In the Buff: Literary Readings, Pasties, and Jiggling Genitalia now at The Paris Review

naked-girls-reading

My essay “In the Buff: Literary Readings, Pasties, and Jiggling Genitalia” is  now at The Paris Review, online. A big thank you to Sadie Stein, Lorin Stein and the rest of the Paris Review staff for giving this a home. It was a fun essay to write, and I must say, a very interesting essay to research. Here’s a little taste:

My first time with the postfeminist, burlesque lit girl culture—pasties, G-strings, audience clapping to jiggling booties—I was in a fun little Brooklyn bar called the Way Station. I had, minutes before, read from my own work, what I thought was a wryly humorous and oh-so-literary postfeminist exploration of time, culture, and relationships. I knew the term “burlesque” had been thrown around on the billing, but to my Midwestern sensibilities, burlesque meant feathers and brief flashes of almost breast, the inner curves of almost vagina, with the full monty saved for fictional accounts. This, on the other hand, was a literary reading. So you can imagine my reaction to the dancer’s G-stringed ass shaking so close to my face I felt an instinct to throw up my hands in self-defense…. READ MORE