THE SEX FILES: Diary of An Angry Stripper. My Conversation With Sarah Tressler
Sarah Tressler was a high society reporter for the Houston Chronicle, recently outed by a rival newspaper for being an ‘exotic’ dancer. With none other than Gloria Allred at her side, Sarah filed with the EEOC for an investigation into her termination based on the grounds of gender discrimination and as you’d expect there is a great a deal of media coverage over her case…as well as her new book Diary Of An Angry Stripper, culled from an infamous blog she wrote while dancing. I was lucky enough to have a sit down with Sarah to ask some direct questions of this very direct lady.
I really liked Diary, the “Spitters,” “Sweetards” sections, the ‘open letters’ and occasional rank-like nature but I felt a tremor of unease running through your accounts. Is it fair to say stripping can be slightly dangerous?
For me, it hasn’t been what I would call dangerous. The clubs I choose are upscale for the most part; if they’re not, I move on after a night or two. It’s not worth being in a sticky situation, and there are a lot of great upscale clubs to choose from; I review some good ones and some not-so-good ones in the book. That uneasy tone you’re talking about is probably just me injecting my social awkwardness in these unusually odd face-to-faces situations.
In the day-to-day process of blogging, culling stories and anecdotes, do you feel that these days we really can’t ‘burn a bridge’ anymore as everything is ‘out there’ for everybody to read/see/comment on?
It has put a damper on some of the things I would normally have written about, yes.
I was always led to believe that the bouncers are going to step in the second a stripper is touched, but in very few instances in your account does anyone step in.
My main club doesn’t have “bouncers” roaming the floor, per se. We have a team of managers who go around checking up on everybody, but they’re not the beefy stereotypical bouncer type. Ultimately it is DEFINITELY up to the girl to analyze each customer and avoid people who are potentially problematic. I let a customer who was raising a lot of red flags with me slide initially, and it wound up being a bad situation; it’s probably the longest story in my book. That guy almost got me fired (and strippers pay the CLUB, as you may know – not the other way around). You have to be very aware of who you’re dealing with, because we are in a bit of a vulnerable position, but not as vulnerable as say, waiting at a Detroit bus station at night.
The “Worst Stripper Names” section was a hoot, but really for me the “So You Think You Can Dance” section was probably the highlight. Did you ever consider just writing a book on tips like this alone?
I did consider that, actually. I only covered a bit of the information that can be helpful to baby strippers or would-be strippers, so a book like that could be around the corner.
You’re account of ‘dating’ a rather well-known cable actor was dare I say, what I expected. Generally in your time stripping did you avoid celebrities or simply didn’t come across them all that often?
I don’t come across them that often; I can count on one hand the number of celebrities I’ve spotted at strip clubs: I ran into Dennis Rodman and Ron Jeremy at The Men’s Club in Houston (not on the same day), but that’s about it. Also, neither of them spent any money. A well-to-do divorcé is more lucrative than someone who has a celebrity-sized ego.
What’s happening presently in your gender discrimination investigation?
The investigation is ongoing; Gloria Allred said it usually takes months to reach a conclusion.
It seems to be a cliché assumption that all strippers become soured on men, so really, how ‘angry’ are you in your everyday life and how does it (if you are) affect your personal relationships?
I’m pretty dissident in my everyday life; I’m bashful around new people and tend to keep to myself. I read a lot, and I don’t like a lot of noise. I tend to isolate myself because of these traits, you might say that they adversely affect my personal relationships—but I don’t mind much. I wouldn’t say that I’m all that angry in general, mostly because I dodge the things that might trigger my anger, but at a strip club, it’s sometimes hard or inadvisable to just abandon every guy who pisses me off. But I take solace in knowing I can go home and write these caustic, grimly humorous stories and publish them for alllllll the world to see!