Stripper Music Monday: Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” Is A Girls’ Club

by suzyhooker on October 7, 2013 · 11 comments

in Naked Music Monday, Strippers

pouritup2Big news this week! Pop superstar extraordinaire Rihanna has changed careers. She’s finally going to pursue her true passion.

Rihanna became a stripper.

Of course that’s not really true, but fans and critics alike of her new single and accompanying music video,“Pour it Up,” seem to think otherwise.

Musicians have never been shy about their affectionate relationship with strippers. “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper),” “Rack City,” and “I Endorse these Strippers” are only a few of the endless examples in which musicians idolize women in Lucite heels. Yet within a few minutes of the release of Rihanna’s new music video, people lost their damn minds. Why is that?

The lyrics to “Pour it Up” are ambiguous but the video confirms our worst fears. In it, Rihanna is the stripper. Yup, there she is, doing stripper stuff, wearing stripper clothes and behaving like a stripper. At one point in the video—don’t faint—she even touches a stripper pole.

Yet, Rihanna accomplishes something totally new with “Pour it Up.” She has subverted the stripper anthem.

She’s built us the perfect club: she writhes on a throne (because we are queens, duh) and manages to make bank even though there are no customers. Or is the viewer is the customer? I certainly felt like I should tip her.

Sure, she’s never been shy about her adoration of strippers. But instead of ordering us around (I cringe everytime I hear the lyric “Bend over, touch your toes” in “Salt Shaker”) there she is, twerking in solidarity. The song clocks in at less than three minutes – perfect for the stripper who recognizes the stage for the waste of time that it is.

“Money on my mind, money on mind,” she sings. Truth.


On my first viewing of “Pour It Up,” the new Rihanna video in which she pole dances, struts around in money-print Pleasers, and throws around money from the Bank of Rihanna, I was struck that here was a stripper-themed video 1) in which the spectator/participant line was very blurred and 2) there were no men. Along with Ayesha A. Siddiqi and Sarah Nicole Prickett, I participated in this conversation at The Hairpin, but we certainly have more to talk about over here. Have any of you ever been in the club after hours, fooling around while there weren’t any customers? Or been to a women-only strip club night? It’s a very different experience when you’re not performing for men. And what do we all think of Rihanna’s moves? I think they read very baby stripper; that is, she clearly isn’t a stripper, but she’s sure as hell been watching them. And, most importantly, what do we think about that jeans thong? CHAFING. It looks like chafing to me.

May this video inspire entire “Pour It Up”-themed Halloween parties in which we all dress like one of the three women or one of the three iterations of Rihanna.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy October 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

Pardon me, but I love the stage. I am a Portland stripper and I love the stage.
The most offensive part of this video is the dead animal pelt Rihanna has hanging off of her body.


Amanda October 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

I’m a fan of the stage as well. I often made more money on the stage than I did hustling lap dances, in a city that isn’t known for being a stage city. When I got truly burned out, the stage was a refuge since I didn’t have to seriously interact with anyone.


Wendy October 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Amen. I’m actually in Chicago right now at the complete opposite of a stage club. It has sent me into a deep depression as the only person who watches me on stage is the champagne room host and my audience of one gets weirder and weirder as the weeks go by.


Jess October 7, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I think the making of the video was better than the actual video.


Glenn October 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

All those hateful comments. Stay strong, Rihanna. I went through the same thing when I did the jean-thong thing back in the 90’s. Turn the other cheek, that’s what we’d say in the rectory.


Holland October 8, 2013 at 12:31 am

So about a month ago this guy from L.A. comes into my club, he’d shot some of the video and had all sorts of footage on his iPhone. Back in the VIP he shows me all of these long takes of her doing floor work in water and she did not look like baby stripper to me. She can do all the moves. He said she was high as hell the whole time, but really sexy. Um…he made me lap dance to Pour it Up, so….he was pretty sprung on her. She did look hot, I was surprised they didn’t use more of the footage I saw in the video, it was her on a bed, in a room flooded in water. She looked amazing. And I like that she hired experts to do the pole tricks instead of just the usual model/video girl types, because I think she does look like a baby stripper when she touches the pole, but …so do I. I try to avoid the thing.


Jon October 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I think she looks great but her moves, at least the ones that made the final cut we’re pretty Tame.


Miss Margo October 17, 2013 at 4:54 am

I don’t know anything about Rihanna’s music, but damn, I love this video! She looks fantastic! Where can I get that rhinestone bra?!


Elle November 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm

It’s funny, I wonder how those women on Twitter felt about her getting back with Chris Brown.

Dancing naked for money = shameful, bad role model.

Reuniting with your abuser = meh.


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