Women Buy Sex Too: Chippendales and the Rise of the Gigolo with Hallie Lieberman In 1979, near the height of second-wave feminism, a thirty-one-year old Indian immigrant started one of the
Women Buy Sex Too: Chippendales and the Rise of the Gigolo with Hallie Lieberman
In 1979, near the height of second-wave feminism, a thirty-one-year old Indian immigrant started one of the first male strip clubs for women in Los Angeles. Within a few years The Chippendales spread to New York, and a touring show brought the oiled, muscled studs to fly-over country. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Chippendales were more than mere entertainment: the male strip show gave women permission to behave in a sexually aggressive manner never seen before in public. From ogling males bodies, to paying to kiss the Chips, tearing at their clothes, grabbing their penises and having sex in the back of the club (sometimes for a fee), the Chippendales legitimized the female gaze, allowing women to nakedly express desire for men in public and objectify male bodies.
The Chippendales were far from the first male sex workers for women. While the talk will tell the story of the male sex worker through the lens of the Chippendales, it will also zoom back thousands of years to tell the history of gigolos, which begins with wealthy women who paid for sex in Ancient Greece. Women didn’t hire sex workers as often as men, but not because of biology. Rather, patriarchal cultures have ensured that women are usually the sellers of sex, not the buyers. Even though women have always been punished more harshly for sexual promiscuity than men, there have always been some women willing to shell out cash for sexy studs.
Hallie Lieberman is a sex historian and journalist. She is the author of “Buzz: The Stimulating History of the Sex Toy.” She’s currently working on a book on the history of gigolos.
Co-Presented by the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Columbia Maison Française, Columbia Department of French, Columbia Department of History, and Columbia Department of English and Comparative Literature
(Friday) 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
IRWGS Seminar Room, 754 Schermerhorn Ext