Ryan Cole

Ryan began working as a stripper in Melbourne, Australia a few years ago. She now lives in between Adelaide (where everything is criminalised) and Sydney (where there is decriminalisation of sex work!) and mostly works privately doing full service. Her tumblr is ryrysparkleby.tumblr.com

maxines_barI get into work at the strip club and put my bag down. “Who is leaving all these condoms around here? We’re not fucking whores!” “Why do people have condoms in here, it’s meant to be a STRIP CLUB, who is doing that shit?” I replied straight back, “They’re not mine, but what’s the big deal? Lots of us do extras.” Hours pass, and in a quieter, more private moment, the same worker who said this earlier confides to me that she does extras too.

The first sex work I did was in a strip club—in the state I was living in at the time (Victoria, Australia) there is a complex legal system for the sex industry which means to work legally for yourself you must register with your legal name and only do outcalls. The only other way to work legally is in a brothel where the money cuts are less and you had to attend monthly invasive health checks to work (recently reduced to once every three months). Neither of these options really appealed to me, so I chose to work in a way that was criminalized, but where I could keep the maximum amount of my money, take care of my own health, have the maximum amount of control over how I worked and also avoid police as much as possible. I chose to work in a strip club. [READ MORE]