The Onion posted a story last Wednesday headlined “Stripper Thinks Customer Flirting With Her.” You can get the gist of it from the headline; it is funny for the first, most obvious reason, but also because it’s a little true and sometimes strippers do think customers see them as human. While increasingly vicious as its satire becomes reality at a depressing pace, The Onion is more often than not gentle towards strippers. While we normally have more unfunny shit anti-stripper humor to rant about than not, we also enjoy pointing out examples of stripper and strip club-based humor that don’t rely completely on dehumanizing or mocking us. I’m sorry to kill all the funny by talking about it, but to crib from a Flann O’Brien quote I just read in a discussion of satire, we’ll chance it. For once, it’s nice to read humor about strippers that doesn’t joke about us as dead bodies, talk about our deadbeat boyfriends, or play on our assumed lack of parental supervision.
The main trick The Onion utilizes is taking an accepted stripper artifice and running with it to an absurd literal conclusion. This contrasts with their mode of treating a non-event as a news story; for instance, Stripper In Dressing Room Ignores Girl Crying On Cell Phone or Stripper Who Said “No, I Don’t Have Any Body Spray” Was Lying would fit the format of their office stories, but they’re too strip club-specific to work for a broader audience as workplace jokes. The writers instead must deal with stereotypes in the same way they deal with those of athletes (“Pro Athlete Lauded For Being Decent Human Being”). As I looked through their stripper story archives, I was pleasantly surprised to realize their stripper jokes relied more on absurd literalism than mockery.* Here are the ten best of the bunch.
10) Groom Getting Cold Feet About Bachelor Party (Dec 8, 2006)
9) Stripper-Cop Brutality Case Goes All The Way To Stripper Supreme Court (Aug 31, 2009)
“Stripper Supeme Court justices will hear the case later today as soon as their breakaway robes arrive back from the cleaners.”
8) Female Cop Goes Undercover In Strip Club (Mar 17, 1998)
“I find this scenario all too familiar,” said FBI psychiatric profiler Dr. Julian Sands, his face and bare upper torso striped with shadows cast by venetian blinds. “I’ve seen dozens of cases just like this one, in the field, in case histories, and on Cinemax After Dark. Nine times out of ten, a tough cop like Jacobs goes into the case with the best of motives, but then finds herself more and more wrapped up in a web of deception and lust. In 90 percent of cases, the officer’s dark side takes over and seduces her into a provocative, soft-R world she never knew, until she finds herself wondering: ‘What am I becoming?'”
7) Stripper Thinks Customer Flirting With Her (Apr 10, 2013)
6) Seriously, Ladies, There Have Been Noise Complaints (Feb 7, 2007)
Hey, is that the song “It’s Raining Men”? I should warn you: Whenever this song comes on, I am legally bound to remove my shirt, lather my pecs in baby oil, and thrust my crotch along to the beat. In fact, right now I could tear off these breakaway pants, and gyrate my hips so you can witness the full glory of my bouncing package. If I didn’t have all this paperwork to fill out.
5) Stripper Does Adequate Job (Sep 1, 2006)
I’ve always thought it would be funny to have Zagat-type reviews of strippers. There are actually a shit-ton of strip club reviews on Yelp now that read like this. Ahead of their time on this one.
4) Secretary Of Education Forced To Take Up Stripping To Put Nation Through School (Nov 20, 2012)
Saying it was his only real option to earn much-needed cash, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told reporters Tuesday he had been forced to start working as an erotic dancer at the local strip club Peaches in order to put the nation’s students through school.
Duncan, who has reportedly struggled for years to make ends meet and pay school bills, claimed that he was earning “great” money by dancing naked for customers and that he was now much closer to fulfilling his dream of providing a first-class education for America’s children.
There should be more commentary on our crippled public education system and our broken capitalist service economy in stripper humor.
3) Barnes & Noble Creates Stripper/Prostitute Memoir Section (Dec 5, 2001) Someone at bn.com took this to heart; if you’ll look at the image below the Onion’s original photo gag, you’ll see the front page of the Barnes and Noble website’s Strippers & Prostitutes section.
2) I Think That Stripper Really Liked Me (May 6, 1998) Set the standard for a hundred variations.
1) Stripper Putting Herself Through Life (Feb 28, 2009)
Meyer, 24, accepted her current position three months ago to “pick up a little extra cash” for food, clothing, and shelter. She told reporters that stripping allows her the freedom to barely chip away at her enormous debt while still being able to save absolutely nothing for the future.
“The hours are flexible, and the money’s pretty good for a girl trying to pay for the basic necessities required to continue breathing,” Meyer said. “Trust me, I know better than anyone how demeaning this job can be, but I also know it’s just a means to an end.”
It’s a little dark, but a little true, and a nice reply to customers who ask “So, what else do you do?” for all of us who dance to pay our fucking bills and have already finished school or whatever is supposed to be a “good reason” for dancing. Dude, I’m putting myself through life. It’s too bad that they fuck up at the end with an overdose joke.
*This was not the case for their stories about prostitutes, trading as they do mainly on jokes about rape or murder. They’re about 50/50 on those, coming up with occasional hilarities like their video report on the expected surge in business for gay male prostitutes in Tampa during the RNC.
I work at a strip club that has women walking around offering massages. They are not strippers, for reasons of being unattractive and/or morals. I made the mistake of befriending one of them and treating her like one of my own (fellow stripper). I have to say, I fucking hate this bitch more than anyone I have met in a long time. Her string of negative comments and stereotypes about strippers is endless, and she seems oblivious to the offensive nature of her opinions. Additionally, she’s not that big into consent. Yesterday, I was talking to this atrocious freak about how I hate it when men try to put their hand on my thigh. She informed me that it is not their fault, it’s just their natural reaction, and that I am asking for it if I sit on their lap to talk or give them a dance, that they are doing nothing wrong by touching me and should be allowed to touch me because I am fucking in their space. I hope she dies. I hate misogynistic women who don’t understand strippers. Do not fucking touch me. I am to be admired, but not touched. I think most customers don’t understand that they are disgusting and unattractive, and I don’t want them to fucking touch me. This massage therapist doesn’t understand it either. I think I’m going to tell her how fucking disgusting she is today.
Ha, I would love to know which of the above triggered this comment. What you wrote reminds me of how almost every time I read a strip club DJ’s blog or Twitter feed I want to suffocate 99% of them because of the horrible way they talk about the dancers, without whom they’d be out of a job.
I’ve always thought strip club DJs were the grossest people in the building.
Yep, it’s enabling bad behavior by blaming the ‘victim’. We are totally meant to be looked at and admired and seen, not touched.
Tell her that from one stranger-stripper to another, the next time a guy tries to shove a dollar inside me and then tells me “well, if you didn’t want something in there, you wouldn’t have put it in my face”, that her attitude reinforced his belief behavior.
There’s also THIS one (not a stripper one, but a prostitute one)
Nothing in particular triggered the comment, it’s just that I was boiling from it and needed to vent and decided to do it on the latest T&S posting.
Some strippers think this is fucked up about me, but I will never fucking tip the DJ if it’s not mandatory. I could write an entire book about how much I hate most strip club DJs. Those mother fuckers get none of my money. I always try to advise baby strippers not to be bullied or intimidated by the DJ demanding tips either, because they will prey upon the girls they find most vulnerable for their fucking tips. The DJ I have now has been featured in popular articles and thinks he is really cool even though he is a hideous old man. I am disgusted at the manner in which he flirts with girls, and the manner in which he doesn’t allow us to choose our own music. I think it’s entertaining that he tries to pressure me into tipping him. He ain’t getting shit from me. Those mother fuckers get an hourly wage and can unionize if they really want to. Furthermore, they are almost exclusively men and I find the gender imbalance sexist and upsetting. They perpetuate it by not hiring women if they are the head DJ in charge of hiring, and by generally existing. That’s not to say there aren’t nice DJs out there just doing a job, though the nice guys don’t overlap with the sexist tipping bullies. If they want more money, they can bother the wealthy strip club owner for an increase in pay. Don’t take the easy way out and bully vulnerable naked ladies to supplement your measly income.
Speaking of fucked up strip club DJs, do any of you Portlanders remember Larry Bell the DJ from Cabaret and other clubs? He shot up Cabaret one night in an angry rage, and several years later shot his young girlfriend, leaving her child motherless, and then shot and killed himself. He was the first DJ I ever had, and he would always be like, “You only tipped me one dollar!” I found a facebook page last year discussing his death, and people were saying nice sympathetic things in his memory. I read nothing about the fact that he was a sexist misogynist woman abuser murderer. Let it be known here that I rarely tipped Larry Bell more than one dollar per shift when I was a baby stripper and he attempted to pressure me into giving him more money, and let it be known here that dead Larry Bell was not a good person, rather he was an entertaining DJ and a disgusting misogynist murderer of women who is better off dead.
Also, the DJ Chris who was living with him during the murder-suicide was a DJ at Cabaret as well. Chris is also a fucked up misogynist who bullied me when I was a baby stripper. He’s extremely short and unattractive, and pumps up with steroids. I think he’s working over at Mystic now. Barf, I hated both of them. FYI, Chris heard Larry Bell’s murdered girlfriend screaming for help prior to her murder, but he chose to stay inside his bedroom in their apartment rather than help her, which ultimately lead to the murder-suicide. I wish Larry Bell would have taken out Chris instead of the girl, but of course that would have been inconsistent with Larry Bell’s violently misogynistic tendencies.
Burn in hell, Larry Bell.
They were also buddies with Madigan who was at the Cab when I was a baby stripper too. Madigan is also a misogynist and a traitor to the plight of her fellow strippers as a whole.
Hey, if you’re interested in contributing a rant about DJs we’d love to have it!
I sure am. What’s the criteria such as word limit, structure, etc? Any? The email address I’ve been putting is incorrect, but the one I’ve listed now is correct. You can email me the criteria if you’re still interested. I would LOVE to do a rant about the superfluous job of “house mom” as well, and how I should not be expected to give some person five dollars every night for sitting in the dressing room talking shit to me.
I did quick google search, Larry Vernard Bell was 48, and Heather Elaine Rogers was only 21, it is heart-wrenching to read, a young beautiful lady perished in hand of a monster.
Wendy, I hope your vent will put your mind at ease, glade you share your frustrations and might all reader support you in someway.
In defense of housemoms, I’ve known mostly good ones who were well worth their tipout (and then some). They do a job I have never wanted. Guess it’s luck of the draw.
I’ve only known 2 truly human DJs.
I can bring my own stripper supplies and food. It is fucked up to have to pay anybody money who is one’s coworker, and the wealthy club can afford it. There may be some nice people who work as housemoms, but the whole idea of paying them as a dancer is absolutely ridiculous. We have to tip them because the club is too cheap and exploitative to call them a dressing room manager and pay them a living wage.