Strippers and Porn: Naked or Nude?

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Strippers and Porn: Naked or Nude?

“If strippers can be called exotic dancers, then drug dealers should be called exotic pharmacists” (Unknown). The use of this quote is meant to debase the profession of exotic dancing. There are many negative stigmas that are behind the idea of strippers, yet they remain one of the most popular forms of adult entertainment today. Strip clubs are equivalent to museums in that we can look but we may not touch. So the question must be asked: is sexual gratification through visual perception an art form? Simply put, yes. Both pornography and stripping are forms of art based upon John Berger’s ideas of nudity and nakedness in his work Ways of Seeing.

Naked V. Nude
In order to see explicit materials as art, we must first understand the difference between nakedness and nudity. The dictionary has little distinction between these two words; both denote to be without clothes. However, nakedness has another meaning: vulnerable and undisguised. This is the main distinction made by John Berger in his work Ways of Seeing. Berger presents the belief that to be naked isn’t simply to be without clothes: it is to be and reveal oneself. Nakedness is free from all disguise. Nakedness is vulnerability. “But it would seem that nakedness has a positive visual value in its own right: we want to see the other naked” (58). We desire to see the other naked in order to not only experience vulnerability ourselves but also to experience another person being vulnerable to us. At the instant of full disclosure of our bodies with another human being, we develop a sort of intimate connection. The instant of total disclosure is often immediately before moments of physical intimacy, a moment in which we as humans share our bodies and our flaws with another. “At the moment of nakedness first perceived, an element of banality enters: an element that exists only because we need it... This is the element of banality which must be undisguised but not...
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