Prince centerfold calendar spread from Creem Magazine

Prince was a centerfold; scan from Creem Magazine, June 1985

A game I like to play with my stripper friends sometimes is one where we pick our desert island strip club musicians: If you could only have five artists to dance to, ever, in the club, who would they be? The one artist that’s on everyone’s list is Prince.

There is no other catalog of music that has a broader application for strippers. Working in a club that banned hip-hop? Working in a hip hop club but feel like you can’t pull it off? DJ who doesn’t understand your requests? “Only top 40” rule? Old crowd? Young crowd? Prince has it covered like no other. And like Josephine said to me the other day, “Literally the worst pole dancer cannot screw up ‘Darling Nikki.'” When I was a baby stripper, dancing to Prince was how I learned to dance sexy on stage. “What would Prince do?” I thought, and then I humped the floor, and made more stage tips. [READ MORE]

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LVMadam3_Layout 1The Las Vegas Madam: The Escorts, The Clients, The Truth is the tell-all memoir of Jami Rodman, the madam who came to fame by employing former Olympic middle distance runner Suzy Favor Hamilton as a high-end escort. It covers her childhood all the way up through the formation and subsequent closure of the escort agency she started, Haley Heston’s Private Collection.

“Real life is complex. I got lucky, most don’t. This story is for them—the families pulled into the mess, the misplaced mothers, the stolen lives. May tomorrow be a better day.”

From the moment I read those words in the dedication, I had a bad feeling that this book was going to be written more to play to outsiders’ expectations than to advocate for the people Rodman worked with. Her employees were among the highest-earning escorts in the industry. If Rodman believed that even these privileged few qualify as having “stolen lives”, I had a feeling that she and I would have little in common.

[READ MORE]

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When Beyoncé’s “Drunk In Love” first came into our lives, every stripper I know considered surfbort to be the highlight of her night at the club for a solid month. My escort friends curate playlists for their incall appointments and memorize which song signals the end of a session (try Semisonic’s “Closing Time” if the 90s are your thing and subtlety is not). If you ever pay me for sex, we will bump uglies to a bump-n-grind playlist of today’s top 40 hip hop. My middle-aged white clients probably do not identify as R&B fans, but their involuntary bodily response to a good beat makes my job a lot easier. The truth is that every professional has her favorite playlist for work, but not all songs are created equal. Any music that keeps our heads in the game despite the threatening click of loose dentures during cunnilingus is already doing a service to sex workers. But in addition to salvaging some of our least sexy sexy times, certain cultural producers seem to be the lone voices unironically celebrating our savvy skills as sex professionals. Enter Canadian rap artist and Drake’s protege PARTYNEXTDOOR.

This guy joins a proud list of his countrymen (Drake, The Weeknd) in his lyrical appreciation for ladies of the night. But while we’ve long extolled his fellow Canucks for the special place they hold in their hearts for girls like us, there remains a significant disparity between him and the rest: PARTY doesn’t simply remark on the beauty of his hired hands. He lends a socio-political complexity to hegemonic narratives surrounding paid affection in a way his colleagues haven’t quite accomplished.

[READ MORE]

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Those two biblical lovebirds, Ruth and Boaz. (image via the New York Public Library Digital Collection)

Those two biblical lovebirds, Ruth and Boaz. (image via the New York Public Library Digital Collection)

Dear Tits and Sass,

I’m 28 and I’ve been a stripper for almost seven years. The last couple have definitely been the hardest, but the most profitable. I’ve created a life better than I could have imagined for myself before I started dancing—riding horses at nationally rated jumping shows, buying a house, driving a nice car, zero student debt and actual time to go to college as an adult, traveling to marathons and going on luxury vacations often, eating healthy food, and more. I wake up every day to a life I love, good friends, my pups. I’ve spent the single years doing my own thing.

I’m ready for and really want a partner. I haven’t dated in almost five years, save for a month of dating an impotent obese man. My 65-year-old customers probably have exponentially more sex than I do. Dear God, I want a steady flow of conversation that doesn’t involve being paid, and holy cow I would love a steady supply of dick before my vagina dries out like the Sahara. Online dating was a big fail on one free site and two paid sites—the few dates I had were either okay and didn’t work out, or sucked. I choose not to date customers of the club I work for as a personal boundary. I’m not so much into casual sex, but the few partners I’ve tried have led me to believe that I’m an unsatisfying-penis magnet.

It’s gotten to the point where even thinking about dating really sucks, and makes me unhappy for days when someone brings up the idea. It seems like as soon as I reveal my job, guys either flee or do the “trophying” thing until it quickly gets old for them. Recently, a friend wanted to introduce me to her boyfriend’s attractive pal. When I asked her if she’d told him about my job, she said she and her boyfriend would wait for me to tell him.

I feel like I’m tricking someone into a date with me if I don’t come with a huge red flag, a scarlet “S,” and some infamous Jaws-esque warning music. I don’t want to quit my job, and I’m not apologetic about what I do, but it does seem to be a big deal to men who aren’t meth addicts, have all their teeth, and live indoors. I don’t think it’s fair if they’re set up on an outing with me if they’re being…um, tricked. I’d want to know if someone was setting me up with someone that had a pretty big possible dealbreaker.

My question is: How in the fuck do I start dating again? Do I tell prospective gentlemen about my job, and when? Should my friend tell this man about my job before he decides whether he would like an outing with me? Do I lie entirely for as long as I can, despite my work being at obvious hours, and the stilettos and g-string laundry that litter my house? How long do I lie? Do I really have to wait another six-to-sever years (quittin’ time) before men will take me seriously as a partner?

Sincerely,
Calloused Masturbation Hand [READ MORE]

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Schedule C and an example of a deductible expense.

Schedule C and an example of a deductible expense.

The filing deadline for your IRS tax return is one week away: Monday, April 18.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve read sex workers on Facebook and Twitter talking about the difficulties they had in getting an apartment, qualifying for a car loan, and signing up for health care because they didn’t have any proof of income. “I don’t get paychecks,” the sex worker might say (unless she is an employee), “So how can I prove how much money I make?” I read dancers telling other dancers to get a strip club manager to write a letter estimating what she makes in a week, and while that might work to buy a car at You Work—You Ride! it won’t help with big leasing companies or the bank.

What will help is having a copy of your tax return. Even before you file it, make a copy of your completed return to have on hand for any occasion that requires proof of income. It doesn’t have to be complicated; if you take a look at the Schedule C and panic at all the deduction categories, if you don’t save receipts for anything, if you haven’t filed in years, if you’ve never filed during your sex working career, just remember this: don’t panic. You can do this. All it is is counting money and adding and subtracting it.

Well. And paying it. That part is no fun. But if you’re filing as a self-employed person, you’re supposed to pay quarterly estimated taxes, which is somewhat better than paying one chunk in April, and hey, at least you don’t have to get depressed looking at a deduction on a paycheck every couple of weeks. OK, it’s unpleasant. There’s really nothing less fun to do with your money than send it to the IRS other than using it to pay for car repairs or dental work.

We are not accounting or tax professionals here at Tits and Sass but I, for one, am a career stripper who had her own tax missteps in the past (the part where I pretty much forgot to file the entire time I was in college) (and I was in college for a long time). If I could get straightened out, so can you. Let me be clear that I’m not urging anyone to pay taxes for any other reason than to make their own life easier. I do, however, want to emphasize how it can make your life easier: [READ MORE]

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