Episode 26: Inside a Strip Club With a Cultural Anthropologist

March 18, 2021 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast

Episode 26: Inside a Strip Club With a Cultural Anthropologist


For her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Katherine Frank worked as a dancer in several strip clubs and interviewed the regulars. As a student of anthropology, it was important for her to “do as the natives do” and really immerse herself in that environment to truly understand it. And what she learned is absolutely fascinating.

For this episode of the Sex and Psychology Podcast, I sat down with Dr. Frank to give you an inside look at her research, what really happens inside a strip club, and what the people visiting these establishments are really looking for. In the first half of the program, we discuss her dissertation work and the book she published based on it, titled G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Sexual Desire. In the second half, we discuss her recent research on group sex, which she explored in the book Plays Well in Groups: A Journey Through the World of Group Sex.

Topics we cover include:

  • Who are the men who visit strip clubs? What are their backgrounds like, and why are they visiting these clubs in the first place? (Hint: It’s about far more than sexual arousal!)
  • How did working in these clubs change the way that Dr. Frank views the customers?
  • How challenging is it to do a university-approved study that involves working inside a strip club?
  • Is it really true that ovulating strippers get more tips than women on hormonal contraceptives?
  • Why is group sex such a popular fantasy and how many people have ever done it in real life?
  • How does consent work in an orgy?
  • For people interested in group sex, what do they need to know when it comes to having safe and pleasurable experiences?

To learn more about Dr. Frank and her work, visit her website and be sure to check out her books G-Strings and Sympathy and Plays Well in Groups.


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Credits: LEGIT Audio (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.

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Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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