Research Repository

Sliding down the pole: Lived experiences of sexuality and ageing in the lap dancing industry.

Hales, Sophie (2016) Sliding down the pole: Lived experiences of sexuality and ageing in the lap dancing industry. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

Thesis December 2016 SH.pdf

Download (1MB) | Preview


This PhD thesis focuses on women’s lived, embodied experiences of working in the lap dancing industry. It has been established within the literature on this industry that dancers portray heightened depictions of femininity (Mavin & Grandy, 2013) and engage in work on their bodies and aesthetic labour (Colosi, 2008; Colosi, 2010; Mavin & Grandy, 2013; Sanders et al, 2013) as part of their role, however little attention has been paid to how and why specific modes of sexuality become valued in this working role and how the portrayal of sexuality in the lap dancing industry is experienced and negotiated as dancers age. This study aims to build on previous research by considering the context and space in which dancers perform, embody and negotiate the role of a lap dancer in order to enrich our understanding of their lived experiences. The research takes the form of a retrospective auto-ethnography and incorporates three phases of data collection: website analysis, participant observation and semi-structured interviews. These phases of data collection have been selected to focus, respectively, on understanding how the lap dancing industry is encoded, embedded and embodied. Ultimately, this aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the industry and how it is encoded and landscaped through its online presence, how it is embedded in its situated context and finally, how this is reflected in, understood, and embodied by, women working in the lap dancing industry. The findings suggest that the landscape of the lap dancing industry and material setting in which the work is performed both encourages an ambiguous exchange relationship between dancers and customers and compels dancers to perform and embody heteronormatively prescriptive images of youthful sexuality.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Sophie Hales
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2017 16:19
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2017 16:19

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item