Friday Tip!

Dear Constant Reader,

Today’s tip is more serious than I usually get here.

Don’t touch the performers.

It sounds so simple, but you’d be surprised how many people just grab and fondle burlesque performers in ways they’d never consider doing to anyone else.

This was sparked because at the show this past weekend, Olivia, our stage kitten, talking woman, and magic assistant, was wearing a corset that gave her some major pushup. During intermission she was helping out at the merch table when a woman said some very flattering things to her and asked if they could take a picture together. Just before the camera clicked, the woman suddenly stuck her face in Olivia’s boobs. Olivia was stunned, to say the least.

Folks, this is not okay. I know we dress scantily, move provocatively, and some of us take off our clothes on stage, but it’s not consent to be touched.

There have been too many stories from showgirls and boylesquers alike about being groped, stroked, grabbed, licked, bitten, and fondled while interacting with the public. So often it happens in the split second before a picture is taken — the offender knows what they are about to do is wrong and times it for maximum surprise.

You may think that this is just the kind of naughty behavior we burlesquers should expect and I’m making a big deal out of a funny photo. I consulted Red the Lawyer and she says this is battery and possible sexual assault.

Get it? That “harmless” action could get you arrested.

If you want to take a salacious picture with a performer, ASK. She may be perfectly happy to let you motorboat her boobs or he might say no to letting you grab his junk. We all have different comfort levels.

And sad as it may seem, sometimes unwanted groping goes on between performers, particularly at festivals or big shows. For some of us, a casual boob-grab is the equivalent of a hug, but don’t assume that’s the same for everyone. Same rules apply: unless you’ve been given permission, no touching. Respect everyone’s boundaries.

I feel so terrible that Olivia, who’s brand new to burlesque, had to experience this behavior from a patron. But it shouldn’t happen to anyone.

And now to lighten the mood, here’s Albert wearing a feather boa:

M2

Published in: on 27 June 2014 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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