Tag Archives: Stripping/Erotic Dance

Sex Workers’ Personal and Professional Lives” – Special Issue of Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34(3), 2019.

Antebi-Gruszka, Nadav, Daniel Spence, and Stella Jendrzejewski. 2019. ‘Guidelines for Mental Health Practice with Clients Who Engage in Sex Work’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 339–54.

Bahri, Jacenta. 2019. ‘Boyfriends, Lovers, and “Peeler Pounders”: Experiences of Interpersonal Violence and Stigma in Exotic Dancers’ Romantic Relationships’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 309–28.

Bloomquist, Katie, and Eric Sprankle. 2019. ‘Sex Worker Affirmative Therapy: Conceptualization and Case Study’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 392–408.

Dickson, Holly. 2019. ‘Sex Work, Motherhood, and Stigma’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 332–34.

Johnson, Joey. 2019. ‘Dating While Sex Working: Civilian Dates Carry More Risk for Sex Workers’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 329–31.

Matos, Bella, and Lola Haze. 2019. ‘Bottoms up: A Whorelistic Literature Review and Commentary on Sex Workers’ Romantic Relationships’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 372–91.

Rayson, Josephine, and Beatrice Alba. 2019. ‘Experiences of Stigma and Discrimination as Predictors of Mental Health Help-Seeking among Sex Workers’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 277–89.

Sawicki, Danielle A., Brienna N. Meffert, Kate Read, and Adrienne J. Heinz. 2019. ‘Culturally Competent Health Care for Sex Workers: An Examination of Myths That Stigmatize Sex Work and Hinder Access to Care’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 355–71.

Tempest, Tiffany. 2019. ‘Relationship Boundaries, Abuse, and Internalized Whorephobia’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 335–38.

Wolf, Ariel. 2019. ‘Stigma in the Sex Trades’. Sexual and Relationship Therapy 34 (3): 290–308.

A large-scale study of working conditions in UK-based strip dancing clubs reveals that dancers are against de facto self-employment as it is defined and practised by management, but in favour of de jure self-employment that ensures sufficient levels of autonomy and control in the workplace. While dancers could potentially seek ‘worker’ or ‘employee’ status within the existing legal framework, their strong identification with the label ‘self-employed’ and their desire for autonomy will likely inhibit these labour rights claims. We propose an alternative avenue for improving dancers’ working conditions, whereby self-employed dancers articulate their grievances as a demand for decent work, pursued through licensing agreements between clubs and local authorities and facilitated by collective organization.
Social Policy and Society, January 2015: Themed Section on The Cultural Study of Commercial Sex: Taking a Policy Perspective.
Berg, Heather. “Trafficking Policy, Meaning Making and State Violence.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 145–55. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000414.
Carline, Anna, and Jane Scoular. “Saving Fallen Women Now? Critical Perspectives on Engagement and Support Orders and Their Policy of Forced Welfarism.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 103–12. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000347.
Hammond, Natalie. “Men Who Pay for Sex and the Sex Work Movement? Client Responses to Stigma and Increased Regulation of Commercial Sex Policy.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 93–102. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000360.
———. “Some Useful Sources.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 157–59. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000451.
Hammond, Natalie, and Feona Attwood. “Introduction: The Cultural Study of Commercial Sex: Taking a Policy Perspective.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 79–82. doi:10.1017/S147474641400044X.
Pettinger, Lynne. “The Judgement Machine: Markets, Internet Technologies and Policies in Commercial Sex.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 135–43. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000311
Pitcher, Jane. “Sex Work and Modes of Self-Employment in the Informal Economy: Diverse Business Practices and Constraints to Effective Working.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 113–23. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000426. OPEN ACCESS
Prior, Jason, and Penny Crofts. “Is Your House a Brothel? Prostitution Policy, Provision of Sex Services from Home, and the Maintenance of Respectable Domesticity.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 125–34. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000335.
Sanders, Teela, Kate Hardy, and Rosie Campbell. “Regulating Strip-Based Entertainment: Sexual Entertainment Venue Policy and the Ex/Inclusion of Dancers’ Perspectives and Needs.” Social Policy and Society 14, no. 01 (2015): 83–92. doi:10.1017/S1474746414000323.

Hubbard P, Boydell S, Crofts P, Prior J, Searle G, 2013, “Noxious neighbours? Interrogating the impacts of sex premises in residential areas” Environment and Planning A 45(1) 126 – 141


Premises associated with commercial sex—including brothels, striptease clubs, sex cinemas, and sex shops—have increasingly been accepted as legitimate land uses, albeit ones whose location needs to be controlled because of assumed ‘negative externalities’. However, the planning and licensing regulations excluding such premises from areas of residential land use are often predicated on assumptions of nuisance that have not been empirically substantiated. Accordingly, this paper reports on a survey of those living close to sex industry premises in New South Wales, Australia. The results suggest that although some residents have strong moral objections to sex premises, in general residents note few negative impacts on local amenity or quality of life, with distance from a premise being a poor predictor of residents’ experiences of nuisance. These findings are considered in relation to the literatures on sexuality and space given regulation which ultimately appears to reproduce heteronormative moralities rather than respond to genuine environmental nuisances.

Full text available here.


The visibility of striptease (‘lap dancing’) as a workplace and site of consumption has grown significantly over the past 15 years in the UK. This article draws on the first large scale study of stripping work in the UK, exploring original empirical data to examine why women continue to seek work in an industry that is profoundly precarious and often highly exploitative. It suggests that rather than either a ‘career’ or a ‘dead end’ job, many women use lap dancing strategically to create alternative futures of work, employment and education. It is argued that precarious forms of employment such as lap dancing can be instrumentalized through agentic strategies by some workers, in order to achieve longer term security and to develop opportunities outside the sex industry. As such, it is averred that engagement in the industry should instead be understood in a wider political economy of work and employment and the social wage.

Naomi Akers, “A Pilot Health Assessment of Exotic Dancers in San Francisco”. San Francisco State University Masters of Public Health Program (2005).


For the last two years, the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) has been hearing testimony from former and current dancers about the current working conditions of strip clubs. There has been a tremendous amount of disagreement between former and current dancers about the working conditions of strip clubs. While the majority of current dancers state conditions in the strip clubs are fine, some former dancers say that risk for sexual assault, HIV/STI transmission, illegal stage fees imposed by strip clubs and coerced prostitution are primary health concerns for dancers. In an attempt to discover if the claims of former dancers are applicable to current dancers, a health assessment was conducted with current exotic dancers. Thirteen women (13) were interviewed using a structured survey with key qualitative questions. Results revealed that the majority of dancers did not think risk of HIV/STI transmission, fear of sexual assault or the existence of private booths are a work related health risk. Nearly half of the sample thought that stage fees were or might be a work related health risks. The lack of healthcare, the shoes that dancers wear, standing on their feet all day, the number of shifts dancers work a week, not making enough money, cleanliness and location of the club, customer harassment, and being treated badly by other people because of what they do were reported as work related health risk by the majority of exotic dancers in this sample.

Full text available here.

Crystal A Jackson (2011). Revealing contemporary constructions of femininity: Expression and sexuality in strip club legislation, Sexualities 14(3) 354–369.  DOI: 10.1177/1363460711400964


This case study of Las Vegas strip club business laws explores the construction of feminine sexuality in legal discourse. Grounding textual analysis in contemporary sexuality theories, the article explores expression-based regulations that construct erotic dance as detrimental to social welfare and health, and other laws that normalize erotic dance labor as the sale of desire. I argue that expression-based ordinances stigmatize public displays of women’s (semi-) nude bodies and construct workers’ sexuality as potentially dangerous and uncontrollable. Alternatively, laws that classify erotic dance as labor construct femininity as fluid and work appropriate, regulating the work(er), not the erotic dancer as a person.

Gopal, Meena (2013): Sexuality and Social Reproduction: Reflections from an Indian Feminist Debate, in: Indian Journal of Gender Studies June 2013 vol. 20 no. 2 235-251

This article tries in a preliminary manner to establish links between sexual labour, the negotiations of everyday life and the reproduction of social relations. The context for this interrogation is the recent ban in 2005 on dancing in beer bars in the Indian city of Mumbai; the attempts by the state to legitimise its action amidst a range of national and international rhetoric on sexual labour, and the voices of women who were disenfranchised due to the state ban. Women’s interrogation of their role in sexual labour and their struggle for dignity and respect in the domain of work is discussed in the light of the negative discourse weighing against them, while also bringing in historical and contemporary accounts of other forms of ‘stigmatised’ labour. The attempt is to understand how notions of dignity and respectability are intertwined with shifts in gender, caste, class locations and the struggles of social movements. Significant in this discussion are various examples of how women choose to ‘move away’ in their constant search for livelihoods and survival. The article is an attempt to illuminate how an expanded notion of social reproduction could recognise labours of different kinds with the voices of those embodying these labours having a say in how justice and entitlements should devolve.

Einat, Albin (2013): The Case of Quashie: Between the Legalisation of Sex Work and the Precariousness of Personal Service Work, in: Industrial Law Journal, 42 (2): 180-191.

On 21 December 2012, the Court of Appeal (CA) gave its decision in the case of Stringfellows Restaurants Ltd v Nadine Quashie.1 This case questioned whether Ms Quashie, a lap-dancer, was self-employed or whether she was an employee under a contract of employment. According to the facts laid down in the judgment, Ms Quashie worked a few times a week in a club, paid a fee to work there, was defined as an independent contractor in the club owners’ hand book and the clients took part in the process of payment. The CA reversed the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and stated that there was no mutuality of obligations such as to constitute a contract of employment, since there was no wage-work bargain between the parties. The club had no obligation to pay the dancer ‘anything at all’,2 and therefore, as the Court said, ‘the dancer took the economic risk’.3 Quashie provides us with an opportunity to consider the tight link that British labour law creates between service workers, gender and precariousness in the context of sex work. Particularly, it offers to rethink the way the court considers the roles of the three parties in interactive service work—workers, management and customers—in its process of fact assessment, and accordingly its decision on whether a contract of employment was constructed.

Cruz, Katie (2013): Unmanageable Work, (Un)liveable Lives: The UK Sex Industry, Labour Rights and the Wegfahre State, in: Social Legal Studies May 23, 2013. 

This article draws from interview material with sex worker rights activists in London, and sex work scholarship, to explore the demand for labour rights for sex workers and erotic dancers. I argue that there are two positions visible in activism and scholarship, which I term ‘liberal’ and ‘materialist’. Whilst the former posits that the problem with sex work is insufficient mainstreaming of commercial sex within the labour market, the latter stresses the need for protections and freedoms from the labour market and repressive criminal and immigration laws. I suggest that these two perspectives need to be thought together. To this end, for the first time in the UK context I ask what labour rights can do for erotic dancers and indoor-based sex workers. I argue that, whilst labour law may offer some level of protection, both forms of commercial sexual service are ultimately unmanageable and that the strategy of securing individual labour rights suffers from several limitations. In the final part, I map the materialist frames onto broader feminist citizenship debates. I ask whether these models can deliver the protections sought and tentatively propose that a feminist-oriented demand for a basic income may be of use to the sex worker rights movement today.