Media scholar Steve Macek joins Mickey for a look at a case from Philadelphia, where media activists are challenging the broadcast-license renewal of the local Fox TV station. Macek says the abundant evidence that Fox executives ordered the airing of stories they knew to be false (notably the purported “theft” of the 2020 presidential election), together with other offenses, shows that Fox has failed to serve the public interest and therefore does not deserve to continue its use of the public airwaves.
Then Eleanor Goldfield hosts the second half of the show; her guests, two long-time sex workers, look at sex work and strip clubs from a labor perspective, addressing issues such as the difference between being treated as independent contractors and as employees. They also call for the decriminalization of sex work, and an end to the social and legal ostracism of sex workers.
Steve Macek teaches communication and media studies at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and is co-coordinator of Project Censored’s Campus Affiliates Program. His article “Time to take away Fox’s broadcast licenses” (co-written with Mitchell Szczepanczyk) can be read at Project Censored. ‘Jade’ and ‘Candi’ are co-hosts of the Champagne Room Secrets podcast, which provides an insider’s look at stripping and other varieties of sex work.
Video of Interview with Steve Macek
Video of Interview with Candi and Jade
Below is a Rough Transcript of the Interview with Steve Macek
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Mickey Huff: Welcome to the Project Censored Show, I’m your host, Mickey Huff. Today on the program, we’re going to address, I think a fascinating topic in general, one that really kind of connects the strength of the free press with civic engagement, but also reminds us that part of the responsibility of living in a purportedly free society is being vigilant and paying attention to the things that happen around us, particularly in our public institutions, but also private ones that allegedly serve the public interest.
Today, our guest for the first segment here is no stranger to the Project Censored audience is Dr. Steve Macek. He’s a professor of communication and media studies at North Central College. He is the co-coordinator of Project Censored’s campus affiliates program. He works with Andy Lee Roth and others on our Top Censored Story list every year, as well as Deja Vu News.
Steve Macek, welcome back to the Project Censored show.
Steve Macek: Mickey, thanks so much for having me back. It’s always a pleasure.
Mickey Huff: It is. And to set up this segment, I want to pull a piece you have from a wonderful dispatch you just published. It’s over at projectcensored. org, LAProgressive, and other places.
You and Mitchell Szczepanczyk who’s also a software engineer and a longtime organizer and writer with the media activist group, Chicago media action. You all just wrote a wonderful, important piece “Time To Take Away Fox’s Broadcast Licenses.”
Now that’s a pretty provocative title, but let me qualify as you do here. You say, “although stripping an established TV station of its broadcast license may seem like an extreme measure, the Fox Corporation’s record of malfeasance and its repeated betrayal of the public trust justifies the action in this case.
Indeed, an argument can be made that the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission, should take away every single one of the corporation’s broadcasting licenses.” And I’ll take it one step further. And you say, of course, consider the evidence. Today in this segment, we’re going to be considering the evidence.
Steve Macek: We will certainly consider the evidence.
Mickey Huff: And I will say before we even get started down the road, before I hear a bunch of people already writing emails, it’s not just Fox. I get it.
The problem here is not just ownership re Fox. There is a problem. There are other problems with other stations and people will see what those are along the way here, but we’ve got to start somewhere, Steve Macek and Fox is an extraordinary, if not extreme example of what you talk about with Mitchell in this piece. Can you talk about it for us? Steve?
Steve Macek: Sure. So the occasion for this piece is that a group called the Media and Democracy Project in Philadelphia filed a petition to deny the renewal of the broadcast license for WTFX, which is, I think Channel 29, in Philadelphia, which is the Fox affiliate in Philadelphia on the grounds that, first of all, that it, it disseminated the false narrative about Joe Biden allegedly stealing the election from Donald Trump back in 2020, it perpetuated lies and conspiracies about smart tech and dominion voting machines being somehow rigged. And in the process, it sowed seeds of dissent in the country and actually contributed in some way to the January 6th, right insurgency, to inspiring the January 6th insurgency.
But more important, and I think more to the point, there is a lot of evidence, which I think we’re going to get into in this program, that come from Fox’s own internal emails and messages and emails sent and text messages sent by Fox executives and senior Fox News personalities that reveal that Fox knowingly manipulated its audience by spreading lies and propaganda that they knew at the time were false and they did it for the, not for ideology, although, you could imagine that some of the people at Fox are true believers in this right wing ideology that they spout all the time.
They did it because they were terrified of it hurting their ratings, and hurting revenues, which is the lowest form of motivation, right? And so this group, Media and Democracy Project in filing this petition to deny the renewal has put the FCC on notice that they should hold an evidentiary hearing into the accuracy and the evidence behind their charges and hold Fox to account for its performance most recently in the election, and this is something that we as listeners right and members of the American public have a right to do.
We now, the public has standing in any time the FCC considers whether or not to renew a broadcast license holder’s license because broadcasters are required by the terms of their license to serve quote the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
It is very similar to public utilities. If you look at the law surrounding like electrical power companies, water companies, sewage companies, they are regulated differently than other businesses. They’re private corporations, they’re private businesses, but they are supposed to operate, because there’s in many cases, natural monopolies, they’re supposed to operate in the public interest.
And broadcasters, radio broadcasters, television broadcasters in the U.S. are obligated to serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
And the FCC lays out fairly clearly some criteria under which supposedly, license holders who fail to live up to this standard, the PICAN standard, the public interest, convenience, and necessity standard, can lose their licenses.
Now, as I will discuss later, it doesn’t happen very often. It’s incredibly rare. It’s like a unicorn when the FCC takes away a station’s license. Most of the time when they take away a station’s license, it’s because of financial mismanagement where the station is like bankrupt or it’s deeply in debt or it’s violated a bunch of the technical rules that the FCC has in place for broadcasters.
Only twice in history has the FCC taken away a license for lack of fairness or the kinds of charges that the media and democracy project are bringing against WTFX, but I can go into that in a little bit more detail if you’d like.
Mickey Huff: Yeah, a couple of things. We’re definitely going to do that, Steve Macek. One thing I wanted to just bring out to the forefront of our conversation here. Thank you for that great overview and introduction to what’s happening and what your piece is about. You can see it at projectcensored.org under the dispatches for media and politics: Time To Take Away Fox’s Broadcast Licenses.
And again, as I mentioned earlier, one would think that through this process of public review, et cetera, that this may clearly apply to other stations and channels, not just Fox, but…
Steve Macek: It may, it may.
And I can go into that. I think the case of Fox is so extreme that it merits taking away the license. It separates them out. They’re in an entirely different, as we say it in the op-ed, an ignoble class of their own.
Mickey Huff: Yeah. Indeed.
So, the reason I wanna get to this a little bit is because we’ve been promoting this article. And, you know, because we want to get people thinking and talking about it. You know, oftentimes people more cynically say, well, of course we know that this happens and there’s lies and corruption, but what can we do? What can we do?
Well, your piece is a primer and well, here’s what people do and here’s what you can do, and you can even do this in your own communities when these things are happening, but here’s the question that was posed, and of course, I suspect you’ll have a retort. I know I did.
One of the criticisms was, well, isn’t this a form of censorship? You’re trying to take away Fox News. That’s censorship. And of course, my reply was, no, this is a due process issue for a public check on power of private entities that control things that are in the public interest. But Steve Macek, I want to hear your view.
Steve Macek: Yeah, I was expecting a question like this. It always comes up. And in fact, the Fox corporation in responding to the media and democracy project’s petition to deny filed a reply, an extensive reply prepared by their expensive lawyers that basically said, this is an attack on the first amendment rights of the Fox corporation.
Well, broadcasters don’t have first amendment rights. Because if you are broadcasting terrestrially over the airwaves, it is a scarce resource, which is why the government regulates it. And if you look at the history behind the creation of the FCC, it was created back in 1934 with the Communication Act of 1934 in part because the big broadcasters were upset that little station signals were, this was back when all broadcasting was radio, were cutting into their signals.
And so they wanted the government to come in and impose some order on the airwaves because otherwise you had, you know, stations like say WGN here in Chicago having small like labor-owned station’s signals bleeding into them, and they didn’t like that. That was hurting their advertising revenues and so on.
So the FCC came in and assigns each station to a particular place on the broadcasting dial and in return, they’re obligated to serve the public interest convenience and necessity. They have to do a lot of things as part of that right requirement.
One thing is they have to participate in the emergency broadcasting system. They have to air public service announcements. If it’s a television station, they’re required to air three hours of educational children’s programming every week. So they’re not free to do whatever they want. And we all know that there are those seven words that you can’t say over the airwaves, right?
They’re also obligated to maintain certain standards of decency, which would be completely a violation of the First Amendment if you tried to impose that on a newspaper or magazine, right? But it’s perfectly acceptable if it’s a broadcast media that is regulated by the FCC.
Mickey Huff: What about folks that say it’s cable or what have you?
Steve Macek: So, so, so the thing is that Fox news, right, is part of the same parent company that owns the licenses for these broadcast television stations. And one of the things that’s charged by the media and democracy project in their filing is Fox News’ performance during the election of 2020, and since.
It proves that they lack the character required to hold a broadcast license. Not only that, but several segments that were produced by Fox News, this cable, 24 hour cable news channel were re-aired as part of, you know, Sunday morning shows on WTFX, right? So it’s not the case that they’re completely separate.
Fox’s broadcast outlets take syndicated programming from cable, the same personalities show up over and over again. But nevertheless, the fact is that the performance of Fox News demonstrates that they, that the owners, in this case, the Murdoch family, Rupert and Lachlan, who is now the kind of corporate heir apparent of the Fox Corporation, lack the character required of broadcast license holders.
Mickey Huff: Well, and you write specifically under “consider the evidence” in this piece, transcripts of Fox News coverage during the two weeks after the 2020 election show Fox reporters and opinion makers get ready made nearly 600 statements casting doubt on the election outcome or promoting conspiracy theories about the balloting process, and the important thing is they were promoting these without evidence, without verified evidence, and were even promoting known falsehoods and the emails and leaked things came out afterwards showed that they were knowingly behind the scenes talking about the false information that they were disseminating.
Steve Macek: Absolutely. So I’m sure your listeners are all aware of the, the Dominion defamation suit, the Dominion corporation that made these voting machines that…
Mickey Huff: Which is another problem for another show, the privatization….
Steve Macek: Another problem for another show.
Dominion brought a lawsuit against Fox for perpetuating this preposterous idea that somehow the machines were being used to fix the election for Joe Biden, and that somehow Hugo Chavez had something to do with it, even though he was already dead.
And so they brought this defamation suit as they should have, and I’m not actually somebody who teaches about first amendment law. I’m not generally a big fan of defamation suits, but in this case they so savaged this corporation’s good reputation on the air, day in and day out, during that period immediately following the election through the inauguration that I thought it was justified.
And in the end Fox settled for something just short of three quarters of a billion dollars. We’re not sure the exact figures, but something just short of three quarters of a billion dollars. And in the process, the discovery process where the opposing counsels have to share documents with each other, all of these internal emails, text messages from Fox executives, from Rupert Murdoch and close friends of his or former Fox executives, it came out that they knew that they were pushing a lie.
Fox News has an internal fact-checking organization that they call the brain room and the brain room concluded that all of the stories they were pushing about the fixed election were a hundred percent false and total BS to quote from the emails.
So they knew that they were deliberately misleading their audience. And that’s what actually sets them apart.
So, you know, a lot of people, and I myself have been party to a petition to deny, and filed an informal objection to the renewal of the license of WGN TV here in Chicago back in 2006. And one of the things I pointed to in my informal objection was their abysmal coverage of the debate about whether or not to invade Iraq. They lent credence to what turned out to be a complete fabrication that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, that he had some sort of relationship with Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorists. Nothing could be further from the from the truth. But the fact of the matter is there we don’t have a smoking gun in that case that proves that they knew that they were pushing a bunch of lies. Well in case of Fox news, we do.
Mickey Huff: We do and unfortunately Fox didn’t lead the way then although they were certainly a big part of the new york times and there were a lot of falsehoods being peddled.
Steve Macek: The entire news media system in the U. S. was complicit in perpetuating this pro war propaganda against Iraq.
Mickey Huff: Which by the way, since we seem to be a permanent warfare state, we should be ever vigilant about these things, right?
And of course, most recently, they’ve taken to attacking special prosecutor Jack Smith for bringing criminal charges against former President Donald Trump. And of course, there’s yet even more. There’s a great deal more evidence that you even have in the piece here.
So Steve Macek, let’s talk to our listeners again. When we started this conversation we were talking about this being maybe what some people would say is an extreme measure, the revocation on the license.
Let’s consider the evidence. Go ahead.
Steve Macek: So let me just before I plunge further into the evidence against Fox, the case against Fox let me let me just say that it is an extreme case and I’m not somebody who advocates generally flippantly taking away broadcasters licenses. I think it should be for serious wrongdoing, right?
Demonstrable, fact based wrongdoing and violation of the public trust, right? I think on those grounds, you could argue that lots of the national media networks, the broadcast national media networks, ABC, NBC, Fox should lose their licenses, let me just be clear.
But I think we shouldn’t take people’s licenses away impetuously. And really what this petition is calling for is for the FCC to hold a hearing, an evidentiary hearing where testimony could be taken, where evidence could be offered that would be open to the public so people could see where the balance of evidence lies in this case.
And that would have a beneficial effect, even if the FCC never took away WTFX’S license, right? It would have a beneficial effect of providing some transparency about the internal operations in the media, of chastening them for violating the public trust. It would have a beneficial effect. So let me just say that from the outset, that even if this petition to deny is unsuccessful at taking away their license, it’s a positive thing because it raises people’s awareness of the flaws of our corporate media system. And it provides an opportunity for us to look in detail at the evidence that they are not doing a good job of serving us.
So what is the evidence? Well, we point of course, the discovery from the Dominion libel case. That’s the smoking gun that proves that they knew what they were doing.
Mickey Huff: But they settled to avoid legal scrutiny.
Steve Macek: They settled to avoid legal scrutiny and to avoid having to apologize.
Although a number of the Fox News personalities, right, that were involved in spreading these lies have since left the network, like Tucker Carlson mysteriously was dropped. You wonder why, right? After they paid out almost a billion dollars, right? Three quarters of a billion dollars. You, you, you wonder why?
But beyond that we can go back and look at the history of the Murdoch family. I mean, the Murdoch family used to own something called, and the predecessor of the Fox corporation is News Corporation. Back in 2012 the media world was rocked by the Hackergate scandal in Britain, where it was discovered that journalists who worked for News Corporation, the forerunner of Fox Corporation, were hacking into the cell phones of celebrities and people who were in the news, including victims of crime to get access to their emails.
And it so scandalized British society that an official inquiry, a parliamentary inquiry was launched into the moral and ethical shortcomings of the media. It was called the Levinson inquiry because of this Lord Levinson who headed it up and they concluded that Fox was guilty of mismanagement and not controlling their journalists who were engaged in rampant, unethical, appalling behavior.
In fact, Mitchell and I, my co-author on this piece, when the Levinson inquiry concluded its work and issued this massive report, and your listeners can go online and read the Levinson inquiry report. I mean, it’s thousands of pages. I would encourage you to just read the executive summary, which is I think maybe like 80 pages.
We wrote an op-ed saying that Fox’s licenses should be taken away then.
That was back in 2012 or it might’ve been even 2015, but yeah, we wrote an essay saying, take them away.
Since then, of course, Fox Corporation had to. Pay out $90 million to settle all these sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment cases, including some involving the people who are at the highest level of the corporation, like Roger Ailes, who was the head of Fox news and Bill O’Reilly, who was at the time their star media personality and, and there are countless reports about how toxic that place is to work for women, including more recently.
Mickey Huff: Yeah. You wrote, you wrote about the whistleblower, Abby Grossberg.
Steve Macek: Right. Including Abby Grossberg who was working for them not too long ago and claims that she was exposed to all sorts of misogynist humor and sexist humor, and was coerced by the company into giving a false deposition in the Dominion case.
So, the track record of unethical and corrupt, just flat out malicious behavior is so egregious that it merits at least a closer look, which is actually all this petition can ask for because the public can ask the FCC to look into it.
Mickey Huff: I mean, this is civic engagement, media, democracy in action, really. This is what we, the people are supposed to do. We’re supposed to utilize these institutions and the FCC to hold these corporate quote owners of the public airwave leases or whatever, however, we want to word that.
Steve Macek: Right. And we couldn’t always do that. I think it’s important for your listeners to know that even though this requirement that broadcasters serve the public interest has been on the books since 1934, up until 1969 the FCC claimed that it was the sole representative of the public interest in determining whether or not to renew a broadcasters license.
So they didn’t even solicit input from the public. They substituted their judgment for the judgment of the public and the public had no standing. It was only during the midst of the civil rights movement that a Minister with the United Church of Christ who was an ally, a white minister who was an ally of Martin Luther King named Everett Parker, he was the head of the United Church of Christ’s communication office, brought a lawsuit in 1964 demanding the right to be heard by the FCC about the renewal of the broadcast license at WLBT, this TV station in Jackson, Mississippi, that was owned by the White Citizens Council that, or had board members, I should say, that were affiliated with White Citizens Council, actually had a White Citizens Council bookstore that popped up in the offices of the TV station that would preempt, that is to say, block any news reports about the civil rights movement so that viewers couldn’t learn about what was happening in their own backyard.
When Thurgood Marshall appeared on the Today Show, they actually preempted the broadcast because they didn’t want their listeners to hear Thurgood Marshall speak over their airwaves.
So he brought a lawsuit, and the lawsuit ultimately was settled where a court said that, yes, the public does have a standing. They do have a right to be heard in these license renewal cases. It wasn’t until a few years after that they actually succeeded in taking the license away from WLBT, and even then the FCC declined to do it on their own. They were ordered to do it by a court.
Mickey Huff: Interesting. So these institutions that are supposed to support and reflect the public interest are as Ralph Nader would talk about corporate capture. They’re part of a regulatory captured network.
Steve Macek: Absolutely.
And that’s certainly true of the FCC. It’s been true of the FCC.
Mickey Huff: I mean, at least back then we had Newton Minow. We had Nicholas Johnson.
Steve Macek: Right. We had a few independent FCC commissioners, but on balance, that means so like they, as I said, they’ve only taken away a couple of licenses for abrogation of public service requirements, right, or of basic fairness which is appalling if you know anything about the American media. It is as Newton Minow said a vast wasteland. So why have they only ever in in their entire history taken away two licenses?
Mickey Huff: And since you riffed there on Minow, back to Nick Johnson, your second priority has got to be media democracy, media reform.
This is everybody’s issue, right, because if you don’t have access to accurate information everything about whatever you’re doing on top of that or in front of that is going to be bunk, garbage in, garbage out.
And that’s a real challenge and this is why you and Mitchell write that Fox Corporation stands in an ignoble class all its own and you even cite Fox executive Preston Padden,
Steve Macek: Right, former Fox executive. He was one of the people who built Fox up into the network it is. I think he then went on to work for Disney and some others, but he remained a close friend of Rupert Murdoch. Now he has now concluded that Rupert Murdoch and his son, Rupert Murdoch’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, are no longer fit to hold broadcast licenses, and he’s not the only former Fox executive who feels this way.
So Jamie Kellner was the founding president of the Fox broadcasting company. And he filed a supporting brief that supports the Media and Democracy Project’s petition to deny. He filed an informal objection to the renewal of the FTFX license.
William Crystal, who is a right wing commentator and conservative who served under George Bush and Reagan has also added an informal objection to the renewal of Fox’s license. So a number of people who are either conservatives or former conservatives and have been in the media, and been in the media world, worked for Fox have now concluded that Fox no longer deserves to hold a broadcast license, which I think is really, really telling.
They didn’t say that after the sexual harassment scandal. They didn’t say that after the Levinson inquiry. They’re now concluding it’s gotten so bad that this company should no longer be allowed to broadcast.
Mickey Huff: Well, nothing will wake one up, I guess, in the world of capitalism than a couple billion dollar lawsuit.
Steve Macek: Right, a couple billion dollar lawsuit and also just like the smoking gun of these emails and messages that prove that they knew they were lying.
And that’s the thing that, much as I lament the performance of the corporate media in the Iraq war, I don’t think you could say Dan Rather, Peter Jennings and company knew, right, they’ve now apologized and said that they were wrong about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction. I don’t think you can say that they knew that they were pushing a false narrative.
Mickey Huff: So, to conclude this segment, Steve Macek, again, the bigger problem here is that the consequences of these kinds of open lies, it’s an abuse of the public trust. The public sees this, and it’s amazing that there aren’t more cries to really do something about this, to hold them accountable, because the ultimate takeaway, and I think the ultimate negative impact on the society, is it further perpetuates public cynicism about free press.
Steve Macek: Yeah, it absolutely does. I know your listeners are probably familiar with the fact that trust in the media is at an all time low.
People trust journalists even less than politicians.
And that’s saying something right. And this absolutely contributes to damaging public trust in the press and in the news media. Absolutely.
I think the reason more, more challenges don’t happen, first of all, after the telecom act of 1996, the term of licensure is much longer. Now it used to be like two and then it was like seven years, now it’s eight years. So you only can weigh in every eight years and you have to know when your broadcast stations in your area, your state are up for renewal to be able to kind of intervene. So there, first, I think there’s that, but I do think it’s worth doing.
Let me just say, even if Fox is not stripped of its broadcast licenses, positive things can be achieved.
So back in the 1970s, the National Organization for Women challenged the broadcast license of ABC affiliate in New York. And they failed. Ultimately, their petition to deny was turned down. But as a result of that, that affiliate hired more women into key positions of power, into key decision making positions and into positions, not just in front of the camera, but behind the camera. So it helped to advance the cause of gender equity in the media, even though, you know, the petition to deny was not successful. So it can be an educational. In other words, it can be an educational and organizing tool.
Mickey Huff: Well, that’s absolutely why we’re featuring this on the program. That’s why we are really thrilled that you wrote this piece, co-wrote this piece.
It’s freely available. No paywall at projectcensored.org, under the media dispatches, dispatches on media and politics.
This piece is called Time To Take Away Fox’s Broadcast Licenses.
Steve Macek, as ever, thanks so much for joining the program.
Steve Macek: Oh, thanks so much for a really stimulating conversation, Mickey.
Mickey Huff: Absolutely. And thank you specifically because even if people feel like, well, that’s Philadelphia or that’s somewhere else, this issue affects all of us and this program, one of the core missions is to educate the public about press freedoms and how to keep the media free and how to be the media and hold media accountable. And I think this piece goes a long way, and this segment, Steve, I think it’s a very didactic one and I think you’ve given people a lot to think about.
So thank you very much.
Steve Macek: Thanks so much. All right. I’ll be seeing you. Take care.
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Below is a Rough Transcript of the Interview with Candi and Jade
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Eleanor Goldfield: Thank you everyone for joining us at the Project Censored radio show. We’re very glad right now to be joined by Jade and Candi.
Jade is one of the co-hosts of the Champagne Room Secrets podcast, and she received a B.A. in 2016 and an M.A. in 2018, both in sociology. Funneled through the classic ballerina to stripper pipeline, she started working at strip clubs in the spring of 2021. Jade is passionate about sex worker rights and strip club work conditions.
Candi is also a co-host of Champagne Room Secrets with a background in ballet and musical theater. She graduated in 2015 with a BA in communications and a minor in theater arts. In 2016, she started doing burlesque as a hobby and now regularly performs at drag events and private parties. After an unexpected job loss before the pandemic, she began cam modeling during quarantine, and later transitioned to working as a stripper in 2021. Currently, she works as an escort.
Jade, Candi, thank you so much for joining us.
Jade: Thank you for having us. We’re excited to be here.
Eleanor Goldfield: So, I want to start off with semantics, because for many reasons, including legal as well as basic comprehension reasons, how we define things like stripping matters. And in a recent show, y’all actually discussed this with, discussing how attempts to unionize strippers forces strippers into specific arenas of work that don’t include sex work.
And so I was wondering if y’all could talk a little bit about the characterization of the work that y’all do, and how do you define these things and are these lines fluid? And if so, how does that affect how y’all receive or have access to protections?
Jade: Yeah, I think in particular with stripping a lot of times we even have customers who like refer to us as dancers or performers. They’re scared to call us strippers or they slip up and say stripper and they’re like, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
Candi: Like, Oh, you’re not, you’re not a stripper. You’re better than that.
Jade: And it’s like, I always say we literally strip down. Like we take off our clothes. That is the act of stripping. So just in a very basic way, we are strippers.
And I think in particular the LA strippers unionized and they decided to join a union that represents actors for the most part. And so they were really emphasizing the performance art aspect of the job.
And Candi and I always talk about how, well, especially when I first started stripping, I thought I was just going to go on stage, make a lot of money and then like go to the back and wait for the next time that I was going to come on stage. Like not understanding that most of the job is actually not that. We’re entertainers is how like sometimes we explain it.
Candi: That’s what we’re legally described as. We’re legally entertainers. On our taxes.
Jade: But we always talk about, there is a lot of emotional labor that goes into stripping that makes it sex work. And there’s also a lot of sexual touching, like lap dances are, part of it is a performance art. We are dancing, we are putting on a show, but then there’s the other part where we are sexually touching people, you know? So that’s kind of where we’re like, okay, in an effort to unionize and belong to this umbrella of actors guild, basically we’re kind of deemphasizing some aspects of the job in favor for others.
Candi: Yeah, and sex work is just an interesting term because it’s very scary to a lot of people.
The club that Jade and I met at, the house mom, who is usually a woman who helps you out in the back room with like toiletries and pumps you up, makes you snacks, whatever, depends on the club, and I remember we had a conversation. She’s like, well, you guys aren’t sex workers.
I mean, yeah, we are. We’re providing a sexual service, even though that is over the clothes. But there is kind of this weird, it not always comes from whoreophobia, but that that can be a part of it.
What is sex work and what is performing? And I don’t really have a clear answer. That’s something we discuss a lot. So it is kind of this weird gray area, stripping in particular, because we’re performing, sure. We’re dancing, but we are being physical with strangers or not always strangers, in an intimate and often sexual way.
Jade: And I think the label of sex worker, especially when it comes to full service sex work, just aligning yourself with that carries so much stigma that a lot of strippers move away from that, right? Or even some girls who do OnlyFans, who do solo OnlyFans, or things like that, they’re like, well, we’re not sex workers, or I’m not a sex worker because I don’t do this and that. And so, everyone’s kind of trying to distance themselves from that label.
Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, and of course a lot of that is, I imagine, has to do with the fact that sex work in terms of the full service that you’re mentioning is illegal, whereas obviously being a stripper is not illegal.
So, and I want to, there’s several threads that I want to pull on that y’all mentioned, but because you mentioned emotional labor, and, the psychology of our system fascinates me, the capitalist patriarchy being what it is.
And at the core is the violence in our society and the social isolation and the forced toxic masculinity of men. And bell hooks has written about this a lot, like, how men are forced to distance themselves from every emotion except for anger, and, I feel like a lot of the stories that I’ve heard from friends who are sex workers is that more so than physical, it’s an emotional load being a sex worker because of the psychology of our system.
And now understanding that all sex workers are not women and not all clients are men, but just in your experience, what is that breakdown in terms of emotional labor that y’all are involved with?
Jade: Yeah, I think for the most part, my job is talking, honestly. And I think you’re right that men don’t get a lot of chances to talk about their feelings with particularly other men, single men probably don’t have partners to talk to. And so when they come to the club, they use us as like, I always call it like sexy therapist, and we’re probably cheaper than therapists for that matter.
I mean, I started dancing post-pandemic, but I, I think we do live in a very touch-deprived society. So even during the talking, you know, touching on the shoulder, even if it’s not the actual lap dance, like that, I think of that as a service. Cause it’s something that a lot of, like you said, men in particular, not exclusively men, but they are missing in their life. And a lot of times they’re like, Oh, I have never told this to someone, you know, this and that.
And, we always talk about different strippers have different hustle. Some are the party girls and they’re doing shots, this and that, but my style is very one-on-one and I know a lot of girls who work that way. And that’s when you can kind of think of it as providing that kind of service more than anything.
Candi: Yeah, it’s quite sad. I mean, out of the cis straight males that I meet, they really don’t have intimate friendships, like traditionally female woman friendships. I treat them like relationships, right? Like I have a billion group texts. I have my core people. We’re all very emotionally intimate, and it’s, it’s quite sad.
And I’ve had, like Jade mentioned, I’ve had people, clients in the club, outside of the club who do open up and tell me things. And I’m like, what do people say when you tell them this? And they’re like I don’t know, I’ve never told anyone. Because they just, they don’t have that culture.
And, there is the sex aspect, obviously. But Jade and I, we both feel really good about being able to offer that to people who have been missing it because I feel like so much of this, like the incel culture that’s like really big online, like the red pill dudes and all this, it’s a little cheesy, but at its core, I think people really want to feel loved and held and heard. And when they can’t access that, it turns into anger and violence, potentially. Not to toot our own horns too much, but.
Eleanor Goldfield: Oh, no, totally. A recent guest on the show is a psychotherapist, Harriet Fraad, who does a lot of work talking about how men are socially isolated. They use a partner, a female partner, as a connection to the outside world, and if that female partner leaves, in her studies of mass shootings, the man has either lost, in like, almost 100 percent of cases, a job or a romantic partner. Because those are the two things that make him a man, right? And so there’s a lot of that aspect.
And speaking of toxic men, I want to get into a recent article that was in the Intercept. It’s an investigative piece about a group called Skull Games whose founder is a former Marine, extremist Christian, and self acclaimed hunter of warlocks and demons. No, I’m not kidding.
Skull Games is a game in the sense that there are points and levels, but it’s very, very real. It takes place in the real world, with participants gathering information about sex workers to quote unquote save them, a game that ends with them handing sex workers over to the police.
Participants are often former military who get off on the idea of combining their love for violent patriarchy with the idea of white saviorism, and they comb the internet for personal information that is sadly out there. As The Intercept puts it, quote, participants scour the U.S. for digital evidence of sex work before handing their findings over to police officers. The participants often describe them as friends and collaborators. And much of Skull Games efforts boil down to scrolling through sex worker ad listings and attempting to identify the women.
So, I wanted to hear y’all’s thoughts on this, and if you’ve ever been involved with something like this where a guy comes in and he wants to save you from being trafficked because clearly you must be trafficked. There’s no way that you could be doing this of your own free will.
Jade: Yeah. I think particularly in the strip club, we, we call those guys Captain Save A Hoe. They come in and they’re like, I can get you out of this, you know, this and that.
And it’s like, I’ve had other jobs, that have made me miserable, like being in front of a computer Excel spreadsheet, eight hours a day. Like personally for me, that’s not what I like, but I never had to justify that job as much as I have to justify stripping, and it is a job that I actually like. It’s the first job that’s giving me, economic stability, that I’ve been able to afford to travel, live on my own, et cetera, et cetera.
It’s different because it’s not illegal, as we were talking about, but we have to justify how much we love our job, how much we enjoy it. And we don’t love it every day, you know, which is the hard part when you have to externally perform how much you love your job sometimes when, you know, that day in particular is not going super well.
But this group in particular, they’re conflating consensual sex work with sex trafficking, which Candi, you can talk more about, but I think that’s the root of a lot of the problems that we see today, you know, the passing of SESTA FOSTA in 2018, where it basically conflated going online and posting ads for sex work with sex trafficking and, and all that that led to.
Candi: Ugh, there’s a lot going on here. So I don’t feel really in danger because I think these people are buffoons. But I almost feel like there’s this weird fetish among these heto, sex trafficking, quote unquote hunters where I think they kind of get off on it, and it’s super weird, and I say that for a few different reasons.
I think it’s repression, right? Especially when you get into the far right, conservative extremist or religious extremist or whatever. And so, first of all they’re not heroes, right? It’s, it’s kind of fake. It’s like a facade. I think they’re getting off on digging into this salacious world, and I guarantee probably most of them have thought about hiring sex workers if not tried to do it.
So, you know, I am working now as an escort. So I am on these ads, right? I have a few escort ads out there. Unrelated, but the first day my ad went live, I did have a stalker contact me, which was super weird. So yeah, I know it’s out there. I know people can recognize me. I do use a program that scrambles the pixels of my face, so it makes me a little bit less hard to find. I am very careful. I’m very discreet.
Personally, I don’t advertise sexual services because that is illegal. I’m a companion. I offer this kind of labor. You are donating for my time only. And anything that happens otherwise is happening between two consensual adults, but this is for entertainment purposes only.
And I have a pretty hefty screening process for all my clients, so in a way I actually feel kind of more safe doing this work than meeting random people in the club a lot of the time. I haven’t really had a horrible experience yet, knock on wood.
It’s just such like a misuse of resources and time, and it just seems so icky, and like I said, buffoons. And I also read the article, they were like taking breaks for prayer circles and stuff. It’s like, you guys.
Jade: Yeah, I think for me, it’s like, say your beliefs are that women should not be selling sex. Fine. If you want to quote unquote, save us, then why don’t you work on making housing more affordable, access to health care. Instead you just hunt these women down, you burden them with a criminal record, making it harder for them to get jobs that aren’t sex work. So is it really about saving women or is it about controlling women’s sexuality? That for me is so key. It’s like anti-abortion people who don’t support access to birth control. It’s like, well, is it about preventing abortions or is it just that you don’t want women having sex under their own terms?
Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the fact that they hand women over to the police, it’s like that is the least safe way of treating any human being is to hand them over to cops. And shouldn’t you be handing the traffickers over to police?
Like, if you really want to Sherlock this thing, then go after them.
Jade: But for them, it’s the same thing, right? It’s like women who are selling sex are traffickers. They’re kind of trafficking themselves. When, when they said, there was a quote, I forget who exactly was saying it, but it was like, well, handing over them to the police does not guarantee arrest. Like they already know that it’s not a nice thing to do to a person to hand them over to the cops.
Candi: Right. And I have a lot of friends who are escorts and all kinds of workers. We’re not stupid. I could tell if someone’s a cop, you know what I mean? And like I said, I background check everybody. And maybe not everyone is as thorough as I am.
And I always, whenever I meet someone who wants to get into it, I offer all my resources. I’m like, let’s get you set up. I will share what I know because I think that’s super important.
And even the cops, I feel like they get this, like, oh, these freaking weirdos. Like, okay, just take them and be like, yeah, good job, you guys. Thanks so much.
It’s giving like a little boys club and a tree house. I don’t know. Not to be too mean about it.
Jade: But I think Candi, again, going back to SESTA FOSTA, there were the online ads that you play sometimes are prohibitively expensive. I think you do manage to screen people and go through a lot of things that a lot of women just can’t afford to do.
Like, Craigslist was, you could just post whatever and that got taken down. The personal ads on Craigslist, back pages, all those that a lot of women were using to advertise their services, that instead of being pushed to more expensive online app services, they went to the streets. So now it’s way more dangerous. You’re just putting the women that you’re purportedly saving in just a lot more danger.
Candi: Yeah. I heard this quote, I forgot where, but it was like, They’re going to the streets, so they’re physically out there more, which I think that’s always happened.
And then also kind of in my sense, I can’t just post one little picture. I have to build a brand, I have to build a business. And I do have to do these things, like attract clients and make this kind of like, oh, this is an entertainment thing. This is like this and that when before we could just post and there were a lot more platforms to do that. And now, more of my pictures are out there because like I said, it’s a business and I can’t just operate like I would like to.
Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, and I also want to get a little bit more into that trope, the idea of the savior because I was reading somewhere that it’s this trope of false consciousness, the idea that certain groups can’t fully understand their own situation or motivation, and it’s often, this idea of false consciousness is often used to silence groups and use them as pawns in specific social or political moves.
And of course with sex workers, it’s that you’re so traumatized either by the work that they do or the events that led them into that work that they can’t see how exploitative it is at its core.
And from what y’all are saying, it seems to me that what is really traumatizing is how that work is treated and shoved legislatively from the outside, not that it is internally inherently traumatic.
Jade: Yeah. Yeah. I agree with that. And when people are saying, these women wouldn’t be doing XYZ work if it wasn’t for economic necessity. Well, that’s true of all work, you know, I don’t think it’s really a commentary of like how we lack free will under capitalism. It’s just focusing on sex work.
So, for me it’s that, it’s the legal stuff around it when we talk about legalized sex work in Nevada, it’s the only state where it is legal. Even there, it’s like you’re a second class citizen. You have to register. You work at a brothel that’s a certain, like miles away from big cities because God forbid you’re around children in school or whatever.
And now you’re on a list. You can’t have other jobs. Like women who go from dancing at strip clubs to then being brothel workers then have a hard time being hired at strip clubs cause now you’re seen as having a scarlet letter on you. So. Yeah.
Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, and that whole bit about you wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for economic force, like, why don’t we talk about miners, coal miners selling their body?
Because to me, the work that they do is far more disgusting, and it kills you way quicker. I mean, I don’t know any sex workers who have black lung.
Candi: Right, the selling your body thing is always interesting because like miners, construction workers, the people who pick our food, there are so many jobs where it’s literally so, and listen, like working a eight to 10 hour shift at a club wearing eight inch heels, it’s not nothing. I definitely do less labor now.
And as far as sexually selling your body, if you’re, if you’re kind of following the narrative that women’s bodies can be used up and stretched out and all these things then you just don’t know anything about women’s bodies and why are you talking about them?
Jade: Yeah, any job that requires you to perform physical labor or spend your time doing something, at that point you’re selling your body. Like me sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day, like, that’s what it felt like. It felt like I didn’t have control over my body for eight hours a day.
I had to be performing this task. And that’s the reality that we all live in, except for very, very rich 0. 01 percent of people who can choose to spend their time however they want to.
Candi and I always say like our dream job is no job. Our dream job is being in the Amalfi coast in Italy drinking, but that’s not the reality we live in. And this is a job that we really enjoy and that we feel has value. And it’s hard when we have to convince other people that it deserves to be legal and respected.
Candi: I was actually talking to my therapist last week who’s an ex sex worker, so she’s amazing, about how I do feel like I have to like sell the job to people, when in reality, it’s a job. Some clients are better than others. It’s neutral. We can have good days, we can have bad days. At the end of the day, the most degraded I’ve ever felt is working in the tech industry. And having a horribly abusive boss and being embarrassed and fired. And it was this really traumatic thing that happened years ago I still think about. And I think about that as a degrading, horrible labor experience. Not seeing people and helping them, touching them and being there for them and, helping them get to these places that they can’t on their own.
It’s just so backwards. And it’s hard to explain to people, especially the people in that article, who would just never listen, probably.
Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I worked in recording studios for 10 years, and some of the things that people said to me or trying to touch me and stuff, that’s way worse than, I mean, I’ve never been a stripper, but I imagine it’s way worse than doing something that you enjoy and having consenting adults be a part of it.
Candi: And the thing is, when you are a stripper, a sex worker, if someone does that to you, listen, Jade could talk about it. We talk about it all the time on our podcast. You give them lip right back. You put them in their place. I’m like, no, excuse me, sir. I’m the one in control. I’m doing the situation. And most of the time, not always, there are obviously abusive clients and customers, it does happen. But most of the time they kind of fall into line. And that’s why this job isn’t for everybody, because you kind of have to figure out your power, right, and how to use that.
Jade: But you learn how to enforce your own boundaries. And I was getting sexualized, you know, going in public transportation on my way to school. So, and now at this strip club, I can, A, make money from it, B, if it goes in a direction that I don’t like it, I can get someone kicked out.
That’s not something that a lot of women experience. Like at a bar, someone grabs you this and that, there’s not a lot of recourse. You’re scared of how the men are gonna react. And especially at the strip club, if it’s a good club, and that’s why I care a lot about, certain clubs don’t protect the girls, and I think that’s messed up, but a good club will, will always take your side, and you should be feeling safe where you work.
Candi: Yeah, and to piggyback onto that, like I said, the job is not for everybody. I’m never going to be out there and be like, oh my god, get into this work if you don’t know what to do, but I will say since I started it, I guess two or three years ago, and I started dabbling, I started with online work, like I mentioned, I have never been more confident in asserting my boundaries in non-work settings.
When I go out with friends, any guy I feel uncomfortable, I know for the most part how to handle it. I’m tiny. So if it comes to physical stuff, what am I going to do? Run away, I guess. But as far as asserting my boundaries and showing guys, I’m like, no, no, no, you don’t talk to me like this.
Eleanor Goldfield: Good. So, you mentioned a couple of times, if it’s a good club or the work conditions in strip clubs, and I’m wondering, especially in terms of efforts to better work conditions for strippers, understanding that there’s a gray area, even though it’s legal, but it’s a gray area in terms of how it’s categorized and I remember even when I heard about the efforts to unionize, there were people, of course, that just had these knee jerk jokes about the concept of work conditions at a strip club becoming better and needing to be better.
So I’m curious, how do y’all approach that issue, and what kind of work conditions are y’all fighting to better?
Jade: I think it’s really, really hard because outside of California, strippers are classified as independent contractors. So, in terms of legal rights to unionize, they just don’t exist.
And I think for the most part, strippers are misclassified as independent contractors because we are told what to wear, we’re told what times to be there. There’s so many rules on that. We’re misclassified, period.
I think in California, I think it was AB5 in 2015, they switched to being classified from independent workers to just workers and that was seen as like, well, now we’re going to have access to health care and workers comp, all these things.
But then clubs went around and said, well, now you’re costing us money, because we have to pay you. In San Francisco it’s 15 and LA it’s 15 an hour, and they were like, well, we’re now going to take more money from your VIPs or whatever. There’s a lot of wage theft going on. And we’re not going to hire you, I think it’s like for more than 32 hours because then you qualify for certain rights like health care rights, things like that.
And so the way that it went, a lot of girls just didn’t like it. Everyone goes, Oh, you know, don’t say anything about work conditions, look what happened to California. They’re going to classify us as workers instead of independent contractors, they’re going to take away our freedoms.
And, I mean, in 2020, I was living in LA and there was a lot of propaganda around Prop 22, you know, Uber and Lyft were spending a lot of money to make sure that they could classify their workers as independent contractors, and I think there’s this anti union, anti worker propaganda that really spreads and a lot of girls when I talk about collective action, like, hey, like a strip club without stripping is just a shitty bar. We have a lot of power! If we all decide not to show up, there’s a lot to that and they’re scared. They’re like, no, they’re going to qualify as workers and then we’re going to lose all of our rights.
But there’s a lot of wage theft, there’s a lot of clubs that don’t take care of, like there’s the Star Garden in LA, there was like weird staples on the stage and girls were cutting themselves. It was just gross. You know, there’s so many things, I think, especially like wage theft that happens. Clubs just take a lot of money from girls and we’re scared to do anything about it.
Candi: Yeah. I mean, there’s just no oversight to this industry, because it’s seen kind of like the bane of society. And so because of that, because there are a limited amount of clubs to work, you can’t really be like, okay, well, I’m not going to work it here because it’s not perfect. I’m not going to work here. It’s like, okay, well then you just can’t be a dancer. You’re not going to find a club to work at. They definitely take advantage of that.
Jade: Yeah, the clubs are mostly run by men. A lot of them are, people are scared to talk about it, but they kind of are cash fronts, so a lot of them are run by mafia, there’s just so many things that make it really scary for anyone to talk about, organize around, but I, I think it can be done.
But I think there’s always this fear, like, oh, you know, if we start talking about collective action, they’re going to make us into employees, and that’s this terrible thing just because of the way that it went down in California. Which I think the law was trying to do something good, it just didn’t go far enough in making sure that the clubs were implementing the rules as they were meant to.
Candi: Right. Yeah. And I would love to actually talk to a lawyer at some point who knows more of the details because it just doesn’t make sense because like Uber and Lyft drivers aren’t employees. And I was like, what, what happened, you guys? This is the whole point of the thing. And now, like Jade’s been saying we talked to different strippers around, you know, who follow our podcast or whatever, and it’s definitely a thing, like, Oh my God, California, like, don’t go there. I know not to go there. It’s really bad, but it’s like, it was supposed to be good. You would think being an employee would be good.
Me and Jade met at a club in California. We grew our friendship and we kind of bonded over the conditions and the conditions weren’t horrible, but especially the money they took. And then we were like, we got to talk about this. We got to tell people.
It’s been tough and Jade moved out of state to keep working at clubs, and it’s just, I think most of the dancers we worked with at our first club left.
Jade: I think there’s something about the gap between a law and how it’s implemented that has always been really interesting to me and I think that’s a really clear case of it because like I said, being an employee gives you all these rights, it guarantees pay, all these things, but then clubs went ahead and specifically our club, they said, well, you cost us $15 an hour, so the first $150 that you make in VIP, we’re going to take all of it. There’s just so much weight theft.
And then you can’t work more than a certain number of days because now you’re costing the club money if you show up and there’s too many girls. It’s just all these things that the law, I don’t think intended for it to happen, but there was no follow through to see how it was going to go. Cause like, nobody really cares about strippers.
And again, I do think especially in 2020 that prop 22 in California, there was a lot of propaganda. It was very anti-employee. It was, you know, all these like testimonials from Uber and Lyft drivers saying, I love being an independent contractor that it really confused people. And, I think we’re seeing the effects still.
Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah, I mean, I remember seeing stuff like that with Amazon unionizing too. Like, I love Amazon and I don’t want a union. I prefer to work in warehouses that don’t have air conditioning.
Jade: Yeah, those weird Twitter accounts.
Candi: Peeing in bottles. Right.
Eleanor Goldfield: Yeah. I love it. It’s great.
Yeah. So kind of wrapping up here, I again want to make the connection and you said so as well that people are not, there’s no outcry about like, Hey, the first $150 you make we’re going to take because people in general don’t care about strippers and the working conditions that y’all have.
And I’m curious with regards to sex work, how you feel about decriminalization versus legalization, and some of the efforts, which, like, for instance, in Sweden did not really work, the idea of making it illegal to buy but legal to sell, and it’s just been a hot mess.
I’m curious how y’all feel about those differences and what you’d like to see, and how that treating of sex work would affect stripping.
Candi: Yeah, we, we discussed this a lot. We actually just had an amazing sex work advocate on our podcast and she’s fully, decrimin everything now. I’m kind of like, I think legalization could be good in a non-whorephobic society. But if we are having to register and train for these jobs, and to be honest, I think there should be training for this job. Like I said, it’s not for everyone. Nobody teaches you how to do it. It’s something that you kind of hear about and it’s trial and error.
So in an ideal world, sure. I would love to get training for this job. I would maybe love to have like a certificate and advertise my services. Like I’m like certified in these things, and this is what you can book me and pay me. But, I wouldn’t be able to do that without again, the scarlet letter on.
So in that case, I think we really have to start with decrim. We have to change the social perception through that. And then maybe eventually move into a different system. But with decrim, especially as a worker, as a stripper, when it’s not criminalized, we’ll feel safer asking for help and going to the hospital and like going to the cops and all. That’s kind of where it has to start because people are scared, you know, and that’s where the trafficking and all these things happen.
Jade: Yeah, I agree. I think decriminalization is obviously the first step. You need to stop burdening people with criminal records. You need to make them feel empowered to seek help if they need. And for a long time as someone who is very pro-unions, workers rights, I was like, well, the only way you can get access to those rights is through legalization, right?
But then once you learn how, like Candi said, a whoreaphobic society is not going to see your work, or it’s in the case of Nevada again, like it is legal there, but you are wearing a scarlet letter, you know, your kids can be taken away if it comes out that you were a worker at a legal brothel, you know, all these things.
And so while the fantasy land would be legal, you can have certifications, you know, you can pay your taxes, everything like that, that’s not the society that we live in. And so unfortunately, that’s not the way I see our society going either.
So I think all of our efforts should focus right now on decriminalizing and taking away some of the stigma as much as we can.
Eleanor Goldfield: Well, yes. And if you have any thoughts on how to move society in that direction, please share them. I mean, is it education? Is it just getting people to talk more about sex in a not creepy way, but also not sex-ed where you’re just shown a bunch of pictures of herpes and told not to do it?
Candi: You know, it’s something that’s so small that I feel like it could really plant the seed. We could stop making dead hooker and dead stripper jokes, we can stop laughing at those jokes. We can start looking at them more as people and not just like disposable objects, and supporting media that props us up.
Voting, obviously. I don’t know where we are legislatively, but if that comes up, yes, definitely, register to vote and vote. Do you have any other ideas, Jade?
Jade: I think just talking about it. It’s hard, you know, as someone wearing this Zoom filter to talk about this, but I think just talking to people about the work you do. I think a lot of us, it’s kind of like what happened with Gay rights and things like that, as more people started coming out of the closet and more people realized that they actually know and love someone who is part of the LGBTQ community, if we also do that too, we can normalize it more.
And every time someone in my social circle who isn’t a stripper meets my stripper friends, they’re always like, Oh, they’re so normal, you know? Yeah, we’re regular people.
And I think just talking about it more, I mean, again, not to toot your own horn, but Champagne Room Secrets podcast, we like to talk our work in a funny way. And it’s just trying to demystify the whole thing.
You know, I think on TikTok, girls go on and show how much money they make, and it’s really glamorous. And then you show up to the club, and it’s not like that. And you’re like, what happened? So I think it’s just talking about it as a normal thing, and I think anyone who’s listening, like you probably know someone who was a sex worker at some point. People have done it in different ways, you know, online, in person, sugaring. I think we’re just out there.
Candi: Yeah, and I would encourage those people that are kind of on the edges of sex work to look inwards. There is a lot of internalized whorephobia within the sex work community. People who look down, like strippers who look down on full service workers, full service workers who look down on strippers.
And Onlyfans is huge now. It blew up the past few years. If you are making pornographic content, you are a sex worker, and you should not judge other people for doing the work in a different form. I think that’s good, and I think the people that are very big, and maybe, like, the celebrities or popular influencers, I don’t know if they’re listening, but advocate for other workers. Advocate for the decriminalization of this different form of the work, and if you feel uncomfortable and weird about it, I encourage people just to look inwards, you know, talk to your therapist, talk to some people, read some books, listen to Champagne Room Secrets.
Jade: Come to the club, I’ll talk to you about it.
Candi: Yeah. Come to our club. Come to our club. Throw some 20s. Hundreds are my favorite bill personally. We will talk your ear off about it.
Eleanor Goldfield: Cheaper than therapy, as you pointed out. And I would argue more fun because I’ve never gotten a drink at a therapist’s office.
Candi: Right. Right. You got beautiful women in bikinis, everyone. I always say the strip club is a very hypnotizing environment. You’re like, I don’t know what day it is. I don’t know what time it is. All I know is there’s beautiful people. Everyone’s having fun. It’s the best place. Let’s chat. Let’s talk about it.
Eleanor Goldfield: I love it. Well everyone, do check out Champagne Room Secrets podcast. And thank you so much, Jade and Candi for joining the show.
Candi: Thank you so much for having us.
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