Strippers are the unsupported cousins of the adult industry but that is all changing with a new Stripper Parade & Expo (stripperparade.com) coming to Las Vegas. In the past year we have heard a lot about how the adult industry does not seem to be supporting their people. From the new audible podcast about the tragic suicide of August Ames who was bullied after a controversial tweet, to article such as “Why Are Porn stars Dying at an Alarming Rate” (https://nypost.com/2018/01/23/why-porn-stars-are-dying-at-an-alarming-rate/), it seems that sex workers are left to find their own way without a support system. This is not the case, there are great organizations such as APAC, FSC, and Pineapple Support that is devoted to helping performers find their way professionally and personally. However, exotic dancers are often not included in this group of support recipients, until now.
Polly Superstar, author of the “Polly: Sex Culture Revolutionary” (http://www.pollysuperstar.com/) and founder of the Kinky Salon (https://www.kinkysalon.com/) joined forces with Cory Mervis, founder of the Las Vegas Halloween Parade, to create the first ever Stripper Parade & Expo. The parade is meant to be a proud celebration of the culture of strippers, as a public event to celebrate a typically marginalized group. The parade will be, well, a parade. Full of floats with glitter, streamers and exotic dancers, filling the Vegas streets with fun and festivity. The Expo is something else entirely, it is a expo intended to help educate, connect, and provide resources to exotic dancers to help them find further success in their business life as well as their personal life.
The only other show for exotic dancers is the ED Expo, which is designed to help club owners succeed. Though they have some clothing retailers at their expo, most of it is Jell-O shot machines and glow in the dark carpet. The only part for the dancers is their annual award show. Awards are great, but they don’t help you learn financial management, how to save for taxes when you are self-employed, setting up recurring and multiple income streams, or getting health insurance.
For the first time, an event has been designed to help strippers succeed beyond the pole. Because this event is for the community, it is looking for initial support from the community. Stripper Parade & Expo has launched a Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pollysuperstar/the-las-vegas-stripper-parade-and-expo-aug-10-12-2). The Kickstarter is more than a chance to go to the parade and some parties. It is a great way to show support for a marginalized part of the adult industry. It is a call to action that says, lets show our people they are not on an island by themselves, but in a community that supports them.
In a sea of negative press about the adult industry, it is a breath of fresh air to see people coordinating an amazing event that is celebrating and not mourning. Show your support, donate to the campaign, spread the word, help show exotic dancers that they are not alone.