August 27, 2010
The first academic research project into lap dancing has found that, rather than being uneducated young women who have been coerced into the industry, one in four dancers has a degree and has been attracted by the money.
Dancers took home an average of £232 a shift after paying commission and fees to the club, with most working between two and four shifts a week – giving them annual incomes of between £24,000 and £48,000 a year.
The researchers found no evidence of trafficking in the industry, and concluded that career and economic choices were motivations for dancing rather than drug use or coercion.
Aspiring actresses, models and artists used exotic dancing as a career strategy which fitted alongside their other work, training or studies.
Unemployed new graduates – mainly with arts degrees – were also dancing because they could not find graduate jobs and found that lap dancing paid much better than bar work.
The research by Dr Teela Sanders and Kate Hardy, from the University of Leeds, found the vast majority of dancers reported high rates of job satisfaction.
The main attraction of the work was the flexibility it offered to combine different work options and studying.