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Striptease culture: sex, media and the democratisation of desire

McNair, B. (2002) Striptease culture: sex, media and the democratisation of desire. Routledge. ISBN 0 415237 33 5

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Abstract

From advertising to health education campaigns, sex and sexual imagery now permeate every aspect of popular culture.Striptease Cultureexplores this 'sexualisation' of contemporary life, relating it to wider changes in the sexual politics of post-war societies. Divided into three sections,Striptease Culturefirst traces the development of pornography, following its movement from elite to mass culture and examining the culture of confession, as seen in day-time talk shows and reality TV, and the contemporary fascination with 'porno-chic'. In part two McNair explores the use of sexuality in contemporary art, and the 'striptease' of artist like Jeff Koons, Madonna, Gilbert & George and Natasha Merritt who have used their own naked bodies in their work. McNair considers the contribution made by the art of sexual transgression to the critique of mainstream patriarchal culture. The final part considers the representation of sex and gender roles in a variety of media. Moving from backlash elementsin straight male culture and changing images of women to the representation of gays in contemporary film and television shows such as Ellen and Queer as Folk, McNair argues that the changing structure of representation of sex and gender mark significant progress in the sexual politics of advanced capitalist societies.