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COUNTERFEIT INTIMACY: A Dramaturgical Analysis of an Erotic Performance

PHILIP O. SIJUWADE
International Journal of Sociology of the Family
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Autumn 1996), pp. 29-41
Published by: International Journals
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23029687
Page Count: 13
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COUNTERFEIT INTIMACY: A Dramaturgical Analysis of an Erotic Performance
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Abstract

Observations of customer-waitress interaction in a topless club over a two and one half month period are presented. Data were generated by a participant observer who worked as a waitress-dancer in a topless club during this period. Analysis focuses on the setting, appearance and manner of the "cynical performance" (Goffman, 1959), orchestrated by the waitress through which she uses some-nudity, nudity and nude dancing to stimulate the fantasies of her patrons and thereby creates "counterfeit intimacy" (Boles and Garbin, 1987). The overriding goal of the club and the waitress-dancers is to make money through the sale of alcohol and table dances; customer goals are to have a "sexual experience" (not necessarily intercourse), of some sort. Various "ploys" enacted by both customers and waitresses, are analyzed, with the ultimate goal of these ploys being to enhance the effectiveness of the "counterfeit intimacy" contrived by both parties. Conclusions suggest that all forms of "counterfeit" can be studied as sources of benefits for people whose expectations have not been met by legitimate institutions and that rationality in performance is maximized in performances explicity designed to be counterfeits.

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