Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why Are Strip Clubs Closing? (Survey)

Dear TNT Family,

Reacting to the sudden and unexpected news that the strip club I work in is cutting back its hours to weekends only, I vlogged a short rant about how the demise of strip clubs is hurting the sex industry.

You can view the clip here: 



I uploaded the video to Facebook first. Within one hour, the rant had been viewed over 60 times by friends and colleagues and had several shares. One day and hundeds of views later, an interesting discussion has ensued examining what exactly is the cause of strip clubs closing in BC, Canada.

Among the culprits named were...

-the failing economy
-bad decision-making by club owners, managers, and/or agents
-lack of theme shows
-Internet porn
-drinking and driving laws
-the dawn of the lap dance
-the dawn of the half show
-low pay and little incentive for entertainers
-lack of a rotating line-up
-government crackdown on “unacceptable activities” on stage leading to “tamer” shows
-greedy club owners
-unprofessional entertainers
-a change in public attitudes about having drinks on your lunch break or schmoozing clients in the clubs
-prohibitionists pushing an “exploitation of women” agenda; shaming others into agreeing with them

One commenter even said “the industry is dead.” I disagreed citing some clubs that seem to be doing well still. However, some current dancers are expressing in private groups that it's not worth being in the industry anymore due to their falling incomes.

Here are some of the other comments I had that were (or still might be) challenged by others:

“I agree there are multiple reasons why we don't have a strip club in every municipality anymore but it really started in the 2-5 years leading up to the Olympics. VIP's continue to be a popular part of many but not all strip clubs. Theme shows don't happen because of the onset of half shows. If anything, half shows (which started around the same time as the short-lived free shows in BC) have had a negative effect on the shows. Dancers aren't earning enough, nor is there enough time on stage to pull off big themes anymore. I fully agree that theme shows would bring people in and it is sad that they got largely phased out because of the onset of half shows.”

“I don't think it is "wising up and becoming more respectable to women" to stop going to strip clubs. Many customers LEARN how to respect women from coming to our clubs. Most customers already are respectful to women in our clubs. The small minority [of customers] who look down on us do that because SOCIETY says we are the lowest of the low - loose women with loose morals. Stereotypes and bullshit.”

“I think the change in public behaviours is huge. No more bringing foreign clients to clubs for meetings. No more lunch hour beers for construction workers. It became politically incorrect to combine work and drink, as well as the anti's pushing their "exploitation of women" agenda that so many people fell for.”

“If we are going to bring back more theme shows, the dancers need to be up on stage for full shows and make a decent enough income to afford the costumes and supplies required to make it happen. Incentives!”

What do you think? Am I right? Am I completely out of it? Why do YOU think some strip clubs are closing or cutting back?

The answer to that question interests me so much, I created a survey to collect your responses. Please complete this very short, anonymous survey telling me your opinion on this subject. I will summarize the results in coming weeks on NakedTruth.ca.


Thanks for your insight and participation. Xo


Annie

PS. Please subscribe to The Naked Truth's Youtube channel to see more videos like this in the future and weigh in on relevant subjects. 


About the Author

Annie Temple has 17 years experience as a striptease artist and over 15 years as a sex worker rights activist, but she's been a rebel all her life. In 2000, she founded NakedTruth.ca to support other entertainers by reducing isolation, educating about health and safety, sharing information about gigs, challenging stereotypes, teaching etiquette to customers, and organizing in-person events for charity and to promote ethical businesses in the industry. Annie is a mom of three, a lover of writing and dancing. Currently she continues to run NakedTruth.ca and recently she embarked on spreading her messages on YouTube as AnarchistStripper-Mom!   

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Why Sex Work is My Only Option...I Am Disabled

Guest Post by Anonymous


I am glad I made my kids' lunches before I went to bed. 

Sometime during the night, the joints in my hands and knees stiffened up and became very painful. 

I hobbled to the bathroom hoping I would wake up feeling better. 

This is the nature of my existence - I am at the mercy of chronic, debilitating pain. 

Will today be excruciating? Or will I launch into a week where I think “It's going into remission!”

I have high hopes of healing my autoimmune issues and working full-time again one day. I would be a workaholic if it weren't for my kids and my disability. I'm just that kind of person. I love to work.

As it is, I get federal disability benefits. My income will decrease substantially as each of my children turns 18. I will receive a little over $600 a month to live on when my nest is empty.

Before I was approved for disability,we struggled. I couldn't afford rent, food, or car. With my health issues and the food allergies we share amongst us, I really had no choice. I had to find work.

As you can imagine, there weren't too many jobs available to me under the circumstances. So, I started working for myself.

Today, between my disability income and my self-employment income, I am able to make ends meet. I feed my kids healthy, organic, whole foods. I run and re-fuel a vehicle. We have a roof over our heads and a song in our souls. Life is good.

On days when I am well enough, I work in the sex industry. 

On a square note...SKILLS! I gots skillz coming out the yin-yang. I could enter the square workforce in the good-paying industry of communications. I could go back to front-line support work - less pay but more intrinsic rewards. 

If only I could consistently make deadlines or commit to shifts.

Unfortunately, making deadlines and committing to shifts are not options for me. I can only work when I'm well and that's something I can't predict. My last employer told me straight out, “Come back when you're not sick anymore.” I pray for that day to come.

If this sounds to you like the lament of an exploited, trafficked victim of the patriarchy; you are mistaken. True, I have no other work options than sex industry work. But, it may surprise you to learn that I love what I do.

I would lose myself if my whole life consisted of mothering and being in pain without work to break the tedium and colleagues to banter with.

In fact, my work brings real comfort to people. My work heals people. Healing people in turn heals me. Since returning to the workforce in this industry, my health has improved.

Physically, I have less pain on bad days and enjoy more good days. Emotionally, sex industry work enables me to retain my dignity and optimism.

On days when I cannot work, there is no one to tell me I'm fired. There is no one emailing and texting me about their campaign as I struggle through my mom duties between my naps. 

There is no shame of calling in sick...again. There is no self-hatred. I do not lie in my bed second-guessing my reason for existence. 

Thanks to sex industry work, my children do not live in desolate poverty. I do not feel like I am failing as a parent. I do not beat myself up for being unable to provide for my family. I provide for my family.

Thanks to sex industry work, I have fellowship. I have respite from the daily struggle. There is laughter with other adults. There is kindness, support, understanding, and acceptance from a community that envelops me with honesty and compassion.

Will you say that I should live in poverty with my children and turn away from work you consider distasteful or sinful? Will you say that I should do other self-employment...find a way...anything but sex work? Will you discount my story saying I suffer from low intelligence, am privileged, or I am an exception to the rule?

This is what I say...

I am grateful for sex industry work. I am a fan of my clients. I am a good provider for my family. In this area of my life, my disability does not entirely constrain me.

Let my story be your epiphany...

I am not degraded, exploited, nor oppressed by sex work. I am empowered, energized, and enabled by sex work. 

The sex industry serves people with disabilities on both sides of the exchange. Please think about that before lobbying for my demise.


#SexWorkIsRealWork #Disabled_Powerful