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mr_punk
03-30-2003, 08:32 AM
before everyone starts foaming at the mouth, let me give you some background info. the phrase "sex work" was coined by a woman, Carol Leigh. she used it as a concept to unite rather than divide women who worked in the sex industry. keep in mind that word doesn't necessarily imply that actual sex is part of the service. no more than the word "construction worker" describes what that person actually does on a daily basis. The use of the term "sex work" is meant to acknowledge the work rather than define her by her status within the industry itself. a recent post compelled me the pose this question. one poster described his club experience and another poster complained that it wasn't dancing (which is debateable,imho) and that no real dancer should do that (which is also debateable,imho). still the question remains,are strippers sex workers?

electric_head
03-30-2003, 11:01 AM
Getting to the basics, they are entertainers who are topless or nude and act sexy at their jobs so in that sense I'd say yes.

mr_punk
03-30-2003, 11:20 AM
oh,i'm not denying the entertainer factor. i remember a time when athletes were just athletes. however,once the big tv money entered the picture,they became entertainers also. the same principle applies to stripping, ever since the first girl jumped off the stage and into a customer's lap, some 20 odd years ago. in the past, i'm sure "artistic expression" was used as a reason to distinguish it completely from sex work, but that hardly applies anymore

electric_head
03-30-2003, 11:30 AM
I don't think TV will help the sex workers as long a we are a nation who would rather see a body riddled by bullets instead of a breast.

Chuck149
03-30-2003, 11:39 AM
The term “sex workers” is a broad term. This includes prostitutes, porn stars and escorts. Strippers sell the illusion of sex. Not necessarily the sex act, but they sell the illusion. So I would label them as sex workers.
But they are entertainers and performers as well. Remember, it takes a good actress to convince a middle age over weight guy that she thinks he is sexy and interesting.

Bridgette
03-30-2003, 12:10 PM
Yes. We work in a sex-related business, whether it's actually providing sex or not. We're still providing sexual fantasy and erotic entertainment - it doesn't have to involve any form of penetration to be sexual. Dominatrixes who only whip the crap out of their clients and never get touched or never touch their clients' genitalia are also sex workers, because it is a form of sexual stimulation. Peep show dancers who dance behind plexiglass while the clients masturbate are sex workers because it is providing sexual stimulation.

03-30-2003, 12:43 PM
MANY strippers in Houston (and some other cities) are PROSTITUTES because they ACTUALLY SELL SEX, blowjobs, handjobs, and other sexually related activities (like letting customers fondle their boobs while dancing)

This is NOT A FLAME - I am only pointing out what is OBVIOUS to those who have been to strip clubs in Houston (and some other cities)

Strippers are OBVIOUSLY sex workers!

mr_punk
03-30-2003, 02:29 PM
ummm...i would disagree. for me,i think level of contact is irrelavant. for example, a woman runs a website which sells explict photos (thru memberships) and other merchandise, like her used panties. now, i'm sure the guys who puchase her panties aren't buffing their BMWs with them. so,even though a guy has never come in physical contact with this woman, who may live 3000 miles away. i would still say she is a sex worker. is it entertainment? sure.

i suspect one of the reasons why Carol Leigh coined the phrase,is that people have a tendency to to establish lines of demarcation among various forms of sex work, placing sex workers at different points on the spectrum within the sex industry. thus,you end up with topless dancers marginalizing nude dancers or non-contact dancers marginalizing contact dancers,etc. i see that all the time on SW or just take a look at Lover's post.

Paris
03-30-2003, 07:18 PM
Yup, I'm a sex worker for sure ;) I have always thought of my job as that, no question.

You might try posting on the pink site and see what the ladies think? Could open up some good dialog.

XOXO Paris

McCain
03-31-2003, 03:38 AM
I would have to say yes. Thank you to Punk for explaining why some of us agree that stripping is a form of sex work.

On a related note, I would like to mention that it is one of the reasons why it pisses me off righteously when other strippers bash someone for working as an "escort", or a "whore", or anything else of that nature. Those are also forms of sex work. Just because the average person on SW does not believe that it is the correct thing to do, or chooses not to do it, does not mean that those people are any less deserving of respect. I have to wonder when and why this became a caste system amongst women, where they could say "I'm better than you because I let people look at me and think about fucking me, but I don't let them actually do the deed."

Such a caste system was supposed to be part of why the term "sex work" was coined in the first place, was it not?

Again, stepping off my soap-box. I'm just having a right pissy day after reading some of the recent posts in the forums.

McCain

03-31-2003, 03:39 AM
How is stripper who never touches customers a sex worker ? Contact dancers are indeed sex workers because they provide sexual acts9 breast contact, grinding etc.) as part of their job. Non contact dancers are entertainers and not sex workers. To call a non contact dancer a sex worker is as ridiculous as calling a dancer from a Vegas casinio show or any other performer who is seen as sexy a sex worker.

McCain
03-31-2003, 03:46 AM
I don't know about everyone else, but I would say that non-contact stripping is still sex work, primarily because it is blatantly selling the idea and / or illusion of sex. Much like a phone sex operator. Except it's a visual thing instead of audio.

McCain

03-31-2003, 03:55 AM
a few more comments-

other posters wrote:
ummm...i would disagree. for me,i think level of contact is irrelavant. for example, a woman runs a website which sells explict photos (thru memberships) and other merchandise, like her used panties. now, i'm sure the guys who puchase her panties aren't buffing their BMWs with them. so,even though a guy has never come in physical contact with this woman, who may live 3000 miles away. i would still say she is a sex worker. is it entertainment? sure.



one of the ladies wrote : "I have to wonder when and why this became a caste system amongst women, where they could say "I'm better than you because I let people look at me and think about fucking me, but I don't let them actually do the deed."



food for thought- men look at women everywhere( the subway, the street, the grocery store etc) and men think about fucking them- does that make all these women sex workers- ofcourse not.

As for the caste system comments-
People do not respect everyone alive- all of us have opinions about other peoples behavior that led us to not respect them, it is how each of us forms our own personal moral code. The hard part is to not force our moral codes on others.

doc-catfish
03-31-2003, 04:06 AM
This might be a radical departure from the traditional definition of "sex worker".

I tend to take an extremely open view to the term as basically anybody (male or female) who uses sex as a tool to earn income, whether they do the deed or provide some sexualized illusion where the "sexual component" so to speak is used in a manner to help advertise the product, whether it be a blow job, a lap dance, a wonderbra, a soft drink, a business deal, tickets to a starlets new movie (and I don't mean pornos), or a pop singer's new CD. Someone can be a sex worker without the least bit of contact, or the least bit of nudity for that matter.

Christina Aguilera may sing for a living, but when she's on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing nothing but a guitar, she's a sex worker, plain and simple.

McCain
03-31-2003, 04:57 AM
Being a bit of a purist (and since I have lots of free time today), I have to essentially agree with your definition Catfish. But only to a point.

I guess I should kind of illustrate by listing some professions I think of as sex work:
Street level prostitutes. High priced escorts / call girls. Playboy centerfolds. Porn stars. Phone sex operators. Strippers. Sex therapists. Sexual surrogates. Sex shop clerks. Peep booth girls. Erotic writers. Erotic film-makers. Erotic magazine publishers. Massage parlor workers. Erotic photographers. Positive-sex advocates. "Performance artists" a la Annie Sprinkle.

For me, a sex worker is someone whose work is to promote some aspect of sex, be it real or imagined. Not necessarily someone who uses sexuality to promote an essentially non-sexual product. Because let's face it - the overwhelming majority of commercials these days use some form of obvious or implied sexuality to make their product more desirable, from soft drinks to deodorant to furniture. But I doubt that the models and actors in all of those commercials would qualify as sex workers.


Ahhh, if only there were more intellectual threads like this....

Now I'll shut up on this thread, unless anyone address me specifically.


McCain

yoda57us
03-31-2003, 10:52 AM
It's interesting that over the years I have heard strippers say "at least I'm not a prostitute" and prostitutes say "at least I'm not a stripper". I never question what a woman does to put food on the table and, legality issues aside, I don't think a prostitute deserves any less respect than a dancer an adult film actress or someone who runs a webcam site. It's ALL the sex trade and anyone who denies that is just kidding themselves. Self respect is all that matters.

mr_punk
03-31-2003, 11:21 AM
food for thought- men look at women everywhere( the subway, the street, the grocery store etc) and men think about fucking them- does that make all these women sex workers- ofcourse not.

really??.....whew....that's a load off my shoulders. more food for thought. inane statements like that lets me know that you really haven't quite grasped the concept.

Bridgette
03-31-2003, 11:02 PM
LOL mr punk I was kind of thinking the same thing only a bit less harsh. If a woman is just going about her life and another person is ogling her and thinking about fucking her, that does not make her a sex worker because she is not soliciting the reaction in order to make money. When I walk down the sidewalk in my shorts and sandals, half the street practically comes to a halt, catcalls and whistles abound, and sometimes a guy nearly falls off his bike - but all I'm trying to do is get to Topeka for some shampoo and razors. That does not make me a sex worker. But when I strap on my stilettos, slide into a slinky dress and strut onto the stage flirting with every guy in the room, I am looking to make some bucks and THAT makes me a sex worker!

04-01-2003, 02:54 AM
yes Punk
( a perfect name for you imho based on posts I have read by you over the years) I know that it was a far off statement, but I was making a point that just having a person look at you and want to have sex with you does not make a person a sex worker. Other posters here expressed ideas such as:

Getting to the basics, they are entertainers who are topless or nude and act sexy at their jobs so in that sense I'd say yes.

Of course, there may be guys who watch the stage show, get aroused, and go whack off in the parking lot. So is it a sex show for them? I guess. But then again, watching Kathleen Turner in the old "Body Heat" movie might be a sex show for them but entertainment for most others. (OK, I liked that movie.)

"one of the ladies wrote : "I have to wonder when and why this became a caste system amongst women, where they could say "I'm better than you because I let people look at me and think about fucking me, but I don't let them actually do the deed."

" to take an extremely open view to the term as basically anybody (male or female) who uses sex as a tool to earn income, whether they do the deed or provide some sexualized illusion where the "sexual component" so to speak is used in a manner to help advertise the product, whether it be a blow job, a lap dance, a wonderbra, a soft drink, a business deal, tickets to a starlets new movie (and I don't mean pornos), or a pop singer's new CD. Someone can be a sex worker without the least bit of contact, or the least bit of nudity for that matter.

Christina Aguilera may sing for a living, but when she's on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing nothing but a guitar, she's a sex worker, plain and simple. "

I was simpling pointing out how silly it seems to me to be to label people who are not selling sexual contact as sex workers.

money
04-01-2003, 03:32 AM
Visiting, just keep it simple. Most local governments consider strip clubs/gogo bars "adult entertainment" hence it is the sex industry. Most cities across the country are trying to limit these type places. Why? cuz they are considered sex businesses whether there is contact or not! End of conversation! Ask your local mayor and he will tell you!

sixfigures
04-01-2003, 03:36 AM
I tend to agree that simply selling sex appeal does not make a person a sex worker. Lots of people, companies sell sex appeal..... Vicky Secret, Fredricks for example- but I wouldn't say the models or other persons involved in their business are sex workers.
I think a sex worker is someone who provides sexual acts ( vaginal or anal intercourse, oral sex, fingering and HJ , breast grabing/sucking, masturbating oneself or another including grinding) for pay.
As far as strippers I'd agree that if sexual contact occurs then and only then are they "sex workers" otherwise they are just in the adult entertainment industry which includes but is not limited to sex workers. I would not consider a phone sex operator a sex worker but if a web girl is using a dildo she would be a sex worker because she is providing a sex act ...... similarly a porn actress/actor is a sex worker but the camera guy is not; he is a camera guy who works in a facet of the adult entertainment industry.

My 2 cents.

doc-catfish
04-01-2003, 03:38 AM
I was simpling pointing out how silly it seems to me to be to label people who are not selling sexual contact as sex workers.
If there's anything we could really use on SW and SCJ, it might be a glossary, although I think we would have endless arguments over the definitions. How would you define "sexual contact"? As a sex act itself or would you include something that mimics sex like lap dances? I'd agree to the former, but hey, that's just me.

As for my connotation of "sex worker", whatever the original intent of the term, I think for some reason those in general society, and (even some ladies in sex related industry to an extent) abuse the term to draw a line between what they perceive to be respectable women and ill-reputed harlots, resulting in the "caste system" that McCain makes reference to.

By taking the definition of "sex worker" to the absolute literal extreme, I'm simply pointing out the fact that a great number of women, even in the most respected of professions, use sexuality to advance their careers, whether they acknowledge it or not. The idea is to get that businesswoman who shows up to work in a professional, yet feminine looking Donna Karan outfit to accept that she plays the same game as a dancer does wearing nothing but platform heels and a smile, just in a very subtle way. Dancers shouldn't be drawing a line of morality between themselves and prostitutes for the exact same reason.

money
04-01-2003, 04:01 AM
If these dancers were just waitressing or bartending in a "regular" bar, they would not be considered sex workers. BUT when you are up onstage, parading around in a bikini, topless or nude, collecting tips off of it, etc, then that is a sex worker.

sixfigures
04-01-2003, 05:00 AM
Money- if that were the case then what about women who do bikini contests for a cash prize. They are on a stage parading around trying to get crowd suport to win money. Where is the difference ???

money
04-01-2003, 06:12 AM
You will have to ask the government! Shit, they have the bikini part of beauty contests too!

04-01-2003, 09:21 AM
if the stripper is doing contact that involves sex organs including grinding or nipple sucking then yes she is a sex worker, if a stripper is only doing air dances, then no she is not a sex worker. I agree with Six that a person must be selling sex or sex acts to be a sex worker.

sol_de_pr2
04-01-2003, 10:21 AM
If she does not provide sex acts she is not a sex worker, in my book. A stripper like those on SW and SCJ are not sex workers, IF they're really honest as to what they don't allow in their line of work.

mr_punk
04-01-2003, 12:30 PM
yes Punk
( a perfect name for you imho based on posts I have read by you over the years)

really? so,now i have two members in my fan club, you & sixfigures. NOTE TO MOD: i would start checking for multiple name users on this board. BTW,if you want to quote others,use the quote button next to the header of any post.


I know that it was a far off statement, but I was making a point that just having a person look at you and want to have sex with you does not make a person a sex worker.

yes,and your point illustrated that you did not grasp the concept. go back and read McCain or Bridgette they pretty much summed it up in a nutshell. when your only product is sex (i'm using the word loosely here) then you are a sex worker. when you use women to sell beer in a commercial. you're selling beer,not sex. the women are used as a not so subtle subliminal message to make you think,"gee, if i drink more beer. i'll get women" and not, "gee, if i drink more beer. i'll look nine months pregnant". you can still sell the product without the women.
on the other hand, remove the nudity and private dances from a stripclub. replace, all the dancers with professional dancers. replace the poles with elaborate set pieces and lighting. what have you got? the movie "Flashdancers" and a club full of empty freaking seats and all of your male customers at the real stripclub next door.



I was simpling pointing out how silly it seems to me to be to label people who are not selling sexual contact as sex workers.

and i'm simply pointing out to you sexual contact isn't necessary. as i mentioned in my inital post, the word "sex work" doesn't necessarily imply that actual sex, including sexual contact is involved.

Pryce
04-01-2003, 01:20 PM
Visiting, Mike, and Six - we know why you all agree. Please choose one username and stick with it.

GoldCoastGirl
04-02-2003, 01:05 AM
Yes - we are visual prostitutes. Well, that is my opinion and I'm sticking with it... that includes all strippers: the ones on stage, the ones that do air-dances, the ones that do contact dances, etc.

It is a form of prostitution - just a visual one. Personally I have no problems with this little definition of mine as I've never had a problem with any type of sex work. It has its place and there are indeed people who are can do those jobs...

Just like there are smart strippers (not fucked up on drugs etc) there are smart prostitutes.

To Each Their Own in the end :-)

04-02-2003, 03:35 AM
Pryce - couldn't sign in as Six- password wouldn't take and didn't come through yesterday when I requested it- so signed up for a new name, used Visiting before I decieded to register. hope that clears things up.

Punk-I am not the only one who disagrees that certain strippers are not sex workers. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they don't grasp a concept, it means the don't have the same opinion on a subject. Why did you ask the question- just to tell people they were wrong?

Despite this wanted to say thanks for pointing out the quote button didn't see it previously.

Admin Note: For Mike and everyone else, if you wish to make personal comments to a poster that are not on topic, please use the PM feature.
Thanks
Chuck149