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Books By The Beach: Stripping Past & Present at Tugun Beach

Welcome to Tugun, the twelfth stop on my Books By The Beach tour!

Over the hill from Currumbin, Tugun is north-west of Coolangatta and 96 kilometres (60 mi) south of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland. Tugun is a popular holiday destination, with a number of holiday units and motels lining Tugun Beach, its homey streets playing host to cafés and fish and chip shops. There are also has a number of shops located on its Golden-Four Drive strip.

Tugun

 

This is the Gold Coast without the glitz. Locals fondly call Tugun, Tugz (pronounced choo-gs). It’s joined to its neighbouring suburbs of Currumbin and Bilinga via the Gold Coast Oceanway.

Its name is believed to have derived from an Indigenous word of unknown dialect meaning “breaking waves”.

In 1898, the Farrell family walked overland from Tallebudgera Township along a track now called Simpson Road, to their block of land or selection just south of Currumbin Hill. They established a camp site there and started to clear some land for a home and grazing paddocks for their small dairy herd. The local Aboriginal people often bartered fish and crabs with the Farrells, supplementing the settlers’ diet when times were lean.

Over the creek, known today as Flat Rock Creek, and to the north-west of Currumbin Hill, another Irish family, the Mitchells had settled on their block a few weeks after the arrival of the Farrell family. At first, there was a degree of rivalry between the two families based partly on old country loyalties – the Mitchells were from the north of Ireland, the Farrells from the south.

However, years spent pioneering the land and the experience of isolation meant that inevitably the families became the firmest of friends.

The first home in Tugun village was built in 1916. The construction of a coastal road linking Southport to Coolangatta in the 1920s was a major achievement for the Main Roads Commission. The age of the mass-produced motor car provided the impetus for developing beach properties and accommodation facilities in areas such as Tugun and Bilinga.

The dairy and banana farms however, which dated from the early years, disappeared as the land was subdivided into areas such as the Currumbin Estates in the late 1950s.

In this post I will be delving a little deeper into the Paid To Dance series, and telling you all about the first installment, Paid To Dance: stripping Past & Present.

Paid To Dance: Stripping Past & Present is a comprehensive insight into the stripping industry, from its origins to its modern day evolution. Everyday women share stories of working in gentleman’s clubs, paying their way through university, funding travel and even escaping homelessness and crime. Parents and partners offer intriguing perspectives of their loved one’s occupation, and a manager shares his experiences overseeing the operations of a real gentleman’s club.

Paid To Dance looks inside the trials and tribulations of exotic dancers throughout history into the present day, and explores a livelihood that is often rewarding and always challenging.

What readers had to say about Paid To Dance:

“Wow! What a fantastic read! This book gives the reader such an interesting insight into the lives of strippers… and it’s not just reading their side of it.. but those people around them too.. their parents, partners, and even from a venue manager who does the hiring. Once I started reading I could not put it down.. as I wanted to know how everyone around them felt.. as I found this very interesting after only really knowing the strippers side of it. The history was also excellent and I enjoyed reading about the past and different cultures.”
Barbara, Gold Coast, Australia

“A most enjoyable easy read, lots of interesting facts and is light hearted on a subject that society still sees as taboo. Would highly recommend this book to any interested in the behind the scene in this industry.”
Sharon, Gold Coast, Australia

“The author gives a truthful, unbiased and non-judgemental insight into exotic entertainment industry complete with real stories from real people. Great read for anyone who’s ever been curious about what’s really going on behind the scenes in adult entertainment clubs and in the lives of exotic dancers.”
Julia, Brisbane, Australia

“A book I could not put down. A really interesting read into the lives of women in an industry that many of us no nothing about. Highly recommended.”
Sarah, Brisbane, Australia

“This book has opened my eyes to the lives of strippers and dancers, exceptionally well written and researched. Very much worth the read and I recommend it to all ages enabling a clear and concise understanding of the lives of these ladies.”
Jackee, Brisbane, Australia

PLEASE NOTE: At the end of this video there is information about purchasing the Paid To Dance books on Amazon/Kindle. My books are not currently available on Amazon/Kindle. Instead you can read a FREE PDF Excerpt HERE:

Paid To Dance Stripping Past and Present

Cover Image Book 1 Edited

I hope you have enjoyed your time here with me at Tugun, and I hope you will join me next time at Bilinga. Only three stops to go!

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From The Outside Looking In: Paul, The Customer

I was twenty-one years old celebrating a friend’s eighteenth birthday in Brisbane when I visited my first gentlemen’s club. I kept coming back because it was just like hanging out at a pub with mates, but with a much nicer view. My regular venue introduced poker nights, but I was going in for weekly drinks after work well before that started.

To quote the TV show ‘Cheers’, a good gentleman’s club experience is where everybody knows your name. Where the dancers are not too pushy, and in turn are not pressured by management to hustle.

Part of the relationship that appeals to a customer, especially a regular one, is the individuality of a particular dancer. Sometimes they just need to spend that little bit of extra time sitting and talking, and when a hostess or manager pounces on the dancer and tries to speed up the booking process, it could potentially undermine the dancer’s efforts.

Managers should coach the girls, but not shoo them on from a customer because he hasn’t bought a dance within three minutes. Not every guy will book in that short amount of time.

For me to book a private dance, there obviously has to be some kind of physical attraction between the dancer and me. It’s nice when a girl has put some thought into her presentation, but being a Barbie Doll isn’t what it’s all about for me either. I need to have a connection with her. I’ve booked big girls, skinny girls, redheads, blondes and brunettes. I don’t have a particular ‘type’, but the one thing they have all done is taken their time and shared with me a bit of their personality.

I like talking to the dancers, but if one were to approach me and say, “Hi my name is such and such, do you want to go for a dance?” that would help me make up my mind pretty much straight away not to book her. That might work in some places and with some people, but I like it when the girl has some rapport. I want to be able to relax and spend my money at my leisure.

Just as it would be for a dancer coming from a customer, body odour and bad breath have got to be the worst turn-offs when interacting with a dancer. Excessive bad language is another one. We all swear but every second word is certainly not attractive.

Also, if a dancer speaks badly about other girls in order to make herself look more appealing, it only reflects badly on her. I might be fond of the girl she is talking about, and she would lose my business as a result of bad mouthing.

It’s perfectly okay to be having a bad day, but I don’t want to feel obliged to spend money on a dancer out of guilt. It’s not very appealing to book her when she is moping around, and it’s especially de-motivating when the dancer complains about how poorly she has been earning.

Some dancers don’t talk to couples that come into the club, but I strongly encourage it, even so much going the extra mile to focus on the female first. Try to make her night as much fun as her partner’s. If you get a positive result, then work on the guy.

Couples go into clubs to explore something new and exciting together, and dancers can earn double the money if they secure a booking with two people. Coming from a personal standpoint, my visiting clubs has had only a positive effect on my relationship with my wife, who has become quite the regular customer herself!

From watching the dancers in their element, I have had the opportunity to observe and learn a lot about how the girls work. They work the room from the stage, and pick up on who’s watching them. They make eye contact and go to those people when they come off stage.

Girls, if you sit in the corner and expect a customer to come to you, you might be waiting awhile. Even if you’ve done the rounds and no-one’s biting, go sit with someone who’s previously acknowledged you, or who you think might be interesting and have a chat.

Obviously start with the ones that tipped you, but at least introduce yourself to the others and mention that you’ll come back and have a chat later. People love talking about themselves and if they enjoy your company, you’ll probably at least get your next drink bought for you, a tip or maybe even that dance they said no to earlier. Most customers will be willing to reward your time in one way or another.

If you are a customer at a club, the girls don’t have to be at your beck and call and they certainly don’t have to accept your dance. If you’re going to behave like a douche then expect to be left alone. Realise the girls need to make money and they do not get paid to simply be there at the club. If you have no intention of tipping or booking them, let them go on their way when they want to, and don’t make them feel bad about it. No tips or dances means no money for them, and many clubs charge the girls a door fee just so they can work. So if you’re not planning to book a dance just yet, be upfront about it. The girls will appreciate your honesty and may even decide to keep you company for a little longer anyway.

A lot of clubs take a cut of the girl’s tips if you give them the money on the floor. So if you want to tip her, check to see when she’s going on stage next. In saying that, if you’re sitting in a designated tipping area around the stage, expect to be asked to tip them. Premium viewing should pay a premium price and you could be costing the dancer money by taking up a seat from someone who wants to tip.

The dancers that work in the clubs provide entertainment and in turn create a bit of a fantasy world. The girls are definitely brave, and on more than one occasion I’ve suggested to a heckler that if they think they can do a better job, then they should get up on the stage themselves!

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two is AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER in paperback and Kindle eBook for release WORLDWIDE on July 20th, 2018.

US: https://amzn.to/2MstBPb

UK: https://amzn.to/2KpEKQ9

CANADA: https://amzn.to/2tKXna6

AUS: https://amzn.to/2yODFAb

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An Exotic History in Australia

American touring ensembles were responsible for bringing vaudeville-style theatre Down Under, and the popularity of Shakespearean plays and opera performances increased.

The gold rushes of the 1850s brought a growth in population to Australia, and there was a growing demand for entertainment. However due to the disruptions of World War 1, the first decade of the 20th century saw fewer actors and travelling troupes being imported to Australia, and shows relied on local performers to fill the void.

On a nationwide tour in 1937, a Chicago-based revue called The Marcus Show featured ‘bare-breasted showgirls’, and by 1938 bare breasts were a staple feature in virtually every revue at Tivoli Theatres. By the mid 1940s, artistic nudity was regularly presented to audiences of variety theatres in Australia’s capital cities. Female performers draped the top half of their bodies in sheer fabric that left little to the imagination. As part of the British Commonwealth, Australia’s isolation was not out of reach of beaurocratic morality, and just like the Minsky and Windmill girls, topless performers had to remain stock-still during their time on the stage.

Producers George Wallace Junior and Laurie Smith collaborated to open a change-weekly variety show in Brisbane, Queensland, at the tiny Guild Theatre in Adelaide Street, before transferring to the Theatre Royal in Elizabeth Street. The two men were faced with competition from Will Mahoney’s vaudeville on the south bank of the Brisbane River.

Wallace and Smith’s revue comprised of an all-male, ex-army performance company called the Kangaroos. After a few weeks of business, attendance began to decline at an alarming rate, and so a ballet was added to the line-up of acts, followed later by showgirls.

The new Royal Showgirls performed on stage wearing bikinis, mini-skirts and shorts, baring midriffs, arms and legs. These girls were the saving grace of the show.

On October 1954, entrepreneur Harry Wren brought Gypsy Rose-Lee to Australia. Several showgirls from Sydney joined the famous stripper on stage. Unlike the international star, the Sydney girls appeared on stage already nude. Harry Wren enlivened his vaudeville shows with vivacious and beautiful chorus girls, and a few discreetly placed nude models.

Advertisements in the press boasted “Australia’s Most Beautiful Blondes! Brunettes! Redheads! FABULOUS-GORGEOUS-NUDES!” Exotic displays featured striptease, fan dance and bathing shows, influenced by the cultures of the Middle East, Paris and Brazil.

One notable performer used the name ‘Vanessa the Undresser’. Another young woman’s bubble bath act at the 1956 Melbourne Show attracted some unwanted attention from authorities.

In 1959, police action was taken against Wren’s advertising, which contained near-nude showgirls in the unrestricted public view of the foyer of Adelaide’s Theatre Royal. The objection was not that there were nudes in the show, but that the photographs of near-nudity were visible from the street.

Erotic performances drew audiences in theatre restaurants in Melbourne and in the nightclubs of Kings Cross in Sydney, where choreographers carried on the Tivoli traditions of showgirl revues. Glamorous dance routines were standard in Sydney’s nightspots during the 1960s, such as Sammy Lee’s Latin Quarter, the Pigalle, Pink Pussycat and Pink Panther clubs.

The late 1960s was a boom time for nightlife in Sydney’s Kings Cross, when the Vietnam War brought many American servicemen to Sydney on R&R. Most of the work available for professional dancers was in go-go bars, and in Australia’s conservatism past, many performers wished to hide their alternative identity from their families and communities.

In the late sixties and early seventies, Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley was the equivalent of Sydney’s Kings Cross, harbouring illegal gambling, underground strip clubs and prostitution, all of which existed because of police corruption that was finally uncovered by the Fitzgerald Inquiry, leading to the collapse of the Bjelke-Petersen government.

In the 1960s and 70s societies all around the world were undergoing a sexual revolution, and saw a steep rise in the number of strip clubs being established. Despite public protest, strict city regulations, frequent raids and shut downs, the institution survived. During the 1970s and 80s, almost all strip clubs featured poles on stage to accommodate dancing.

The late 1990s saw the birth of pole fitness as an exercise practice, as well as the first instructional DVDs along with the creation of competitive pole dancing.

From the Far East to the West, from ancient ritual to modern-day table dancing, striptease continues to enchant audiences around the world, providing a pathway to financial independence.

Sexy Womanh hold hands and fingers on legs in fishnet stocking posing

Pre-order Paid To Dance: Asha’s Story Part Two TODAY!

US: https://amzn.to/2MstBPb

UK: https://amzn.to/2KpEKQ9

CANADA: https://amzn.to/2tKXna6

AUS: https://amzn.to/2yODFAb