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...
Edith Piaf once sang ‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ and it seems that some in Cornwall may be singing the same refrain tonight.
A club in Newquay has had it’s application for a licence rejected, because the council says so. Their original reasons? An ambiguous statement from Inspector Ian Drummond Smith, stating;
“”those leaving the premises having been subject to highly sexualised performances may be at greater risk of committing sexual offences”.
Really? I’ve worked in the exotic dancing industry for a long time, I’ve had my fair share of interesting experiences following my highly sexualised performances, but I’m pretty sure I have never incited a man to rape or commit a sexual offence upon leaving the gentleman’s club premises.
The BBC article was a fair bit of unbiased reporting journalism, it didn’t paint us working girls out to be the devil’s advocate, thank god, but it still made me feel extremely uncomfortable.
Firstly, a vague idea and feeling from an officer upholding the law was used as key evidence to deny the licence. Since when were hunches taken into consideration with such weight? I can totally understand with objections from the residents living nearby, and agree that full consultation with the neighbouring community should always be sought when opening up a stripclub. But hunches should be seen as valid, as it breeds unwarranted fears against the industry I have made a personal choice to uphold and call my career. What does the Inspector and the resident’s group get for their highly publicised and damaging accusations? ‘No regrets – no tears will be shed, no-one to blame’ as Edith would say.
Secondly, as I said above, it gives me the willies (excuse the pun) that people see me as someone who incites violent crime. I wish I could show how much of my job is talking to men, massaging their egos, assuaging their fears. I calm people down more than I excite them.
An earlier BBC article has the Inspector backpedalling – he does not see the number of sex crimes in the area – 14 rapes and 30 assaults (higher than average) as having a direct link to lap dancing clubs, but argues that they could be ‘a contributing factor’. Whilst I understand that the honourable Inspector is, I’m sure, very knowledgeable, did he really have to make such a broad sweeping statement which he no doubt knew would provoke media excitement and mud-slinging? I’m not an Inspector, but I know that most rapes are committed by someone you know, not by the stag party dressed in mankini’s leaving Hooters.
I look forward to what Tower Hamlet’s council will say when denying licenses or their renewal. They’ve certainly been busy objecting over the past twelve months. I will be keeping an eye on their progress in shutting down the numerous clubs in their East End borough on this website.
Keep up the stripping solidarity folks!