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...
I’ve seen a wide variety of women up close and personal whilst working as a lapdancer but when I heard about Project Bush I was forced to look at my bits and her history in a totally different light.
My relationship with my vagina and the hairs that straddle it are probably more extreme than the average woman. It’s a money-maker, its hidden promise earning me twenty after twenty as I exposed it in private booths. It’s a nuisance, with last-minute dashes to the backstage bathroom where I’d dry-shave it with a rusty razor that lived permanently in the bottom of a grubby make-up bag. It was a source of pain and hilarity, after a disastrous trip to get it waxed and vajazzled had become one of my most popular blog posts. It’s a thing of beauty, as I dab over the shaving rash with super-strength concealer, dyed it bright pink for a laugh, red for Christmas, and spent £30 a pop on getting tiny Swarovski crystals glued on. It’s also a dangerous troublemaker, as it’s illegal to spread your pussy lips in most of London’s gentleman’s clubs, even in a VIP booth, and I’d been fined for ‘playing with my pussy’ by an eagle-eyed bouncer before.
After reading some articles in the Guardian and the Times, which both wondered whether an ad agency were the best place to launch a modern-feminist project, I send a Tweet begging for a place. When you’ve bared all to hundreds, thousands even, and had to pay an initial house fee for the privilege, then a free photo shoot for the people famous for the PG Tips monkey doesn’t seem so daunting.
They gave me a spot later that afternoon, which was lucky as I had dinner with my mother planned for that evening. The agency also happened to be round the corner from the White Horse, a traditional strip pub I popped into afterwards – solo– to voyeuristically peruse other women’s bodies over a quick gin and tonic. My Thursday could not have turned out more interesting if I’d tried….
After a quick sojourn at the Liverpool Street toilets to give myself the obligatory wipe, I mourned the fact that this was probably the most boring my bush had looked for a while. Shaved into my standard landing strip two days ago, with a bit of growth sprouting around the edges. No vajazzle, no coloured dye, no fake tan – not even a tattoo. I’m sorry #teamclearheels, it wasn’t so pornographically stripper-plastastic that it could stand out in a crowd.
The ‘ad agency’ turned out to be more of a Mother Ship – a huge building of several floors, a grand staircase, and achingly cool creative types tapping on Mac books in a raw concrete setting. Project Bush was bringing a whole new meaning to the term ‘Shoreditch Twat.’ I wanted to peek at all the new and exciting things I’d be wearing/talking/drinking in 2014 but instead got ushered by the requisite bubbly and sweet assistant into a big waiting room, Formica trestle tables laden with jugs of water and biscuits. I’d never been paid in biscuits before, so I grabbed a couple of McVities just to say that I now had.
The ‘Bush Booth’ was, in fact, a curtained off studio with big lights and markers on the floor. Any hopes of a novelty photo-booth were dashed. This was obviously being approached incredibly seriously, as a modern-feminist debate – ‘My Bush, My Choice’ – rather than a campaign which saw lady gardens as something to snigger about. Alisa Connan turned out to be a lovely chatty brunette lady who usually photographed portraits of beautiful models and famous types for the glossies. As I stood on the floor markers, angling my hips and curving my back at her direction, I pondered on how this wasn’t very different to when I usually showed it. At home, in a private dance, in the Project Bush Booth – it’s always displayed in a one-on-one environment.
There’s a forthcoming exhibition, of course – no doubt a website and a coffee table book – and those few sparse dark hairs will be discussed and dissected by academics, journalists and various arty types. But I hope that a few previously confused girls and women see my fluffy mound, and realise that it is their choice. It can be shaven, waxed, scribbled over with Crayola – as long as they find it beautiful, in its own furry way. Your bush is your own project, and should bring a smile, not a scowl, to everyone’s face.