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Thread: are strippers sex workers?

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    God/dess mr_punk's Avatar
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    Default are strippers sex workers?

    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?
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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
    Don't make me spank you!

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    God/dess mr_punk's Avatar
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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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
    Is it not a problem that the woman have a smaller brain than a man? The government scientist Dr. Yamuka has proved it is size of squirrel. - Borat

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    Lt. Vincent Hanna: Cause she's got a great ass and you got your head all the way up it! - from the movie "Heat".

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    Featured Member electric_head's Avatar
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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
    Don't make me spank you!

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    Featured Member Chuck149's Avatar
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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
    "when it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day" ~ Marty Bucella

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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!

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    God/dess mr_punk's Avatar
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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
    Is it not a problem that the woman have a smaller brain than a man? The government scientist Dr. Yamuka has proved it is size of squirrel. - Borat

    Alan Marciano
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    Lt. Vincent Hanna: Cause she's got a great ass and you got your head all the way up it! - from the movie "Heat".

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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


    Promote yourself and earn more money! This is a business that is owned by strippers for strippers. Let's make that money!


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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
    Former SCJ now in rehab.

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
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    God/dess mr_punk's Avatar
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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
    Is it not a problem that the woman have a smaller brain than a man? The government scientist Dr. Yamuka has proved it is size of squirrel. - Borat

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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!

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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!

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.
    Former SCJ now in rehab.

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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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.

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    Curious Guest sixfigures's Avatar
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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    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 ???



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    Default Re: are strippers sex workers?

    You will have to ask the government! Shit, they have the bikini part of beauty contests too!

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