In just a few short days, the site is already quite active with 95 members and growing. You are all invited to become members on The Naked Truth. And guess what, there's even a classifieds section.
The Naked Truth strives to encourage, support, inform, and advocate for adult entertainers through connecting community members and allies; challenging stereotypes; providing ethical employment opportunities; and collaborating with other businesses for a thriving adult entertainment industry.
The Naked Truth is a resource and advocacy website for adult entertainers that was created by an exotic dancer in 2001. Annie Temple started it when she recognized a need in her community for a resource and support network. She believed that a website could meet those needs because exotic dancers travel a lot, and the work can be very isolating.
In The Beginning
It is very common to show up at an out-of-town gig and be completely blindsided by rules or accommodations that you weren’t made aware of when you got booked there. Annie wanted to create a website that would enable entertainers to share information about what to expect at different clubs around the world.
It would not only be a resource and support system for exotic dancers, but it would challenge stereotypes and serve as an advocacy site as well. It was a big idea that started very small.
Within a very short amount of time, The Naked Truth rose in popularity among exotic dance industry members and patrons of the industry alike. It also became obvious that many exotic dancers work in other aspects of adult entertainment, such as webcam or modeling. Hence, the term “adult entertainer” is used to be more inclusive of members.
For Adult Entertainers
On The Naked Truth, entertainers are encouraged to post their experiences at different gigs around the world and share what to expect with other entertainers. We’ve built a support system to counter the stigma we experience in our day-to-day lives – from the community in general, and from our loved ones as well.
To give you an idea of the kind of emotional support we are able to provide, adult entertainers are often falsely assumed to be drug addicts or sexually promiscuous. As an entertainer, you can’t usually talk about your job with your family or significant other because they get angry or insulting.
While entertainers are all quite aware that our jobs are just our jobs, everyone else seems to think otherwise. So it is a comfort to us all when we can discuss the ups and downs of this work with people who understand our experiences.
Similarly, we can empower ourselves and each other by acknowledging that no matter what the “moral majority” might say, we know what we are doing is not bad. Theories that insist exotic dancing is inherently exploitive are merely theories served up by people with no exotic dance experience. Reality is very different.
The Naked Truth
We feel empowered through our work, not degraded. In fact, most of us admit to feeling much more degraded in mainstream occupations such as administration, service and hospitality, retail, and more.
The majority of our customers are decent, respectful, and courteous. They are not evil, woman-hating exploiters. Evil, woman-hating exploiters don’t last long in the upbeat, fun atmosphere of a strip club.
In The Naked Truth forums, we find solidarity. We support each other’s right to enjoy our jobs, offer advice on how to handle different challenges, and share each other’s sadness when things in our personal lives turn sour.
We basically provide the kind of friendship we usually only receive in the change-rooms from one week to the next working in isolation all over the world. On The Naked Truth, we are a family.
In 2004, when a former entertainer and close friend found out she was terminally ill with cancer, we planned an elaborate fundraising event in her honour to cheer her up.
All the organizing was done as a group through The Naked Truth forums. It brought our community together for a bigger purpose and gave us all an opportunity to take part in reducing the harm of cancer in the world. Jocelyne died later that year, and Exotic Dancers for Cancer became an annual event in her memory.
We also hold an annual “Best Places to Work” contest and post the results on the website, so that patrons can choose ethical businesses to spend their money in and entertainers can acknowledge our favourite employers.
The Naked Truth has become a widely recognized industry resource all over the world, but especially in Canada. As founder of the site, Annie Temple is frequently contacted to address issues that impact exotic dancers in Canada.
Reporters often interview her for stories related to the industry. Organizations like Vancity have contacted her to discuss their policies around businesses associated with the industry. And hundreds of people have emailed her praising the efforts of The Naked Truth community to raise awareness and funds for cancer initiatives.
Through community discussion in The Naked Truth forums and collaboration with the British Columbia government, Annie successfully lobbied for revisions to the regulations in the Liquor Primary Licensee Guide pertaining to exotic show lounges. Her efforts resulted in regulations that - are less vague and outdated, increase safety of entertainers, and allow tipping and distribution of promotional items during shows.
Different Forms of Feminism
Many women have condemned the sex industry in the name of feminism. Feminists still exist today that work to abolish all forms of sex industry work at the expense of other women’s incomes and dignity. Feminist theories about objectification and porn equalling violence have pushed their ways into mainstream rhetoric, conditioning people to believe these theories are facts.
This leads to internalized oppression. In other words, even though we look at our work as something empowering and enjoyable, we’ve been conditioned to be ashamed of our work and to consider ourselves “bad girls” for doing this work.
We may even start asking ourselves questions like “Am I a dancer because I come from a broken home?” Or saying to ourselves, “I am a dancer because I was sexually abused as a child” or other stereotypical assumptions people make about people in the sex industry. No one ever says, “I am a doctor because I was sexually abused as a child.” The correlation is ridiculous, as it is with being an adult entertainer.
The fact is that, like any other industry group, entertainers come from every kind of background you can imagine (not just horrendous ones) and usually get into the work for a few different reasons but particularly for the money.
Once in for the money, we find out that there are lots of other perks. Choosing when and where to work. Taking time off whenever we want. Travelling. Writing off expenses at income tax time. Using our creativity and skill to build our shows. Camaraderie with other women. The power and attention that we become accustomed to, and more.
There are different reasons for continuing to choose this work. And most entertainers find it very hard to leave. Not just because of the gap in the resume but because they can’t find jobs they like more.
Most entertainers will go back to sex industry work after they’ve left because they realize they enjoy it far more than any other job they get. And some of these jobs are lucrative. But they just aren’t as fun.
Being an adult entertainer doesn’t make you automatically a victim despite what many feminists say. They say straight out that dancers are too degraded and incompetent to speak for themselves or to even realize their own degradation. This is women oppressing women.
They are so caught up in their own victim mentalities that they can’t see how they are re-creating the oppression they claim to oppose.
The Naked Truth gives permission to entertainers to enjoy their jobs, consider themselves feminists if they’d like, and stop internalizing the shame that is forced upon them by others.
Adult entertainers are people just like every other person in the world, with one distinct difference! They are comfortable with their sexuality.
Information for Our Beloved Benefactors
The Naked Truth is also a tool to teach customers how to treat entertainers. Many of them want to say and do the right thing, but just don’t know what the right thing is. So, we tell customers what we like and don’t like.
For instance, please don’t blow on the entertainer’s cookie. Please don’t say vulgar things. Do give compliments. Do clap after every song. Do tip. Don’t touch the entertainer or pull her blanket towards you. Do smile at the entertainer. Do buy posters. Do know that we appreciate politeness and sincerity.
About Annie Temple
Annie’s decision to start The Naked Truth catapulted her into a career of advocacy and activism.
Although she retired from stripping in 2004 to be home more for her children, she continues to work towards stabilization of the sex industry. She received the Raven Bowen Ho of the Year award in 2008 for her dedication, passion, honour, commitment, courage and strength to create change for sex industry workers.
Annie is currently working on a fantastic project to create health and safety guides for sex industry members across British Columbia. The guides will have invaluable advice for anyone considering a career in or already involved in sex industry work.
This guide will be available on The Naked Truth site when it is complete.