Stripping Across America

(11/25/13)  Let’s get this out of the way right up front:  We love strippers!  There.  We said it.  We love the people.  We love the artistic glamour.  We love the exotic beauty.  Having covered the stripping lifestyle extensively throughout Fallen Angel’s Dirty Dancer series, we believe we have a pretty well-informed view of what actually goes on both inside and out, so if any of what follows comes off as a bit bias, oh well.  That’s just how it goes sometimes.

Yes, we love strippers, but we fully recognize that not everyone shares the love.  Indeed, there are some perfectly reasonable arguments against ecdysiastical pursuits and, in any rational debate, these do need to be part of the conversation on the topic.  However, with one camp firmly promoting the art, entertainment and self-reliance aspects and the other entrenched in beliefs of exploitation, subjugation and deviancy, the opposing forces will no doubt repel each other for all eternity.  When a country like Iceland of all places bans stripping, you know you’ve reached a critical mass in terms of digging in on a subject. So, let’s just get past all of the rhetoric and see what’s this and thus in the profession these days.

Generally speaking (as there’s no universal set of parameters defining the culture of stripping), the basic numbers look like this:

-As you might imagine, over 90% are female.  However, it’s interesting to note that percentage is down a few points from census statistics reported following the 2000 survey as more males are now entering the sector.

-A little more than 10% have less than a year of experience, with a median age of about 24.  The bulk, more than 50%, have been performing for 1-5 years while about 20% have up to nine years of experience.  About 15% have over 10 years invested in the industry.

-The number of clubs in the U.S. with some form of stripping: Over 4,000.

-The annual revenue of strip clubs in the U.S. as of 2012: Over $3 billion.

Without a doubt, stripping is big business–with big opportunities for those truly committed to their craft.  Many a student loan has been paid off and professional careers launched from the profits of exotic dancing.  This is even more impressive when you consider that tip rates haven’t kept up with inflation; generally remaining the same over the past 30 years.  In any event, while haters are going to no doubt hate, today’s trends show that they’re having little to no effect in slowing down this niche industry.

Though there is a wide range of forms (mostly due to confusing legalities which, in many cases, vary from town to town), the most common aspect we’ve found is that the people who work in this industry genuinely enjoy what they do and take immense pride in it.  Sure, there are some who are just in it for the money (much like any other kind of job), but most will tell you that the money is less of a motivation than the more self-actualizing factors.  In essence, they feel empowered through the work they’ve chosen and, like any other artist, tremendously fulfilled through the appreciation they receive for their performance.  Most would certainly prefer to do without the negative judgments and intolerant stigmas, of course, but oh well. 

That’s just how it goes sometimes.

Sources:  U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor


Sex Tech Across America: Can We Still Connect?

SAAgraphic11182013(11/18/13)  With just about every advance in technology, a creative application towards sexuality occurs.  No sooner did the electric light bulb catch on that powered vibrators began hitting the market (yes, yes, for “muscle aches” and such.  Sure.)  No sooner did the plate camera debut that porn was born.  No sooner did the BetaMax arrive that everyone could suddenly star in their very own skin flick.  No sooner did a PC appear on desks everywhere that cybersex in all of its forms become all the rage–well, at least until the next big thing (pardon the pun) came along.

For a civilization that historically seems so hung up on sex, we sure do have a long track record of creatively–and successfully–tweaking geekdom in pursuit of orgasms.

In any event, repurposing technology for sexual gratification is just part of the game and there’s no reason to think that it’ll be slowing down anytime soon.  If anything, it’s probably about to gain speed exponentially.  We’re not quite to the realm of the “Orgasmatron” fictionally foreseen in the 1970s, but we’re pretty close with medical devices designed to read and manipulate brainwaves and nervous system functions.  While such items may have been originally conceived to treat things like head traumas and spinal cord mishaps, you can bet that there’s a little pervy R&D type tucked away in a dark corner somewhere musing, “Hmm…wonder what else we can use this gizmo for?”  How long do you think it’ll take for someone to figure out that there’s millions more to be made simply by slapping on some slick marketing?  Case in point:  The medication, sildenafil citrate, was specifically developed to treat conditions such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease.  Ah, but guess what else they figured out it could do?  So, just tint the pill blue and give it a snazzy, virile-sounding name and ta-daaa:  Viagra.  It’s capitalism at its finest.

So, what lies ahead?  With advances at a fever pace, it’s not even just a matter of technocycling, but also redefining what we thought we used to know.  Simple concepts like “relationships” and “intimacy” have suddenly exploded well beyond what was once clear cut into a blurred digital realm where both can easily occur without the people involved having actually met or even touched.  No doubt, there will be a period where some (likely older generations) classify such developments as “fake” or “bad” while others (probably those brought up to employ virtual technologies as a perfectly natural part of their lives) will be more accepting of them as “real” or “good”–with all sorts of subtle shades in between.  For a time, there will continue to be debates as to whether “cyber-cheating” is a “real” act of infidelity while others will trumpet the premise that there’s nothing phony about actual sexual gratification through digital means.  No doubt many will classify one end of the spectrum as detached fantasy while others will tout actual benefits such as precluding unwanted pregnancies and STDs.  As with most things in a major state of flux, there’s no universal answer, but it is pretty clear that it’s going to continue to evolve, perhaps in ways we cannot even conceive of today.

In a world where technology has enabled greater democracy while simultaneously turbo charging capitalism, the possibilities for sex tech are literally endless.  Where do you think it will go?  What kinds of items do you think will appear on the horizon within the next 50 years?  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Building a First Toy Box

(7/15/13)  If someone is convinced that their sex-life is so utterly magnificent that they genuinely have no use for adult toys in any form, we think that’s absolutely wonderful and wish them nothing but continued happiness.  However, does that really sound like it would be the case with most of the people you know?  Probably not.

While various forms of sex toys for both men and women have been around for hundreds of years, for some reason discussing them–or their uses–may still come with some negative connotations.  As a result, there’s a lot of misinformation which causes unnecessary confusion.  Rather than spending all day identifying (and then assassinating) these silly stigmas, let’s just blow past all of that and presume that toys are supposed to be fun–and fun is good.  (In other words, if we can hang up the hang-ups, this will go much more easily.)

While the reasons in favor of incorporating toys into your sexcapades are as varied as the reasons for enjoying sex itself, orgasm assistance/enhancement is clearly among the top motives.  As a common example, many women find that using a certain type of vibrator is the easiest and, in some cases, the only way they can routinely orgasm.  Even if it’s not the case for you personally, the chances of having a satisfying orgasm greatly increase by incorporating sex toys.  If nothing else, the general imbalance between men and women regarding how much stimulation is needed to reach orgasm through intercourse can be significantly equalized by including an appropriate vibrator.

So, where do you start when putting together your first mix of goodies?  With so many products on market, the choices can easily be overwhelming.  To help get you going, we’ve put together a concise range of products in the Fallen Angel Collection, so check it out to spark some ideas.  We recommend starting with the basics, generally considering where/when you might use a particular item and whether it will be more convenient for it to be a battery operated device versus a plug-in.  There are advantages and disadvantages either way, so just think about likely scenarios and plan accordingly.  Also give some thought to where you’ll be storing your playthings in order to ensure your most private moments remain that way.

A basic toy assortment doesn’t need to break the bank, but quality should be an important factor in your product choices, particularly in terms of materials, craftsmanship and ease of cleaning/maintenance.  And while function tends to trump form for most items, we’re talking about very personal items, so design and appearance may indeed be important considerations for you.  That said, if expense is a concern, then just start with about three simple items that meet your personal priorities and preferences.  Generally, a vibrator, some health-safe lubricant and a “multi-purpose” item are good places to start.  Addressing this in a round of  He Said–She Said:

Luc says,  “If I could only have three items in my toy box, it would be a Trojan vibrating ring, a jar of raw coconut oil and a silk scarf.  The Trojan ring is, in my opinion, the best vibe ever.  Coconut oil tastes great, works beautifully for massaging and performs well as a sex lube.  A silk scarf is a versatile fetish tool such as for blindfolding, tying hands, use as a slave collar and even for whipping naughty butts softly.  On the lighter side, if I had a really large toy box, I think I’d get a sybian vibrator, a dozen red long stem roses and a Ferrari 458–all guaranteed to get a woman off.”

Alexandra says,  “I think a Power Bullet is a must-have vibrator.  It’s compact, easy to use almost anywhere and has plenty of get up and go to get you off.  I’m also a big fan of glycerin-free lubricants because they work well for different uses, so that would be a good choice.  Finally, if I could only have three items, I’d pick something that could be intimately shared, like a restraint kit.  Nothing says I love you like, ‘Stay put–I want to tease you for a while’ if you know what I mean.”

Join the conversation!  We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions about putting together a first toy assortment as well, so please comment below.  If you have questions or concerns that you may be uncomfortable with posting publicly, feel free to contact either of us by email using the links above or at