Destructiveness of Topless Dancing

The Destructive World of Topless Dancing

By Carol Wiley, Director
A Way Out Victim Assistance Program
Sponsored by Citizens for Community Values of Memphis

Most citizens don’t have a clear picture of the deceptive practices used by sex oriented businesses to lure, entrap, use and discard vulnerable young women? For years I would drive by Platinum Plus and say a quite prayer, “Lord, we don’t need this type of business in Memphis. Do something, Lord!” I would drive on never realizing the depth of human degradation inside those walls, until a stripper came to me for counseling. This beautiful young woman’s story broke my heart, and after she left, I cried praying, “Lord, she could have been my teenage daughter” Reality is that she is someone’s precious child and God never created her for the life she chose.

The following facts about the world of a topless dancer are taken from the testimony given by Mr. David Sherman, former Midwest Manager of Déjà vu, before the Michigan House Committee on Ethics and Constitution Law on January 12, 2000. Hopefully readers will be shocked out of complacency and provoked to action.

  1. Drug and alcohol use is rampant from the start. “The dancers call it partying. They don’t realize that they are medicating themselves in order to do the work that they do.”
  2. The abortion rate is extremely high. “…most have lost contact with family members do to what they do. They also feel they could never take the chance on flawing the body from carrying a child. Additionally, dancers believe they have no way to support a baby without dancing, and therefore can’t quit to have one. Basically, they are caught in a real, painful catch-22.”
  3. Girls are hired as waitresses even though waitresses are not needed. This makes the club atmosphere become part of their life. “At this point, they see it as a job, not as stripping and are converted quite easily to dancing. Once dancing, they get used to being objectified. It becomes important to them to hear how beautiful they are 200 times a day as it is to actually make the money from dancing.”
  4. Girls develop “BDA” (Basic Dancer Attitude). “This is when the dancer thinks that no matter what friends, children, husband and families think about her, it doesn’t matter. They can all be replaced because of the patrons around her find her attractive, beautiful and idolized.” “…With friends and family gone from their lives, they exist alone in this dark, subculture of sex, drugs, alcohol and prostitution. All of this perverse living, to the dancer, is now just part of her normal lifestyle.”
  5. After a few years at the BDA level, the dancer realizes she is getting older and attempts to fit back into society. “She tries boyfriends, school or really anything to cling to what is “normal”. Realizing that she cannot live in both worlds, she returns to the subculture of the Adult Business, actually despising the real world. This leads to more dependency on drugs and alcohol, which now makes her 100% lost to this life. The dancers will continue living like this until they realize they can no longer stay at their current level, and keep making money and getting compliments. Once they realize this, they begin to master more perverse things to make cash, to make up for fading looks and dancer burnout.”
  6. The cycle becomes more vicious with struggles with depression, drugs, alcohol and body mutilation to stay thing. “Finally, they realize they can no longer keep up with the new and younger girls and leave, going to one of five places.”
    • A filthy, nasty club where they perform and do some of the vilest and filthiest acts you can imagine to make money.
    • Some turn to prostitution, meeting customers outside of the club. The club now becomes a place for them to meet new “clients”.
    • Some marry just to be able to survive. But the addictions to drugs alcohol normally shatter and destroy these relationships.
    • Some actually do break away and go to school to become productive citizens, but the frequency of this is around 1 of 50.
    • They become society’s throwaway people. People used up, degraded, and even sold by the people who own these establishments.
  7. They are ultimately destroyed by a world that our communities have closed their eyes to. Every woman hired in a strip club is viewed by the club manager as a potential stripper. There is no limit to the strategies he will employ to convince his new prey to take off her clothes for the first time. Once this occurs, he proceeds to program her to become a professional, who ceases to be prey and becomes a passive/aggressive predator, who will say anything that it takes to get money from her patrons. Her whole world is now the topless club, wild parties, regular customers, and seasoned dancers.
It takes a lot of courage on a woman’s part to choose to walk away from the subculture described by Mr. Sherman to re-enter a world she barely remembers, but by God’s grace she can. You can help us change a precious woman’s future. Call Carol Wiley at (901) 685-1493 or email carol@ccvmemphis.org.
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