Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Dancing on the Möbius Strip: Challenging the Sex War Paradigm

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The feminist sex wars have been characterized by debates between radical feminists and sex radical feminists about women's experiences of empowerment versus oppression in the sex industry. Based on a qualitative study of the experiences of exotic dancers, this article introduces a new theoretical paradigm to the feminist sex wars that values the contributions of both sex radicals and radical feminists. It articulates a twofold temporal dimension of sex workers' experiences: (1) how women's feelings of pleasure and empowerment gradually decline over time and (2) how good and bad experiences rapidly transform into their opposites over the course of a single evening, making the strip bar a volatile and unsettling space for performers.