Sex and Judgment + New REWARDS
NEW REWARD: Chriselda Pacheco has graciously donated 4 stunning photos from her photo series “Sex and Judgment”
Limited Edition: $500 each
(signed by the artist, unframed, black/white, 18” x 24’)
SEX and JUDGEMENT
by Chriselda Pacheco
Working in a high-end gentlemen’s club like the Hustler Club in San Francisco might appear to be better at the surface. However, that vampiric energy is alive and well there too, albeit just well disguised with suits, fancier champagne rooms and more blondes.
There is a saying, “It’s damn near impossible to tell a fish in water that it’s wet.” That’s how I feel about some of the women in the industry who don’t think there is anything wrong with the club owners and managers manipulating them (and sometimes out-right forcing them) to pay exorbitant amounts of money as ‘stage fees’ from our tips.
The champagne room in particular is where it’s the trickiest. I remember this regular customer rolling up on her Harley. She was a local lesbian attorney who would tip the on-duty manager huge amounts of cash & in exchange that he’d set her up in the champagne room and ensure she wasn’t disturbed. The curtain was closed all the way.
I was one of the several women who got really drunk before we went into the room with her. If we didn’t let this woman have oral sex with us, management would pressure us, threaten us and make our working conditions even more miserable than they already were on a daily basis. I pretended to get sick just so that I could walk out because I didn't feel comfortable.
It might be easy to think, “Well – why don’t we just quit?” Some women are able to leave easier than others. Do we think it’s the women’s fault? It creates a working environment that is intimidating for the dancers while the managers and owners become the pimp – creating an undercurrent of fear – therefore pressuring women to do things they do not want to do.
After leaving California I moved to Austin, TX and worked at the Palazio Gentleman’s Club. Using my camera, I decided to tell the story I witnessed as a dancer and set out to show and tell the world about the ironic humanity that existed in a place where women are dehumanized. It was in my heart to express the camaraderie that truly existed amongst those of us in the “fox hole” and to reveal how these women (including myself) were just ordinary people.
No matter your opinion about whether or not women should or should not do this for a living is not the point. An incredible injustice happening & it’s hiding behind the guises of a legal business in a legitimate place of work – where women are making a living, paying their rent, buying food, gas, raising their children, financing their education and their lives by doing this.
My photographic series "Sex and Judgment" is a reminder that we are all indeed human after all, each of us with our own life stories. It’s a look at a culture of women who are scapegoated by a society in denial of their own contribution to this dysfunction; a dysfunction that plays out in our daily nuance and especially in our sex.
Chriselda Pacheco’s Website: www.chriseldapachecophotography.com