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...
So this past week or two student strippers have been all over the media – including one you know – me!
The Sun, always a supporter of women taking their clothes off, ran a piece on student strippers – no doubt capitalizing on Channel 4’s recent Strippers series. I stripped throughout my politics degree at university – to pay for my living costs, my fees, and just generally so that I didn’t feel like a poor impoverished waif whilst studying in London.
“I may look sexy stripping…but I think about toast” Read the full Sun article here
I’m really pleased that I participated, as the girls came across really positively – four dancers were interviewed and photographed in a fun and non-sleazy shoot at Holborn studios, but the article did end on a warning note from Dr. Rachela Colosi;
“These girls have to be careful about their future. Photos can pop up on the internet, even if they use pseudonyms, which most of them do. Careers like the law would not look on this favourably. I enjoyed working in the clubs while I was an undergraduate.”
But the lapdancers interviewed were definitely sassy…
“I think it’s given me lots of skills I can use in the workplace.” says Danni, who is a student stripper studying art.
Whilst Penny mentions “I was nervous at first but surprised by how much I enjoyed the job. You meet lots of intelligent girls in the clubs and we have a great time together. I find it glamorous and fun, I get to choose the days I work and do as little or as much as I want.”
Not that dancing gave me a champagne lifestyle – combining hours of study in a library with the exhaustion from working all night was too difficult to pull more than 3 shifts a week. Politics taxes your brain in a way that lapdancing simply can’t do, whilst London is full of enough temptation to keep any 20 something girl away from both the library and the nightly hustle.
Sarah, a university student stripper, also felt the same “Sometimes I’ll be really tired in lectures and have to concentrate not to drop off. It’s hard to study and focus when you’ve been out until 4am.”
But working as a lapdancer meant I could pay my rent, buy a coffee and lunch every day from Pret, and my clothes were more Topshop and trendy Shoreditch labels than Primarni.
Out of the 4 dancers featured in the piece, one I knew already whilst a 3rd was a nice surprise – another empowered student stripper! Danni uses her experiences stripping to inspire her artwork, painting strong and highly arresting paintings of women, as well as combining art projections and live stage-work in performance art pieces. You can follow her on @LucidEcdyiast.
Danni was also one of the dancers featured in the final Strippers episode, set in Aberdeen. With her ‘stripper wifey’, Xena, they travel around different clubs. I love strippers on tour, as regular readers know – I’ve been bleating on about it since at least 2012! Here’s an old blog post filled with tips on travelling and working as a dancer if you want to follow Danni’s example.