Work Safe Twerk Safe is a stripper-led organization that came together through conversations in 2018-19 to finally launch in the fall of 2019. We are mostly current and former exotic dancers who work/ed in the Greater Toronto Area and other parts of Ontario as well; we also have 2 supporting/ally members from Metrac, an organization that provides legal resources and advocates against gendered violence in Toronto, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
We wanted to start this group because there was no other stripper-focused organization in the GTA, and because local sex worker groups do not focus on concerns strippers have like understanding the adult entertainment club bylaws and advocating to change them. So these are important parts of our work, as is fostering virtual (on the website and social media) and actual (through our events) social spaces for strippers.
At the same time, allyship and inclusivity are important and allow us to do more. So we also aim to be inclusive and use our knowledge and experience to support the advocacy efforts of workers in other sex industry sectors, as well as of strippers who may provide extras or do outside work – because if we are arguing stripping is real work, sex work is real work too, even if not all strippers identify as sex workers. This means that we sometimes work with sex worker organizations on events that are of interest and beneficial to all. It also means you should refrain from judging others for the services they provide when you interact with them at our events and meetings.
Our current and former stripper members organize and run this website and our social media presence (check us out on Twitter @twerksafe). Metrac secured us some grant money for this website as well as some events and promotional materials; along with Workers’ Action Centre they also help us put together the information you see on this site, for example the pages about workplace sexual harassment and the independent contractor relationship.
At the moment we meet once every 2 months, and hold occasional events, and are always looking for fellow dancers to come to our meetings and events. We are open to members with any level of experience working as a stripper, whether current or previous. And the more people we have who help out with the group, the more resources we can provide to our comrades! If you are interested in joining or finding out more, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2019-2020, we are looking forward to hosting a series of films about and for strippers – see the posts and events box on the home page for more on that.