is an immensly compelling anthology that gives an honest and authentic look at stripping, and challenges many commonly held beliefs about the women employed in these professions."
"Filmmaker Borden presents a diverse and authentic anthology of autobiographical essays by strippers. Drawing on her experiences making the 1986 feature film Working Girls
, Borden begins with stories focused on New York City strip clubs in the 1980s and '90s, where women made a precarious living by dancing on stage and persuading customers to enter seedy VIP rooms. As the collection progresses, however, Borden includes more recent and unusual accounts, including Reese Piper's musings on how her autism is sometimes easier to navigate as a stripper than it is in regular life; the Incredible, Edible Akynos's reflections on the sex industry and Blackness; and AM Davies's stories of performing sex work as an amputee. Each piece is paired with an interview–conducted by Borden or another contributor–with the author (or someone close to her if she has died), providing intriguing details about each performer's background and offering a window into the supportive relationships among sex industry peers. Most of the women featured are activists, writers, or artists, and they excel at narrating their own stories and evoking the atmosphere of the clubs and digital spaces where they've performed. The result is a humane, multidimensional portrait of an industry typically shrouded in artifice and shame."
"Through a medley of entrancing stories and enlightening interviews, Whorephobia
showcases the wit, wisdom, experience and sheer artistry of strippers. What they learned working for those folded dollar bills is all here as priceless insights into sex, gender, class, money, power, art and much more."
, author of Reverse Cowgirl
"Strippers share stories of romps and riots, hard times and hard cash, shame and solidarity. This book is for everyone who wants to understand the success and struggle of women–some who have not survived–in the licit or quasi-legal sex industry."
– Melissa Hope Ditmore
, author of Unbroken Chains: The Hidden Role of Human Trafficking in the American Economy
and editor of the Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work.
"A vivid, raucous, and disquieting set of stories told from the point of view of [mostly] 'art girls' dancing in go-go and topless clubs. Fleeing low-paying women's work in service, retail, and office sectors, the girls treat stripping as side hustle to support their own writing, dancing, or photography while also making it material for their art."
– Judith Walkowitz
, Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University, author of Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London
"Millions of words have been written about the sex trades, but Whorephobia offers something much rarer and more valuable: a collection of beautifully written first-person essays by women who do the actual work. For readers who don't know much about the sex industries, these essays will shock and educate. But those in the know will find the eloquent, funny, and powerful voices of these women thrilling and profound."
, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age
"Delightful and memorable, Lizzie Borden's wide-ranging collection shows us what has changed about the stripper experience over fifty years and what remains the same today. The intellectual and creative power on display in these pages will leave you in awe."
, author of Sex Trafficking, Scandal, and the Transformation of Journalism, 1885-1917
"Lizzie Borden's anthology takes aim at assumptions pervading a vast, global and varied industry. Tracing the evolution of the 'new sex worker, ' Borden weaves a tapestry from early memoirs and recent missives to create a portrait of the modern stripper. Borden's collection of iconoclastic, gutsy, and self-aware performers in our North American sex industry is a crucial survey of the diverse realities operating behind the screen of erotic labor. As an early leader in whores' rights, I welcome this contribution to the sex worker canon."
, author of Unrepentant Whore: The Collected Works of Scarlot Harlot
"Lizzie Borden and her collaborators/contributors bring an extraordinary ordinariness to the intimate economy. Here are the tools, the training, the skill, the workplace conditions and pay, the discipline and punishment, the quirks, and necessary illusions. Forget straitjacket tropes of empowerment or victimization; here are stories of working life, its magic and melancholy, pride and repression, its pleasures and dangers. Here is a book about sex and solidarity, the fraught alpha and omega of human existence."
, author of What We Don't Talk About: Sex and the Mess of Life