My cocktail waitress and I had thought we weren’t really a part of this. It was a temporary situation while we pursued loftier things. While that may have been true, we were still there, and definitely no better than anyone else in the customers’ eyes. They didn’t care about our educations, families, or creative pursuits. We were two more girls in push-up bras, there to cater to their every need. The dancers didn’t view us as superior either. They welcomed us in. One of them was nineteen and stripping to get a Business Management degree so she could open her own strip club. She saw the same thing I saw, unheard of profit margins and employees who paid to work. Later she got fired for getting into a fist fight with another dancer, but I have no doubt she’ll end up doing well for herself.

Sara Copeland, in her narrative about working at a Manhattan strip club for 3 days. It’s well worth a read for its sincerity, rawness, and humor. And, she’s my friend’s sister who I met once, so it’s like she’s my best friend.

Seriously though, the insight she gives is really enlightening and satisfying. I have mixed feelings in general about strip clubs – how they’re run, how the dancers are treated and need to act to succeed, how customers are allowed to act, where they’re located, etc. I don’t think strip clubs are a black and white issue; it’s a business like anything else. However, businesses should be run ethically, and unfortunately, strip clubs blur those lines. Sara brings up many interesting points on both sides of this argument, which is a rarely explored yet incredibly insightful perspective that deserves a read without bias.

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