On Dan Savage’s most recent episode (Episode 375; we listen to his Magnum version) he took a call from a social worker who was considering dancing as a way to have a bit more money. She asked for his advice regarding whether she should dance or not, given the risk of running into clients or their families, and also regarding whether this would impact her future dating opportunities. I thought his advice was pretty spot-on: he recommended not dancing if she wanted to remain risk-free from running into clients and from impacting her dating chances (although I am glad he threw in the caveat that he would want to weed out asshole men who care about a woman’s past or current stripping experience). I decided to email him about my experience and offer some other ideas.
I think if the caller danced in a different area of town or a different town completely from where she performs social work, she could dance. She could also wear a wig and take on a persona very different than her social work persona. All of that would help lower the risk of running into current or former clients (and/or their families). Also, she should read her code of ethics (probably the NASW code of ethics) and maybe even consult a lawyer who specializes in health providers and ethics codes. It’s definitely not risk-free to be a sex worker and health provider simultaneously, but there are ways to mitigate the risk and be a professional and competent provider.
There is also a blog written by a woman who does both dance and provide therapy; y’all should check it out: www.striptherapy.wordpress.com
I also wanted to pass along this article that this wonderful writer posted; she is a social work student (*disclosure- she references my blog in her post): Against Role Models