Dancing for women: subverting heteronormativity in a lesbian erotic dance space?

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This article utilises participant observation, interview and collaborative visual data, collected with women erotic dancers, management and customers, to ascertain how far heteronormativity is subverted in a UK lesbian leisure space, Lippy (the name is a pseudonym), which provides erotic dance for women customers. The potential for a female 'gaze', the 'normativity' of gendered and sexualised bodies, and the notion of a 'women's space' are taken as areas for analysis. Women's engagement with erotic dance is complex, and this article examines the connections between sexual agency and gendered power relations, questioning how far women can exercise autonomous sexual expression in commercial sexual encounters. © The Author(s) 2012.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-537
Number of pages17
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • commercial sex
  • leisure space
  • heteronormativity
  • ‘gaze’
  • erotic dance


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