Forget the narcissistic "Reader, I shagged him" confessionals; this is much more interesting. Because as well as being about a stripper, it's also a great insight into the industry itself.
In Girl in High Heels, Ellouise Moore gives a totally frank account of her journey. We see her transformed from naive girl - forced to move out of home at age 16 because of a violent father - to confident, independent and smart stripper.
Ellouise started writing this book while she was working, and this is reflected in the tautness of her observations. She tells us about the industry, the girls and the clients. In fact she tells us rather a lot about the clients (no names fellas, fret not): the men who want to fuck you, the men who want to stalk you, the ones who want to save you, the ones who want to befriend you, and the ones whom she regards as the lowest of all - the guys on a power trip who belittle you. Her guide on spotting men with money may even be invaluable for those who don't strip for living.
Some readers might be surprised at some of Ellouise's personal views: she's never had a one night stand, hates the idea of meaningless sex and thinks mistresses are often just prostitutes by a respectable name. On the other hand, when you read the book you'll also understand that in order to survive in an industry that messes up a lot of girls, she had to close herself off and separate business from emotion. Not surprisingly, she closed herself off too much and found it hard to have a loving relationship, something which has changed since she got out of stripping.
Given the media's current desire to conflate stripping with prostitution, the chapter entitled "Do I get sex with that dance?" makes things pretty clear. Yes prostitution does happen, but it's not automatic: a girl might meet a client after hours and it's up to her as to what she wants to do. Moore acknowledges it went on; indeed she helpfully categorises the types of prostitution for us but does not see stripping in itself as 'sex work.' And while she knew girls who did accept money for sex (and did very well out of it) she was doing very well out of dancing. Unlike many strippers she also saved her money: while they were blowing it all on blinging bags, Jimmy Choos (stripper's favourites) drugs and holidays, she was investing her considerable earnings. Today she owns three properties and is nicely set up, thank you.
There's a lot of fun here too, a whole cast of characters: the girls, Peter Stringfellow (charming and never had to chase girls, so get your leopard skin G-strings on fellas), the bloke who kept buying another girl Faberge Eggs which she sold, club owners Donny and Marie, the guy who bought her Norton Anti Virus for a gift, various stalkers, and the gentleman who gave her almost £4000 just for talking to him. There's also the obligatory Arab who offered her and another girl £7000 to come back to his hotel for a bit of girl on girl action. They refused.
In person Ellouise is charming, unassuming and smart, something you can find out in person. She's offering one lucky reader and her friends the chance to receive a private 90 minute lapdancing class at Platinum in Shoreditch. The prize is for four girls, however if a guy wins it, he can give to a girlfriend and he and his friends can have free door entry to join them later.
To enter write in and tell us what type of client your boss would be and why. Hints can be found in Chapter Four of the book : "It's 2am. Do you know where your husband is?"
The winner will be picked at random by HITC, who - don't fear - will not publish any entries.
Competition closes on Friday, 13th June at 6pm, and the winner will be notified on Monday the 16th.
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