A former “boylesque” performer explores his personal experiences within the Toronto-based male burlesque company Boylesque TO, examining the presentation of male bodies in traditional and contemporary burlesque. Can men in Burlesque reclaim aesthetic dignity for the male body through the emulation of a traditionally female art form, or does their presence in the burlesque community simply serve to further “expose” the male physique, in all its shapes and sizes, to socialized reactions from its audience? In popular culture, and the performing arts, the performer’s penis remains a source of shock or hilarity, a symbol of depravity or comedy. Does its presence in a traditionally female performance style simply encourage this further, remaining appropriate for only size-jokes or covered eyes, or can it help the male member become a truly sensual object in the spirit of traditional burlesque?


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pp. 27-32
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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