I just finished Lily Burana’s book, “Strip City,” which chronicles her cross country trip. Her cross country stripping trip. As she neared saying “I Do” with her very understanding fiance, she realized she’d not made peace with her stripping past.
She traveled to Dallas, L.A., Alaska, New Jersey, Las Vegas, and many other locales as she rediscovers the joys and pains of stripping. As she travels and dances in new places, some similar to the clubs she’d danced in previously and some vastly different, she revisits her start in the stripping industry. From the scuzzy Peepland to the posh Mitchell Brothers, her insights are revelatory.
As someone who’s never so much as seen the inside of a strip club or even an adult bookstore, the entire industry was a complete mystery to me. At times, while reading, the idea of stripping seemed glamorous and profitable and then a couple of pages later it would seem a horrible thing that held no appeal whatsoever.
Lily struggles with this paradox herself. She briefly entertains the idea of using her name as a respected writer to present the stripping industry as nothing more sinister than making a lot of money for providing an entertainment. She thinks of glossing over the darker side; the rule breaking; the exploitation of dancers; the obsession with body perfection. She woul dlike to claim she never felt objectified while stripping but honesty wins out. She shows it all, both on stage and on paper. This stark look at an industry most of us will never see the inside of is fun and informative. Many of my subconscious judgments have faded.