The Feminist Strip Club

The Feminist Strip Club is a group of current and former erotic dancers who explore the present conditions of and utopian visions for stripping. We hold events, make performances, publish zines and more.

The FSC began meeting in March 2019. Initiated as an 8-week workshop, it evolved into a loose collective of participants.

Images above are from “The VIP Room” performance held at the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Minn. on May 15, 2019. Using tradeshow pipe and drape, we created a set of VIP rooms where visitors could meet with individual dancers for 10 minutes of one-to-one discussion.

Attendees were greeted by a bouncer at the entrance. Dancers had created menus of questions to focus discussion on the issues important to them, including labor issues, discrimination and balancing the demands of work with life outside the club.

After the 10 minutes of discussion, dancers gave visitors an envelope and sent them to check out with the “house mom” – a type of backstage manager at clubs. The house mom walked visitors through paying fees to the club and tipping out to management and other workers. Scenarios ranged from a “good night” (earning $1850 and leaving with $995) to a “bad night” (owing the club money at shift end).

3 different issues of The GRIND magazine are displayed from earliest to latest, fanned out on a wooden background.The GRIND looks at issues in erotic dancing from the perspective of dancers. Each issue is a full-color, 24 page zine with articles, photos, artwork and more. Click on the link by each issue’s description to view a low-res PDF. Paper copies of The GRIND can also be viewed at the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive.

Issue 1, published in August 2019, focused on creating context for the upcoming vote by Minneapolis City Council on a new ordinance affecting adult entertainment businesses that (after some initial missteps) was drafted with the input and collaboration of erotic dancers and Sex Workers Outreach Project-Minneapolis to focus on worker protections rather than further stigmatization. Paper copies of the zine were distributed for free to dancers through dressing rooms at Minneapolis strip clubs.

The pandemic interrupted publication of Issue 2. Instead, in June 2020, we created an online PDF of pandemic resources for Minnesota dancers, including how to navigate the unemployment system as an independent contractor.

We printed a revamped Issue 2 of The GRIND in May 2021. It includes articles about implementation of the Minneapolis adult entertainment regulations, the pandemic’s effects on dancers’ abilities to stay safe and earn a living, shifting to OnlyFans for income and fatphobia.

Issue 3 used an open-call to solicit submissions of writing and artwork, as well as to form the advisory board. This broadened the reach of the zine to include international perspectives from Canada and New Zealand, as well as more US cities, including Chicago and Baltimore. Articles cover topics like mental health and sex work, glamorous social media portrayals of dancing and classicism in strip clubs.