We have lots of lapdancing clubs in Bournemouth, but do the women who work in them earn loads of money and feel empowered?

SARAH’S STORY

I don’t know anywhere you get paid a wage. You pay the club £10 up to

£80 for being there. They weren’t concerned some performers went away

having not earned anything. They also take a percentage of what you earn.

You’d have to wear the clothing they’d tell you to wear and that comes out of

your earnings. They’d tell you to buy a dress from their own range, that would

come out of your wages. And shoes. They’d supply all this but you’d pay for it.

The club would tell you they’ll give you training but it’s trial and error. We had to

wear special costumes and lots and lots of make up. It’s not glamorous. It’s out

of the pages of a men’s mag.

I used to tell clients I was doing a degree in Russian and they’d be visually

intimidated and would clam up. They’d want a bimbo who’d be subordinate to

them. I’d tell them I didn’t - I’d say I’d work in Tesco. A degree was like pouring

cold water over their privates. I learnt from that mistake.

There were always more girls than customers and a competition to see who

could get to the customers first. Owners loved the fact customers would see

dozens of girls. They liked the fact the customers would be dazzled with the

choice. Companies sent huge groups of employees to the clubs. Every day it

happened. It’d be part of expenses. The employees seemed to be old hands. At

the end of a big brainstorming day, they’d head down and be bought vouchers

by their bosses.

A lot of people would drink a lot to get through it. Girls would sneak in little

bottles and top up their orange juice. Or turn up for work drunk. 90% were

drunk by the end of the night. So they were more vulnerable. There were lots of

eating disorders. Nobody got to stage where they were very skinny, but often

women hadn’t eaten for two days because they knew they were coming to

work. They’d not eat so would feel the impact of the booze more.

There’s a rule regarding distance. You’re allowed to get closer than they say in

the contract. It’s supposed to be three feet, which is quite a lot. That is broken

instantly

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