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Ivy League Stripper Hardcover – May 31, 1995

3.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From a working-class family, Mattson was seriously in debt after two years at Brown University, where she wanted to remain to achieve her dream?an Ivy League education. Having tried her hand at a series of jobs that still left her unable to make ends meet, she took a shot at stripping, which, she quickly discovered, generated enough income to finance her education and then some. Moreover, she asserts, this career, which she embarked on with some trepidation, proved to be immensely empowering: drawing on the work of Camille Paglia, Mattson argues that men's desire for the female body empowers women who exploit this. While not all readers may agree with her version of gender politics, Mattson's account of how she negotiated an often bizarrely disjunctive double life during her remaining time at Brown is interesting and inspirational, and her commentary on the worlds between which she moved is clear-eyed and astute. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“An honest and thoughtful look at the business of sexual fantasy.” (Playboy)

“The saga of a girl who discovered the naked truth about financing an education.” (People)

“Interesting and inspirational.” (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing; 1st edition (May 31, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559702907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559702904
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,248,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Cooljonnorris VINE VOICE on March 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I find the incredibly negative reviews of Ivy League Stripper interesting. I almost wonder if I read a different book than some of these people. Perhaps they were written by some of her rivals. Who knows?
Heidi does not "advocate" stripping anywhere in the book that I can tell, nor did she when I saw her on Real Personal with Bob Berkowitz. In fact, she made a point of saying she did not recommend it as a way of earning money. On TV and in the book she made it quite clear that it is not an easy or safe way to make money, however addictive that money might be. My sense of the book was that she came across as just about the only undamaged person in the business. She did discuss topics like drug use, prostitution, money addiction, and self-esteem, but since the book was about her personal journey, she didn't dwell on the problems of others. Perhaps it didn't appeal to people who wanted a more dramatic, negative, and victimized approach. She never said anything to give even the slightest impression that she was attempting a tour de force of sex work in the US. (I recommend Susie Bright or Carol Queen for that sort of thing.) This was a book about her personal journey, not yours. If your experience was different, then write your own book so we can read it, too.
I'll admit that my experience with "exotic dancers" is somewhat limited. I have only been to the clubs a half dozen or so times, and I don't know any dancers personally. I do hear by second and third hand stories that the scene does have a high rate of drug (including alcohol - it is a drug) use, prostitution, and other unsavory activities. There would probably be far less of such things if sex work were not forced into marginal areas of towns and the people involved treated like garbage by so-called "good citizens.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book when I was 23 and thought, "Wow! Even I could be a stripper!" Heidi makes this profession seem easy, fun and extremely profitable. I worked part-time as a stripper for three years after that and it was nothing like her book. She shows the fantasy side of stripping but doesn't touch on the realistic side. Now that I have survived through that experience, I realize how misleading the book was. If you want a true-to-life account of stripping, read STRIP CITY. I would, however, enjoy reading about how Heidi's life turned out after college.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Heidi's book was a real surprise. It is well written. I often do not read a book word for word, but I read this one that way. Fascinating story. It tells how corrupt the administration and one of the icons of Brown University can be. Heidi is a bright person, gifted with intelligence, ambition, and extraordinary blond/blue eyed beauty (even though she is not buxom) that is her free pass in life. That being the case, she still had to work hard for small wages before she became a dancer. She has to face cancer. It is interesting to watch her slide, almost seamlessly, into exotic dancing. Of course her primary and sole motive is making the money she needs for an Ivy university education. As she becomes accustomed to stripping for money--lots of it-- she begins to get sexually aroused by her dancing, she revels in her incredible power over horny men, has sex with macho Mafioso enforcers, and goes on a long self-righteous ego trip validating her dancing. This may sound somewhat seedy, and it is, but she is a strong, intelligent, focused woman whose story is well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
I never thought I'd see a book like this. I live in Houston, TX, and we have at least 30-40 strip clubs in this city and more in Harris county.
They are a constant source of crime, arrests, drugs, prostitution complaints. The author was either very lucky or worked with a better class of customers than you find here. I'm glad she found a creative way to pay for school and didn't get a student loan and file bankruptcy on it. I knew many folks years ago who did that as well as others who never paid their loans back. There is really no way to glamorize this business. It's a form of degradation and no woman likes that. Eventually it must hurt your self-esteem and damage you emotionally on some level. It's a quick read, and if you're bored you might try it. It's hard to find in libraries anymore. It disappears pretty fast. I guess folks are hoping to find racy photos!
I hope the author found a happy and successful life after this episode of her youth. She is very lucky if she didn't suffer emotional harm or end up with a drug problem. I went to a strip club once in 1983 with some friends. It was boring, tacky, and sleazy on all levels. Of course it wasn't in Vegas or LA or NYC. High end strip clubs do have great performers, but you pay for it and the drinks/food aren't cheap. I wish we could ban it forever in America. This industry has ruined many young women, and it's time for it to end. With online porn, you don't need a strip club for erotic adventures anymore. It's barbaric and crude. There is nothing sadder than seeing a woman half naked shilling for tips. I don't care how much you earn. Some things in life just aren't for sale--human dignity is one of them.
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