Sassy by name, Sassy by nature, I write to explode the myths which surround the lapdancing profession - standing up for the clubs, the girls and the customers. Its not always drinking champagne and playing with my tits - it can be hassle, hustling and hangovers. At heart I'm just a regular twenty-something posh cockney living in London who likes taking her clothes off...
Lapdancing establishments, stripjoints and gentleman’s clubs – all found in major towns and cities in Great Britain – from Aberdeen to Newquay, multicultural Birmingham to Shakespeare’s homeland of Stratford upon Avon. It’s reportedly an industry which contributes £2.1billion a year to Britain’s ailing economy, with clubs and dancers continuing to pull in the profits despite the recession. Yet it repeatedly attracts controversy and suffers from a poor reputation in the eyes of the media, feminists and the public.
So what are the positives and negatives of lapdancing in the U.K.? Can it really be the open and shut case some would like us to think when it opens up such vehemence and continuing debate, whether over a pint, the pages of a lad’s mag, the crowds spitting fethers in a local council hall, or even the hallowed chambers of Parliament itself?
I thought that as a British lapdancer with some semblance of an education I would put my fifty pence worth in and make a list of the pro’s and con’s of working as a stripper in the U.K.
- Positive; Provide’s immediate employment for women without typical working skills
- Negative; No job security, poor management and tax advice and few rights as an employee.
- Positive; Great training in sales techniques.
- Negative; Hard to transfer skills – stigma means you can’t put it on a CV without raised eyebrows.
- Positive; Good security round most establishments.
- Negative; Macho steroid culture amongst male staff.
- Positive; Flexible working hours with mainly nighttime shifts.
- Negative; Nighttime routine screws up daily life. Encourages poor time management.
- Positive; Customer’s sit in groups with little interaction so less violence.
- Negative; female customers may feel uncomfortable. Guys egg each other on.
- Positive; Doesn’t encourage binge drinking in the way some bars do – money is spent on dances, not jaegerbombs.
- Negative; High prices charged, buying of large bottles encouraged so its easy to spend large amounts when drunk.
- Positive; Encourages excercise and taking care of your body, skin, teeth, nails and hair.
- Negative; Strong plastic surgery and other extreme measures culture amongst the dancers.
- Positive; Gives it’s female employees a positive sense of self and reward.
- Negative; But it can also give women a negative view of themselves and their capabilities.
- Positive; Empowers women.
- Negative; Objectifies women.
(with thanks to Rodrigo Favera for his attributed licensed photo http://www.everystockphoto.com/photographer.php?photographer_id=424)