Erotica in Philly
this is an article on Erotica in Philly by Tara Murtha she writes on the erotica side in the text she writes We prep by watching the famous clip of The Graduate where Dustin Hoffman’s Benjamin Braddock drags beautiful, sad-eyed Elaine Robinson (Katharine Ross) to a gentlemen’s club on a date. The camera pans to the torpedo-boobed burlesque performer as she furiously whips the tassels dangling from her nipples into perfect circles just over Elaine’s head.
The film clicks off and Frangiosa, pretty and prim in a vintage dress, church heels and dirty-librarian glasses, takes the floor for questions.
A hand shoots in the air. “What’s the difference between stripping and burlesque?”
“Burlesque is more theatrical,” says Frangiosa. “Not that a stripper can’t be theatrical, but what they’re selling is different.”
Frangiosa, professional sexpot, has done both, and encounters this issue all the time.
With an anthropology degree from Temple and one from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Frangiosa is as much about subverting expectations of gender and class through burlesque as she is about sewing the awesome outfits.
“It’s always been political for women to expose their bodies,” she says. “I often lure people with boobs, and then throw some politics in the mix.”
Burlesque is a different kind of fantasy factory than strip joints. It can be argued that burlesque uses titillation to distract while poking fun at social norms and the status quo; strip clubs amplify the status quo.
As students, we’re here because it’s cool and sexy. A few will go on to learn more about the history of burlesque and the finer theatrical points, like Gigi Naglak and Meghann Williams, theater chicks who are presenting their own show Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque next month. “I’m super into going to see shows. I do a Queen of Jeans annual revue, and I want to make my role bawdier,” says 30-year-old Nicole Restaino, who put on her first theatrical performance last year. But most students are here for the take-home tassels. “Once I got an email that said, 'Make your own pasties,' that was it,” says Laura Walter, who drove down from Collegeville to take the class.