Though pole dancing is one of the hottest trends in fitness, there are some who would rather not have the sport associated with strippers.
These pole dancers want everyone to know that they're not pole dancing as a job. It is for exercise and art.
But did you know that there are lots of women who pole dance for other reasons? Here's a hint:
Josephine, Susan, and Alana (that's me) are current and former strippers and contributors to Tits & Sass, a website written for and by sex workers. They discussed just a handful of the great reasons women dance on poles (and on people!) for a living.
1. To feed themselves.
2. To feed their children.
3. To feed their pets.
4. To pay for their education.
5. To pay off student loans.
6. To pay for medical expenses.
7. To help care for an aging parent.
8. Because strip-club hiring is much more diverse than many people realize.
9. Because some of them actually like the work.
10. Because even though the customers can be rude, they're making more money than in a regular service job where that is also true.
11. To earn a living in the U.S. despite having a limited command of English that keeps them out of other employment.
12. To work in a job that allows them to stay physically and mentally fit.
13. To work hours that accommodate their childcare needs.
14. To be able to take a month off if they need to.
15. To work around people who appreciate, understand, and share unapologetic personalities.
16. To fit a full-time work load into three shifts a week.
17. To be able to get a job immediately no matter where they are.
18. Because "Just get another job if it's so bad" hasn't ever actually gotten anyone another job.
19. To have a less traditional management structure if they have difficulty being supervised.
20. To experience the rush of making hundreds of dollars in the time it takes to play a single song.
21. Because their present financial needs are more important than the potential embarrassment of their hypothetical children.
22. Because their present financial needs are more important than the potential embarrassment of their hypothetical spouse.
23. Because their present financial needs are more important than the potential embarrassment of their hypothetical mother-in-law.
24. Because having primarily female colleagues is actually kind of awesome.
25. Because for some people, it is the only living wage available to them in their area and education level.
26. Because if you need money, you can often apply to work and start the same day.
27. To give a big ol' "Fuck you, pay me!" to the male gaze.
28. Because for some people, being called a stripper is a compliment.
29. To work in a space that allows them to interact with men on their own terms.
30. To be self-employed, full stop.
31. Because it provides the income, schedule, and environment that is best suited to their needs, even if society frowns upon it.