Posted on June 07 2018
This post is part 3 of a 4 part series looking at the experiences of women working in strip clubs, created from a collection of interviews from women who have been stripping for atleast two years. Part 1 heard the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences from their first day as a stripper, part 2 looked at the money comparison around the world, and now we look at the sisterhood (or the lack of) in strip clubs.
We've asked the Question:
How do you relate with the other girls you work with?
Kristina (UK)OK - There were a couple of girls I didn't get on with, but you get that in every work place, don't you. We were respectful to each other and just stayed out each other's way. Then you've got your ride-or-die bitches, who I knew had my back. The girls that I vented to in the dressing room. They helped with my fake tan, make up etc., and just got me hyped to hustle.
Jaxx (Wellington, NZ)
I had an amazing relationship with the other girls & my management. Some of these fines ladies are still everyday fixtures in my life.
Cleo (Gold Coast, AUS)
I am very close to the girls there and all my best friends work there. Lots of the girl hang out with each other after work meetings or on their days off.
To me the girls were nice. But I'm the type of person that when I'm working, I'm in the zone, and I'm kind of shy so I don't usually stir trouble. The girls were friendly and I didn't get any sort of bitchy, stuck-up vibes. There were girls from all over the world for a whole variety of reasons. Not even half of the girls were Japanese, but there were a few mixed Japanese, Russian, Romanian, Brazilian, Filipino, Thai, American, Australian, French - everywhere. Because a lot of us were international I guess that helped us bond a bit.
Pippa (Auckland, NZ)
We’re all mostly lovely. We have fun. We found a balance between being a little family that is all there to make bank. We celebrate each other getting bookings. And we mourn together over personal shit. There’s always a couple of snakes though.
Oh I hate them all. I have met very few people I like, and even though I have friends there, I would consider them friends outside of the strip club - we are NOT friends when we work.
And then there's everything I hate even more than that: All the racism, sexism, and general hate that comes along with a lot of these girls.
I get a lot of rude comments about my boyfriend (as he knows I'm stripping) - that as soon as he finds out "what a strip club actually is" he's going to leave me, since no man wants to date a stripper etc.
The islamophobia and xenophobia is bothering me a lot. For example most of the Romanian and Hungarian girls I work with are racist as hell and will sit and talk about how Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia will collapse because they "let in too many muslims and immigrants". For me this doesn't make any sense, since most of the immigrants here right now are actually from Romania (ironically enough), and there are loads of Hungarian immigrants as well.
This racism transcends from the dancers into the regular staff as well. Both the managers and the bartenders are usually as racist as the dancers.
Patrons of some races are denied entry with some excuse from the security, such as the club is full.
I've seen several black guys in there so I don't think the racism is very tough towards black guys, I think they're usually allowed in. I've never seen a black girl dance in Copenhagen though. I asked about it once and they told me "No black girl ever applied" but I'm not sure that's true.
The girls also always hate prostitutes and spend a lot of time talking shit about how disgusting prostitutes are.
It's like a family.
'Same boat' mentality.
Whoa! So on the whole a pretty strong sisterhood where best friends are made, where your fellow stippers are your family. But the experience (and remember this is a single experience of one club) is in vast contrast to this. Whether down to the culture of the management or the atmosphere and reality of strip clubs in that country is to be determined - but Copenhagen - Yeeesh!
Watch out for our next, and final, part of the blog series!
For updates on upcoming rallies, petitions, general updates for sex workers and to speak to someone about unfair treatment head over toThe East London Stripper Collective. ELSC aim to promote the self-organisation of strippers / lapdancers in the UK, and to challenge societal attitudes towards stripclub activity by uniting performers, creating their own working conditions and empowering dancers.
Whether you've been/are a dancer, or are simply supporting sex workers and are allied with this notion (which you should be, sex work is work and strippers should have workplace rights) head to their page and give it a like! https://www.facebook.com/ELSCpresents