The frank and bracing memoir of a woman who spent ten years as a stripper.
This Is My Real Name is the memoir of Cid V Brunet, who spent ten years working as a dancer at strip clubs, using the name Michelle. From her very first lap dance in a small-town bar to her work at high-end clubs, Michelle learns she must follow the unspoken rules that will allow her to succeed in the competitive industry. Along the way, she and her co-workers encounter compelling clients and unreasonable bosses and navigate their own relationships to drugs and alcohol. Michelle and her friends rely on each other's camaraderie and strength in an industry that can be both toxic and deeply rewarding.
Intensely personal, This Is My Real Name demystifies stripping as a career with great respect and candour, while at the same time exploring the complex, sex-positive relationships (queer and otherwise) that make it meaningful.
What People Are Saying
"Cid V Brunet's This Is My Real Name is electric, intelligent, and haunting. Their narrator's voice is by turns bold and vulnerable, navigating the experience of sex work through shrewd observational powers. I found the writing graceful and jarringly honest." Shashi Bhat, author of The Family Took Shape
"With bare-hearted clarity, This Is My Real Name is a mind-bending trip into a world you thought you knew." Merrily Weisbord, author of The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das
"I am thrilled to help welcome This Is My Real Name to the ever-growing and utterly necessary genre of sex worker authored memoir. Early in the book, Brunet observes the pragmatic motivation to leave underpaid restaurant kitchens and dangerous roofing jobs and become a dancer. Their passage from rough labour to sex work is one that, in spite of the stigma, secures them an above minimum-wage income. But what is it like to work in the heavy veiled career of stripping? With uncompromising detail, Brunet tours us through the both the labyrinthine and the mundane. Pay particular attention to their acute use of dialogue. What is said in the club reveals binary gender-performance, toxic masculinity and fragility, as well as feminist understandings, labour justice and an overall nimble emotional intelligence." Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life
Listen to an Interview
This episode features an interview with Cid V. Brunet about their recent memoir This Is My Real Name: A Stripper's Memoir. We talk about stripping, sex work, anarchist community, sex, gender and much more.