This is one serious indication of how tough the economy is.
A story by the Associated Press tells how some women, desperate to find a job, are seeking employment at "gentlemen's clubs" -- often known as strip joints -- just to get by. They're also posing for magazines or working in adult movies, where the work may be questionable but the money is good.
Here's a bit from the article:
"The tough job market is prompting a growing number of women across the country to dance in strip clubs, appear in adult movies or pose for magazines like Hustler.
"Employers across the adult entertainment industry say they’re seeing an influx of applications from women who ... are attracted by the promise of flexible schedules and fast cash. Many have college degrees and held white-collar jobs until the economy soured.
“You’re seeing a lot more beautiful women who are eligible to do so many other things,” said Gus Poulos, general manager of New York City’s Sin City gentleman’s club. He said he got 85 responses in just one day to a recent job posting on Craigslist."
In one day, 85 responses. That's 85 women who have stories to tell, rent to pay, mouths to feed, bills coming due. That's 85 women who, for the most part, are probably very hesitant about what they're doing but fear it's their only way out of the financial situation they're in at the moment.
"In this economy, “desperate measures are becoming far more acceptable,” said Jonathan Alpert, a New York City-based psychotherapist who’s had clients who worked in adult entertainment."
Salaries for such jobs are high, and seem incredible when you compare them to those for other jobs. An exotic dancer at some clubs in New York City and Miami can make between $100,000 and $300,000 a year, in cash. The manager of a New York club is getting 20 to 30 applications a week, twice that of a year ago, he said. A Rhode Island gentlemen's club had a job fair last weekend, seeking 35 dancers, masseuses, bartenders and bouncers; they had 150 applicants.
The story talks about challenges -- learning to dance in high heels, and learning to live with the jeers and foul language some patrons voice at dancers. It also cautions that working in the adult entertainment industry -- especially in films -- is a life-changing event, and shouldn't be taken lightly. Once a photograph is taken or a film is made, there's no taking it back. If it gets out on the internet, it can never be totally purged, regardless of what damage it does to the person or people who are in it.
The story didn't talk about men -- and left me wondering why not. Certainly they are also part of the increase, at least in the adult film industry.
But I'm sad for a society that finds that it must lay off good workers in important positions but has a thriving sex industry. I'm sad for the teacher or cook or artist or single mom who feels that in order to make ends meet, she must take her clothes off and display her body for people -- mostly men -- who will give her cash in return.
Some people would argue that the woman is in the power position in this transaction. I've heard the argument, and I suppose it could be true for some. But I can't imagine that your self-esteem, your body image and your view of the world wouldn't suffer from such a job. And I imagine that every time the music starts and the worker must leave the backstage area and go out front to dance, wearing little to no clothing, her sense of power takes a bit of a beating.
Here's the article:
What do you think?
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