We’ve heard about the far-reaching economic impact of the coronavirus impact nationally and internationally. Here in America, we not only have a deeply ineffectual response to the actual pandemic, but the federal government is also doing a tremendously sh-tty job of the economics of the pandemic. Big businesses have gotten massive taxpayer-funded bailouts and loans, while most taxpayers just got a one-time check which was, like, supposed to support us for six months? Anyway, I didn’t even consider the fact that strip clubs and “gentlemen’s clubs” are being adversely affected by the pandemic too. In her early days, she worked in a strip club and she still uses elements of those performances in her musical acts. So Twigs is trying to find a way to give back. From her Instagram:
i was 19 when i learnt my first pole move, i learnt a back hook spin from a stripper when i was working as a hostess in a gentleman’s club. for those of you who don’t know, hostessing is when one person pays another person for their time, anything from a conversation over dinner to sex work, and the club gets a cut of the fee. my lived experience as a very young woman in these environments has not only informed the strong and formidable woman that i am today, but also a lot of my work as a music and visual artist – sometimes even subconsciously.
i feel like now is the time for me to step forward, pay respect, and shine a light on the challenges facing sex workers, especially during these uncertain times. sex workers I know and have met have discipline, craft, talent and work ethic – not only do they deserve better long-term, but their income has been wiped out by the lockdown and many are invisible to the financial aid available to others.
there’s a bigger journey in challenging public attitudes, tackling stigma, and fighting for rights and protections – but today I’m inviting you to join me in helping with cash donations to SWARM, Lysistrata and ELSC. these organisations are providing direct financial support to strippers and sex workers, we’ve kicked off the the fund with £10,000 and you can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/sexworkermutualaidfunds
this week, SWARM @swarmhive Lysistrata @lysistratamccf and ELSC @ethicalstripper will also be taking over my social media channels.
I always thought that strip clubs and prostitution were recession-proof industries, and maybe they are, with one big exception: when the recession is happening because of a global health crisis/pandemic. Bars and restaurants have closed or been temporarily shut down, and in an industry adjacent to that, an industry which is based on physical contact and physical closeness, will of course be affected too. It’s actually nice to see Twigs take this up as a cause and use her voice to celebrate people who are deeply marginalized in most societies.
Photos courtesy of WENN.