stripping

(poster via axxomovies.org)

(poster via axxomovies.org)

There’s a scene in which under-the-weather-feeling, anti-heroine protagonist Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) describes the way she feels as “shit city.” Afternoon Delight, directed by Jill Soloway, is shit city. This film screamed “rescue project” from the very start. Rachel is a bored, restless, wealthy, vaguely hipster stay-at-home mom living with her husband and young son in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Her contemporaries are mostly other jobless, Jewish, “hip” housewives who spend their time doing volunteer work, if only to thoroughly document it on social media; organizing play dates amongst their elementary school-aged children, and running something called “Craftacular.” Thing is, Rachel doesn’t like this life and she doesn’t like these women. She wanted to be a war journalist. In a scene near the end she wails, “I was so bored I could have died!!!!” One of this film’s only saving graces is the fact that her therapist is Jane Lynch, whose character is truly the only “delight” Afternoon Delight has to offer.

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Spring is sprung and so are the customers; once the vernal equinox kicks in, the whole world’s extra horny. So when you’re taking the stage this week, go all out and play these, the sexiest possible songs to strip to. We’ve pulled together the best, can’t-fail, guaranteed to draw customers to the rack picks for your stage sets this week, all of which come from first-or-second-hand experience as actual songs heard in the strip club. Here’s the full playlist on YouTube.

“That Smell,” Lynyrd Skynyrd

When the DJ plays this for you, you know you’ve been tipping him great and he’s trying to send the customers a message that they should get up close and personal.

“She’s Got The Jack,” AC/DC

You want the customers to know you’re up for a good time!

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Bangladeshi sex workers form a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club (Photo by Sony Ramany, via demotix.com)

Bangladeshi sex workers form a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club (Photo by Sony Ramany, via demotix.com)

The prostitution crackdown in the Guangdong Province of China will continue; 363 suspects have already been detained.

Strange news out of San Francisco last week as the faith-based sex workers’ outreach Solace SF was closed under allegations of fraud against founder Laura Lasky.

Canadian sex worker Celine Bisette acknowledges that Canada has done a terrific job asking the community at large how to re-write sex work laws and a terrible job asking actual sex workers how to re-write sex work laws.

This shouldn’t be a world first, but it is: a New Zealand sex worker has won a landmark sexual harassment case against her former employer, a Wellington brothel owner.

What’s not to love about Janet Mock? This is the woman that stuck it to the first tuberous vegetable to host a cable news show – Piers Morgan – in the most epic way possible. Here, Dr. Brooke Magnanti interviews Mock, amongst other things, about her sensationalized past as a sex worker.

Some Spanish feminists are pissed off about the Asociación de Profesionales del Sexo “intro to prostitution” class, offered in response to the growing number of women turning to sex work in Spain’s economic crisis. Of course, leaving inexperienced sex workers without the skills to manage the risks of their job is obviously the feminist solution.

In honor of International Sex Workers’ Rights Day this week, sex workers in Bangladesh formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Monday to realize their demands.

Contribute to this indiegogo campaign to send two members of SWOP-Phoenix and the Best Practices Policy Project to Geneva to educate the U.N. about human rights violations perpetrated by Arizona State University diversion program Project ROSE and the Phoenix police and the framing of sex workers’ rights activist Monica Jones for “manifestation of prostitution.”

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buttheart

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers.

Friday is Valentine’s Day, that special day wherein we celebrate patriarchal norms and reinforce insulting gender stereotypes with rampant consumerism.

So romantic.

Valentine’s Day is one of the those special “off” days that happen every-so-often in the strip club. Working the night of one these off days is never business-as-usual—it’s usually, business-as-oh-my-God-did-that-just-happen. The day of Cupid falls on a Friday this year, and there’s going to be a full moon.

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(Image courtesy of Red Umbrella Project)

(Image courtesy of Red Umbrella Project)

Prose & Lore is a literary journal published by the New York sex workers’ rights organization Red Umbrella Project.  Memoir stories about sex work are collected in two issues per year (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.) We at Tits and Sass have been following Prose and Lore since the journal began, and the third issue is even more fantastic than those that preceded it. Featuring selections from movement heavies like our own contributors Mariko Passion, Tara Burns,  Lily Fury, Lori Adorable, and Peach E. Keen, plus Kitty Stryker, Rachel Aimee, and  Audacia Ray, as well as promising new writers like Dion O. Scott and Leigh Alanna, each and every one of this issue’s pieces are affecting and visceral in their prose, from a frightening account of a client gone suddenly violent to the tale of the slow erosion of a relationship with a subtly whorephobic partner.  You can buy a single copy of the new issue or sign up for a print or digital subscription to the journal, including back issues. Those in New York city can attend free readings by the authors on Wednesday, January 29th and Monday, February 10th at Culture Fix and Brooklyn Community Pride Center respectively.

Here, we feature an excerpt of “Crippled Pleaser,” by Dynasty (W) Rex, a story of endurance and take-no-shit survival focusing on Rex’s experiences stripping as a Black woman with lupus and arthritis, with her dancing schedule often punctuated by hospital visits. The excerpt focuses on the piece’s club scenes, but we encourage you to get a copy of Prose and Lore so you can read about the grueling hospital stay which makes up the story’s core.  I think the thing we love the most about “Crippled Pleaser,” though, is how well it captures the phenomenon of sex worker outfit envy.

It was the middle of a sweaty summer night in Sunset Park, New York and I was on my way to Gold Rush, the sleaziest titty bar I could find through the internet. The large, but hardly swanky, dive was almost empty around 4:30 p.m., an odd point between the time that day workers come in after work, and when more adamant partiers come in after drunken nights. Even with barely enough people to fill a single table alongside the stage, it was lit up like a Christmas rave: strobe light blaring, music screaming from mounted speakers. I was relieved to find that there were only three men in the club to witness my arrival in dirty, black, barely-there shorts and a tube top. Not because I looked bad, but because after an all day excursion looking for jobs I had aggravated my limp. After a couple of awkward ass pops around middle pole on the stage that served as my audition, I was hired by Dave, the owner and manager at Gold Rush. I was asked to stay onstage for two more songs to start my shift.

Dave, a stocky man with a financial demeanor, is watching my bare feet and ankles pointedly, as if to sear the skin. I wasn’t quite sure if his look was one of approval or disgust. He pulled me aside by placing a sweaty palm on the underside of my arm as I’m walking offstage towards the stairs that led to the dressing room where some of the other girls were making mean faces at one another, or maybe discussing amongst themselves the very same thing that the owner/manager is so obviously about to say to me.

“I’ve been,” he started, “I’ve been watching you on stage, and your legs look funny. Are they always like that?” he asked, perhaps regretting the choice to hire me on the spot after my audition.

“No, I hit them against the bar when I was coming down the pole,” I retorted quickly, so as to not be found out, hoping that the fact that I had not been dancing long would be allow me to continue the night without embarrassment. There was positively no way I was about to tell this dude that I have a disability that makes my fingers and toes swell and my whole body ache. That would essentially amount to announcing my unfitness for the job that is easiest to attain and most lucrative to stay with.

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