The Stripper/Exotic Dancer/Escort/Sex Worker world is naturally ancient (and exists on some spectrum that I won't pretend to know much about nor attempt to characterise) but always interesting (for many reasons - some obvious).
For example, I have always found pieces like this to be intriguing:
- Can Strippers Really Forecast a Financial Crisis? - Glamour
- I’m a stripper — we can read the markets better than bankers - New York Post
- What the 'stripper index' can tell us about the economy - CBC
With the usual implication being that when bankers are splashing cash in strip clubs, then the economy is going well; and when the real estate agent-types stoop to $5 notes...not so well.
So far, makes sense.
A friend in the industry recently mentioned something about 'Stripper Tiers' which I thought was interesting. Naturally I asked for some details:
- Age - Approximately 30+
- Attire - High end lingerie ($100+ for single items) like 'Honey Birdette'
- Work at - "Hotels", Places that do not have 'club' or 'strip' in the name, not part of a chain of clubs, usually a standalone 'institution'
- Host 'Business Parties' eg Bankers, Corporate; will not host Buck's Parties
- Will take Pole Dancing lessons as an investment (cost of lessons) to earn higher incomes
- Will likely have performed or competed in pole dancing competitions and potentially teach pole dancing lessons - either "floor work" or "exotic" styles
- Age - Intermediate
- Attire - Attainable 'special occasion'-style lingerie like 'Bras and Things'
- Work at - Range of clubs; Often work under a 'management' service - think an Instagram page or website run as an agency advertising performers for waitresses, boat parties, poker nights, buck's parties etc
- Host most parties and events ie will host Buck's parties
- Age - 18-22
- Attire - Mass-produced sets around the $15 per item price range but still clearly 'special occasional' lingerie like 'Shein'
- Work at - Local strip clubs, chains of clubs
- Host any party or event ie will host Buck's parties
None of this is to denigrate dancers within the 'Amateur' domain of the industry - there is often nothing 'Amateur' about their professionalism or income.
And to describe someone as 'Professional' is not to imply that this is necessarily their full time job.
Rather I just thought it an extremely interesting concept that there are degrees of professionalism within the industry, characterised by investments in more expensive attire and in skill acquisition for which a return on that investment is expected; and by seeking out more and more professional venues under which income share agreements must still be beneficial to both parties.
Now, coming back to the crux of this ramble, we saw that there is some expectation that a 'stripper index' can track the economy. With history at least back to 2007 when New York strippers were noticing the quiet clubs and reduced spending habits of their Wall Street clientele as a precursor to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
And that fantastic scene in 'The Big Short' with Steve Carell interviewing a stripper who owns 5 homes or something outrageous.
But now I am wondering if there are parallel 'Stripper Indices' that track certain domains of the economy or society based on the 'Stripper Tier' relevant to that domain.
If we assume that the 'Professional' Tier are usually the first to notice strain in the corporate/banking/finance 'domain' of the economy, then could there be signals of strain in other areas of the economy when the 'Semi-Professional' Tier start to notice quieter clubs or reduced tips; or when the 'Amateur' Tier decide that the industry is not worth their time any more?
Could the 'Semi-Professional' Tier have predicted the observed strain in the Construction Industry, prior to the restructuring of some of Australia's biggest home-builders?
Could the 'Amateur' Tier then predict strain in the Wedding Industry? For example, if those who would normally work at Buck's parties are having quiet weekends, could we predict a reduction in weddings in 1-6 months? Would this add anything to information we could gather from wedding celebrants noticing a reduction in bookings?
Could we predict a rise in unemployment among the club-going age of males if tips are declining? Could we predict celibacy and social isolation among young males if tips are increasing?
And this is all before we get to the exploding parallel industries of the parasocial online platforms that usually have 'fans' in their name...
If anyone actually has answers to these questions, let me know.
Thanks for tuning in.