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Bad GirlsYoung Women, Sex, and Rebellion before the Sixties$
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Amanda H. Littauer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469623788

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469623788.001.0001

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Soliciting Drinks and Negotiating Sex in Mid-Century Bars

(p.52) Chapter Two B-Girls
Bad Girls

Amanda H. Littauer

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores the history of the “B-girls”—young women employed by bars or nightclubs to act as a companion to male customers and to induce them to buy drinks, and usually paid a percentage of what the customers spent. B-girls were part of important changes in sexual and commercial culture in the 1940s and 1950s. During World War II, they joined prostitutes, pickups, and victory girls in bar-based heterosexual encounters, strategically adapting their practices to evade social protection authorities. This further developed in the 1950s when the B-girls created a professional subculture which blurred the line between commercial and casual sex and took advantage of citizens' declining support for legal campaigns to control women's sexuality. With creativity and ingenuity, mid-century drink solicitors expanded the possibilities for women's sexual license.

Keywords:   B-girls, bars, nightclubs, sexual culture, commercial culture, bar-based heterosexual encounters, casual sex, women's sexuality, drink solicitors, sexual license

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