Welcome to the Undressing Room

La Mome Inette, Fetish Model, Modeling for Yva Richard in Paris in the 1930s

Welcome to Sex Worker Style! I’m celebrating how sex workers dress, why they wear what they wear to work, and how what they wear is both influenced by and influential upon fashion, dress, and culture outside of the sex industry. I’ll be combining memoir, observation, and research. I am a primary source, having worked in many aspects of the sex industry. I experienced many secret details of fashion, dress, and costume, watching how the interplay of workers’ preferences and aspirations, the motives of their employers, the tastes of customers and clients, and the directives of law enforcement affected those details. However, I know that I have to research history to give proper context to what I experienced, so I’ve been studying fashion history for 6 years now.

Most of the posts here will be from my Instagram, but I’ll be adding more as the project develops. Feel free to send suggestions for study!

I’ve been a sex worker for nearly four decades, working primarily, but not only, as a stripper and dominatrix. I’ve been an anti-censorship activist since high school, and a sex workers’ rights activist and advocate since the 1990s. I’m the author of The Burlesque Handbook and Fierce: The History of Leopard Print. I’m also the Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque. I’m proud to be a survivor and an achiever, after having been bullied, threatened, harassed, and dismissed, told I would amount to nothing. If you’re a sex worker, you can too! And you don’t have to wait as long as I did — I published my first book at 47 years old, and my second eight years later. You can get started whenever it feels right to you.

For those of you who want to support my work, you can tip via venmo @joweldon, or join my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/m/sexworkerstyle for more insider tips and conversations. For all the visuals, follow me on Instagram at @sexworkerstyle. For burlesque classes, see schoolofburlesque.com.

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December 2022