This Friday I am posting an excerpt from the Introduction of my upcoming nonfiction book Paid To Dance: Stripping Past & Present. Paid To Dance is now available for pre-order from the Kindle Store.
A strip club is a place where a woman’s nudity is used for entertainment purposes in a professional setting. It is a seemingly safe middle ground, one step further than a regular, real world job, and one step short of selling the physical act of sex. Some will argue that women who take their clothes off for cash are demeaning themselves, and engaging in an act of desperation and exploitation.
The women working in the profession will passionately profess that their livelihood is in fact liberating, empowering and confidence building. And far from being ‘forced’ into the industry, the modern-day stripper is often university educated and loves what she does. In the minds of exotic dancers, there is a clear distinction between the exploited strippers of old and the independent, professional stripteasers of today.
The value of the global stripping industry is valued at $US75 billion ($AUD106 billion- Source: Statistic Brain Research Institute). Profitability largely depends on club location and customer spending habits, and the better quality the club, the more expensive the cover charge and services. High-end establishments are commonly referred to as ‘gentleman’s clubs’.
Rules governing strip clubs differ around the world, and local government licensing decides the nature of the activities within an adult entertainment venue. These levels of liquor licenses determine the differences between a normal bar or club, a strip club and a brothel.
In a strip club, they determine whether dancers are partially clothed or fully nude, and whether restrictions are imposed on distance between dancers and patrons. Some venues allow limited touching of dancers, and some do not allow it at all. Heavy fines and legal liability are the common punishment for breaking these rules. Unlike a burlesque theatre of old, the modern strip club can minimize the interaction between the customer and the dancer, putting less emphasis on the ‘tease’ element of the performance and more on the nudity.
As there is such a high turnover of dancers, clubs are commonly on a constant lookout for fresh talent. Different clubs hire different girls, and the customer’s tastes vary. The requirements may seem unfair, but this is the harsh reality of the work.
Click HERE to pre-order Paid To Dance: Stripping Past & Present from the Kindle Store.