Our main segment this week is all about the world of exotic dancing - Holly explains strip clubs to Jenna, sharing tips of the trade and insider secrets. Our misconception of the week is that employment negates consent, we discuss the cruelty that can arise when strangers on the internet don’t think about the human being who will read their words in Shit People Say, and we have a little chat about gangbangs!
1:18 - The world of exotic dancing
37:32 - Misconception: employment negates consent
39:50 - Shit People Say: ripped bowls
45:15 - Question of the week: what’s the most partners you’ve had in a gangbang?
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Somebody You Love is sponsored by Assembly Four, empowering sex workers through technology: https://assemblyfour.com/
For more info on sex work in Australia, please check out the following organisations:
ACT (SWOP ACT): https://meridianact.org.au/swop/
NSW (SWOP NSW): https://swop.org.au/
NT (SWOP NT): https://www.ntahc.org.au/swopnt
Qld (Respect Inc): https://respectqld.org.au/
SA (SIN): http://www.sin.org.au/sindex.html
Tas (Scarlet Alliance): https://scarletalliance.org.au/links/
Vic (Vixen Collective): https://www.vixencollective.org/vc
WA (SWEAR): http://sexworkerrightswa.org
WA (Magenta): http://magenta.org.au
Jenna Love 0:00
Welcome to Somebody You Love, or the sale of two titties. I'm Jenna Love.
Holly Harte 0:07
And I'm Holly Harte.
Jenna Love 0:09
And we're experts in disappointing our parents, breaching community guidelines, and banging the people who vote against our rights.
Holly Harte 0:18
Today, we'd like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we're recording. Today, I'm on the land of the Ngunnawal people,
Jenna Love 0:25
and I'm on the land of the Darug and Gundungurra peoples.
Holly Harte 0:28
We'd like to pay our respects to any elders and acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded.
Jenna Love 0:33
We want to make a point to say that the sex working community is incredibly diverse, which is one of the coolest things about it. And there's a huge amount of intersectionality within it. So we can only speak from our own experience. Of course, we can't speak on behalf of sex workers. But we are in the process now of chatting to some potential guests. And once we've got things up and sorted, we will be bringing some other perspectives onto the show, which we are really excited about.
As you may have worked out, there will be some adult themes that we discuss. So if you're not an adult, this might not be the podcast for you.
Today, we have a bit of a Holly-sode, and we are going to talk about stripping or I believe the preferred term is exotic dancing. So it's a stripper-sode. A Holly-sode stripper-sode. And the reason it's a Holly-sode is because I know literally nothing, absolutely nothing about stripping. So I'm gonna hand it over to Holly.
Holly Harte 1:39
Thank you, the pressure is on. Okay, so I guess, you know, I've got a few specific topics I'd like to talk about today, or that I think you guys might all find interesting. I also wanted to preface it by saying I, these are only my experiences, there are so many clubs, you know, worldwide and so many different sorts of clubs in Australia, people, different people that dance at them, who all have different experiences. And this is only my small, narrow experience. You know, I think it's been, ooh eight years, seven or eight years since I danced, so things might have changed a lot since then, as well. You know, I did do strip club management and things like that as well. But it's been a while since I've been in the club. So this is all just my little experience. And I don't speak for strippers in general, just reiterating that
Jenna Love 2:30
Holly Harte 2:31
Because I don't want people who are listening who have been strippers, or who are strippers going 'What? That's not true'.
Jenna Love 2:36
So how did you get into stripping?
Holly Harte 2:39
That is a very good question. It's a hard one to answer because it was a long journey. So basically, I'd always been interested in the sex industry. As I've discussed before, I had done a little bit of brothel work. At the time, I actually was working in a brothel and a new strip club opened in Canberra, and my friend started dancing there a few people I knew in Canberra started dancing there. And they had this really active social media like really active Facebook where they post all these girls, glamorous women partying, looking really sexy, this mysterious, you know, nighttime world that just sort of intrigued me massively. So I was really fascinated by that. I was already a topless waitress or you know, in, you know, that sort of realm?
Jenna Love 3:21
Yeah, like the promotional sort of stuff?
Holly Harte 3:23
Exactly well I'd done promo stuff, I had, you know, it's this sort of path that I did, which was, you know, I became a promo model, and did you know, Bundy rum and all those sorts of brands, you know, giving out, you know, stubby holders and things like that in regional New South Wales. So I used to travel and do that. And then someone mentioned, you know, bikini or, you know, lingerie waitressing, which I then moved into that, which was like, oh, what was that like, you know, $100 an hour or something, which was ooh a lot of money.
Jenna Love 3:52
Holly Harte 3:53
I think it was $60 an hour for bikini and 100 for topless. So, yeah, I remember my first shift doing that was terrifying. So I did a range of those sorts of topless waitressing jobs and lingerie waitressing. And it was really really nerve racking. Like I remember my first topless waitressing gig was at the Tully Park Tavern in Goulburn. And I remember walking into the bathroom and putting on this little outfit and going in, and, you know, taking my bra off, and I stood in front of the mirror and I was like, 'What the fuck are you doing?' Like, 'How are you about to walk out into this pub full of men', and a lot from the police academy because it's in Goulburn. And I was like, like, 'what are you-' and I just pushed myself, opened the door and walked out and everyone in the pub turns around and looks at you with your titties out and I was like, 'Well, I'm doing this'. And it was so much fun. They were so nice. And you know, it's a big culture of tipping in that so you know, you make quite good money. And I was just chuffed. You know, I had such a fun time.
Jenna Love 4:48
Wow good on you. That does require huge bravery, I think.
Holly Harte 4:51
It is massive, yeah. And I did various other jobs. You know, one of them, I did on a train. So we actually drove out to, I drove out to Goulburn. And there was about five or six of us waitresses. And it was an old train company. And they took us, I don't know, somewhere out into New South Wales, I don't even know now up to this beautiful restaurant. And it was just this really fun gig. But I was sitting at the table with a whole lot of these girls who I felt like they were maybe dancers. And I was quite like, I don't wanna say sweet and innocent. But once again, I'm that sort of naive sort of wide eyed girl. And I thought these girls were all so like, edgy and bad and hot. And like, you know, I was really intimidated by them, especially this girl with this beautiful, like, she had this bright red hair, like dyed, you know, bright red hair, and she just had the longest legs you've ever seen. And we were sitting at the table, and I said, aw, they all mentioned there was strippers, and I was like, 'Oh, that's so cool. Like, that's really awesome'. And turned out, they had met my partner at the time, who was cheating on me hanging around the strip club, but that's maybe an irrelevant story. Um, I, drove back to Canberra that night. And it was just on my mind. I just was in love with that strip club. So a combination of having met these girls at a topless waitressing job. And having seen the social media, it just was brewing in my mind. So I went for lunch with one of my friends who was dancing at the club. And she sort of told me all about it. She was like, just do it. So I did. Yeah, that's sort of the story. So I contacted the owner and asked to start and she basically put me on and that was the beginning of what was one of the most fun experiences of my life. Like I absolutely loved being a stripper. It was a really cool time. The only reason I stopped is because I met a man who didn't want me to do it anymore. And so I stopped dancing. And yeah, that
that relationship didn't work out anyway and I was really disappointed that I had given that up, but I had moved on to other things by then. So yeah,
Jenna Love 6:50
I should probably explain that that sound was my uterus imploding on itself in disgust.
Holly Harte 6:57
He was a security guard and he didn't like seeing - it made him angry to see me dance. So which is funny, because he, you know, apparently fell in love with me dancing, which is a whole thing.
Jenna Love 7:07
Yeah, course he did. I hate him.
Holly Harte 7:11
So yeah, just, you know, what about ah- what's your understanding of strip clubs Jenna? What have you seen? Have you been to one? What's your vibe?
Jenna Love 7:20
Alright, my, as I said, I have no experience, and I'm so gonna get cancelled for this, but they just sound so awful to me. Like, I can't imagine many environments that would be less pleasant for me. So no, I haven't ever been to a strip club. Literally, my experience was stripping is I watched an amateur community production of The Full Monty, that was awful. And when I was 16, or 17, a stripper came into my work and did a show in the back room. And that is a whole other bizarre story.
Holly Harte 7:54
Jenna Love 7:55
Yep. Very strange. So yeah, very little experience. I think the thing is, for me, like, and look, I'm really keen to be educated on this episode. And it's entirely possible that I'm completely wrong about all of this, but my perception of a strip club is that it would be loud, that there'll be loud music. And that's something I'm not very comfortable with. I imagine that there's usually alcohol being served. Basically, all of the things that I couldn't handle about going to a nightclub, it sounds like like the part with people taking their clothes off is fine. It's all the rest of it, the fact that it's at nighttime, which is when I sleep, the fact that it would be probably dark and loud, and that they're, you know, I have some issues with alcohol, which I've touched on but haven't gone into any details. But being around people who are drunk or who are kind of visibly under the influence is quite difficult for me. So it just-the whole environment just sounds so awful. And I yeah, I mean, I can I can understand from the performance perspective, having been a performer and a dancer myself and also a sex worker. I totally I think I could quite enjoy the the performance, but I don't understand why anyone would want to be in the audience but obviously a lot of people do. And it's just not for me. I think. Maybe. I could be wrong, maybe I'll go and love it.
Holly Harte 9:11
Yeah, maybe one day I'll take you on an adventure.
Jenna Love 9:13
Yeah, it's not gonna happen I don't know why I said that. I don't want to. Not at nighttime, if you can take me like in the day, when they turn the music off
Holly Harte 9:22
Daytime strip club hmm okay, doesn't happen. It doesn't happen much in Canberra I'm afraid.
So strip clubs. Look, this is just the basics on how they work. So this you know, if you've been a stripper, you know this, you know this and, but there's a lot of people who might not know. So basically, to work in a strip club, you have to pay to work each night so you actually don't get paid by the house you have to pay, in Canberra, usually in my time, it was about $100 a night that you would pay to work. There were also fines that were applicable. So basically, if you, you know, I don't know wanted to leave the shift early or if you turned up late or if you were too intoxicated or I don't know, a range of things, you could be fined by the house, they yeah, so usually, that didn't happen often though, you know, usually, in my experience, it was all about the house fees, which is what you know, the fees you pay to work. Basically, in where I was working, all the tips that you earn on stage were yours. So you can keep whatever they throw up there on that stage, you keep it, and it differs with some strip clubs. But generally, if you take them out the back for a lap dance, the house takes a percentage of that. So basically, you know, for someone who's never been, the way strip club works is you walk in, and there's a stage, and there's usually, you know, two dancers on the stage. And you can put your tips up there. So they're up there for 15 minute cycles, and you tip them and they can come over and shake their boobs in your face. And that's sort of, you know, a very light tease of what a lap dance is. If you, you know, then wish to take them for a lap dance, you sort of approach them when they're not on stage. And they will take you into like a back room, where they will get fully nude and do like a little show for you for about three songs. So that's, you know, about 12ish minutes. And that can range from, you know, 70 to $100. In my time, we got to keep all of that money. That was we would keep every lap dance fee. But since then, I believe the culture in Canberra has changed. And I believe that the house takes a percentage of that. Some places do it by selling 'tipping dollars' or selling 'lap dance dollars'. So then they can like cash it out at the end of the night and take their cut from that. But sometimes they just, yeah, they have someone at the door that takes the cash and, and times the dances and all that sort of stuff. So that's sort of how it works. So look, there's a lot of potential to make a lot of money, but there were definitely a lot of nights where I made no money. I'm not a natural hustler.
Jenna Love 11:41
Or even lost money, potentially?
Holly Harte 11:42
Oh, yeah, absolutely. There were nights where I made no money. And I went to the owner, and said, you know, 'It's a quiet night, can I have my house fee back?' And they said, like,' how dare you ask', basically. Look, I was bold. But it was not. Yeah, you just that's the risk you take. So yeah, there's a lot of pressure, I think when you're a dancer, in that regard. And also, obviously, you're on ridiculous heels for you know, can be 12 hour nights. Plus, you're dancing every two hours or three hours or less than, you're up doing 15 minutes sets of quite heavy physical exertion on a pole. So it's quite intense work. I think people sometimes you know say 'I'll quit school and become a stripper'. Eh. I mean, it's it's a lot of work.
Jenna Love 12:28
Yeah, gosh. Okay, so I have some thoughts. One is, from the outside perspective, like, thinking about labour rights, it just seems like kind of not okay, but I, like I fully acknowledge that I have no experience in that. And I don't know what you know, I don't have the experience. But on the outside, that just sounds really not like great labour practices, in my opinion. You know, it is what it is.
Holly Harte 12:59
Look, in- I know something that a lot of strippers talk about often is, is workers comp, because it's actually quite dangerous work. And a lot of workers will get in- sorry, dancers will get injured, I still have a shoulder injury from pole dancing. I don't know if that will ever go away. I have, you know, friends who fell from a height who hit the floor quite painfully. And as you know, you can look up incidents in the US where where people have been really injured as well, and have been pushing for it to be covered under workers comp, because technically, do you fall under an employee status? Look, there's been a lot of pushes by different groups to try and get them re-, you know, strippers recognised as employees so that they can be covered by these things because it can be very dangerous. Is it unethical? I think I mean, yes. But also, it's an industry, which a lot of people enjoy, and a lot of people love. And these are facilities that provide that opportunity to work. Like in my instance, I really wanted to do it, without the strip club, I wouldn't have been able to do it. So I took that on. For people who who take on those risks, who don't have a choice, that is more exploitative. But there are people who take on those choices, knowing that that's the risks that they you know, endure. So it's...
Jenna Love 14:10
Yeah, absolutely. And that's why I say that, you know, my lack of experience is really relevant with that view. Because if that, if that is the way that you can do that job, and that's what you want to do, then go nuts. And do it.
Holly Harte 14:22
Yeah. Look, I mean, I think it's a thing that, you know, we discuss often, you know, under capitalism, you know, that there is just exploitation of people, and that's just the way it is, you know, people have to make a living, they have to get a job and people, you know, who employ, you know, have that opportunity to to exploit and they maybe don't see it as exploitation. You know, they think that they're, you know, they're making a business. They're running a business. So, yeah, it is a complicated thing.
Jenna Love 14:44
It is, interesting.
Holly Harte 14:45
Jenna Love 14:45
So my other thought is, so you're on so you're on stage for 15 minutes, you're doing your set. And then you may be wandering around and then somebody asks you for a lap dance, which presumably, which presumably is a lot more intimate. Don't you smell?
Holly Harte 15:01
Oh my god, probably? I, as you know, don't have a sense of smell so, don't know, don't care.
Jenna Love 15:09
I just felt like after performing You'd be really sweaty and smelly.
Holly Harte 15:13
I would be sometimes like I often have like, like bangs like a fringe. And my hair would be slicked down to my face with sweat, like, I would be drenched with sweat. So after the, after my stage set, and most dancers, we would pop out the back and you quickly freshen up, like for a few seconds, but usually there'll be a couple of like, if it's a busy night, there'll be a couple of guys who have already made eye contact with you, while you're on stage who are like, giving you the finger like point point, like, let's go, let's go. So you know, there's cash out there, and you want to get as many lap dances in that time before you have to get back on stage. Because you tend to make more out of that than you do on stage sets, you know,it obviously depends for different people so you want to get that cash. So yeah, I'd run out the back and I'd have like a really quick ritual, like a really specific ritual I'd do where I'd like, get a wet wipe, wipe my face down. You know, put some fresh deodorant on get a blow dryer and fluff out my fringe. And, and then run back out.
Jenna Love 16:03
But the vagisil wipes like, I would, It would all be about vagisil wipes for me. Like, my pussy would stink. And then if I'm about to shove that in a guy's face, terrifying.
Holly Harte 16:15
I guess, like, that sounds really bad it just never occurred to me.
Jenna Love 16:19
Wow! See that? See as a full service sex worker. You know, immediately before a booking, I'm like, does my pussy stink like that's the f- you know? Which is? Do you know what, like, pussies do smell? Yeah, we all smell and there's nothing wrong with that. Yeah, but I would, but I always check that it's not smelling, you know, as a result of it not having been cleaned for a while or excess sweating or something like that.
Holly Harte 16:44
Yeah, obviously, when you do full service, you can have showers before but when you're in a strip club, there are showers and you know, obviously a lot of strippers shower, you know, before they start work. I mean, they they all do. But you know, if you do like a particularly like some people would do feature shows. So at like midnight, there would be like a special performer who would do like magic tricks or fire shows or, you know, with jelly and yeah, it's a whole it's a beaut- it's an art like, amazing women.
Jenna Love 17:09
Yeah, so that's sort of moving more into the world of burlesque even is it
Holly Harte 17:12
Jenna Love 17:13
That seems like a bit of crossover there.
Holly Harte 17:14
Definitely. So they would, you know, have to go and have a shower after that, because they'd be covered in all sorts of things. But yeah, but no, after after doing a stage set? No, sometimes I'd grab a wet wipe and give myself a quick, you know, freshen up down there. But, you know, I just ah, no.
Jenna Love 17:29
Well, I hope our listeners are fascinated, because I am fascinated. So you had done full service work before stripping? and how was that received? You know, was there an issue with that? What's the deal?
Holly Harte 17:43
Yeah, look, something that people might not realise that in the stripping community full service work is, is not well received. So I told my friend, you know, who introduced me to the club that I was a full service worker at the time. And she said, 'Do not tell anyone. Do not tell anyone in the club that because that will not work in your favour'. And I was sort of like, 'What? What do you mean? It's like. almost the same thing, isn't it?' You know, she was just like, don't. I'm glad she told me because then I went into the club, and it's a constant thing, like, you know, 'Oh at least we're not fucking them'. And, you know, that sort of thing is, is very regular, 'At least when or hookers' and you know, all that sort of stuff. And there's a lot of whorephobia.
Jenna Love 18:24
That's really upsetting to hear it actually, especially because I think that we all work so hard to support each other under the umbrella. And, and I feel like I you know, I go to a lot of lengths to advocate for dancers. And it's upsetting to hear that that may not be reflected back. Yeah, but it is what it is. And it's also possible that maybe in the last decade, that's changed somewhat.
Holly Harte 18:47
That's what I think. I am hopeful that that in the past couple of years, it's changed a lot as it has with general society. But yeah, but definitely, in my day, it was it was very poorly looked upon. And it was really sad.
Jenna Love 19:01
Well, I'm going to use that to leap into, I think the big question a lot of us outsiders have, which is, does full service occur at strip clubs? Or not even necessarily full service, but blowjobs, hand jobs? Are there extras available?
Holly Harte 19:15
In my experience? Almost never. Never, never, never, never. So, I believe, look, I've heard that in some cities, that sort of thing occurs and that, you know, or that they have, like a linked brothel that they sort of funnel people into and things that, I've heard stories. So I'm not saying it never happens. But in Canberra, it was not the culture at all. No, you absolutely could not do that sort of thing. It was very poorly received. There were rules. There were strict contracts that you'd sign that you would not solicit that you would not and you would be fired if you were caught doing that sort of thing. And in general, you know, I think a lot of the workers or the dancers, sorry, thought they were sort of above that sort of thing anyway, and they were making-
Jenna Love 19:55
Interesting, I guess. I mean, it would be against the businesses. licencing so it would put the business at risk. And I can see that they would be, you know, really concerned about that
Holly Harte 20:04
It is absolutely, it's very hard in the ACT to get a liquor licence, to open a strip club. So yeah, they don't want to put that at risk, and the police are looking, you know, liquor licencing are looking for an opportunity to slam them. So, yeah.
Jenna Love 20:17
And we know the police love sex workers.
Holly Harte 20:19
Exactly. I mean, they were in there every night. Yeah.
Jenna Love 20:22
Of course they were.
Holly Harte 20:23
Okay, now I'm gonna let you in on a few secrets of the strip club industry. They may or may not be secrets. But this is some things that I thought were sort of interesting,
Jenna Love 20:32
Holly Harte 20:33
Juicy!. So the change room environment is like a different world. The camaraderie in there is magical. I think a lot of people talk about brothels, girls rooms having camaraderie. It's nothing on a strip club, the partnership and the support the strippers all show each other is massive. People, you know, there's always going to be people who don't get along and little dramas and stuff. But for the most part, it was such a sisterhood, everyone became really close friends. There were bedrooms down the back. So at the strip club, one of the strip clubs that I worked out, they had bedrooms for the interstate strippers to sleep in or dancers, to sleep in overnight. And one night, I wasn't feeling very well and went lay down on one of those beds that I looked up at the slats above me and months of dancers that had come to dance there had carved in affirmations and kind words and things to make you feel good while you're reading them and beautiful supportive words.
Jenna Love 21:24
Oh that's so sweet.
Holly Harte 21:25
And that was just the culture, like a lot of strippers tend to be really hippies, like more than, you know, what you sort of think of as sex workers, but really free spirits and really cool people. So there was a massive amount of support, they spent a lot of time together outside of dancing. And, you know, there would be nights where we wouldn't even go out into the club because we'd all be sitting out the back watching TV and laughing and people will be like, there's guys in the club. And we'd be like, 'no, we're enjoying this!'. Photos of us all cuddled up together watching TV instead of going to earn a living. So it's, that's something I think people think that strip clubs might be really bitchy, but in my experience, they're super supportive. And, you know, I think people think that as well with full service is that it would be quite bitchy, but generally, there's so much support.
Jenna Love 22:11
Yeah, look, that doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Because, you know, I imagine that strippers face different but similar levels of stigma and discrimination that we face. And you know, throughout history, marginalised communities have always come together to support one another and to build each other up. So I mean, that that doesn't surprise me. And it's really lovely to hear.
Holly Harte 22:33
I was a face out stripper, so I had my face in a lot of their advertising and stuff. And I would say that the hate that I faced as a stripper was was probably more than I face now. As a full service worker. Which is a very strange thing, I don't know why
Jenna Love 22:47
Wow. Wow, that's fascinating. Is it? Do you think that it's partly because strippers are more seen by the general public? Like, a lot of people just don't know that full service sex worker exists? A lot of people in Australia, for instance, don't even know it's legal. They don't, you know, as we talked about last week, saying that it's legal isn't entirely accurate, but you know what I mean? So, but but stripping is a lot more accessible for a lot of civilians.
Holly Harte 23:12
Yes, yes. I think. I think people don't know when their husbands have gone to see a sex worker, but they hear when their husbands have been with the boys to the strip club. And that's a lot more threatening. So I think that can incite a lot more anger.
Jenna Love 23:24
You're sort of the front line. Of the whores.
Holly Harte 23:26
Yeah, yeah a little bit! So obviously, you know, there's this whole thing within the strip club culture of the fake tan. You can't not have a fake tan. Everyone's out there fake tanning each other's backs. That Airbrush Legs. I don't know if you ever used it in your days in like high school but
Jenna Love 23:41
Holly Harte 23:42
Sally Hansen. It's yeah, like a
Jenna Love 23:43
Yes, I used it in high school!
Holly Harte 23:45
You've got like dozens of cans in your locker of airbrush legs, every night and you're spraying it on you as well as the fake tan. It's, you know, wet wipes are another commodity where everyone is like, 'Have you got a wet wipe?', you know,
Jenna Love 23:56
Like as a redhead, I feel offended. But, anyway
Holly Harte 23:59
Oh, no. Well, I'm very, very, you know, very fair and
Jenna Love 24:02
You're paler than I am.
Holly Harte 24:03
Yeah, the first few weeks that I danced, I danced without a spray tan. And people just sort of mocked me for it like playfully, but they were they were like, 'Well, what are you doing?' Like, and I was like, 'This is my body and my skin and I love it'. And they were like, 'No, babe, no'.
Jenna Love 24:18
That is so interesting given you said so many of them are really hippie and really like, do your thing. But then that's just what but again, that's something that may have changed recently, which would be kind of nice to an extent but if not, whatever.
Holly Harte 24:31
Maybe, look once I started getting the spray tan it looked it did look good under the lights. That was the big thing is that because you're in darkness and there's show lights and you know. So yeah, wet wipes are a massive thing. Everyone's it's, you know, just as much as as full service workers. They are everywhere because everyone is, you know, giving themselves a wipe because you're gonna have your genitals up close in someone's face. But I don't know whether they do it after every stage set, as discussed. I certainly didn't. But definitely, you know, yeah, there's this there's wet wipes flying around everywhere. So pretty chaotic. But yeah, good times in the change room environment. The other thing which is really valuable in the strip club community, which I often had or I struggled to get, or it was like I was, like, you know, always obsessed with this stuff is Dry Hands. So that is liquid chalk, essentially. So it was $20, a bottle, little tiny bottle. And I'd drive out to the local pole studio to buy some all the time, I don't know I didn't, I was so broke at the time, I didn't have any money in my bank account to buy it online. So I was always running out to another suburb to go and buy this dry hand stuff. And that's how you do these beautiful pole tricks. It gives you so much grip on the pole like a gymnast, and it was beautiful. But everyone would steal each other's Dry Hands, you'd leave it up, you'd be, you know, distracted, you'd leave it on and someone else would take it. And so you'd write your name, or you put something on it. And it was just, it would always go missing or walking off. But super valuable. So if you're ever in a strip club, and you see people like spraying some stuff on their hands and clapping their hands to get together before they get on stage, it's essentially liquid chalk, which was a big deal.
Jenna Love 26:02
Yeah, well, that. That reminds me of tap dancing. Used to be a dancer that didn't take my clothes off, although I probably happily would've. But but but with with tap dancing in particular, you know, you have metal on your feet. So you don't want to slip over. So you have to apply resin to the bottom of your shoes as well as to the stage or you have to come up with this. I mean, there's lots of little at home hacks people have. I mean, as you said, same with gymnasts and all of that. Yeah, friction is important. Just not when you're fucking...
Holly Harte 26:34
Yeah. Just the opposite. Yeah.
Jenna Love 26:37
Yeah, the opposite of lube. Exactly.
Holly Harte 26:39
So you asked about whether people are you know, doing sex work or, you know, full service work or, yeah, sexual favours and stuff in the strip club, which generally they're not. But also as I said, written into the contract is often you know, that you can't sleep with the patrons and not to do that.
Jenna Love 26:58
As in outside of what as a as a non transactional thing?
Holly Harte 27:02
Yeah, yeah. It's strongly discouraged because I guess it just looks, you know, it just looks crappy. If the girls are strolling out on the arms of, you know, patrons, and I guess they just don't think that looks very good. But it happens a lot. A lot. Yeah, I definitely slept with a few patrons. Not in the club. But you know, outside of it and took took numbers where I shouldn't we were, you know, not allowed to take number. So you'd have to do it really discreetly, and dodgily. And, and lots of, you know, strippers that I knew were dating guys that they'd met in the club, and the guys would come back in and yeah, there was a lot of that going on. And it was really fun and naughty and exciting. So yeah, that happens a lot. So I know that's probably gonna, like piss a lot of people off. Because, you know, there's this whole thing of, you know, strippers don't want to steal your man. They're just there to make their money, which they are. Absolutely, they're there to work. But it's like any job you still do sometimes meet people that catch your eye and,
Jenna Love 28:00
Of course, and if they're single, who gives a shit
Holly Harte 28:03
Yeah absolutely, yeah, definitely.
Jenna Love 28:05
We all come across people in our work. And you might find yourself attracted to them. And you the two of you might be the great romance of our time.
Holly Harte 28:13
Yeah, I actually dated a guy while I was stripping, who was just lovely. And he, you know, you know, he wasn't the one but we had a lovely time. And it was, you know, a great experience. So, and then I just, you know, banged some guys because they were bangable, and that was fun as well,
Jenna Love 28:27
Because you wanted to bang them.
Holly Harte 28:28
Because I was horny. Which leads into my next story. When you're doing a lot of lap dances a lot of the guys who your lap dancing on top of sort of go,'Is this just like, like a series of moves? Or are you actually horny, like, does this actually make you aroused as well?' And I think, you know, like any job, you can go through the motions, but also, I think it was really it is really erotic, it is really sexual and sensual. To be naked in front of somebody. And to have them admire you, like, it just feels really yeah, you know, we hate that word, but empowering. It feels really invigorating for somebody to just eat you with their eyes and not be allowed to touch you there's no way that you can do that all the time and not find you know that exciting on occasion it definitely, I found it really erotic and a lot of fun. So yeah,
Jenna Love 29:15
Absolutely, look that reminds me of doing, creating content. You know, I film myself touching myself and dancing a bit on camera, it's really not my strength. But and on the one hand, and depending on the day, on the one hand, sometimes it is just work and I'm just ticking the boxes and going, I'm going to do this this this because that will make the viewer feel aroused. But at the same time, I do find it quite stimulating. I guess I'm a little bit of an exhibitionist, the thought that somebody is at home jerking off to it really turns me on I'm like, 'Yes, I'm so hot'. Even though I don't normally think that about myself. But when I'm doing that, I'm just like, 'Mm yeah, ooh check me out, damn!'. And I start feeling really like good about myself. And so it's not unusual actually, for me to film a video and then jerk off afterwards because I am, yeah, I'm really heightened and I am aroused. So I totally get that I can imagine myself getting off on giving a lap dance for sure.
Holly Harte 29:16
Yes, it's yeah, I would get quite horny.
Jenna Love 29:21
I feel like a really common thing that I see civilians talk about, and they apply this to full service workers and pretty much everyone in the sex industry really, is, is the concept of, of drinking or and moreso drug use. Is that something that you have thoughts on?
Holly Harte 30:38
Yeah, look, in strip clubs. In the ACT, in my day. Drug use was just not a thing that happened. Obviously, people, you know, maybe privately were doing what they were doing. But it just wasn't really a big thing. I know that-
Jenna Love 30:54
I feel like it's gonna be hard to be upside down on a pole. If you're off your face.
Holly Harte 30:58
I don't know. I don't know.
Jenna Love 31:01
It looks difficult to me.
Holly Harte 31:02
I've done some things in my time that I think I could have done better if I was on various drugs. But I think, look, I think since I moved, you know, further out of the industry, the strip club scene, that is, that there, I've heard stories of there being increased drug usage. Yeah. But definitely drinking was a massive thing. Like I was drunk a lot of the time, which I don't think I see as a damaging thing. I don't think it was a negative. I was sort of in a party lifestyle. And I was having a fun time. I definitely, you know,
Jenna Love 31:35
That's exactly what I was gonna say. I feel like if you weren't at work, you would have been out drinking anyway. Like it's not yeah.
Holly Harte 31:42
Yeah, so that's what it felt like to me. It felt like it you know, a few days a week, I was out with the girls partying and getting paid for it. So that was really cool. And, but then there were definitely strippers who didn't drink and you know, strippers who, you know, I guess everyone has their different things. But drinking definitely is a big part of being a stripper, I think. I think people make a lot of judgments.
Jenna Love 32:02
Absolutely they do. And I think the issue comes when there's the connection to the work and the substance use, like, in my experience, there are people in brothels who will be under the influence of drugs and or alcohol, because that's something about them personally, that they are somebody who does drink or does use drugs. I've never had a drop of alcohol or any prohibitive drugs in my life. So I don't do that at work either. And that's exactly the same as a lawyer, a lawyer who does drugs is a lawyer who does drugs and a lawyer he doesn't do drugs is a lawyer who doesn't do drugs and has nothing to do with their job. It's just whether that person does that or not. So this kind of ooh, like ah sort of instantly connecting the job with the with the substance really, sort of makes these connections and suggests that the job is somehow responsible for the substance, which it isn't. It's the individual.
Holly Harte 32:56
I think you've summed that up really, really well. That's pretty much exactly the point I was stumbling trying to make. Is that, yeah, people, some people will do that some things at work, and some people won't, and it's really irrelevant to the job. You know, like I said, being in a strip club and having alcohol available means that people will do it. But plenty of people don't. And it I don't think it's because of the job that anyone you know, makes those decisions.
Jenna Love 33:21
No, actually something that I think Lana Jade said in Are You Available, her podcast, just the other day. She said, you know, there's people say, 'Oh, am I just funding your drug habit? Are you just gonna spend the money from stripping or from sex work on drugs?' And she was like, 'Well, yes. That's why people work, to spend their money on the things they want to spend it on. What do you mean?' You're funding anyone's drug habit by giving them- like what do you mean? I mean, I spend most of my sex work money on fucking Coke No Sugar, and I don't see anyone you know, that's a problem. But that's my choice. So I know you obviously, for obvious reasons don't have the experience personally. But what has been. what are your thoughts on male strippers? Are they perceived differently? Yeah, what's the deal?
Holly Harte 34:10
Yeah, that's an interesting topic. Look, male strippers obviously, for a long time have been really trendy. It's been cool since you know, like Jamie Durie and you know, the Chippendales and Manpower and things like that have been like, since the 80s it's, you know, very cool to go and see a male strip show, whereas female strippers are, you know, stigmatised and dirty and you know, it's
Jenna Love 34:32
Hid in the dark, a bit more. Less mainstream, isn't it?
Holly Harte 34:35
Absolutely. Which is really, you know, not cool. But something that I have heard and discussed with male strippers myself, when I would go and do like a show, you know, bucks party or something like that, even when I wasn't surrounded by security. So I used to not take security to these shows because I was... naive. The men would be quite respectful of my boundaries. 99% of the time, if I said 'Don't touch me or don't do that' they wouldn't do it. And they were, you know, they would listen and respect that. In the strip club, obviously, security is quite overbearing, but still, generally people were just respectful of, you know, strippers boundaries. You know, there's always an exception to the rule, but mostly, mostly they were, you know, on board with with respect. Something, though, that I've heard from a lot of male strippers is that when they go and do these shows, women don't respect those rules. So the strippers will say, you know, 'Please don't touch me' or don't you know, and that the women get quite drunk and quite grabby and actually, really push those boundaries um because they think it's harmless, you know, they think oh, well, he likes it, which is really, really disappointing.
Jenna Love 35:42
Oh that's so upsetting to hear
Holly Harte 35:43
It is upsetting, because I think we, you know, hope that women have that empathy for that sort of situation. But and I'm not saying that everyone does. I'm sure there's a lot of respectful women. But generally, they find that, you know, there's a lot of things that happen and boundary pushing that happens to male strippers, particularly when they go to do hens shows, hens nights, and things like that, which is really sad.
Jenna Love 36:03
Yeah, interesting. So there's somewhat, potentially less stigma and discrimination that they face, but potentially, you know, less actually respect of their bodily autonomy. And that's really upsetting to hear and actually reminds me, totally going off topic. And I'm not a drag queen. So I can't speak from experience, but I know that in the drag scene, there's a lot of negativity around hens nights and things like that, that they'll go off to a drag show. Because it's not unusual for the women from hen's nights who are as you say, you know, have had quite a lot to drink, and they're all on a high, to touch the drag queens, to say really inappropriate things, to be really sexual. And that, I mean, it's just not okay, of course, that's not okay. And it's really, I mean, far out. This is definitely another episode topic. But, you know, I don't understand why anyone struggles with the concept of consent, but particularly a woman. I mean, that I don't hold them to a higher standard than men. But I do expect that they would understand what it's like, to, to have your boundaries breached. So it really surprises me that they would be comfortable doing that. But then I also want i think that society has, has raised a group of people who think that men always want sex and attention from women.
Holly Harte 37:21
Men have the right to say no, as well.
Jenna Love 37:24
Absolutely. We do need to talk about that further, for sure.
Our misconception for this week is going to be a stripper misconception, a stripception stripenception.
Holly Harte 37:39
Thank you for that introduction, Jenna. I feel like we're, just repeating what we've just discussed. But look, while I was dancing, a colleague brought her partner in one night and it was lovely to meet him and we were all having a drink at the bar. And while we were all facing the other way, he reached across and he slapped me on the arse. And I stepped back and I said 'What the fuck?', because you just do not touch a stripper. Obviously, there are some touching clubs that saying else we didn't discuss, some clubs you can touch strippers above the waist, during a lap dance, with their consent, right? But generally, in a strip club, you don't, you just do not touch the dancers.
Jenna Love 38:14
And given his partner works at that strip club, he would be aware that that was not a touching strip club.
Holly Harte 38:19
Very aware. And the fact that he was there with his partner, I thought was extremely disrespectful to then grab my ass knowing that they were in a strictly monogamous relationship, anyway. So I confronted him immediately. And he denied it. And she argued with me and it became a bit of a thing. And then she said to me, 'Well, if you don't want your ass grabbed, then don't be a stripper'. And that, to me was really gross at the time. And I didn't know how to argue with it. So I just left. Left the situation. So just you know, reiterating basically that just because you're a stripper doesn't mean that you consent to being touched. Just because you're showing any amount of skin is not consent. Just because you do any sort of job is not consent. The only consent, that is consent is consent.
Jenna Love 39:08
If my husband slapped the ass of one of my full service, sex worker friends, I would be fucking mortified. And he never would he would never ever ever do that. That is disgusting. Ugh,
Holly Harte 39:22
Yeah, I can't understand why she wasn't ashamed. I would be embarrassed myself. Just because of the disrespect. Just like that's my friend. Like, but like, yeah, what are you doing? She didn't, anyway.
Jenna Love 39:33
And you know, my husband and I, we have an open relationship. And I love him having sex with other people and all of that, but if we were out, and he did that in front of me, like, that's not cool. What are you doing?
Hello, this is Jenna from the future. I just wanted to let you know that there is a bit of discussion of suicide in this next segment, so if you'd like to skip that, just head to 45:15 for our question of the week.
So for Shit People Say this week, we thought we would return to the the good old BuzzFeed videos that generated so much beautiful conversation on Facebook that we referenced in our first episode, because there is just so much on there. And so just before recording this, we were supposed to record at 1:30. And then at 1:45, I realised I had spent 15 minutes getting angry and responding to more comments on this because it is just endless. But anyway, there's literally so much gold in this that we could bring out for you. But I just wanted to pull out two in particular, that really struck me today. Somebody has responded to somebody else they've said 'You say that it's just sex, but it's a sweaty, heaving stranger ejaculating inside you'. First of all, who says they're sweating? Who says they're heaving? And who the fuck says they're ejaculating inside me? But that's a whole other conversation. 'That poor girl had her bowels ripped'. Actually, what she wrote was 'That poor girl had her bowls ripped', but I'm assuming she meant bowels because I don't know. I don't think I have bowls. And like for reference, in the video, I spoke about a fisting incident that I had, where I got a tear in my vagina because something went a little bit wrong with the fisting. It really wasn't that big a deal. It was unfortunate timing. Obviously, I had to cancel some bookings because I had an open wound in my vagina. But like vaginal tears are very, very common, like, it's not that big a deal.
Holly Harte 41:37
I've got them from just normal sex like,
Jenna Love 41:39
Absolutely, yeah. I responded to her. And I was like, 'bowels ripped? Settle down', like set, like, settle down! Wow. Like, the people on this thread are just so fucking dramatic. They are so intense. I'm like I said, I had a tear in my vagina. And her brain heard that my bowels were ripped. Like, what the fuck? Settle down. That's just a little one. But the other, that was just, I thought, bizarre. But the other one that I was like, this is incre- like, this is awful, is Cheryl, who said 'I wonder where they are now. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of them didn't kill themselves by now'. And like, Jesus fucking Christ Cheryl. What is actually wrong with you that you think that that is an appropriate thing to post? That is that is so disgusting. I just, I can't imagine ever saying something like that about anyone. That's awful.
Holly Harte 42:42
I literally I don't have anything to say because it makes me speechless. Like I feel, you can never stop me talking about anything. I just chat. I can chat for hours. But that is just so disgusting. I feel like a lot of us can have emotions about things. And we can react to things but like to say that, like, you wouldn't be surprised if someone had killed themselves is just revolting. Like, how do you live with that sort of statement,
Jenna Love 43:10
Particularly after watching a video of three women talking about how much they love their lives. I mean, that's pretty. That's kind of just weird to start with.
Holly Harte 43:18
Yeah they seem really well adjusted and really happy. And you know, I just think wow, so I hope Cheryl's okay, because it's projecting, I think, but um, that's, that's a really sad thing to feel the need to comment on someone's...
Jenna Love 43:35
Yeah that's a fair point. Yeah, really upsetting. And I think it just comes back to I mean, you know, I think you and I've talked about before that there is the internet is one of the problems with it, of course, is that we're all talking to strangers. We don't, you know, they're not human beings in our minds. And I think that, like, what's what I've found about those comments is 99% of them had no concept that the people that they were speaking about, and speaking about incredibly, graphically and cruelly, would ever see their comments, which is ridiculous, because I don't know why they would think that we wouldn't see the comments. But there's this real sense of, it just doesn't seem, I don't think it seems real to them. They watch this video, and they don't think it's real. They don't think about the fact that there are human beings in the video. And so if you add that concept of it, just that massive distance, you add on top of that, that people don't realise that sex workers exist, and that we are real people. And we're not just things in the movies. They just, they just don't see us as real. They just don't, the amount of times, I think you pointed this out, that, you know, they would say something really cruel. And I would comment and be like, 'Wow, that's, that's quite cruel'. And they would be like, 'Oh, sorry. I mean, I respect you, but blah blah blah' and so as soon as you, and I mean, that's the whole reason why we're here, isn't it? That's why the podcast exists because we want to tell people that we exist.
Holly Harte 44:54
Yeah, we're humans,
Jenna Love 44:55
That we're human beings,
Holly Harte 44:56
Jenna Love 44:56
That's literally it. We're not trying to say that our work is empowering. We're not trying to say it's inspiring. We're not trying to suggest that your daughter should grow up and do this. We're literally just simply saying, We exist, we're human beings. And don't talk about us dying, fuck.
Holly Harte 45:17
The question of the week this week is 'What's the most partners you have had in a gangbang?'
Jenna Love 45:22
Well I tried to have 30 for my 30th birthday. I was like, well, I'm only going to turn 30 once, so I need to have a 30 people gang bang for my 30th because, like, obviously, that's what I need to do. Like, I'm not gonna wait till I'm 40. So I have to do that now. But then, even though we had like, over 30 people booked in to attend, which you have to do with gangbangs, because people always bail. Only 25 men showed up. But I had four other sex workers who were acting kind of as fluffers and stuff. So it was still a 30 person gangbang but it was 25 dudes, 25 penises.
Holly Harte 46:00
That's so cool. I remember seeing you advertising for that. And I was like, wow, that's iconic. That's so cool. I have not had many gang bangs. But generally, it's the most people I've sort of been, you know, in that situation with is two other workers and myself and a client. So four people in total, so, not many for me. I'm a little bit innocent on the gangbang side of things, but always looking for more experiences.
Jenna Love 46:26
Have you done any things with multiple men and yourself?
Holly Harte 46:30
Never. I have never been with more than one man at a time. Never. I know. I'm an MMF virgin. I know. I really need two guys to spit roast me, you know?
Jenna Love 46:42
Yeah, you do, babe you do, it's so good.
Holly Harte 46:46
One day, maybe for your 40th we'll have a 40 person gangbang
Jenna Love 46:50
Yeah maybe. Maybe for my 40th. You can do a 40 person gangbang and
Holly Harte 46:56
Jenna Love 46:57
Holly Harte 46:58
Jenna Love 46:59
Wow. Okay. You heard it here first folks. In, what is it, eight years time, Holly Harte will be doing a 40 person gangbang.
Holly Harte 47:13
We'd like to thank our patrons this week. Our new Generous Somebodies are Our Secret Admirer, Gricey and Stu,
Jenna Love 47:21
Our Very Generous Somebodies are Lachlan, Timmy, Steve, Our Footstool, Spaceman Dan, Pete, Adelle, Alice Grey, Big M, Scott C, Sammy Jane, Bart, Barliman, Randy Wagner, Robbie Heart and Andrew,
Holly Harte 47:37
And our Extremely Generous Somebodies are Aaron, Samuel and Andrew. We'd like to thank you for joining us on this extremely Holly-centric episode this week. Hope you've enjoyed it, learned something and had a bit of a laugh, and we look forward to seeing you next time.
Jenna Love 47:54
Please look out for us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Patreon. Our name everywhere is Somebody You Pod as in podcast. Our Patreon starts at just $3 a month and you can get all of our episodes ad free and a day early. Plus bonus episodes, behind the scenes action, bloopers and more. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the voices of sex workers. And remember, Somebody You Love might just be a sex worker.