right.

curlew Mon 21-Oct-13 09:36:20

Or "stripping with A levels"

Seriously, OP don't do it. Your instincts are spot on.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 09:36:26

I just came on to say that bunny. That's a brilliant summary.

2tired4internets Mon 21-Oct-13 09:41:51

"Can't you just go to badminton instead?"
grin

expatinscotland Mon 21-Oct-13 09:46:28

It is stripping. If you want to do it, call it by its real name.

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 09:53:42

I think teaching women to do stripping aka burlesque for their partners, is bringing in patriarchial ideas of what is "sexy". So even between partners, I am not keen on it. I think sex between two people who love each other should be about loving each others bodies. The patriarchial idea of "sexy" is about treating each other as sex objects, which is about as far from loving sex as I think you can get.

2tired4internets Mon 21-Oct-13 10:11:07

There is an idea that women should express our sexuality by doing things like stripping for men and wearing small amounts of clothing and so on.
But it's not really expressing our sexuality unless wey're into that sort of thing right?

I express my sexuality by doing things like flirting and actually having sex.

NeoFaust Mon 21-Oct-13 10:11:40

One could argue that the ability to make a normal, average man feel like the luckiest guy on earth is a pretty big super(em)power, even if (merely) an altruistic one.

But if you want to do things that empower you purely for your own benefit, then studying something that is designed to be shared may not be the best choice.

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 10:13:25

Really power isn't about turning men on. If it was, men would be wanting to do it. Instead this kind of "power" is a sop to women to make them think they have power.

2tired4internets Mon 21-Oct-13 10:13:29

Stripping is about empowering men then isn't it? Empowering them and making them feel happy and lucky.

Burlesque is supposed to be fun. A lot of burlesque performers put on acts and shows that are satirical, thoughtful, intelligent and surprising, if not always erotic. However, along with anything else, especially anything sex related, people should only have to do what they want to do. If you don't fancy the idea, don't do it.

BuffytheAppleBobber Mon 21-Oct-13 10:19:36

power isn't about turning men on. If it was, men would be wanting to do it.

Well quite.

NeoFaust Mon 21-Oct-13 10:35:41

Turning a man on puts him under your power (in a society where a woman has the power of refusal, anyway). If you are dancing in front of him, but teasing him without letting him touch, you have the control.

ScaryFucker Mon 21-Oct-13 10:36:25

Control of what ?

ScaryFucker Mon 21-Oct-13 10:39:45

Control over what ??

I want control over all parts of my life. Control over being able to walk down the street without being attacked, have a job where I am paid the same as men, see proper consequences for DV blah blah blah

If doing snake hips behind a feather with my tits out would accomplish that, bring it on. Otherwise, teasing your partner's erection is just something you do if you feel like it or you don't. And you don't have to compromise your feminist principles to do that, it's a piece of piss.

MurderOfBanshees Mon 21-Oct-13 10:42:59

I enjoy Burlesque, and have been quite involved with it in the past.

I don't care about it being empowering etc. I find it fun and enjoyable.

It's not necessarily feminist, though (in the hands of some performers) it has the potential to be. And some burlesque can be incredibly clever and satirical.

Some of it obviously is just stripping, but on the whole it does encompass a wide range of skills and talents. Burlesque nights are also not usually about arousal, and most I've been to will not hesitate to remove people who think it is about that. Burlesque is also not necessarily stripping.

ScaryFucker Mon 21-Oct-13 10:44:24

Hello, MOB smile

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