Women who take their clothes off for money.

by Lori Dwyer on March 8, 2011 · 51 comments

This one is, quite obviously, a post from The Before, that I wrote back in November last year. I was having a look at my draftsfolder and felt this was worth publidhing, perhaps. 

I know it won’t sit well with some people (but what’s new, on this blog..?) and I am quite possibly setting the cause of feminism back a good twenty years. As usual, I don’t give a damn. 
 

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Everything I though I ‘knew’ about why women become strippers, the deep sociological reasons behind it all- I chose to forget that, for one night, and try and experience a strip club through the eyes of a man. Impossible. Enjoy.

I’m a respectable, married, educated mother of two children, with a mortgage and a big all wheel drive.

I went to a strip club the other night.

I’m really struggling to write this without worrying what you will all think of me. Mu husband tells me I shouldn’t say it’s a strip club, I should say a “gentleman’s club”. Because that’s makes it all sound so much better.

This club was Mens Gallery, in the heart of the Sydney CBD, and apparently it’s one of the classier strip venues available. And I will admit, it was far more.. well… tasteful, than I expected.

I’ve always wanted to go to a strip club. Why, I’m not sure. Something about them being the secretive male domains that they are, the place where men go to look at women far more groomed and attractive than I. Women I just don’t understand, can’t fathom. Women who take their clothes off for money.

We had an argument, my husband and I, just weeks before our wedding, and, of course, it involved his bucks night and a strip club and his wife-to-be, afraid of what I didn’t understand and had never experienced. We argued, he went anyway. And I’m glad he did. The guilt would have crippled me, had he not.

But that incident, more than anything, fueled my curiosity and my stubborn insistence to experience this situation, this tableaux, that men find so appealing but is so taboo to their wives and girlfriends.

If you can’t beat them, join them. So, one night recently, very, very late, under the protection of my large, tattooed husband, I went entered the Men’s Gallery. I forgot my ID, the bouncer let me in anyway. It was intimidating, scary. I’m not generally a fearful person- I’m happy to walk the streets of the city at 2am, alone, searching for a taxi- but at that point, walking down carpeted stairs into a warm, noisy den, powered with the beat of music and the rise of male voices and the feeling of lust and testosterone in the air; I almost cut and run. Had it not been for my husband’s hand on the small of my back, and the teetering heels I was wearing, I most certainly would have.

The worst moment, the point I felt the most vulnerable and raw and so very visible- making our way to two spare seats at a table near the main stage, jostling and bumping through a crowd packed with men. I was the only woman in the place not working there. Wearing jeans and long sleeves, I was most definitely the most covered up.

So why did I feel so naked?

What was I expecting, from the women here? Sluts, whores, bitches. I expected to be jealous of their beauty, be slightly disgusted by what they were doing, to feel smugly superior in my clothed state. I expected these women to look back at me, with distaste, with a certain wistful jealousy.

Easy money. How many times have I thought that, about strippers? What easy money it would be, for such a simple, slutty thing to do. Smile, gyrate, remove clothing, gyrate more. And the feminist in me, screaming at me, at how wrong this is, these woman were being degraded and I was contributing to it. That this was no better than abuse. The social worker in me, searching for track marks, bruises, searching for pain in the eyes of these women..

I think I was wrong. About most of that.

Nothing about these women were making was easy. Just walking into that place, feeling the pull of the men, the rampant tribal heat of them, their eyes flickering and unkempt by the usual social electric fences of manners and propriety… there was nothing easy about that. At moments, it felt like a seething, rabid pack of erections, only just restrained by bouncers and their “You touch, you go” policy. It felt like finely balanced calamity, barely repressed anarchy, sticky with alcohol and the drumbeat of drunken hedonism.

I can’t imagine, now, how I though that would be easy. Taking your clothes in front of all those eyes, all those expectations. All that blatant, unchecked desire.

It’s such a bizarre place, a strip club. On one hand, you have the seething, frightening darkness of a crowd full of men, waiting, expecting, drunk and searching. On the other hand, you have the women.

It should be degrading for them, these women, these strippers. Every feminist, social worker bone in my body tells me that. But somehow, it wasn’t.

Strip Tease Technicolor by Kyleacharisse
on RedBubble.

 There were a few moments that almost shocked with their tacky poignancy, moments where reality seemed to shatter the reflections in the mirrors behind the stage. Moments that reminded me that these were women, just like me. Women who probably dress in tracksuit pants on Sundays, and drink Boost juices, and slept with their cat curled up at the foot of their bed. Moments that made them seem less like blow up dolls, and-devastatingly- more like real people.

Such as the only dark-skinned stripper cleaning the poles. That’s not a euphemism, she quite literally got out the Spray and Wipe, and, nude except for a g-sting, polished off the dancing poles.

Or when one beautiful, tall, smiling stripper, who had made a point of waving to me when she saw me in the audience, in the friendliest fashion possible- bizarrely, she made me feel comfortable, sitting there, watching her, nude. She must be fantastic at her job. Her spot on the main stage finished. And I watched as she picked up a lambs wool rug off the ground. A lambs wool, that would use to line a baby’s pram. She’d been sitting on it for half her show, I guess to keep herself comfortable and warm. As she walked down the steps from the mirrored platform she was on, she was holding that lamb’s wool to cover her breasts. The entire room had just been looking at her, nude, for twenty minutes, but as soon as her spot finished, she covered up. The sight of it made me sad. But I also know that feeling- her costume is her
body. I’m an extrovert in a costume, but can be quiet and introverted in a social situation where I am not being paid to work the crowd.

For the most part, any illusion I had of strippers being degraded women with no self esteem was shattered that night, sitting in a gentleman’s club with my husband. These women didn’t seem to be subjugated. These women appeared in control. These women were earning more money than some men do in a week. These women were the very picture of confident sexy sluttiness and made the men feeding them money look somewhat pathetic. The atmosphere was one of respect- we saw a guy turfed for being drunk, another kicked out for daring to rub his hand across the fabric of a strippers g-string on his was to slipping some Monopoly money in her garter.

The women here, they were in control of this situation weren’t they? They were making money, in the position of power, had every man in the place eating out of their hand. And most of them looked like they were having a fabulous time.

The men, is comparison….? They were the ones being degraded here. If anyone was being made to look ridiculous here, it was the blokes- they were the ones salivating and silly enough to pay a woman $50 for doing nothing but smiling at them and gyrating their hips against a pole.

And then, there was a bizarre feeling of a sisterhood. I had almost expected an icy bitchiness from these women, being another woman- a more ‘respectable’ woman?- on their turf, in their domain. But I felt none of that. Strippers, waitresses, the wandering masseuse- they smiled at me and made me feel welcome. It was like a relief in their eyes, a natural smile for me, a kinship- another woman in their midst.

A while back now, some bloggers were discussing the concept of Feminist or Floozy- is a woman who sleeps around before marriage a slut or a suffragette, a whore or a feminist? It’s a concept that’s fascinated me for years. Why do we label a woman who chooses to be promiscuous a slut? Why do we assume there is something physiologically, fundamentally wrong with her? Not so long ago, promiscuity in women was widely recognized as a trait of a serious physiological disorder. And often, in some conversations, in some thoughts in my head, it seems that not much as changed.

Sex is something used against women, continually. It has been for years and it remains to be so. Any teenage girl who has grown up in a small town can tell you that sex, girls engaging in sexual activities, is at the root of most rumors and most hatred. When I met my husband, I found myself suddenly forced into a small, closed social circle of people who had grown up together. There were stories I heard, about girls I was meeting for the first time, the things they’d supposedly done. Recounted by smug, bitchy women, and incredulous men.

I choose to believe none of these stories. Simply for the fact that if the situation were reversed, if these people were coming into my hometown, into the social whirlpool I was lucky enough to break free from years ago, they would have heard the same rumors, the same innuendo, about me. Any woman, especially any young women, who chooses to engage in any kind of sexual activity- or is even in the general vicinity when it happens- leaves herself open to that kind of hatred, that kind of poisonous, dripping gossip..

Why do we do it to one another…? Sometimes, it’s men who do it. But a lot of the time, it’s women. We do this to one another. We bitch, we talk, we allow rumors and stories to grow and seethe. We use our own insecurities, our own fears, as missiles against other women, gilded with sex and lies and guilt

And that’s just what I was prepared to do, the night I walked into Mens Gallery, my husband guiding me along, a point of fascination for every person in there. A respectable, sweet looking women, watching strippers with her husband.

I’m glad I did it. I’m glad I went. I’d happily go again. It was such an experience, such a shock. It blew away everything I thought about these women, as sluts, as whores, a worthless. Now, in the aftermath of this experience, the uneducated feminist with me tussles with a concept I’m not sure I believe in.

I couldn’t do what they do. Smile, laugh, chat, dance, let men slip paper money under the piece of elastic on my thigh, all while I’m naked bar for a tiny piece of fabric attached to a length of string.

Could you?

I wouldn’t want to do what they do. But I’m no longer going to assume that these women are powerless, or repressed, or that what they are doing must be painful, or forced, or out of necessity.  There’s a part of me that thinks, perhaps, that’s part of the problem her. The assumption that because it should be, it must- maybe that’s the part that’s degrading. That concept only serves to take from them the power of what they are doing. It dismisses the choices they’ve made for themselves, and the work they put in to be the best of the best at their chosen profession. I can only imagine how insulting it must be. The chicks were hot, kicking arse at their profession and making a whole lot of cash. And in control? Maybe. Quite possibly.

More power to you, ladies.

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Mitchell Thompson June 4, 2013 at 11:09 am
Karolina May 20, 2013 at 3:47 am

Hi Lori,

I am a respectable and educated stripper, working in the club that you wrote about.
I well could have been the girl on stage waving and smiling at you in a friendly manner. Not because I was excited to see you, but because I thought you might come and give me a tip for entertaining you. Or getting you to go to a private show with me later. Which I hope you did.

And the girl who was cleaning the pole with a spray and a towel? She needed to make sure there’s no body lotions or self tanning products on the pole so she can perform without slipping and hurting herself. I hope you tipped her for those amazing pole tricks she pulled off too. Oh, and don’t feel sad for me for covering up my breasts after finishing my stage show; it is against the rules to walk on the floor topless so better to cover up!

I am very sorry that you would walk in to my work place thinking of me as a worthless slut. I probably sensed that you were slightly disgusted by me when I came over to talk to you after and excused myself from your table rather quickly. (Us strippers are very skilled at figuring out what the patron’s true feelings are.) I think I can talk on the behalf of all the strippers in the club: I certainly did not think of you as a respectable, sweet looking woman at all. Women come to the club with their husbands all the time, and more often than not say or do something disrespectful.

I understand a strip club can be a very intimidating place for a female patron. Sometimes even I feel intimidated by the other dancer’s sexiness. On a bad day I want to call some of the girls sluts for dancing in a more provocative way than I do. Then I realize that this urge has nothing to do with said dancers, but only reflects my own, less than perfect, self esteem. I always keep the words to myself.

I am happy that you had somewhat of a positive experience though. Hopefully you won’t go around thinking of us as sluts anymore (I wouldn’t mind if you stopped using that word altogether) and accept the fact that women (as men) have the right and the ability to choose what they want to do with their naked bodies.

- Karolina

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Meganschmoo April 27, 2011 at 8:43 am

Really glad you had the guts to actually go in and experience it. And respect for being able to write objectively on a subject that you had prior adversion to.

I am 24 and a stripper, I've been doing it for about a year and a half now. I actually work just up the street from Men's Gallery, at Pure Platinum.

We often get women in and most of the time, they have a great experience, it's always fun to sit down and chat with them and generally, they get to ask us all the questions they've ever wanted answers to regarding the industry. Sometimes though, we do get women who are offending by the whole thing and become angry at their partners for making them go. Makes me quite sad when this happens as it can be a rally enjoyable experience if you're a little open to it.

I guess people, mostly women, need to realise that alot of the time we do have a choice. I do this job for many reasons; night work suits me, I'v been a dancer almost my whole life and I love performing, 80% of the men I meet are genuine, intelligent people and I have gained good friends from spending time with them and it allows me to travel more than anyone else I know. On top of that, I have a boyfriend who lives in Darwin and I am able to go up there and work on a regular basis so we can spend time together.

At the end of the day, what we all need to understand is that this profession of selling sex or, as we see it "the fantasy" because it really is a much more rounded experience than just plain getting naked, has been around for many, many hundreds of years and will continue to do so because there will always be a place for it.

Hopefully, as time goes on, more women will feel comfortable enough to come visit and have a good time with us.

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Anonymous March 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I'm on some of the parenting forums you are, but I had a secret side before having my child – doing much more than stripping. And I certainly felt pretty in control of it all. Not forced into it at all. And yes, feeling a bit that the men were the ones being used. My "secret" blog is here if you ever fell like a peak behind the scenes…

http://www.forloversofcurves.blogspot.com/

Start at the oldest post for a complete read though.

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Livi March 10, 2011 at 8:09 am

I am about as far removed from feminism as it is possible to get, but I would love to be a stripper. I've been to strip club and loved it, the girls were lovely, chatty and totally in control. I think they are proof that men are the ones being "used" because they're paying for it.
And for that matter, why are strip clubs seen in the way you say but women going to see Chipendales or having a male stripper is fine?!

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jbakstudios March 10, 2011 at 1:33 am

A few things:

1. One, great post. I say more power to them! I've been to one strip club (high class kind) and found the women to be confident and in charge. At this particular place, most of the men didn't seem to take it too seriously, so I didn't get the feeling that they were being taken advantage of (with a few exceptions). It all seemed like a simple business transaction between individuals.

2. In a related note, I have a male friend who hates "booth babes" (do you have those in Australia? The scantilly-clad women hawking products at trade shows) because he feels exploited by the women & the vendor. He wants to know about the product and insulted that they are trying to appeal to his penis to sell to him.

3. I have an ex (who I think is pretty effed in the head on a lot of views), who finds strippers and the people who go to them are "souless." I pointed out that he in one night dropped $1,500 on strippers in Vegas. He responded that "that was Before." I also pointed out that his sister, whom he loves very much and has a great relationship, was a stripper before. He didn't really have a response for that.

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MummyLion March 10, 2011 at 8:32 am

I used to be a stripper and you've hit the nail on the head – it is the men who get mugged off. The dancers generally have great comradeship, obviously you get a little jealousy and a few clashes, particularly in the bigger clubs. But it is mostly a great sisterhood, I had some fantastic times and wouldnt change it for the world.

The only thing i did notice was that many women had been sexually abused to a certain degree in the past. But then, sexual abuse of women is more common than you'd expect anyway. I think this kind of experience forces a detachment of the body/brain so makes it all easier than it would be for the average person.

The only men i had respect for in those clubs were the ones who had been dragged there on their stag night and refused a dance. i think there were two or three in my whole time.

A great stripper is a great actress.

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Cheryl March 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Hi Lori – glad to see you thinking other thoughts…

Strip clubs exist on many socio-economic levels. I've been to the nice ones, and felt the camaraderie and admired the beauty and confidence and talent. I've also been to the cheaper, not-so-nice ones, where women, not-so-pretty, shuffle around the stage with the half-lidded eyes of the heroin addict, and then they go out the back and give blow jobs for drug money to not-so-nice men.

And, if you watch the regulars watching the women, it's hard not to feel sorry for the ones who will never know what a loving, sexual, sexy, relationship feels like.

love to you, and continued progress as you make your way down this most sad and difficult path.

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Marianna Annadanna March 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

I've always hated strip clubs. Problem is, I guess, I've never been.

I have, however, been to a few bachelorette parties in which male stripper were present and I hated that just as much. It's just about the overall social ojectification – male or female.

But your post has made me think, and maybe I shouldn't be so damn quick to judge. Bravo!

BTW, doing this (and posting about it) is just another example of how courageous and wise you truly are!

Marianna

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Misfits Vintage March 9, 2011 at 10:02 am

Lori,

So beautifully written – "rampant tribal heat" – you have such a fabulous turn of phrase.

We all have our stories. I love reading yours.

Sarah xxx

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In Real Life March 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

You are such an amazing story-teller, Lori. I've never been to a strip club, but I felt like I was sitting there beside you, your descriptions are so vivid.

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Adalita March 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

Excellent thought provoking post Lori.

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Glen March 9, 2011 at 4:21 am

thought it was time for a man's point of view.

I've been about a bit and have visited a few of these places you mention, all over the world, time and time again and frankly I don't really like them…

no really, joking aside I went because 'that's what you do' I never really felt comfortable. Don't get me wrong – I didn't exactly sit there with my eyes shut, 'the blood flowed in the right places' as they say… but I just felt a bit dirty and used and I never really liked it. I felt embarrassed.

As for the women well to a point you are bang on, in the better places the women will be doing very nicely out of it and absolutely have the upper hand. For sure I do believe there are plenty of examples showing how women are entirely gaining by using us men in this way. However, you have to face facts, for every one of these high class strip bars with genuinely happy women in, there are 10 that tell a much sorrier tale (I've certainly visited those ones).
Not all women strip through choice, and I don't just mean because they are broke – I mean they have no choice and I can tell you now the men going to see them couldn't give a toss about that (most men).

Now that I'm a bit older and more confident in making my own choices, I usually say no when 'the lads' are heading that way and leave them to it.

usually :-)

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Good Golly Miss Holly! March 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Maybe I'm just a dirty old pervert but I love strippers!

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Karen March 9, 2011 at 3:17 am

Nice!
Been there, done that too like you Lori. Enjoyed it if only to see the look of drunken happiness on my husband's and his friends' faces when I paid for lap dances for each of them. My poor husband was too confused and gobsmacked to even muster up an erection with me there! LOL! I didn't get the impression the girls were particularly happy though. Some smiled and worked it, others were seemingly on auto-pilot. It was an eye opener for me too in a similar way though to your experience. :)
I don't think I'd go back. My curiosity has been satisfied now.

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Hear Mum Roar March 9, 2011 at 12:56 am

Thanks for the interesting insight. I've never been to one, myself. When it comes to females stripping, I have more of a problem with the men who go to watch it, than the women stripping, and always have. I find it hard to put into words why that is.

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Ampersand Duck March 9, 2011 at 10:23 am

Hi Lori
I've been lurking for a while, not knowing how to introduce myself because of what you've been going through. I'm so glad WA worked some magic on you!

I've been naked in front of a crowd, but in a very different way — as a life model. It's still a very odd experience, and the reason I'm writing is because a few things struck me as being quite similar. Like the fact that the drawing group, (especially the men, but also the women) would chat happily to me when I was naked & posed, but as soon as I put on my clothes, they would get shy and avoid me. The dynamic of being on/off the job? or just a dropping of barriers, so to speak?

Heh, Love that moment when you were waved at.

Keep up the good work, hang in there. FWIW, things do get better, thanks to the anaesthetic qualities of time, but the pain just sinks, doesn't leave. You'll get there.

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Anonymous March 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I hate strip clubs. I have long thought that the way men's sexuality is treated by society is degrading to them. In a strip club the women (or more particularly the owners/managers) have the power and the men make fools of themselves. Reinforces the message that men are insatiable creatures of lust who just can't say no. Not true. Plus it objectiies women.

I find them depressing and sad places. Sex is awesome. Fun, exciting, etc. Strip clubs strip all the true joy out of it. I don't expect people to agree – its just my opinion.

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Anonymous March 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I worked in a brothel as a receptionist (ahem I hear you say…sure sure) but true. It was an eyeopener to say the very least.
The ladies that worked there were friendly, kind, funny, confident women, each of them in a unique situation, with their own story. The women always treated eachother with respect and were a great support to each other in the workplace, unlike any other workplace I had been in.
…as the saying goes – Never judge a book by its cover…
The men – from the clients to the creepy maintenance man, to the owner and his cronies well thats a story for another time.
Nice post Lori…sorry to be anon on this one xxx

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suburp March 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Interesting post for many reasons for me.
first off, I feel like in most countries in Europe, sex workers (not only the strippers!) have been accepted into society (anything else would be an illusion) and are now seen as more than only as victims or mindless sluts (although some certainly still are). I find all kinds of people interesting, and I went to a strip club at 18, then also went to see a live sex show. It was interesting and I have been back since.
I always am a bit taken aback about attitudes and language here in Australia (Qld..) about related subjects.. I see your post as part of the maturity process many people still have to go through in that context. Some are medivial!
It's a great post indeed for int.womens day too!
And let's not forget, many of these women are mothers too.. There's a thought.
On the other hand, I wonder if Lori, who has seen the dark would be as impressed now by the dark and velvety strip club as you were back then. I find that extreme situations make us more open minded to accept other extremes.
Life has all sort of colours. And some women still shine in dark places. I can live with that. All the best to you Lori.x

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Amy xxoo March 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I love how unbelievably well written this piece is Lori. So eloquent, and i think it sums up most of what i always assumed about professional strippers. The only difference is i never thought it would be easy… i'm fine with taking my clothes off for my fiance but no way would i be able to turn on the seduction and do it front of anyone else…

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Stinky March 8, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I was going to comment on the feminist aspect on this, but I realised I'm probably talking out my arse, and I don't have a set opinion, except, as we say, on having the choice in the first place, and not being exploited.
Haven't studied feminism and maybe read 2 books on it ever . . . but I wanted to mention about whether the women were well-paid from this, and who is actually 'management' – is that another woman or is it a man? And should this matter? If a man makes money from naked dancing ladies?

But as people said above – strippers have bought a house, used it while advancing in some other way, used it as a stop-gap measure to achieve something.
I'm weird about being looked at, whether clothed or unclothed. Have considered life-modelling (for about 30 seconds), which might be of a similar ilk, although can hide as being 'arty'.

Good thought-provoking post, as I tend to find here

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Miss Pink March 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Power to you.
Sometimes i feel like the only person in Sydney who has never been to Kings Cross, i'd like to go but honestly i'm FAR too chicken. Maybe with a group of girls, but the men in those places? Men going there to watch that? That's what disgusts me.
And yeah, i feel intimidated by those women, more than disgusted, but maybe i'd have a good experience like you? If i ever grow the balls to actually go there :|

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Anonymous March 8, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I have had two friends work for the Mens Gallery in Melbourne. One was a flatmate, who did work as a stripper there for a while, and bought her house with the money she made, and another who worked as a waitress, and met her husband there (he also worked there). She tells a different story to what you witnessed – which makes me think that like any business, it really does depend on the individual involved. Friend one lost her confidence and her sense of self definately changed. Friend 2, as a spectator, had a different experience. I think it takes a particular kind of strength to come out of that work environment and not be affected by the complexity of it. Some women do fine, and have the control you talk of, others are badly affected, and lost some part of themselves.

Thanks for the post, I've always wanted to go, but ..so far hasn't happened.

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Mum to a Miracle March 8, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Having been to both, I would totally choose a "gentlemans club" over a male revue. I went along with my boyfriend when I was about 20… basically to see what the big deal is.

I felt weird but didn't have the threatening male testosterone feeling that you did. I was waiting for one of the girls to get "threatened" by an outsider on her turf.

After going, I was nevver phased when "the boys" went for whatever reason, bucks nights or a Saturday lunch.

I wouldn't do it myself, for 2 reasons. Mainly, my bod is not that of a dancer. But 2) I would be too scared of someone I knew coming in. Give me the body and guarantee that noone of my old friends or worse, one of my family could walk in and I would be there!

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MummaMoments March 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Lori, you are such an amazing writer! Thanks for such an inspiring peice about women, for women, on international womens day! You rock!

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Anonymous March 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm

My best friend works at the Mens Gallery in Sydney :-)

(also I'm anon for this one, because she probably wouldn't like me to be talking about her)

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Leanne March 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm

That's such a great post for International Women's Day. Yay for you.

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thelexhex March 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm

This entry = win

Very well-written; makes your readers think.
I am so glad you posted this!

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thelexhex March 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm

This comment has been removed by the author.

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connieemeraldeyes March 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm

I used to be friends with a stripper. She was really nice. She had no qualms about her body and she just looked at it like it was a good way to make money. Some people don't care if they are naked. Look at nudist beaches.

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mummabear1970 March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm

What a fascinating post. My opinion? I see stripping as a business transaction, especially in a controlled establishment like that. Those women know what they are doing, like you said they are in control of the situation. They are providing a service & being paid for it. The men want to see their bodies & holy hell, if I had a good bod maybe I would even consider it for the $$!

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Penny March 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I LOVE this post! So well written! I feel the same mostly, although I have been to a strip club where I did see the hurt and low self esteem in their eyes. I think thats the deiiference between a dive and a high class place.

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bec @ Bad Mummy March 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I think what interests me about feminism is the lack of choices it tends to give women. If you stay at home with your kids you can't be a feminist, nor can you if you have sex or strip for money and you sure as hell can't be a feminist if you "rent" out your uterus to give another couple a child.

When in fact, these are choices we get to make as women and choosing to do one of them to support ourselves and our family doesn't make as weak or anti feminist, it simply means we have a choice and that we're able to make it.

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MissyBoo March 9, 2011 at 1:14 am

Fabulous post. I remember going to a strip club in Paris when I was in my very early 20s. Your post took me back there, and though I could not describe my experience quite so eloquently as you have, I had very similar thoughts and feelings as you've described

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Being Me March 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Thought-provoking post, Lori.

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ForeverRhonda March 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm

I agree, although I have seen the other side of it where the women were powerless…visit some not so nice "gentlemans clubs" and you will find that. But I think for the most part these women are not slutty, worthless whores. They are just women, making a living like everyone else.

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Lucy March 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Wonderful post Lori. I too have been to such a venue. And came away with a total different perspective and respect.

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Samantha March 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I have always had stripping in the back of my mind as Plan Z should I ever get into serious financial trouble. I am quietly confident I could turn myself off to the "degredation", make enough money to save myself and return to a normal happy sparkly life.
Having said that, I've never been to a strip club. But hearing your view on it gave me more confidence that I could do it – but only out of neccesity! :)
Sx

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Clarinda March 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

great post, has given me lots to think about

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Cate March 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

What an utterly brilliant post! I have been to strip clubs with my husband and his mates before and got a similar feeling. I really do think you need to go to one to make your own conclusion though. Great post!

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Glowless @ Where's My Glow March 8, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I couldn't take my clothes off for a living – party because I think people would be more inclined to pay me to put them back on. I have two friends who are strippers (they don't call themselves exotic dancers, they say strippers/pole dancers) and they are the most confident, savvy women I've ever met.
As for going in to a strip club? My hens night :) I figured if MapGuy was going to one, so was I – and I regard myself a fierce feminist, even studied it at uni.

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cathy@home March 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I'm sorry like all things not all strippers are equal there are some not so lucky to be in control but still it’s a very thought provoking post, Lori

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Rebekah March 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I've always wanted to go to a strip club too. And beautiful post! We (at least women I know and I) so frequently expect bitchiness from other women and pre-emptively launch it against them — who knows what friends we could have had? I love that the best stripper covered up after her show and waved at you. That is one confident woman.

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Toni March 8, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I went to a 'Ladies Only' strip show once, and I was horrified. The guys taking their clothes off were pretty arrogant but given the way the female audience was carrying on, I'm not surprised.
They were definitely the ones who were degraded by the whole experience, altho most of them were so drunk I doubt they would realise it.
I also went to a show which was mostly for men, and got chatting to one of the performers in the loos. She was a nice girl, very smart, working her way through uni, with a boyfriend and big dreams.
She said most of the girls were like her, and that it's usually only the ones who're using drugs that end up in trouble.

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jacqui March 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Great post, Lori. I have often wondered why women can be so bitchy to and almost competitive with other women. I really try not to judge others until I've walked in their shoes…although I'm not entirely sure I would be able to walk in some of the stripper shoes I've seen!

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tattoomummy March 8, 2011 at 1:25 pm

There's a really good book called "the business of sex" it completely changed my veiw of the sex work industry. I can now see it as that – work. These womeen wouldn't be in these positions if the opportunity wasn't there.

I really recommend the book to you, especially if you're still curious about the whole feminist part of it all =]

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Katie March 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm

seems quite a few of us have been to a strip cub! I went along wth my fiancae at the time and ended up talking about babies and shoes with one of the girls, she had little ones at home I was pregnant. I wish I could be that comfortble sitting in my underwear after two kids!

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Kristyn March 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I've never been to a strip club, ever. Maybe I should now.

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Madmother March 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I run against the crowd – strip clubs and lingerie bars were a big part of my youth.

I may have to tell my story one day too.

Well written, thought provoking, good to see you back a little.

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CourtneyB March 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Tell ya what Lori if i had the bod and the time to spend waxing that thang up every week, well id be up and down a stripper pole quicker than you could say home baked scones, cause well, look at how much cash they make! Yay! Go girls, dance for the cash. Do whatever works for you.

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