Striptease: The Virtual Edition

Striptease: Exercise for the mind

What does the future hold for the acrobats of the pole? As the world is locking itself out of sight, the striptease industry is suffering. You might think that strippers have a ton of money, but the reality is that most dancers have a  money-in-money- out approach. As the news hit the world, major clubs and strippers takeaway services closed their door. Some gave a final show to keep the punters happy. Some pivoted to food delivery. But the majority of the strip clubs told their dancers \”sorry, it is what it is\” and are waiting in hope of some normality to return.

Strippers at Starlets in New York, US, posed with bottles of Corona beer, and a man in a hazmat suit ahead of the pandemic-themed event

During these times, strippers have taken to making decisions on how to reinvent themselves. Some girls got on their bikes and started working for delivery companies like Deliveroo.  Some others got jobs like customer support in Amazon or other companies that are part of the delivery world.

What about the dancers that still want to keep dancing?

Cam time is not a healthy time 🙂

The Live Cam business was always there. There were strippers that doubled up as live cam girls. But the majority of the strippers usually stick to dancing.  On top of that, the clients that watch live cams have a different set of demands. Dancing is a form of art and striptease or pole dancing are part of the same category. Live cam is a form of porn. Without opening the big discussion on whether porn is an art or a basic necessity of life, we need to keep in mind that striptease is miles apart from live cams.

Virtual Strip clubs – Striptease on Insta live

Most strippers that moved to that direction found it boring. Sitting for hours in skimpy clothing waiting for the bored internet night owls to tip you, is not fun. Having said that, there are examples of clubs that have moved the party online. The Lick Events, are a women-only strip club popup event. Once the COVID rules sent all of them home, they started doing online events.  And they keep selling out. Trust me, it is difficult to manage to sell out an online event. The set up is based on a contribution basis, with the proceeds going to the DJs.

Virtual strip clubs are a bit strange. But what lick do differently is the type of engagement. Instead of having a show set up, there is a gathering set up. All the participants are encouraged, to shout, dance twerk, you know, they all become strippers. It is the virtual party atmosphere that keeps the participation high, higher than the usual Zoom and Insta parties happening at the moment.

People have the need to connect, and while virtual get-togethers are no substitute for a full-on striptease experience, they are a good place to keep the party mood alive.

United Strippers of the World

The United Strippers of The World, the union representing the striptease workers in the UK also played their part. On the 11th of April, they held Cybertease. This was a Zoom event with the aim to support those dancers that are out of work at the moment.

This particular event had the support of the main voices that promote equality for the workers in this industry. Their virtual menu is not for the shy guys ..or girls. With paddle spanking and bras off you can get a faint idea of the shenanigans, and hopefully not faint.

One might think; what\’s the difference with the Live Cams? Numbers, friends, numbers. A live cam is mainly a one to one ( or max 3) business. A Cybertease event brings together the whole f-ing club. And not only that. It is a promotional tool for the industry. As groups of strippers and their admirers fill the comments feed of the Instalive with hearts and other emojis of affection, the rest of the outside world, watches, from the inside.

The can see that the space of striptease is not filled with strange taboo-loving people. It is filled with all the taboo loving people, including those that were not brave enough to cross the door of actual strip clubs before.

Do strippers become waiters?

Well, if we remember the success of Coyote Ugly, we remember that the thin line that separates barwoman and strippers has been crossed before. But low and behold, in Houston Texas, the capital of cowboys and Bible shaking sports, things turned out a bit differently. Onyx, is a strip club with a restaurant. So, once they were told to close the doors as a strip club, they decided to keep going as waiters. Within an hour of opening, \”dozens of Houston Police Department Officers and Fire Department officials raided the business,\” the club alleged in the court document. The club won their court battle, even though the case should have been very straightforward.  The Mayor of Houston also weighed in questioning if the instructions of the government were also valid for businesses of an adult nature. There is an obvious bias that we see here. Why should people be excluded from the rules that apply to the whole of society based on the nature of their work?

At the end of the day, even the conservative crowd should be happy that a strip club is offering food and services to the public. The nature of the striptease industry is the subject of more legislation than let\’s say, hairdressers. And just like the customers of the hairdressers are tired of cutting their own hair, the customers of strip clubs are tired of… you get the picture.

Where to my captain?

Just like so many other professions that are suffering from social distancing, striptease will have to find new ideas. In times of chaos, greatness is born. And whoever has had the experience of a full-on strip club knows that strippers thrive in chaos.  Better things are on the way, and they will wear stilettos.


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