TikToker calls on StripTok to romanticize the job

TikToker Terreee (@terreekennedy) wrote a viral clip calling for “$triptok” posters that glorify their jobs as exotic dancers online without emphasizing the more unsavory parts of their jobs. Multiple replies to her original TikTok, along with a clip clip stitched together by another user, have sparked a chorus of shocking stories and exposures surrounding the stripping industry.

As a result, in response, a conversation was started about the violence that many strippers face, along with nights with low or nonexistent payouts, financial difficulties, substance abuse, fear for one’s life at the hands of obsessive clients, and murder.

@firstclassash #stitch with @terreekennedy I’m just saying if you know your content will inspire others then be completely transparent and open. Let people know what they might be up for #foryoupage #fyp #uncomfortableconversations #storytime #thetruth #nightlife #strippaanswers #strippacheck #honesty ♬ Original sound – ashabillion2

“To the girls who are actually considering becoming $trippers just because of the good nights they saw on $triptok,” Terree wrote via text overlay in the now-viral clip. “If you want to tell the story, tell the whole story.”

Another TikToker, Ash (@firstclassash), stitched the video and attached her own experience of working in strip clubs.

“No, but seriously, can all my dancers and ex-dancers tap me real quick?” She starts. “Can you tell these people about the trauma you experienced as a dancer? Can we talk about the shootings we witnessed? Can we talk about the stabbings we witnessed? Can we talk about the many nights that money was stolen? Where people ran away with your bag, where people gave you fake money.”

Ash also addresses substance abuse, sexual abuse and even murder as dangers faced by workers in the industry.

“To see some of the prettiest, coolest girls you know get drugged or pimped? Let’s talk about the nights you paid tips and didn’t return your tips. The stories where some dancers meddled a little too much and went home with a random customer. And then nobody can find her for the next few days, next they find her body goddamn dumped on the side of a freeway, how can we talk about the shit we saw? The nights you were robbed at gunpoint? Like yeah, cool dancing, but that shit is dangerous.”

A 2021 Journal of Community Psychology The article analyzed the statistics of violent crimes occurring in strip clubs and through its research concluded that almost all strip clubs other than the “full nudity policy model” came to the same conclusion[s]” were at higher risk of violent crime. “We found that strip club rates were significantly associated with violent crime but not with SV [sexual violence], in all but one model (accounting for Saturday hours),” the study states. “Counties with larger proportions of “high-risk” strip clubs (i.e., longer days and hours, drink specials, full nudity policies, or private rooms) have higher SV rates. All models, except the full nudity model, showed increased rates of violent crime.”

The study also found that these facilities were at higher risk for increased rates of not only violent crime but sex crimes as well.

Pantsuit Politics reported that “overzealous customers” were the number one concern for exotic dancers. The article cited research from the LA Times, which stated that “79% of strippers report being stalked by clients and 61% have been victims of physical assault.”

In the 2018 article “Exotic Dancers Experiences with Occupational Violence in Portland, Oregon Strip Clubs” published in Portland State University’s McNair Scholars Online Journal, written by Harley J. Paulsen and Ericka Kimball of Portland State University, based on the authors three Research postulates key recommendations to curb violence in strip clubs.

“Based on the surveys and interviews, the researcher believes there is significant opportunity to improve safety at strip clubs,” Paulsen and Kimball wrote. “Too often, policies that affect the lives of sex workers are created without the input of sex workers themselves. Three key recommendations identified through this study were community support, responsible club management, and better policies to address workplace violence in strip clubs.”

On TikTok, Ash’s video received over 1.2 million views, prompting some commenters to share their own lurid experiences either visiting or working at strip clubs.

“Someone’s husband wasn’t supposed to be there, so his wife came in and tried to take OUR MONEY,” claimed one viewer.

“As an SA in the VIP room and when you tell management they’re not doing anything about it,” said a second user.

“Se found one of our girls in the club’s dumpster, barely breathing,” added a third. “We’ve seen girls hiding from ‘friends’ in fear for their lives. It’s a bumpy road.”

Some echoed the poster’s sentiments and asked for more stories to further spread awareness.

“Being followed home, customers not paying, being mistreated by the owner, yes the stories,” shared one user.

“They never tell the whole story,” wrote another. “And put those young girls in dangerous situations.”

In addition to discussing the violence strippers may face, others said there are several dancers who lead other young women to believe that they live a life of luxury, full of profits.

“Wasn’t a dancer, I was a hostess at a strip club for six years,” said one user. “Man, what the girls are going through! Not everyone makes 10,000 a night.”

“They don’t talk about how nights can be so bad that you end up owing the club money,” commented another.

Some users have attributed this to a social media issue where people edit their existences to appear as peachy as possible without revealing the less flattering aspects of their everyday lives.

“I think that’s a problem with social media in general,” one wrote. “No one is happy anymore because we ONLY see good happening to others.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Ash on TikTok for further comment on her post.


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https://www.dailydot.com/irl/striptok-backlash-strippers-violence/ TikToker calls on StripTok to romanticize the job

Jaclyn Diaz

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