I Was A Stripper Librarian by Kristy Cooper

I’m pretty sure we’ve all had those thoughts of ‘if I became a prostitute or a stripper I could earn some more money,’ however not many people actually do it!

Kristy really wanted to be a librarian and in the states you need a masters agree to be one (I find that so strange by the way). She was worried about being able to afford to attend out of state school but like most students figured she would work it out. Kristy had thought about stripping a few times and found herself being drawn to it, so when her $80k of debt started to feel overwhelming and she couldn’t find a librarian job that paid better than minimum wage, she decided to just give it a go.

She takes us on her journey of researching the logistics of stripping (some places require you to have a licence), using forums to find out the rules of the game and discovering which clubs had good and bad reputations. We then experience her journey of stripping; what the girls were like, who the customers were, what the expectations of customers were and how people end up transitioning from stripper to prostitute/escort.

As she discovers this world do sex work, she is balancing it all with being a student and working in a library! Literally such different worlds.

I really liked the honest insight into Kristy’s experience and that she is determined that people don’t see her as a victim but rather somebody who made a choice to pursue a career. She does touch on others who she met who clearly weren’t making the same conscious decisions as she was but also doesn’t attempt to tell their story.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. And as much as stripping and strip clubs aren’t for me, it is quite strange that there is such a stigma attached, yet films/shows like Magic Mike are accepted as mainstream. I’ve got to say, I found the last few chapters a bit unusual, the book on the whole was approachable and easy to read. Then I was hit by a more academic style for the final few chapters. I think there was some important information (although if I’m honest I didn’t care much about the library reform work), but it didn’t match the rest of the book.

Don’t get me wrong, I will not be allowing my boyfriend to go to a strip club anytime soon, but I think more media like this is required to remind us that it isn’t all seedy and unlawful.

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