Jacqueline Frances, or better known as Jacq the Stripper, isn’t your average stripper – that’s just one of her many specialties besides writing, illustrating and comedic talent. She has created a Kickstarter to launch her book, The Beaver Show, on the road and into the hands of those who are curious about the journey of a stripper from Australia to New York… so isn’t that everyone? This driven megababe is giving SGP the scoop on her journey, career, and upcoming adventures.
Photo by Ryan Kobane with BFA
What do you do, how long have you been doing it?
I’m a stripper, writer, illustrator and stand-up comedian. I’ve been at the dry-humping for dollars game for 5 years.
What inspired you to start working in your field, and what has the journey been like?
I secretly always wanted to be a stripper, but it took a trip around the world to Australia for me to ovary-up and actually start doing it. It’s been an incredible, fun and eye-opening journey. My book, The Beaver Show, is the crass and inspiring saga of my world travels as I learned to shake my ass for tips, all the while learning a thing or two about compassion.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Well thank god I don’t work the day shift anymore. That was the most depressing four months of my life. Stripping is funny because, if you don’t want to pay an astronomical house fee, you need to show up early. This means that you sit around for four hours perving on your fellow strippers as we each take turns dancing for an audience of one or two early-birds. In part it’s a solidarity thing, but really we all just love looking at hot girls. I mean, who doesn’t? Around 10pm it starts to get busy. That’s when we start acting like we want to fuck every guy we meet in the hopes of squeezing some money out of him. As the alcohol really starts to take effect, the quicker men are to part with their money. It’s the realest game I’ve ever played.
Photo by Lorenzo Fariello
Wow! That sounds fun and intense all in one. What is the most rewarding or fun part of your work?
I couldn’t possibly pick one thing, but right now I’d have to say the freedom of making my own schedule, the incessant costuming and dancing, and the secrets. When you’re never going to see someone ever again, it’s easy to share extremely private information with them, hence men spilling all their secrets to us working girls. It’s human nature to share and share they do. The amount of guys who confess their bisexuality to me is staggering. I love it. I always encourage them to go out and find that cock they’ve been jonesing to suck.
What are some challenges you’ve faced, or the hardest part of your work?
By far the hardest part is having a sizeable chunk of my bills paid by fascist corporate powerhouses who are entitled, sexist and bigoted pricks. The other night this one very successful man kept referring to his colleague as a ‘faggot.’ I asked him why it was necessary to use that word, and rather than replying he asked for a few dances, and tipped generously. In part it’s satisfying to take money from people who are scum, but ultimately it’s fucked up and sad because they hold so much power and whatever money (read: power) they do share with you is just a drop in the ocean of their endless bank accounts.
What are some of the most memorable moments you’ve had while on the job?
The first time I ever stripped is by far the most memorable. It was for this Aussie bloke by the name of Jim who really just wanted to stare at my vagina for a really long time. You can read all about the graphic juiciness it in the opening pages of The Beaver Show. In a matter of minutes, I turned from feeling endless Vagina Panic to becoming the embodiment of Pussy Power. Needless to say, it changed my life.
Photo by Ryan Kobane with BFA
In many ways, stripping is a performance of sexuality. How do you translate your real-life experience of sexuality into a performance? Is it an accurate reflection?
This is a great question. I sell a fantasy. It’s nothing like real-life sexuality. Lap dances are two minute intervals of acting out every porn move you can possibly attempt with a man sitting lifelessly in a chair. It’s sensationalized entertainment that is so stupidly unrealistic you just have to laugh about it. Laughter, sex… at the end of the day, it’s all just entertainment.
How do you combat exhaustion in your field of work?
Sleep. Water. Time off. At most, I only work three days a week. I don’t have kids, pets, and I already paid off my student loans, so I’m very lucky to be able work as infrequently as I do. I could not be a 40-hour a week stripper. A lot of women are, and I have so much respect for them; it’s a lot to be bubbly, sexy and interested all the time.
How do you experience and overcome slut-shaming, or criticism about your field of work?
There is so much bad press about strippers. With every blog post, stand-up comedy show and comic I draw, I aim to tear these shitty and slut-shamey stereotypes apart. The problem is that it’s never strippers driving that narrative, it’s patriarchy. It’s up to us sluts to change this. I just launched a kickstarter to take The Beaver Show on tour. I want to make people laugh – and think – with my comedy, all the while celebrating the women I meet along the way who are committed to being unabashedly themselves.
Photo by Ryan Kobane with BFA
If someone is feeling shame, guilt, or embarrassment about their own sexuality, what advice would you give them?
Fuck those people who are making you feel that way! They are insecure about their own sexuality and projecting their shit onto you. Find a community where you can talk about your experiences openly. The internet, support groups, people you trust… What I’ve found most helpful in talking about sex work is the community on Tumblr. When I would read about other people’s experiences, it made it so much easier for me to work through my own, particularly on how to talk about it with non-sex workers.
What advice do you have for women who might be interested in working in this industry?
Do it. Try it. If you like it, stay. If you don’t, don’t. The hardest part is showing up.
What inspired you to write your book? What has been the best thing about writing the book?
I’ve always been a writer, but when I started stripping I was like, I MUST TELL THIS STORY. And I’m happy it’s out there. The coolest thing is to have someone tell you “I’m reading your book. It literally made me laugh out loud.”
Photo by Jacqueline Francis