• License to Pimp BLOG provides information about labor conditions for strippers & other sex workers.

    License to Pimp is a documentary about the choices that strippers make to navigate an industry when strip club management violate their labor rights by misclassifying workers, charging them to work, & operating workplaces that may be unsafe.

Lucille Bogan aka Bessie Jackson: 1920’s-30’s Sex Worker & Singer

I just came across this 1920’s-30’s African American sex worker who was a blues singer from down South and was the first Black female to be signed outside of NYC or Chicago–then the hotspots for blues music. Born in Amory, Mississippi on April 1, 1897 as Lucille Bogan, she later anoited herself as Bessie Jackson. … Continue reading

Strip Club On Wheels Seized In Racketeering Bust (Atlanta, GA)

(5/27/11) If you’re in Atlanta, GA, this strip club might just drive to you….or rather it could have before it got seized as part of a racketeering scheme. But it’s pretty brilliant: the idea of having a mobile strip club. I’m surprised that there’s not more around or that escort agencies haven’t expanded their already … Continue reading

Sex Trafficking of Americans: The Girls Next Door

5/24/11 USA Even as celebrity activists such as Emma Thompson, Demi Moore, and Mira Sorvino raise awareness about commercial sex trafficking, survivor Rachel Lloyd publishes her memoir Girls Like Us, and the Senate introduces a new bipartisan bill for victim support, the problem proliferates across continents, in casinos, on streets, and directly into your mobile … Continue reading

Prostitution Paradox: Regulating Brothels Can Spread Disease

Prostitution, very narrowly defined, is not a criminal act in my country, Canada. If we are in a private home and I want to charge you for sex and no one is else is profiting, the state has nothing to say on that. Most acts of prostitution are, however, criminal acts. We have an ongoing … Continue reading

Porn Stars Are Abused and are Human Trafficking Victims

4/19/11 USA Three porn stars have died in the last three months. Hunter Bryce was found in her San Fernando Valley home on April 13th, 2011 dead. She was only 30. Her facebook page is full of comments like, RIP Hunter, you were a great porn star. You will be sorely missed.” The movies she … Continue reading

Internet Sex Forum Raged Against Prostitute Found On Long Island Beach (NY)

4/17/11 NY Having found more than ten bodies along Gilgo and Jones Beaches, many of whom have been identified as prostitutes, police are still trying to get to the bottom of the possible Long Island Serial Killer. Police have talked to Joel Rifkin, utilized spy planes, and extended their investigation from Long Island to Atlantic … Continue reading

Council to hear house rules on The Sugar Lounge (UK)

4/15/11 Reading, UK Punter etiquette in strip clubs, a ban on ‘grinding’ in your knickers and the going rate for a topless dance will be presented to the council on Tuesday. House rules for Reading town centre’s erotic dancing club The Sugar Lounge and plans for a name change of another ‘gentleman’s’ nightclub nearby, have … Continue reading

Stripper kicks at FlashDancers’ kickbacks (NYC)

March 26, 2011 NYC   She willingly sheds her clothes for money but doesn’t think she should pay for the privilege. A dancer at three city strip clubs yesterday filed suit over allegations that the club owners make her pay illegal kickbacks in order to strut her stuff. In her class-action complaint filed in Manhattan … Continue reading

Police raid nabs 7 on prostitution charges in CT Strip Bar

Nov. 24, 2010 Bridgeport, CT Police raided a city strip bar and arrested seven people on prostitution charges. Police said the bartender, bouncer, three female dancers and two male patrons were arrested during the raid Sunday night at Pleasant Moments Cafe on William Street. According to police, state Liquor Control agents were undercover in the … Continue reading

Exclusive: Diary of a Call Girl Turned Teacher (part I & II)

Part I: In college, she stripped. In graduate school she sold sex on Craigslist. Then Melissa Petro became a popular grade-school teacher, known for inspiring her students. Her secret past could have stayed that way — until she blogged about it. Sitting at home on a sunny fall afternoon, coffee in hand, Melissa Petro looks … Continue reading

Gilgo and Cedar Beach Serial Killer is on the loose

Dec. 14, 2010 Suffolk County, NY Suffolk County’s top cop said Tuesday that a serial murderer could be on the loose, as authorities searched a pristine coastal island where four corpses have been found. “We could have a serial killer,” Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told reporters on the windswept barrier island where the bodies were … Continue reading

Teacher discusses past as Stripper: “I never anticipated the backlash”

(Dec. 22, 2010; Park Township, MI) Suspended West Ottawa High School teacher Susan Brennan is not proud of her past stint as a stripper, but cautions others about casting aspersions on people in the skin-flashing industry. “There are a lot of assumptions people make that are not true,” said the 20-year English teacher, in a … Continue reading

Penthouse dancer Leslie Liwanag’s lawsuit: “I had to pay jiggle joint to perform!”

(Feb. 12, 2010; NYC) A Penthouse dancer claims the famous jiggle joint cheats its performers out of wages, withholds tips and even charges them for the privilege of working there, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court. Leslie Liwanag claims the club takes a 20% slice out of dancers’ tips, makes them … Continue reading

NYC Penthouse club dancers a class act

(Oct. 27, 2010; NYC) Judge says women’s suit over wages can proceed as class action Nine Penthouse club dancers are officially a class act now that a judge has ruled their lawsuit can be expanded. The women are suing the club in federal court, claiming they were cheated out of tips and wages. A federal … Continue reading

Scores strips Tips from Workers: Lawsuit (NYC)

(Oct. 11, 2007; NYC) Diamonds aren’t a stripper’s best friend. The Scores jiggle joints have been smacked with a federal lawsuit for skimping on tips paid in “Diamond Dollars” – phony cash that patrons buy with a credit card and use for everything from drinks to gratuities to lap dances. The class-action suit, filed by … Continue reading

Strippers Sue to Be Classified as Employees @ King of Diamonds (Inver Grove, MN)

(June 09, 2009; Inver Grove, MN) When it comes to wage-and-hour laws, strippers are no different from pizza delivery drivers or waitresses. That’s what plaintiffs attorney E. Michelle Drake of Minneapolis-based Nichols Kaster claims in a wage-and-hour class action recently filed against a strip club in suburban Minneapolis. The suit claims that the King of … Continue reading

Are strippers ‘creative professionals’ under FLSA?

(July 9, 2009; Los Angeles, CA) Wage and hour lawsuits are cropping up by the dozens these days — even in industries you’d least suspect. Four female workers filed a suit against their company, claiming they were denied overtime pay. Nothing out of the ordinary here — except that the employees were exotic dancers at … Continue reading

Former Stripper Alleges Déjà Vu Messed With Her Tips (Hollywood, CA)

(Mar 6, 2007; Los Angeles, CA) A former topless dancer sued a North Hollywood strip club for allegedly cheating her on tips, non-payment of minimum and overtime wages and forcing her to work more than eight hours without eating. Melissa Arfat filed the lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court against Déjà Vu of North … Continue reading

Feds win case against Cabaret Royale (Dallas, TX)

(Apr. 6, 1995; Dallas, TX) If you’re a topless dancer who wiggled at Cabaret Royale some time during the past six years, you may be eligible for back pay. So ruled a federal judge last week in a protracted dispute between the U.S. Department of Labor and Dallas’ best-known topless club. The Labor Department won … Continue reading

Class Action Lawsuit filed against Sapphire (Las Vegas, NV)

(2009; Las Vegas, NV) The suit against Sapphire Gentleman’s Club follows a ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court last year allowing a similar class-action lawsuit against another topless club to proceed under state law claims. The suit was filed in Clark County District Court on behalf of dancer Zuri-Kinshasa Maria Terry by lawyers including Robert … Continue reading

O’Farrell Theatre’s court dance nears end

03/25/07 The Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theatre has never been a stranger to controversy, but while some see the infamous strip club as an embattled symbol of free expression, others see a track record of labor troubles. For the second time in its storied history, the theater’s management company faces a class-action lawsuit by dancers who … Continue reading

More Strippers File Lawsuits

(Sept. 18, 2009; MA) With a flurry of lawsuits, strip clubs like Boston’s Centerfolds might have to change they way they do business. A welcome change might be coming to the way that strippers in Massachusetts get paid. Following an August decision that strippers at King Arthur’s Lounge in Chelsea were improperly classified as independent … Continue reading

Strippers sue Ten’s Show Club (Salisbury, MA) for wages and tips

(Sept.17, 2009; Salisbury, MA) When Noel Van Wagner began working as a stripper in New England clubs about 15 years ago, she typically got a modest wage or no salary at all. But she said she made so much in tips — $300 to 800 per shift — that she didn’t care and didn’t even … Continue reading

Strippers win right to sue for damages from King Arthur’s (Chelsea, MA)

August 10, 2009 Chelsea, MA About 70 strippers who worked at a Chelsea, MA club can each seek thousands of dollars in damages in a class-action lawsuit because their employer misclassified them as ”independent contractors,” depriving them of wages and tips. The suit, which a lawyer for one of the strippers described as the first … Continue reading

CNN Money: Strippers vs. Clubs in fight over Labor Rights

  CNN Money interviewed me & some other strippers regarding employment rights entitled “Strippers vs. Clubs in fight over Labor Rights.”  I appreciate that they focused on the labor aspects of stripping to debunk the notion that strippers are independent contractors when in fact they’re employees.  The article also quoted 1 of our supporters, Shannon … Continue reading

HOURS Left to Fund LICENSE TO PIMP on Kickstarter

LESS THAN 24 Hours to Fund LICENSE TO PIMP on Kickstarter This Kickstarter Update #13 contains an audio excerpt from an interview I did with a stripper named “Kat.”  She has worked as a stripper in San Francisco for nearly 2 decades and started when she was 18 years old.  She’s still going strong + … Continue reading

What Would You Do to Stay In Control?

(1.)  character profile:  Mariko Passion If your workplace engaged in illegal labor practices, what would you do to stay in control? MARIKO PASSION quits stripping at her favorite club as the work becomes increasingly sexual and spills into her personal life. After she files wage complaints against former strip club employers to collect her back-wages … Continue reading

Fund this Film!

We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to complete a rough cut of our feature documentary, License to Pimp. Please support us in getting this story seen & heard!   License to Pimp CHARACTERS & STORY: License to Pimp is a feature documentary about the choices that three San Francisco strippers make as their workplaces engage in … Continue reading

When Stripping Fades into the 3-Minute Cock Grind

  GUEST BLOGGER: Diana Morrison bases her post on her observations, reflections, & thoughts formed from over 10 years of dancing in a long list of strip clubs in Houston, California, Reno and Paris to name a few, being a foot model, & a bondage model. Diana also worked in the “real world” in veterinary … Continue reading

Why Sex Workers of Colour Give It Up for Less

GUEST BLOGGER: T. T. James worked in the sex trade for six years from age 19 to 26 in Toronto. She is a mother, visionary thinker & poet who writes, edits, and blogs. Check out her personal/opinion blog The Female Sex. ———————————————————————— In the sex industry, everyone discriminates. The fit, youthful, white sex worker is … Continue reading

Me Love You Long Time

I am 1 of several artists of Southeast Asian descent who is included in a group multi-media art show @ Aljira (Newark, NJ) that features artists using “various media and complicated visual strategies to upend or explore gender expression, sexuality, sex work, and new subjectivities.” Curated by Edwin Ramoran, it’s appropriately entitled Me Love You … Continue reading

RIP, Anna Jackson. You were a Warrior.

I was sucked into the Facebook vortex this past MLK weekend when I saw an update from Anna Jackson. It was actually posted by her daughter, Rissa. The updates here posted as if Rissa were speaking directly to her mother. I was in shock. Anna passed away on January 12, 2012. Rissa was mourning the … Continue reading

End Violence Against Sex Workers

December 17 is the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers.  Though the day has already passed this year, I feel it’s important to remember those sex workers who are no longer here with us to celebrate holiday festivities alongside us.  They’re not here because they are dead–many murdered just for being sex workers.