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The Life of a Stripper: 50 Exotic Dancers Confess Their Personal Experiences in the Adult Entertainment Industry [Paperback]

Romana Van Lissum
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 21.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

April 1 2012
For 17 years (and counting), Romana Van Lissum has been a cocktail waitress in a popular Vancouver strip club. In between slinging brews and burgers, Romana decided to get some answers to the questions we all want to know about exotic dancers. As a fixture in the industry, Van Lissum has the unique position to capture the stories of three generations of strippers both working and retired in a candid, confessional style. The stories range from drug addiction, sexual abuse, psycho boyfriends, crooked clubs, and prostitution to homelessness, porn and hustling. Van Lissum has collected 50 true stories from BC's top feature entertainers, from the heartbreaking to the glamorous; from the legendary to the comedic. "The Life of a Stripper" gives a vivid glimpse into the mystery of exotic dancers. Welcome to the inside view of the world of exotic dancing. Get ready to find out the secrets, mechanics and drive behind the beautiful women that take their clothes off for a living.

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About the Author

Romana Van Lissum, a native of Karvina, Czechoslovakia, has been a fixture of the exotic dance industry and community in Western Canada for over 17 years. She plans to continue in her current position as a server in a popular Greater Vancouver strip club for as long as possible. As an accomplished horsewoman and long-time animal lover, Van Lissum competes in 25 and 50 mile endurance rides and loves to spend as much time as possible training her horse on the trails near her home. Van Lissum is an advocate of treating all animals with kindness and respect. She also enjoys yoga, meditation, reading, travelling and spending time with her wonderful friends, her incredible husband of 21 years and her beautiful daughter, Kelsey. Van Lissum's first book is, "How To Be a Waitress and Make Big Tips."

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Throw your sterio types out the window. Sept. 12 2012
By Denise
If you are someone who thinks all strippers are drugged up acholic, sex craved bimbo's you need to read this book. It's a fantastic collection of stories giving us an inside look at a group of diverse, intelligent, strong and brave women. Theses stories show us the many ways these women found to support themselves and their families. The reasons they do it and why they stay. We also hear about the crazy mishaps that make you laugh and cry for and with these women. You will read about the sock guy and other interesting patrons. If nothing else you will walk away from this book with a greater apprication for what these women do and maybe be a little less judgemental of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening read!! Sept. 11 2012
If I ever thought this was an easy way to make a buck, i think my opinion has been forever changed. For one thing, you can't assume these girls just have this as their only dream. The beginnings of their careers are so diverse and the choices of why they stay are either so inspiring or disheartening. I found these stories interesting as how this industry is viewed by the general public and men in particular. I think a woman would have to be so courageous to dance naked in front of strangers for money and keep their dignity!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Life of a Stripper by Romana Van Lissum Dec 2 2012
By A.G. Dow - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The Life of a Stripper by Romana Van Lissum, isn't a book I would typically choose to read, but after checking out some of the ratings and reviews for this story, and seeing they were almost all five star, I decided to give it a shot! Unfortunately, I will not be joining the others in giving this book two huge thumbs up. Now, I realize I previously stated this wasn't my usual kind of read but that had no influence on my rating or review. I just could not get myself interested in this book--At all!

The Life of a Stripper is a memoir; a behind the scenes look into the lives of 50 exotic dancers, sharing with us their stories in their own words. I've never had any preconceived notions about strippers, what they had been through or why they had chosen their profession. It's a job, sometimes a passion, and really, to each her own. However, this story is supposed to provide us all with an insight as to why these girls have chosen to go down this less than desirable path, telling of the tragedies and experiences they've lived through and so I couldn't help but be curious. Instead, the book seems to prove true to most dancer stereo-types, filling the pages with confessions of rampant drug use, broken homes, abusive relationships, and overall every day dysfunction. Granted there are a few women who have lived relatively happy and healthy lives, being brought up in a loving home with the support of friends and family, who have chosen this career simply because they enjoyed it. Kudos to them for having the confidence and drive to do what they love, but finding out that there were "normal" women working as exotic entertainers was not shocking, or news to me. Again, it's a job and the position is filled by many and all kinds.

I also wasn't a fan of how these confessions were collected. It reads like a questionaire, each story sharing the same set of specifics; What they can't leave home without, their worst on-stage experience, etc. I understand having the dancers fill out such a form, providing the author with enough material to fill the book, but I feel that the answers should have been jumbled a bit. Choose some to fill one story and then others for the next, this way we aren't stuck reading the same thing page after page. It got old very quickly and felt more impersonal than it should have.

I'm sure it sounds like I'm being overly picky, and harsher than need be, but I'm not. I read the book and promised to give an honest review, and this is it. I know there have been plenty of readers who have enjoyed this book, and I know there will be plenty more, but this just wasn't for me.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book Nov. 26 2012
By Kris C - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very entertaining and kept my interest all the way through. Romana has done a wonderful job letting the rest of us see what life is really like for these girls. So many people have the wrong idea about this industry, so it is nice to have this out there. I think a lot of people could learn something from this book, like women thinking about persuing a career in the industry and also women who have significant others who go to the clubs. It has everything, a bit of humour, honesty, some sad stories and lots of suprises. Well done Romana, can't wait to read your next book!!!
3.0 out of 5 stars I could give this away March 19 2014
By Kayenne - Published on
Interviewing strippers is a stellar idea. However, these stories became very repetitive. The stories all sound alike. Many of these women have been stalked zealously by fixated customers or boyfriends. There was nothing particularly striking about any of these accounts.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting and "Easy Read" Book ! Nov. 28 2012
By Lori Martell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved this book - very interesting with all the girls different stories. Thanks for a great read ! Good job Romana !!! :)
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful exploration of the world of exotic dancers! Nov. 24 2012
By arleneo - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very insightful and illuminating stories from those who work in an industry that many of us know nothing about. Well done, Romana!
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