Gimlet, Pineapple Street Studios
Welcome to Your Fantasy
In the 1980s the “male exotic dancers” of Chippendales were everywhere, selling the promise of women’s liberation for the price of a few dollars in a g-string. But behind the powerful mullets, oiled pecs, and non-stop parties lies a much darker story of greed, corruption and murder. Historian Natalia Petrzela exposes one of the great, sordid, unexamined stories in American culture.
Nicholas Quah • Vulture • May 7, 2021
"Led by the historian Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Welcome to Your Fantasy is an utterly engrossing tale that lives in the overlap of primal American capitalism and shifting sexual politics."
Rachel Syme • New Yorker • Mar 29, 2021
"...historian Natalia Petrzela charts both the complex gender politics that led Chippendales to become a phenomenon...Her research and reporting place what might seem like a tacky, tabloidish subject in its full, fascinating cultural context, laying bare all of the nuance behind the bare chests."
Fiona Sturges • Financial Times • Feb 21, 2021
"There is no solemnity here, and no pretence of a journalistic odyssey, though the story is a remarkable one. You get the feeling Petrzela is less enamoured with the sensational aspects of the story than she is the social context, which takes in second-wave feminism...This is a crime story that doubles as an uproarious investigation into an extraordinary pop-culture phenomenon. …"
James Marriot • The Times UK • Feb 19, 2021
"Welcome to Your Fantasy is a gripping, silly, camp and occasionally icky show...Also a masterpiece of character study. Also an exploration of the nature of female sexuality. Narrated with a pitch-perfect mix of playfulness and scepticism...Even the nuances of Petrzela’s intonation seem to conjure narrative richness you doubt they’d manage if they had a TV show."
Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian • Feb 13, 2021
"It’s rare that an investigative series makes me do a real-life LOL, but I really couldn’t help myself...this brilliantly engaging podcast moves the familiar true-crime genre into a new area: male stripping. Petrzela is a great listen, her humour and interviewing skills really giving the podcast some zip. And the characters are just great. Honestly, treat yourselves to this true-crime, high-camp show. It’s great."