Voices from the world of lap dancing. All of these quotes come from real women who have worked at various lap dancing clubs across the UK. ‘I gave a fake NUS card as ID, which was accepted as documentary evidence, proof of age, proof that I was able to work in the UK.’.
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All of these quotes come from real women who have worked at various lap dancing clubs across the UK.
‘The men can say yes or no, and one of the extraordinary things is they will list the reasons why...
...So, they will go: 'No, your tits aren't big enough.’
‘Club regulations things is they will list the reasons why...stated that it was necessary to remain one foot away from the customers at all times.’
‘But it’s laughable to suggest that this was abided by, it really is.’
‘People think it's charming and cheeky – men chasing topless girls around like in a Carry On film.’
‘Instead, there is a ruthless competition – with women resorting to masturbating for the customers or ignoring no-touching rules to earn enough to pay the fees.’
Others tell of security staff and managers turning a blind eye to men groping, insulting or even threatening the women.’
‘When dancing for someone 45 and above I would have in the back of my head: 'You probably have a daughter.'
I would make a moral judgment on them, but I would still dance for them.
And I think this can be psychologically damaging because it becomes a question of what you will do for money.’
‘Not touching, not exposing your genitals, not allowing men to touch you is the exception rather than the rule.’
‘Lots of the regular customers would make arrangements to come to the club to see specific dancers...more extreme sexual contact might well have been being performed and paid for accordingly.’
‘It's like an abusive relationship where you get worn down slowly – your morality gets worn down, your self esteem gets worn down. But you are there because you have put yourself there. That's what can be damaging.’
‘When the money dropped, so did my personal standards … I went to other clubs where I performed full strip...
...The first time I pulled my knickers down I felt my soul fall out.’
‘In fully nude clubs, women would do handstands while spreading their legs, or allow customers to touch them.’
‘The customers call you names, comment on your body, or your cellulite, and certainly [I know] from other women's experiences, comment on your genitalia saying 'that's big‘ etc.’
‘A lot of men are totally blunt, and will say 'I like bigger tits than you've got', or 'How much for a blowjob?'
‘In my personal life if men said to me, 'I'm really into black girls,' I would think, 'what an arsehole,' because they are treating you as a species and as though all black women are identical.’
‘But in a lap-dancing club it's almost inevitable – you are reduced to your component parts.’
'I was seen as an object, not a person'
‘You pay 'rent' to the club just to be there and if you can persuade someone to buy a dance, you get £20 - about 20% of which the club takes.’
‘Then there are the fines - £10 if you miss your turn to pole dance, if you're late, you're wearing the wrong shoes or you break the rules.’
‘There are so many ways to make money from you. You are constantly trying to make as much money as possible out of everybody...
...otherwise you are literally paying to be there.’
‘There were a lot of nights when I would have taken money out and come home with less.’