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Naked Music Monday: Take Your Vote to the Poles

vote-strippersI don’t want to alarm anyone, but tomorrow is election day.  Are you registered to vote? Good. Do you know your polling location? Excellent. Got a handle on the candidates’ platforms? Fantastic! Sounds like you’re ready to vote.

Voting for president as a sex worker for most feels somewhere between futile and downright alienating. It’s not like a new president is going to make sex work any less criminalized, or anti-trafficking hysteria any less rabid. But you can still head to the polls and vote in your local elections, which are ten times more important and actually will directly affect your day-to-day life. Speaking of local elections: If you’re in California, you need to vote NO on Proposition 60, the measure that would make condom usage mandatory for porn workers.

A common refrain I hear in progressive circles is that “your vote doesn’t matter anyway,” that voting is a sham, that the electoral college has rendered our democracy a joke. I can’t argue against those sentiments, but maybe keep them to yourself on election day? Smugly quipping “lol ur vote doesn’t matter  lolzz” is a pretty dismissive slap to a friend of yours who may be more marginalized than you, or to the person who patiently navigated through a system of voter suppression to get their ballot counted.

Sorry about all that! Nobody likes it when their favorite neighborhood sex worker blog condescends to them about what they should do on Tuesday. Moving on!

What I’m going to be doing on Tuesday (besides voting) is stripping and the thing that sucks the most about working on election day is that every customer wants to ask you who you voted for and then tell you why your vote is wrong. “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing, also it’s impolite to ask strippers who they voted for,” Socrates once said. Not one strip club customer listened.

Stripper Music Monday: An Amazing Alanis Morissette Tribute Performance

Image via Exotic Mag
Image via Exotic Mag

Portland, OR, frequently cited as the U.S. city with the most strip clubs per capita, and an annual vagina beauty pageant, crowns a Miss Exotic Oregon each year. Local strip club ad rag Exotic (which also publishes a column by Tits and Sass Portland correspondent Elle) hosts the competition, a fine celebration of the strong theatrical elements of Portland stripping. In a town where stage performances are still strongly appreciated, dancers don’t hesitate to augment their pole skills and acrobatics with detailed costuming, stage sets, and choreography.

Sometimes one of them goes even further, bringing a level of emotional commitment and thematic strength to her performance that wouldn’t look out of place at Miss Exotic World. Thanks to my fellow Tits and Sass contributor Kat, I’ve been watching this video in amazement all morning. This is Jordan, who represented downtown’s Golden Dragon at this year’s competition, and her performance is a ten-minute-long tribute to Alanis Morissette. She has two supporting partners in her set, a male dancer playing her lover, and another female dancer he cheats on her with. It’s next-level pageant performance art.

Naked Music Monday: Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow”

Born in the Bronx to a Dominican father and Trinidadian mother, Cardi B, a natural born hustler, has clawed her way out of poverty with stiletto shaped manicured nails and unwavering determination. In an interview with VladTV.com, Cardi says that being a stripper saved her life. At the age of 19, she turned to exotic dancing as a way to financially escape her abusive boyfriend. She made a promise to herself that she would retire from dancing by the age of 25. At 23 years old, Cardi B quit her job as a stripper and took the internet by storm via Instagram with hilarious, relatable, and opinionated videos on topics like sex work, sexism, and slut shaming.

Cardi’s brand of feminism is just what the world needs. In one of her infamous IG videos, Cardi B explains that feminism is not just for women who have college degrees: “If you believe in equal rights for man and woman that makes you a feminist. I don’t understand how you bitches feel like being a feminist is a woman who that has an education, that have a degree—that is not a feminist.”  Cardi’s inclusive style of feminism gives a voice to marginalized groups including black and Afro-Latina women and sex workers. 

Stripper Music Monday: Porcelain Raft, “The Way Out”

thewayoutA friend sent me this video last week, rightly pegging it as relevant to my interests. The song is “The Way Out” by Porcelain Raft, the performing name of multi-instrumentalist Mauro Remiddi. It is expansive and atmospheric electronic pop that might be a little too downbeat for a packed club but, as in the video, a perfect track for a quiet afternoon shift. The video stars a very capable pole dancer, employs an elegant one-shot format, and has a subdued mood. It’s more Exotica than Showgirls. Its events threatened to upset me, but the story has a satisfyingly dark conclusion. I reached out to director Michael Lawrence to ask him about his process. Watch the video and read our Q&A below.

Naked Music Monday: Insane Clown Posse

I’ve been workshopping an excuse to write an Insane Clown Posse post for a couple years now, but could never find a plausible reason to do it. But you know what? It’s 2017 now. Nothing makes sense anyway; a reality TV star is President, knitted pussycat hats are considered revolutionary, and McDonald’s sells guacamole. Anything goes! So gather around, children—I have a story to tell you. A story of two magical wizards from the annals of Southwest Detroit, men who forged their mark on our cultural schism with a palette of face paint and a lot of Faygo two-liters.

For some perspective: On September 17, Detroit’s whitest, Confederate flag waving-est rapper, Kid Rock, will be performing his third in a series of SIX no doubt sold-out concerts in the city’s brand new, tax-payer-subsidized hockey arena. Kid Rock is handily Detroit’s most obnoxious musician, and yet he was asked to christen the shiny new venue. On the same day, Detroit’s original white rappers, the Insane Clown Posse (whoop whoop), will be performing for free in Washington D.C. as part of their Jugallo March on Washington. So while Kid Rock is gaslighting us with his fake-but-maybe-not-fake Senate run, ICP has organized direct political action. Why? Because the FBI labeled their dedicated fan base a gang. (The FBI get zero whoops, thank-you-very-much.)

A pro-Trump rally is also scheduled for that day, at nearly the same location. Which … will be interesting. Because if you explore ICP’s body of work, you’ll see that they don’t have much patience for rich people (“richies” in Juggalo-ease) or racists. For the past decade, ICP have garnered some pretty condescending and embarrassing coverage. But now that the liberal media has nominated Juggalos as the first line of defense against the alt-right, people have started examining ICP and their movement more closely. Turns out they’re not idiots, nor are their fans.

Just for funsies—and so I’d actually have a sex work peg for this post—I asked Tits and Sass contributor Kitty Stryker of the Struggalo Circus to speculate if ICP would support the decriminalization of sex work. She told me their record on slut-shaming isn’t great (but what male musician’s is?), but that they would, because ultimately, “They care about individual freedom without the influence of government.” Seems fair. So maybe the ICP are allies? At least we can determine they aren’t enemies, which we could never say about the FBI.

Anyway. Are you working this week? Delight your client or your tip rail with this colorful, anti-racist, and oddly politicized ICP playlist. Support the Juggalos. Because they’re being targeted too, and they might inadvertently fuck some Nazis up for us.