• Sheryl Sorrentino
  • Strip Clubs: Harmless, Well-Paying Women’s Work in an “Open Urinal”?
Strip Clubs: Harmless, Well-Paying Women’s Work in an “Open Urinal”?
Written by
Sheryl Sorrentino
August 2013

My fourth novel, Stage Daughter, is barely hot off the presses (http://stagedaughter.com) and I am already sniffing around for a fresh idea for my next story. I want to write something edgy and different—a story that pushes the envelope with emotion and controversy. But how do I top a twelve-year-old girl reconnecting her hapless, stressed-out single mom with her devout, unwitting married Muslim dad? I am toying with the idea of writing about a lonely male protagonist who works as a security guard at a strip club. He’s got some very limited ideas about women, and as a result, spent his whole life watching naked bodies rather than ever really connecting with a woman (much less get married or have children).

Okay, I will confess: My 55-year-old brother makes his living as a bouncer in one of those joints, and I worry about him constantly. Aside from the fact that being a bouncer is dangerous work (he has to frisk for weapons, keep the dancers free of groping hands, and remove unruly patrons), I fret over how he will spend his golden years living alone 3,000 miles from his only living relative (me).

But boy, has Big Bro got some sleazy stories to tell! They’re not pretty, naturally, but according to Writer’s Digest, the key to writing a great story is to “forget about being pretty” and tackle “topics that are not attractive, like racism or incest” (http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-ne...). By now, my readers should know I thrive on writing about such topics. My latest novel (told from the point of view of three diverse and idiosyncratic characters) is a three-ring circus of religious intolerance, sexual and ethnic angst, and adolescent rebellion gone awry. Writing Stage Daughter involved lots of eye-opening and not always pleasant research about Islam and current teen behavioral trends. Should I decide to explore the strip club angle for my next book, I might have to interview a few exotic dancers, and since I don’t know any personally, I am dreading the prospect of actually visiting one of those demeaning establishments.

Let me ask you: Is stripping just another well-paying job? Or do the women who bump and grind for a living have serious issues around sex and self-esteem? (Continued - http://sherylsorrentino.yolasite.com/...)

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