Pole Dancing: Fitness Motivation, or Something More?
By Emilee Eugburn
HUSTLERS tonight with mah fav betch, Brittany Buzard, as excited as I am about this movie I think it highlights a dialog that MUST take place…
Pole is becoming a phenomena that can be done both inside and outside the club. I see many of my acquaintances using the excuse that they are POLERS not STRIPPERS. Y’all buy a pair of Pleaser’s and take a class once a week which in your mind puts you leagues ahead of your “club” counterparts. SO MANY women and men use Strippers and sex workers as the brunt of violent and humiliating jokes and stories without ever once considering that THESE ARE HUMAN BEINGS. Women- ALL women and TBH all people as little as I care for men- are living beings with agency and calculating capabilities. We calculate our best options and go from there. We are not tissues to be used and discarded, regardless of that fervid rhetoric.
The Western appropriation aside, the reason you all want to pole dance specifically to be your fitness routine is that you want to look like a stripper. You want that dangerous, slumming, mysterious aura. You want to walk around with confidence like I do in 8″ heels, you want to LOOK like men pay you hundreds of dollars because you are simply desirable. You want TO FEEL EDGY and DESIRABLE… Yet you don’t want the dangers or stigma. You don’t want the very real threat of losing homes, jobs, family, scholarships, children, careers, FUTURES. You know that the edginess you crave comes at a price, and your way to combat that is NOT to combat stripper stigma, your way of dealing with this is to play up respectability politics for all you’re worth, widening dichotomy between PURE YOU and FILTHY US, too busy selling our bodies to dirty old men to develop the skills YOU DEEM acceptable. SO THE NEXT TIME you wanna toss up that #STRIPPERLIFE tag on IG remember there are women and men who make their livelihood from dancing whose accounts have been deleted and shadow banned for THAT SAME TAG. When you want to wear that pair of Pleaser’s to Funky Monk but are offended when asked if you are a dancer, remember who you are appropriating and simply respond with “No, I am not a stripper, and it makes me nervous that you would ask that BC sex work is so loaded and sex workers are murdered and discriminated against, so I get defensive about this but I am trying to fight it and support strippers in ending sex work stigma, staring with myself.”
And I bet not see half y’alls faces come “amateur night”.
Lisa Suckdog Carver interviewed with her band during the final Suckdog tour in the summer of 2016
Car Seat Theater Reviewer TV interview by Reviewer Rob as he drives the band of performers up to Los Angeles on Interstate 5 on a hot afternoon.
After Lisa’s recent tour through Southern California (Los Angeles and San Diego) it’s about time to have the video interview we did with her and her band Suckdog in their 2016 Summer Tour when I drove her from San Diego to L.A. so she could play Cafe Nela. Again, as always, if there are any inconsistencies with the transcription please email DepartmentOfCorrections@lesrevue.com. ~Editor
Rob: So we’re at Car Seat Theatre with Lisa Carver, and the Cusak sisters, Jen and Maddie. Are there’s Sadie, Lisa’s daughter back there. [girls wave at camera from the back of the van] And we’re talking about things that we can talk about on camera, Lisa’s been talking about a lot of things that she can’t– won’t talk about on camera, so now we’re going to talk about some things on camera. Can we talk about how you stopped doing drugs because you wanted to save your youth?
Lisa: [rummaging through purse] You should talk to the Cusak’s because I’ve done like 5,000 interviews in like–
Jen: Um, I haven’t stopped yet.
Maddie: I haven’t stopped yet either.
Maddie: But I don’t buy drugs.
Rob: You don’t buy em?
Maddie: No I don’t buy drugs.
Rob: Is that because you’re crafty, or because you’re a young and good looking female?
Maddie: It’s because I’m a young and good looking female. [laughs] So I can just get them.
Rob: So you get guys that wanna like hook up with you to buy drugs for you?
Maddie: No, no, no! Not that dark. [smiles] It’s just that if I go out and I see people doing drugs and I wanna do drugs I can ask them.
Rob: Okay, and you’re from Detroit. Tell us about the scene in Detroit. This is Madeline that’s talking right now by the way.
Maddie: Um, well there’s a lot of different things going on. There’s like art-bro’s, and there’s noise-bro’s–
Rob: We’re talking about styles of music?
Maddie: Yeah there’s a lot of noise, and there’s a lot of kind of like– cheesy garage rock kind of people, and–
Rob: Can you snap those windows closed Sadie, please while we’re on the road here.
[Sadie closes window]
Maddie: There’s a lot of kind of rap and hip-hop but the scenes are kind of segregated obviously, and also there’s a lot of like black hipsters but even that’s like segregated– so the black hipsters have there own places to go and the white hipsters all hang out in the same places and there’s like a few people who aren’t white kind of sprinkled in.
Rob: So the whole reputation of Detroit being like a black ghetto, it’s not like an all-black ghetto.
Maddie: No it’s mostly empty.
Rob: And you’ve got a mayor right now, who’s trying to revitalize it right?
Maddie: Yeah, I don’t know. Everyone’s really jaded and cynical in Detroit because they always make the wrong decision, like the person who makes the decisions for Detroit is like Governor Synder and these three–
Rob: Oh yeah they hate him! They want him to go to jail.
Maddie: Yeah and also these three billionaires make all of the decisions for Detroit.
Rob: They live in Detroit, they’re like big fat political bosses?
Maddie: I don’t even think they live in Detroit, they just like own anything in Detroit. And anytime anyone tries to own anything in Detroit that could possibly make any like real money, they like destroy them.
Rob: What are there names?
Maddie: Mike Ilitch, Dan Gilbert, and Manuel Moroun– who’s like basically this Irish mafia guy. And Dan Gilbert owns Quicken Loans. The Republican national convention was in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena! So he owns a ton of stuff in the mid-west.
Rob: So he’s probably a Trump supporter.
Maddie: Yeah Mike Ilitch owns– I think he owns the Tigers or the Pistons or the Red league or something and he keeps building new arenas.
Lisa: It’s so cool that you know all those names.
Rob: Yeah, you’re very aware of what’s going on in your hometown.
Maddie: It’s just so– you can’t help but be a little bit politically aware if you live inside of Detroit. It’s like a city that barely runs like it barely runs, it’s so shameful. For the people that are actually from there, like for the black people that actually live there and couldn’t afford to move out when the white flight happened, their living conditions are so shameful.
Rob: How is it going to recover, I mean GM is not going to come back.
Maddie: Nobody cares!
Rob: I care! [chuckles]
Maddie: Yeah, you care but you’re not like a man with a billion dollars.
Lisa: You don’t know that Maddie! [laughs]
Maddie: Oh. Well, maybe you are a man with a million dollars.
Rob: I like living this way because I wanna be around the common people, you know?
Maddie: Yeah. [rubbing lips]
Rob: No but I mean the next phase for it is probably they are going to tear down those blocks and blocks of like vacant homes and let nature take over again right?
Maddie: Uh, that’s what Mayor Duggan is trying to do, he’s trying to finish this project to like tear down–
Rob: Because nobody’s got the money to move in and restore them. That can’t be done.
Maddie: Yeah, most of them and like lost causes, like these houses are so damaged.
Lisa: Aren’t Chinese business people buying up huge acreages?
Maddie: I don’t know.
Lisa: That’s what I read. They’re buying up like 100 acres at a time all over the place, just as an investment, like a what if– you know because it’s no skin off there back. Because you can buy it for like 100,000 dollars.
Maddie: Yeah you can buy like really historical buildings in Detroit for like 100,000 dollars.
Rob: Yeah sit on that for like 10 or 20 years and then you might triple your money or something.
Maddie: Yeah, because there are so many abandoned acres and acres of land like there’s so many crumbling hospitals and subdivisions where maybe like two people out of like 1,000 houses lived.
Rob: Are you committed to Detroit, Maddie, and Jen?
Maddie: No, I’ll go anywhere. But I won’t necessarily like it.
Jen: I like Detroit, I don’t know. I don’t have any reason to move right now unless something– unless I have a reason to move.
Rob: Something better comes along?
Jen: Or if I have some sort of job opportunity somewhere else, but I like Detroit. It works for me.
Lisa: I think it’s really good for you because you always find so many people to film, and like whatever project you have going on you always find a ton of people.
Maddie: Oh yeah, there are so many people that wanna do things.
Jen: Yeah, everybody’s usually game for stuff, it’s really fun, and I just have fun there. And it’s cheap, so it’ really easy and comfortable.
Rob: Now that your married and you’re gonna be moving to Pahrump, Lisa, are you gonna be spending more time in Pahrump or are you gonna be going to Las Vegas a lot.
Lisa: Oh, I wanna live in Pahrump. I wanna live in the desert.
Rob: Really, like– away from all the people?
Rob: What do you like about Pahrump, you were saying last night something about how you like how it’s
a seedy, low income–
Lisa: No, it’s not seedy or low income, it’s in a valley and it’s surrounded by mountains and sky, it’s a really big beautiful sky. It’s like this sky actually– [pointing at sky]. It’s not that far from here.
Rob: It’s like this sky?
Lisa: Yeah, I mean this sky is so open you don’t realize it until you leave California or Nevada, it’s like–
Rob: You have a different sky on the east coast?
Lisa: Yeah, yeah it’s all closed in with buildings and there’s chemtrails everywhere!
Rob: That’s how they control you. No– umm– but you like the geography and nature?
Lisa: I like the geography and I like– it’s mostly like retired cowboys in Pahrump, and so I like that.
Rob: Salt of the earth type people.
Lisa: I don’t think so– like what is a salt of the earth– isn’t that like more mid-western?
Rob: I think that salt of the earth type people are like people that are characters in Rolling Stones songs from The Exile on Main street.
Lisa: I thought they were like hard working, middle class, like blue collar people.
Rob: Yeah, mhm.
Lisa: No that’s not that them, these are guys like really into independence.
Rob: Oh, okay, libertarians. They’re uh, what is it– Sovereign Citizens people. Do they have guns? Do
they like their guns?
Lisa: Yeah, they all have guns.
Rob: Are they bible thumper gun people?
Lisa: Some of them are, some of them aren’t. I mean I haven’t met each and every Pahrumpian. [laughs]
Rob: Is that a name you coined right now?
Lisa: Yeah. [laughs] But uh, in general people are just really laid back, old, they have a cowboy hat on, they know how to fix things.
Rob: I would have never pictured you doing that! Moving to that environment, all for over the 20 years that I’ve known you, I’ve always associated you with the Boston, Dover, New England area. That’s pretty cool, you’re making a change! That’s quite a thing.
Lisa: Yeah, I’m excited.
Rob: Really? That’s good. Well folks, [to the camera] you heard it here first.
Lisa: They have different trees, they have different birds, different bugs.
Rob: You’re getting into it.
Rob: Totally new environment.
Lisa: And said you wouldn’t have allergies there.
Rob: Because there’s not as many grasses as she’s allergic to?
Rob: Well the traffic is getting a little bit faster now, so I’m gonna click off because somebody might pull in front of me, like this guy– and I don’t want to rear-end him with my precious cargo of girls here. So thank you, folks, for turning into this episode of Reviewer TV, say goodbye folks. And we’ll see you next time for Car Seat Theatre, maybe when we’re in L.A. or something, see ya later.
[Below are a couple of videos of the Suckdog show later that night at Cafe Nela in East Los Angeles.]
Is it wrong that we find her clips on Vimeo psychologically appealing? At first the mind wants to turn away but then it is compelled to look again, and watch the self-inflicted abasement. It tells us something about ourselves that we must watch. Humanity on parade.
Lissa Corona is a San Diego-based artist and educator whose work explores deeply personal issues, from partnership and intimacy to emotional and physical vulnerability. She discusses the work she created for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego exhibition Being Here with You/Estando aquí contigo HERE on page six.
$22, shipping included. This fine paperback book printed on heavy stock is the career retrospective of the punk rock and performance art maven Lisa Carver’s final Suckdog tour. It has first-person stories in Lisa’s inimitable style as well as many illustrations and photos, in both color and black and white (some nude and for adults only!) from her shows going back to the very beginning in the 1980’s. THIS BOOK WILL ARRIVE SIGNED INITIALED BY THE AUTHOR. Email Robert@BookCabal.com or call 619-992-9211.