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Striptease ( ˈstrɪptiːz ) is the art of erotic undressing, especially on the stages of nightclubs .


This art is based mainly on skilful allusions and refined delays (English: to tease ) during the seductive dance of the stripper or the stripper . Often stories were and are staged on stage. B. in oriental robes or dress up as Salome , Lolita or Marilyn Monroe . Above all, eroticism and sex appeal , personal charisma and fantasy are in demand .


Historical development

Illustration for The Spanish, German and Dutch War or: of the Marquis of ... curieuser Lebens-Lauff , Volume 2 (Franckfurt / Leipzig, 1720), p. 238.

Various assumptions have grown up around the history of striptease. One of them traces the striptease back to the alleged erotic veil dance of Salome , who took off seven veils before Herod during her dance. According to Mark 6: 17-29 and Matthew 14: 3-1, the daughter of Herod's wife Herodias, who instigated her to do so, is said to have requested and received the head of John the Baptist from Herod as a reward for a dance. The name Salome and her veil dance is not mentioned in the Gospels.

A performance that is specifically described and recorded in the picture can be found in the 1720 German translation of the French La Guerre D'Espagne ( Pierre Marteau , Cologne, 1707). A gallant society of high aristocrats and opera singers has retired to an estate, every third day is dedicated to music:

“On the third day, when the ball and dance were intended, one played one of the nicest Kurtzweil to divert the gentlemen; They had such a spectacle, which presented to their eyes all the beauty of nature: and when the comforts of a well-grown girl are capable of touching the minds, one can say that our printzen enjoyed all the cuteness of love. The dancers, in order to please their amant all the better, took off their clothes and danced the most beautiful entrances and ballets completely naked; one of the Printzen then conducted this delightful music, and would not leave the Schaubühne open to anyone but these lovers. "


In 1868, Lydia Thompson and the British Blondes were the first tostep onto the stage in skin-tight, but opaque tights and "skirts" (knee-length shirt dresses)instead of long skirts,showing what had been carefully hidden until then: the female leg. The Cancan and Chahut dances from Paris were also a sensation at the time. The can-can was considered wild, indecent and obscene. In the 1880s, La Goulue and Grille d'Egout began their careers in Élysée-Montmartre on Boulevard Rochechouart. Together with the conductor Louis Dufour, they gave the cancan a new boost. She thrilled the audience with her special dance ideas. The great Diseuse Yvette Guilbert writes about her in her memoir:

The Goulue in black silk stockings took her black atlas foot in her hand and let the sixty-meter points of her Jupons circle back and forth; she showed her panties, which had a funny heart embroidered on it, which curiously stretched over her little bottom when she made her disrespectful reverences; the rosette of the garter belt shimmered pink, and a luscious lace foam sank down to her fine ankles and made her splendid, flexible, witty and provocative legs appear and disappear. With a swing of the foot, the dancer took off her cavalier's hat and sat on the straddle, with a rigid upper body, the narrow waist in a sky-blue silk blouse. "

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On March 13, 1894, the first publicly performed striptease was professionally danced in the Divan Fayounau variety theater in Paris. The artist received a fine for this.

Striptease in the 20th century

Striptease (1959)
Male striptease

From 1905 a hitherto unknown dancer began her career as a dancer in Paris under the pseudonym Mata Hari . At the invitation of the industrialist Émile Guimet , she danced on March 13, 1905 in his museum in front of a select audience. The scene in which she was last seen "naked" was a sensation. This was followed by appearances in the salons of Baron von Rothschild, Cécile Sorel, Gaston Menier and Natalie Clifford Barney . Mata Hari had never learned to dance or engaged in Indian and Oriental dances (to which the striptease is in principle not related). Her dances were the creation of her imagination. On July 25, 1917, Mata Hari was sentenced to death by a French military court for double espionage and high treason. On October 15, 1917, she was shot dead by a firing squad in Vincennes near Paris.

In the field of stage dance, many dancers dealt with the theme of Salome at the turn of the last century . Many of the ladies undressed in their dances, some remained clothed. The Salome theme was a typical fin-de-siècle theme and was used as a "classically established" pretext to flaunt and reveal the female body.

In Berlin in the 1920s, the dancer and actress Anita Berber became known for her expressive dances , which were mostly performed in the nude . Her performed dances with titles like "Cocaine" or "Dances of Vice, Horror and Ecstasy" repeatedly led to tumultuous scenes during the performances. Soon she was known and just as scandalous and notorious. Their excessive lifestyle also repeatedly caused scandals. Also Odon von Horváth saw in his play Tales from the Vienna Woods before a striptease scene.

In the time of National Socialism , nude dances and eroticism were offered under the designation beauty dance until the war years.

Even after the Second World War , the striptease was performed as a "beauty dance". In the 1950s, under this name, he was part of a flourishing sex industry in West Germany . Playboy Rolf Eden ran several night clubs in Berlin with his strip shows. In Paris , upscale nightclubs like the Alcazar or the Crazy Horse opened their doors and paid homage to the perfectly staged striptease. In the US officers' homes in Germany, nude dance and striptease were still part of the program in the 1970s.


The Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater in San Francisco ; a typical, modern strip club

While in the past striptease was often practiced by specially trained dancers in dedicated clubs, the striptease of today has become a mass phenomenon. Amateurs often undress at parties and dance events without a high professional standard being associated with it. Short video clips on private television, which are based on striptease and are intended to encourage viewers to use value-added telephone services , have also been widely used . Regardless of this, the classic striptease including training is still maintained at a high level in some, especially Parisian bars.

The 1996 feature film Striptease , with Demi Moore in the leading role of Erin Grant, played in the milieu of American striptease clubs, but without providing any background information worth mentioning.

Originally, the striptease was a pure domain of female strippers, who aimed at male voyeurs with their erotic dances . In the last two decades, however, an independent culture of male strippers has developed; In this area, the Chippendales are particularly worth mentioning.

A variation of the striptease that was widespread in the 1930s and has been rediscovered in the recent past, but in which there is no complete undressing, is the New Burlesque . In this representation, which is characterized by elements of cabaret and variety show, the focus is less on sexual stimulation than on fantasy and humor, which is sometimes reflected in the actresses by breaking with the ideals of beauty .

Financial aspects

The striptease was commercialized from the start : night clubs charge entry fees for their performances, just like other establishments do. Just like magicians or dancers, male or female strippers also charge money for their engagement . Amusement tax is also paid for any public striptease show .

supporting documents

  1. Explanation of the term striptease. Retrieved June 15, 2019 .
  2. The Spanish, German, and Dutch War or: of the Marquis von ... curieuser Lebens-Lauff. Volume 2 Franckfurt and Leipzig 1720, p. 238. Reproduced from Olaf Simons: Marteaus Europa or the novel before it became literature: an examination of the German and English books on offer from 1710–1720. Rodopi, Amsterdam 2001, pp. 617-635.
  3. E.g. Kabarett im Berghof, Cologne, 1942. See documentary Winter 42/43 , ARD on January 7, 2013, 41st minute Archived copy ( memento of January 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on January 8, 2013
  4. Tony Vaccaro Entering Germany pp. 188f, 2001, Taschen ISBN 3-8228-5908-7


  • Richard Wortley: A Pictorial History of Striptease. Octopus Books Limited, London 1976, ISBN 0-7064-0469-6
  • Diane Atkinson: Striptease. A story. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1996, ISBN 3-499-13942-1
  • George P. Garrett: The magic striptease. LSU Press, Baton Rouge, Lou. 2003, ISBN 0-8071-2874-0
  • Carl Hiaasen: Striptease night club. The novel for the film with Demi Moore. Goldmann, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-442-43628-1
  • Lucinda Jarrett: Striptease. The story of erotic undressing. Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-352-00620-2
  • Brian McNair: Striptease Culture. Sex, media and the democratization of desire. Routledge, London 2002, ISBN 0-415-23733-5
  • Steve Sullivan: Bombshells. Glamor Girls of a Lifetime. St. Martin's, New York 1998, ISBN 0-312-16790-3


  • Live Nude Girls UNITE! , Directed by Julia Query & Vicky Funari, 2000

Web links

Commons : Striptease  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Striptease  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations