What's got two thumbs and 93 unregulated strip clubs? This state!

What’s got two thumbs and 93 unregulated strip clubs? This state!

You can’t just take at face value the unofficial slogans of the Portland Chamber of Commerce. “There are more strip clubs per capita than any other city in the country,” “You’re never more than fifteen minutes by foot from a microbrewery,” and “We do too have a professional sports team in one of the major leagues!” That first statement, especially, is one that gets thrown around a lot. A lot a lot, by people who’ve never set foot in a club and yet find it one of the charming defining characteristics of the Rose City. Portland has a strip club culture like nowhere else, complete with its own magazine, celebrities, and scandals.

This week, a curious reader wrote into the city’s Pulitzer-winning alternative paper, Willamette Week, to ask if this is actually true. It is. If, like me, you took issue last summer with Tampa’s claim to this title in every article about the RNC, you’ll be please to see that the WW writer calculated a 1:9,578 ratio for Portland and 1:10,813 for Tampa. That’s a close enough margin to where the two cities could probably trade places on the list depending on the fortunes of a few clubs. It’s unquestionable, though, that Portland is the single easiest place in the U.S. to open a strip club, and that’s what lies at the bottom (lol) of its saturated nudie-bar market. [READ MORE]


The Lucky Devil dressing room

In the city that has so many sexually oriented businesses that it’s known as “Pornland, Whoregon,” we asked a handful of dancers what they’d like to strive for in 2013. To find an upcycled brass pole for the house? To save up for that tattoo of a zombie bacon cupcake with a mustache?

It turns out that the stripsters of Portland want the same things that strippers everywhere want: to drink less soda and tell more lies. You’re welcome to share your own work and/or personal resolutions in the comments section. 

“I want to be more positive and spend more time appreciating what life has given me.” —Oasis, Mystic

“I will publish my first book and be on a cover of a tattoo magazine!” —Elle, Lucky Devil

“This year I think I’d like to start an intense savings plan, commit to a more healthy lifestyle, and take a tour of the east coast—visit all the historical sites and whatnot.” —Juniper, Lucky Devil

“I’m going to give myself a breast self-exam once a month and walk my dog more.” —Caprice, Golden Dragon

“I’m going to keep putting cash before ass (but hopefully get some action sometime before 2014), travel dance, finish my stripper comic, and get into grad school.” —Red, Casa Diablo

“I’d like to quite drinking soda… not the most exciting but that’s it.” —Gabriela, Lucky Devil

“First is taking more time to let my creative side run wild and second, I am going to snail mail five handwritten, heartfelt letters to people who positively affect my life.” —Holladay, Pirate’s Cove

“[Mine are] to read all my favorite classics again, to be more consistent with practicing yoga, and to have more eye contact with customers once my clothes come off on stage.” —Natalia, Dolphin II

“I’m not going to give out as much personal info at work and lie more.” —Holland, Exotica International


Kat and I have both danced at the club where this video was filmed, Stars Cabaret in Bend, OR, which is the only reason I watched this video all the way through. That and I was expecting a funny kicker that never came. I would recommend that you hit the mute button or listen to another song while you watch this video if the words “singer-songwriter from British Columbia” make you nod off, but it’s your call.


Elle and friends rallying in Portland.

On the day of SlutWalk Portland, I was irritated because I was running late; I’m consummately punctual and tend to feel anxious if otherwise. (I’m the girl who arrives one hour early to her strip-shift, every night for the last two years). So I was relieved when my boys found a parking spot reasonably close to the starting location of SlutWalk, at the park near the courthouse in downtown Portland, at 4th and Jefferson.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from SlutWalk, but I had high hopes. Previously, I had been asked by a man named Sean Scott to speak candidly for a short video that he was working on. Sean asked me what I hoped to experience at SlutWalk Portland. Speaking honestly, I replied that I was hoping that it would be a gathering where victims and survivors could feel free from harassment, in public, together.

There were dozens of bicycle cops in small hordes, lining the street. Faces partially obscured by identical sunglasses and helmets, standard issue no doubt. They, for the most part, looked less than amused. Another gathering, another parade to babysit. I tried to smile sheepishly at them as we crossed the street. [READ MORE]

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