April 23, 2021

"I think taking off all your clothes — and I’ve never taken off all my clothes — is not only immoral but boring."

"There has to be something left to the imagination. If you take everything off, you please a few morons and chase all the nice people away.” 

Said Tempest Storm, in 1969, quoted in "Tempest Storm, Who Disrobed to Enduring Acclaim, Dies at 93/One of the most celebrated strippers of her time, she began her career in burlesque’s golden twilight and continued performing into her 80s" (NYT).

By the time she was in her late teens she had made her way to Los Angeles, where she found work as a cocktail waitress. A customer told her she ought to be in show business and asked whether she could perform a striptease. “I said, ‘What is that?’... I was from a small town, I didn’t know. He said it was just dancing, but you take your clothes off. I said: ‘Oh, no, not me. My mother would disown me.’” 

Here's an interview she did with Roger Ebert in 1968. Excerpt: 

"They tried full-scale burlesque in New York a year ago: comedians, three chorus lines, the works... But it flopped and now they're back to strippers. What I object to is the dishonesty and cheapening that goes on. The thing that killed the family audience for burlesque, in my opinion, was when some strippers began 'flashing' - that's burlesque lingo for showing everything. Not only is that unpleasant, but it's unnecessary.

"The secret to a good striptease is to leave as much as possible to the imagination. No matter what men may think, they don't actually want to see a performer just come out and take off her clothes. There's got to be communication, there's got to be contact. In my act, although I eventually do get down to the legal minimum, I actually put on more clothes than I take off. There's some psychology in this. A performer who can communicate a feeling of modesty is sexier than one who just strips."

You've got to communicate, and what do you need to communicate? Modesty!

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