MANY industries will have difficulty recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic - and the adult entertainment industry is no exception.

Colchester’s strip club Climax recently went into liquidation leaving about ten erotic dancers unemployed.

The Essex Feminist Collective welcomed the news of the closure with its members calling the club “degrading and exploitative” for women.

However, their remarks have not sat well with six of the club’s strippers who say they are all feminists themselves.

Helena, Polly, Danielle, Crystal, Lucy and Barbie, who wanted their surnames to remain anonymous to protect their employment, say they support women’s rights - especially in the workplace.

Lucy, 25, from Colchester, wants the Essex Feminist Collective to research the definition of exploited.

“To exploit a person would mean to selfishly take advantage of someone in order to profit from them or benefit yourself,” she added.

“This is, of course, absolutely not the case in the stripping industry.

“We have made the decision ourselves to be dancers and everything is completely consensual.”

Lucy, who started working at Climax in 2015, said she cannot put into words how much she misses the club.

She said: “Of course, the money was always a bonus but for me personally it’s the social side I miss the most and the endless laughs we had.”

A misconception about strippers is that they are “sex crazed maniacs”, Lucy added.

“This really could not be further from the truth,” she said.

“I have worked with lots of girls but one thing we all had in common was that we were there for one thing, and one thing only - money.

“Just like any other job, you go to work for money.”


All six women have been stung financially by Climax’s closure.

Barbie said dancing at the club helped her rebuild her life and support her children.

During the day she worked for the NHS and at night she was an erotic dancer.

“For the single mothers among us we rely on good jobs which pay well in a short amount of time,” she added.

Crystal, a 33-year-old single mum, said: “The club being shut has really affected me, not only financially but mentally too.”

Read more:

Climax’s closure means there are no strip clubs left in Colchester.

Crystal said she and the other strippers all chose to work there for “fun and money”.

Danielle, who lives in Colchester, said: “We are not exploited or degraded.

“We choose our jobs to suit our lifestyle.”

The 32-year-old has young children and a boyfriend who works long hours.

Dancing helped her family get out of debt and have treats they would not otherwise be able to afford.

“It’s not like a job, it’s like a night out,” Danielle added.

“I’ve met some amazing girls.”

The women understand striptease is not for everyone, but maintain the view that “there is nothing wrong with erotic entertainment”.

Helena said: “It’s better for society if we can be open about sexuality, but in a careful way.

“For instance, pre-teens might be looking at porn online but no-one gets into a strip club until they are 18 and if anything they learn more about boundaries and real women with us than in front of their computer.”

The 35-year-old said Climax’s customers were not just heterosexual men, they were women and members of the LGBTQ+ community too.

“The Essex Feminist Collective and others like them need to get up to date,” she added.

“It’s an 100 per cent commission job so you need nerves of steel, self-motivation and amazing people skills.

“The customers are often intimidated so it’s often us dancers who are in control.”

Polly, 26, said Colchester’s nightlife is slowly disintegrating into nothing.

She added: “I think without a strip club it will be hugely lacking in diversity.”

The women believe the act of stripping will never go away.

But they are concerned stripping will be pushed underground if more legal clubs close, leaving dancers without any protection.