Jodi Sh. Doff of dirtygirldiaries.com (defunct) remembers Times Square before Disney’s four fingered hands turned it into Mouschwitz. When pimps looked like Huggy Bear, before AIDS, implants or lapdances. The 70s & 80s was Times Square at the height of its pornographic bare bottom!
Lauri Shaw skipped out on college and the American dream in favor of NYC’s colorful nudie bars of the late 90’s, right before Mayor Rudy Giuliani took his pickaxe to Times Square as we knew it. She never regretted her transfer to the world-famous School of Hard Knocks, and she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Rachel Aimee has been dancing in NYC strip clubs since 2004, mostly avoiding the corporate “gentlemen’s clubs” that have taken over Manhattan in favor of the low-pressure dive bars. She co-founded $pread Magazine and was editor-in-chief from 2004 to 2008.
For Essence Revealed (formerly Essence Alexander), the next logical step after receiving dual degrees from a prestigious university, was, of course, dancing in upscale gentlemen’s clubs from New York to Vegas. Since 2001, dancing has enabled her to stave off “starving artistdom”. Her one woman show, Essence Revealed, reveals it all.
Georgina Spelvin, went from the starring dance role in Pajama Game on Broadway in 1955, to become one of the best-known figures in pornography for her 1973 starring role in The Devil in Miss Jones, epitomizing the era of porn chic. Born in 1936, her youth was spent in small oil towns throughout Texas, where her mother would locate a library and then anything resembling a dancing school. “Mother never allowed school to interrupt my education,” she quips. As a chorus girl in the 1954 Dallas State Fair Musicals she met Sammy Davis Jr., who encouraged her to “try for the big time in New York.” Her autobiography, The Devil Made Me Do It, is available through her official website, Georginas World.
Antonia Crane is a freelance journalist, editor & sex worker from Humboldt County. She edits “The Citron Review” & is a columnist for “The Rumpus.” Excerpts from her forthcoming memoir “Tales of a Sexual Outlaw” have been published in the Black Clock Journal & Coachella Review. Her forthcoming novel, “Kill the Day” has been excerpted in the Sylvan Echo. She can be spotted hanging upside-down from various poles in LA & New Orleans. Editor’s Update: Spent, her memoir, was recently released by Rare Bird Books.
LZ Hansen came to NYC with $200 and a heroin habit in 1984, and settled in the East Village. She went on to work as a street ho, massage-hand job technician, call girl, brothel worker & eventually madam. She’s working on a memoir ‘My American Dream, Going Down in Gotham‘. She continues to live in the East Village of NYC with her husband and son. Look for her at www.lzhansen.com
After a nice middle class life of art schools & dance lessons, Candida Royalle discovered peace, love & feminism. In San Francisco she got involved with underground theater, porn films & a handful of burlesque club appearances performing what she calls ‘Isadora Duncan meets Gypsy Rose Lee’. Turned off by the crudeness and lack of a female aesthetic in porn, Royalle created Femme Productions, pioneering the concept of ‘woman-friendly’ adult films. She’s also an author and co-founder of a high end line of vibes. For a full catalog of her dvds, Natural Contours Vibrators, books, articles and personal appearance calenders check out candidaroyalle.com. Editor’s Update: The Kickstarter campaign to fund WHILE YOU WERE GONE-The Untold Story of Candida Royalle, a documentary, can be found here.
Jessica Pauline of Tinseltown Tease is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. Her writing has appeared in many print and online publications including LAist.com, Jewcy.com, $pread Magazine and Girl with Pen. She’s performed her work locally at In the Flesh L.A., and abroad at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Jessica lives in West Hollywood with her fiancé and their amazing dog.