If the most experience you’ve had with a strip club is watching (then re-watching) Hustlers, you’re not alone. While strip clubs have been around since the dawn of time (right?), they remain a workplace that’s shrouded in mystery, and it remains oddly taboo to openly talk about being a stripper — even while Jennifer Lopez gets award nominations for Hustlers (which, by the way, made over $100 million) and pole dancing classes become a mainstay of high-end workout studios. Clearly, people want to know about the inner lives of strippers and how they do what they do. And we’ve rounded up TV shows that give you a way better look than any Hollywood movie or pole dancing routine ever will.
With new drama P-Valley debuting on Starz on July 12, there’s more interest than ever in how these long-ignored dancers make a living: how they get into the business, how they learn to make money doing it, and what they’ve learned along the way. While P-Valley offers a high-drama scripted version of the strippers’ experience down South, the business of strip clubs knows no borders — TV documentary Strippers features strippers in big-city Scotland, while reality shows Naked Hustle and Beyond the Pole focus on the lives of strippers in Atlanta, Georgia.
These reality shows paint a clear picture of the struggles strippers continue to face. Their job is physically and emotionally demanding, requires constant interaction and is entirely dependent on the customer, and is often demeaned and looked down on by those outside the strip club environment. Strippers talk about how their job affects everything from their relationships to their physical health — and many share how different they thought stripping would be before they started.
Curious to hear more about the inner world of strip clubs? These TV shows give us the best look at strippers’ lives up close.