Appreciative audiences turn on sex-show women

August 29, 1997

Sex performers 'enjoy' their own shows

WOMEN who perform in illegal live sex shows may get a sexual buzz from their work, according to new research.

Bill Thompson, a criminologist at Reading University, has spent three years investigating the phenomenon of so-called "blue girls". These women perform strip shows that tend to go well beyond the conventional "look but don't touch" erotic dancing.

Dr Thompson found that blue shows of this kind, which can be booked through a handful of conventional stripper agencies, are a growth industry. But he discovered that blue girls' motivations can be different from those of strippers.

He said: "As a general rule of thumb, I think about half the blue girls receive some sort of sexual turn-on by doing this. Strippers can often be women who took dancing lessons when young but who never became dancers. They turn to stripping because they enjoy the dancing involved. Blue girls often come into it via stripograms and that sort of thing."

Dr Thompson said that unlike strippers, blue girls made sex an integral part of any show. He said that guilt felt by the women performers tended to diminish with the enthusiasm of theaudience. Enthusiasm also determined the lengths the women would go to during performances.

He said that many of the blue girls were married or had partners, and some had children. The women told him that their partners were quite happy since they saw the shows as work. There is an economic incentive for the women, as they can earn about Pounds 100 for a show in addition to any tips given by the audience. These can be substantial.

The differences between women involved in the sexindustry are often glossed over, according to Dr Thompson.

He discovered a caste system operating among women. "Strippers look down on blue girls who, in turn, look down on prostitutes," he said.

Dr Thompson hopes to publish his findings in the next few months. He has also written about pornography and sado-masochism, and regularly helps the police and courts in cases involving psychosexual crime.

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