Strip City A Stripper"s Farewell Journey Across America by Lily Burana

Cover of: Strip City | Lily Burana

Published by Miramax .

Written in English

Read online


  • Stripteasers,
  • Women,
  • Literary,
  • Biography/Autobiography,
  • Biography & Autobiography,
  • Biography / Autobiography,
  • United States,
  • Travelers,
  • Personal Memoirs,
  • Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts,
  • Biography & Autobiography / General,
  • Biography,
  • Burana, Lily,
  • Entertainers

About the Edition

Written by Bernie Weisz e mail address:[email protected] Dec. 20th, 2009 Pembroke Pines, Florida

If you don"t know what that means, don"t feel bad! Neither did I, when first reading Lily"s Burana"s explanation in her book "Strip City" of what brought her into stripping in the first place. Ostensibly written as a memoir/catharsis prior to her marriage, Lily Burana wrote "Strip City" as part of her personal process to bid the world of stripping permanently goodbye. But prior to saying her marriage vows, she decided to keep a "farewell journal" as Burana for the last time stripped her way from Florida to Alaska, in her last fling with the profession after a five year hiatus.

Describing a trip to Wyoming, Burana met, fell in love with, and agreed to marry Randy, a local cowboy. Realizing that settling down was a permanent proposition, Burana set on a quest to examine and analyze the realm of stripping, which she had immersed herself in and consequently became quite well off up to this point in her life. Although this profession eventually caused emotional burn out, Burana became obsessed with examining the world of stripping by undertaking this farewell journey across America that would allow her to explore, digest, and allow her to say her farewell to a field she was determined never to return to. In this regard, "Strip City" is a fascinating account of Burana"s final pilgrimage across the strip bars of the United States.

Why did Burana decide to take this cross country trip before marriage? Burana answers this by asking the reader the following: When a man get"s engaged, his friends might throw him a bachelor party. They"ll herd him off to a club to see strippers, or order them in, and raise a glass to the groom. One final night with the anti wife before wedding your wife-to-be, it"s a time-honored way of saying, "Goodbye to all that". But what does a former stripper do when she"s about to get married?" Claiming that stripping around the country was an old fantasy of hers that had resurfaced, Burana called her coast to coast stripping trek "my own bachelorette odyssey". While insisting that there is much more touching in stripping now more than ever, she quipped about her return: "I used to be able to do the wild stuff, but in the time I"ve been away from dancing I"ve gotten in touch with my inner prude". After five years out of the stripping game, Burana had become an accomplished writer, with spots in established papers such as the "New York Times Book Review," "GQ", "The Washington Post" and "The Village Voice". However, she wrote that she missed the bright lights and the showmanship, and even more startling, Burana wrote: "when I stopped (stripping), I charged right into a new life as a writer, and never took a long look back. I left a lot of loose ends dangling. I sleepwalked my way through stripping the first time. When I quit, I wanted out so badly and now the pull is just as strong to go back in. I need to go back in order to move on". "Strip City" eloquently describes this journey. Lily Burana also has recently wrote: " I Love a Man in Uniform: A Memoir of Love, War, and Other Battles".

There is much more to this book than Lily Burana"s naked American tour. Prior to embarking on this journey, Burana writes: "If I"m to return to dancing, I want to be as good as I can-or at least better as I was. So, what does a woman do when she wants to improve and expand herself in an area of study? She goes to school. Stripper school". I thought Lily Burana was making this up to enrich her story, until I googled "The Pure Talent School of Dance" in Clearwater, Florida, which turned out to actually exist as America"s only stripper school in existence. For $750 and one week, Burana was intensively schooled in dance instruction, how to be a "stripper star", stripper costuming and stripper music selection, stripper pole techniques and stripper stage presence. Furthermore, intensive training in different dances, e.g. dancing at bachelor parties, stage dancing in clubs, table dancing, and lap/couch/bed dancing is vividly described. Although an interesting description of Burana"s reeducation is told here, she boldly wrote that under no circumstances would she partake in the last three types.

There are other little pearls about the stripping profession Burana revealed. She met men in strip clubs who propositioned her constantly. These men, usually with wedding rings on, would tell her that they would put her up in an apartment, arrange it so she would not have to work anymore and be supported if she would "be with them". She writes her private thoughts, while non committingly accepting bundles of cash from one particular customer, the following: "Hmmm, interesting! I have no intention of taking him up on his offer, but he doesn"t have to know that. Now I want to see how far I can push this. It"s hard to work up sympathy for a self-professed serial cheat. I feel almost vindicated taking him for all he"s worth".

What is Lily Burana"s opinion on why some men visit strip clubs? Her explanation is as follows: "I suspect the fascination is a testosterone thing. I recall reading an interview with a female to male transsexual who said that once she started taking the male hormones, she understood what men got out of looking at skin magazines. For the first time, she said, the pictures came alive as s/he looked at them". Throughout the book Burana calls strip club going men "marks" and that her theme in this profession was "take the money and run", she qualified her thoughts with the following comment: "Maybe the intense visual stimulation is a male province. I"m sure I would enjoy a woman table dancing for me, but not enough to drop a hundred bucks to have her do it again and again". Burana also claims that another leading lure for men to go to strip clubs is the "mystery" of the stripper. In explaining the "mystery", Burana wrote: "the fact that you can"t definitely state what makes one woman stand out from the next. That some tiny part of every dancer"s soul spills out when she performs, whether she means it to or not. That you can see a woman totally nude before you, and there"s still so much about her that you don"t and can"t know."

Why did Lily Burana quit stripping permanently? Her main reason, she wrote was that she learned to dislike and distrust men. In writing what stripping ended up feeling like, Burana wrote: "Walking the bar, moving from guy to guy, shimmying or winking or tugging at my thong to get him to give me a dollar, begging with my body is precisely what it feels like".Sometimes, when Burana wasn"t seeing tips coming fast enough, she would ask her customers questions like: "What are you doing here? "Is that a wedding ring" Why aren"t you home with your wife". Although Burana admitted that if an economic emergency occurred, she would return to stripping in a flash, she wrote a chilling lament of the cold callous side of this life. Burana asserted: "Stripping takes out of me things I didn"t even realize I had. The near-nudity isn"t the problem, or the physical vulnerability, or the working well outside the margins of acceptable female behavior. It"s the damn neediness:Angry men scowling at me like they can buy me for a dollar, lonely men professing love after a ten minute chat, confused and desperate men convinced that if only they could get a girl to do they ask, however outlandish, things will somehow be better". In reading "Strip City" it put me inside the mind set of a dancer and let me see through the eyes of the participant herself, a vicarious experience of a point of view I never knew existed. When a man goes to a strip bar, he is duped into thinking that the dancers are in love with him, with emotionally desirous women leering leering with supposedly wanton lust. Dispelling this, Burana thought anything but this. Explaining this, she wrote: "I had one focus-making money. I made myself slick and efficient. Anything else that crossed my mind seemed superfluous, almost irrelevant. If something disturbed me, or touched me too deeply, I would push it away or float up into the ozone of my own head and keep right on going". "Strip "City" is truly a psychological unpeeling of the mind set of a stripper and what goes on inside those clubs, told with colorful anecdotes, an incredible vocabulary and mental imagery unique to Lily Burana"s persona. A very worthwhile read!

Book details

The Physical Object
Number of Pages328
ID Numbers
Open LibraryOL8143495M
ISBN 100786886757
ISBN 109780786886753, 9780786886753

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